Hi all, but of a conundrum with my dojo long term, I'm wondering if anyone has experience in the long term running a home/private Dojo type setup.
Covid sort of pushed me into doing things this way, previously I have had my class meet at both more and less public locations. I am able to do this only because I already have students, because the same people have been around for 5 years plus. So, now the Dojo is at home, I have a room for kata and partner work, and the garage has a few different punching bags, some strength training equipment, eventually a makiwara, etc. I have both puzzle mats and full mats for falls.
However, Covid dropped half my students. I was at eight to ten people, now I am down to four.
What I am wondering is how/if it's possible to sustain interest long term in a situation like this, such that you occasionally bring in new people to replace those that leave. I had one new person before and partially during the pandemic (we would do distanced stuff in a park during that time) and I think he mainly left due to feeling behind - he really wasn't, but it's almost unavoidable that people go through a period of feeling that way when everyone else has been around so long.
I suspect it may be a less noticeable feeling for new people now that we usually aren't wearing full Gi's or belts, but it's still there.
Beyond that, I face the issue of screening new people trying to join, which basically means I have to conduct an interview enough that I know I can let them in my house for this. I have up a very basic website, but in my past experience those don't draw in much unless you are really a more public figure. Lots of bites, but hardly anyone actually wants to meet or come to a class. I presented my class as a "study group" or training group now, because that's more accurate, but I'm not sure this will bring any interest.
So, I'm wondering what advice people who have been in similar situations might have.