13 Reasons 
You Should Open a Dojo

You have the skills. You have the teaching experience. For some reason, though, you're debating whether you should make the next move. Here are 13 reasons you should take the plunge and open your own dojo.

1. School owners often say, "I stopped working the day I opened my own business." And they're right. You'll get to do what you love: teach martial arts. No matter how many hours per day you may spend at your new school, chances are you won't regard it as work.


2. The dojo will be yours. You can run it the way you want, and you'll have to answer only to yourself. You'll have the freedom to set your own schedule and your own hours. You'll get to choose all the people who help you run the facility — which means you can set up routines and procedures just the way you want.

3. You will enjoy being economical when buying inventory to resell in your pro shop. Of course you'll also need mats, heavy bags, striking shields, a few BOBs and some training weapons for the dojo floor, but you can acquire everything for much less than it would take to buy just one machine in an auto-repair shop, for example.

4. Running a dojo is one of the most honorable ways to make a living. You'll be serving your fellow citizens by teaching them the way of the warrior, which will enable them to defend themselves, as well as their family and friends.

5. You'll be helping them acquire what you have: better health and skill at self-defense. The only way to get those benefits is in the dojo — so you might as well make it your dojo.

6. You'll be able to do martial arts as much as you want. You'll be getting paid, in essence, to train, teach and work. Furthermore, you'll be able to attend martial arts seminars and shows while writing off the associated expenses. The same goes for trips to train with an out-of-town instructor or master.

7. You will enjoy a health and fitness boost. These are the real necessities in life because you have nothing without them. As a dojo owner, you'll be immersed in an environment where being healthy is encouraged. Similarly, it will be a place that lets you evolve mentally and spiritually. You won't be in the rut that most people find themselves in, where they're surrounded by folks who don't seek enlightenment or self-improvement. This is why most people come to your dojo, and you can follow the path right alongside them.



As a dojo owner, you'll be immersed in an environment where being healthy is encouraged.

8. It's good for the self to be creative, and owning a dojo will inspire you in this area. You can create as many of your business and promotional materials as you wish: brochures, posters, signs, T-shirts, teaching aids and so on.

9. Everyone is into social media these days; running a dojo will serve as the impetus you need to get up to speed on the technology. You'll also enjoy knowing that your social media posts will carry your positive message to masses far larger than your student body.

10. A good dojo will make an impact on your community. Opening one also will give you a platform to have a positive effect on the people in the community. When you see kids who were raised in your dojo go on to live happy and productive lives, you'll take pride in the part you played in their success.Operating a dojo can be a boon to your family. If you're married and your spouse is into martial arts, your marriage can become even better. (Conversely, dojo life can be a good test for your marriage.) Do you have kids? If so, know that raising them in your dojo is a unique experience. There will be plenty of upstanding people to help out, and all of them can impact a child's life in a positive manner.

11. If you still enjoy competing — like a high percentage of any dojo's youth population pro-bably does — you'll be in luck. Owning a martial arts school will give you many chances to participate in tournaments, not to mention help organize and officiate.

12. You will enjoy creating something from nothing — life doesn't get any better than that. In no time, you'll be making a good living for your family while you go about building your legacy in the martial arts. As rewarding as this can be, it's even better when your legacy entails fostering enlightenment and happiness through martial arts.

13. You'll never have to stop. You can be 63 years old, like I am, and still go strong. If you wish, you can reach out and touch the stars well past the typical retirement age. In essence, you can work right up until the end, if you so desire. Few people, even those who love their work, are fortunate enough to be able to say this.

Floyd Burk is a San Diego–based 10th-degree black belt with 50 years of experience in the arts. To contact him, visit Independent Karate Schools of America at iksa.com.



Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

Keep Reading Show less

Are you ready to enter the martial arts matrix?

Last year, COVID-19 forced us all to find new ways of doing familiar things--including teaching and training. While many schools unfortunately died out due to the pandemic, some schools also found new life with unique solutions. One of the popular options that schools found was online training.

Let's kick the elephant out of the room first. Of course online training can never fully replace in-person training in the martial arts world. Thankfully, it also doesn't have to. What many schools found last year was that they could survive, at least temporarily, with video conference tools and virtual sessions. What some of the same schools are finding this year is that they can help their schools thrive as normalcy slowly ebbs back into view and they are now equipped to offer online services as an auxiliary tool.

Nowadays, there are so many different ways martial arts info is spread online. We can indulge in martial art blogs, podcasts, and even online classes hosted by schools many miles away. Even before the pandemic put us all in front of a computer screen, the internet has been dramatically changing the world and how communication is disseminated. Over the years, the internet has become one of the most powerful pieces of equipment in a martial artist's toolbox.

Mind you, powerful doesn't mean perfect. Let's delve into the good and the bad of the martial artist's modern day tool!

Keep Reading Show less

On Friday, June 18th several cast members of the 90's hit show WMAC Masters reunited in a virtual call under the auspices of the Urban Action Showcase to speak about issues of social and cultural solidarity, and the martial arts' place in helping youth around the world. Former WMAC Masters cast members Hakim Alston, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues, Erik Betts, Willie Johnson, Herb Perez, and Jamie Webster spent the hour panel discussing their memories of the show, how the martial arts impacted their lives, and how they use what they learned to help the next generation of young people.

Keep Reading Show less