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Judo/Sambo UnderGround >> Orange County Judo Training Center--The New Dojo


10/7/12 8:34 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 10/07/12 8:56 AM
Member Since: 10/12/07
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The buildout of the new Orange County Judo Training Center is nearly complete. Here are a few pictures:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=538184976198484&set=a.538184952865153.139816.198717593478559&type=1&theater

The mat area is over 1400 square feet.  The subfloor is likely the best one in the entire country.  It is based on the Denver  Dojo Floating Floor.  The head of the OCJTC construction team noticed a design flaw in the plans. He modified it, and I have to say that out of all the floors that I've been on, this is by far the most superior.  The footing is absolutely fast and fantastic, while the fall is a pleasure to take.

We've shared the modified design with our mat representative Chuck Jefferson of Swain/Dollamur mats.  I highly suggest that if you are building a new dojo floor that you purchase your Flexi-Roll or Tatami from Chuck, so that you can not only get the best pricing and advice, but you can also get the modified design. According to our guy, the floor should last longer without the issues that others have complained about.

OCJTC is now on a 6 day a week schedule.  There are no other martial arts but judo being practiced here, and it is likely there never will be.  We opened less than a few hundred feet from a MMA facility.  If the number of people who've walked through the door in the last month......while construction was still going on is any kind of indication,  the dojo is going to be just fine.

There are plenty of chairs for spectators and they are beautiful. No hodgepodge of furniture thrown together like you see at so many other places.

The location is on a very busy street, and thousands of cars pass by each day. The permanent signage should be up very soon, which I believe will lead to even more inquiries.

When it is complete, I will put up some new pictures.

The address is:

Orange County Judo Training Center

10706 Garden Grove Blvd.

Garden Grove, CA 92843

 

 

 

 

10/7/12 8:56 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Also,

a) If you believe that having judo dedicated facilities is a good thing in the United States;

And

b) that if they succeed, the judo community can learn and grow the base and opportunites for other judokas.

Then

Please "like" OCJTC on their Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/OC-Judo/198717593478559

 

 

10/7/12 5:51 PM
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Seong gyeong
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6 days a week in the US? That's very rare. Sounds awesome.
10/7/12 6:46 PM
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judoblackbelt
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Dojo looks super nice. I did the "like" on FB. Wish you great success.
10/7/12 11:10 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 10/07/12 11:38 PM
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Thanks, jbb.  I've written somewhat extensively about what I believe is wrong in the way judo clubs approach marketing, teaching and business strategy.  Now I get to see if what I believe is true.

OCJTC got a rude awakening back in July, and every thing that I had warned them about came true.

Luckily for Juan, he had a few incredibly loyal students and friends. One of them is an awesome construction guy who also worked wonders in negotiations for the space.  Without him, there is no opportunity, and he will also be one of the instructors at the dojo.  Juan came to me to help with marketing, sales and business development, and I accepted the challenge after being mostly on the sideline for years. Others have assisted in many ways, and his fiance has been a blessing as well.

I can honestly say that with the adjustments that we've made, our inquiries/appointment ratio is up over 900% and the closing rate is very high.  I've placed a highly competent person in charge of appointment setting, who is so valuable to the process.  Even while the place was under construction and ran a  limited schedule it was by far the biggest month  (September) we ever had for new enrollees  at OCJTC or our other endeavors.

Even though the fixed costs have gone up more than 700%, I have great confidence OCJTC will be at cash flow breakeven by December, though they have a great chance to do it by November.

If we make this thing successful, I hope that we will be able to teach others how to make it work in their areas as well.  I have so much respect for Juan right now. He has taken a big risk, but I think it will pay off very well.

 

 

 

10/8/12 4:20 PM
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judom
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OC,

Great work .... reading this makes me extremely happy...Its time for Judo to embrace a little more marketing and so on.

I really hope you succeed...please keep up posted !
10/17/12 12:00 AM
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yusul
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looks great!
10/24/12 7:42 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Thanks for the positive feedback.

Things are still progressing very well.  This project has kept me pretty busy and I'm wearing several hats including assisting with teaching.  I'm there several nights a week, and so I haven't had enough time to give you guys a proper response.  Last night signed up a few more students.  Our closing rate is very good.

The feedback from most of the people involved has been positive in terms of accepting that new sales, business and teaching processes must be used to be successful.  As always, there is some resistance here and there, but the very high conversion rate speaks for itself.  The longer term impact on retention will be learned over many months.  All in all, the limited data so far, has given me reason to remain optimistic.

From a 30,000 ft. level,  I believe that many of the so-called  "reasons" people come up with to explain why it is difficult to enroll students in judo are simply excuses for not succeeding.  I do not believe that a Karate, TKD or BJJ studio would have had a much better closing rate than we have at the moment.  Many of the people who have enrolled  were walking or driving by and were thinking about trying a "martial art".   They were not looking for judo, specifically.

I'm hoping in a few months that it will run well enough on its own, so that my assistance is no longer needed. Cash flow positive will not be an issue within a very short time frame, which is an achievement in itself.

 

 

 

 

10/29/12 2:46 AM
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Chorizo
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OK, out of curiousity only, since I've never trained judo but knew of the old location, was there a breakup or something with ocjudo? The old location seems to still have a dojo right?
10/29/12 10:18 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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We are the only Orange County Judo Training Center.   There has never been any change to that.  Juan has taught in multiple locations at different times,  using the OCJTC name, but there wasn't a break up.  He is now only teaching at one location which is Garden Grove.   Obviously, there are other judo programs out there but they have nothing to do with OCJTC.

10/30/12 8:57 PM
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shen
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This is awesome. Best of luck with the school!!!
11/2/12 10:35 PM
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Frog-Jitsu
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There aren't any MMA schools close to there though... not sure where you're refering to?
11/3/12 12:09 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 11/03/12 12:09 AM
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There is a boxing/mma club on the other side of the doughnut shop.  They just added zuma according to the sign as I drove by it.

11/3/12 4:22 PM
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Seong gyeong
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Can you train there just on Saturdays and just pay a guest fee like at Tenri?
11/25/12 1:10 PM
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Brozef
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Good luck with your business, free support bump..

Just checked your location and I live extremely close, I may stop in sometime.
12/18/12 1:14 AM
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kcher
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Juan is one of the most gifted instructors I have ever had the good fortune of training with and learning from. Absolutely brilliant technique and a killer tai-otoshi.
12/18/12 9:16 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Thanks Kevin.  Juan was just saying this weekend how he'd like to get down to JJL when things are less hectic.

Next clinic or event we have at OCJTC, you need to come.   You'll be our guest.

Best wishes to you, Haley, the kids, JJL for a happy holiday season and a great 2013.  Also, hoping you have much success with your https://www.facebook.com/SubmitSchoolViolence   initiative.

 

1/13/13 11:00 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 01/13/13 11:51 AM
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Its been some time since I did an actual update on this thread.  I've been reluctant because I really need to speak in generalities on a forum vs detail.  But for a 30,000 foot view here is what has happened and what I am learning.

1) We've exceeded our cash flow goals. Our appointment/conversion ratio remains very high, and is actually at 100% since early December.

2) I greatly underestimated the amount of man hours that actually goes into growing and maintaining a martial arts business. If you are going to succeed, you need a lot of help from the right people.  Excluding the person giving this narrative, Juan has been truly blessed to have several people who are assisting him in every aspect.

3) Saving money can be costly, and do not discount visibility.  We had a member offer to get our window signage at cost, and unfortunately it is now over 6 weeks late, and we greatly dropped in terms of walk-in traffic. The estimated revenue I believe was lost based on Sept-November results when we had temporary signage from the stop gap action of painting the window is several thousand dollars. It is great to save money, but if you have the mentality of "saving" vs "investing"  you will lose revenue opportunity.

4) It is very hard to break that "saving" vs "investing" mentality in the judo world. I don't know why that is. Is it in the DNA of people who are attracted to judo?  Or, have judoka just been conditioned from being told and repeating the lie of judo not being a business? It is only after you prove the fact that eyes are opened.

5) Don't believe the nattering nabobs of negativity.  My ears are still bleeding from the years of being told a million different reasons why people in the USA don't like judo, or why judo only appeals to certain people.  It is not judo...it is the product and image that they perpetuate as judo that is the issue.  I won't give numbers, but I  will put our member growth numbers up against most other new martial arts school for the first 3 months.

6) Give the people what they want.  This is going to be a little controversial. Too many people are teaching judo who want to give people what they want to give them, not what the people want from them. It is the "Sensei Model" vs "Consumer Model".  There isn't one person who walks on our mats who we don't know exactly what they want.  It has helped in two ways.  First, our attrition rate, which I was worried about, has been minimal. Secondly, there are people who are driving a good distance to get from us what they aren't getting elsewhere. This is a huge benefit.  Given the distance from home that the average consumer who pays for martial arts is willing to drive, this is simply found money for us....and lost money for them.

7) This is basically an extension of the previous bullet, but know the customer. I don't think most judo clubs really know who the customer is, or they don't realize what customers are available to them.  Its only 3 months, I have a small sample size, but I'm pretty confident that it won't change much in terms of the reason why people are walking in.

It might sound like I'm coming off harsh on most judo programs, but I'm really not.  It is not for me to tell a person the reasons why they want to teach judo. It certainly isn't for me to tell them the way to teach judo, or how to design their curriculum. Frankly, the more judo clubs out there, the better I feel. There is plenty of room for all types of clubs to be out there doing their thing and what makes them happy.

What I object to is the squashing of ideas and dreams of those who want to go on a different path. Why shouldn't the young kid coming out of college who is a black belt think of judo as a profession? Should he be mocked or dissuaded from persuing that?  I don't think so. Anyway, there is a lot of work to be done, and I just hope that one day that I can point to our club and tell others "You can do it too, and here's how"

 

 


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