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I am writing to you all on behalf of Cyril, Paul, and myself of course, regarding some exciting changes that will occur over the next few weeks and up to 6 months at our Dojo. Since my health concern last year, there has been some required re-structuring of certain things at the Dojo, both within the community as well as obviously on the mat. I would like to start by thanking Cyril Sensei and Paul Sensei for all of what they did regarding this specifically. In addition, Richard Sensei for taking the Kenjutsu classes (currently made up of YGB Seaford students) under his wing.
Over the last 4 months or so, Paul, Cyril, and I have been discussing old topics in new ways. A large part of those discussions have been on how to best grow the club community, as well as the possibility of having a permanent Dojo space to call our own. Please see the points below. As usual, all feedback is appreciated. Please DM (direct message) Cyril, Paul, or myself on Band (more on that later) or if you have our contact details. If not, send to email@example.com.
We will be re-structuring the current fee system. This will be to further automate the join-up process, as well as give us more control with billing.
The new fees will be $60 per fortnight for new members. This allows us to continue to offer the best quality instruction, good student-sensei ratios and allows for investment in a permanent premises in the near future. Existing members will be considered 'Legacy Members', and as such will be charged $45 per fortnight, only a slight increase to the current monthly fee. The family concession discount of 20% will remain (for members of the immediate family). Legacy pricing for our existing members will be locked in for the life of that membership. If a student stops training for over 6 months and wishes to return, they will be subject to the new pricing.
We are very happy to inform everyone of some other fee options which will make it potentially easier for members.
$20 per general class. For those who may need to accommodate irregular training and may only be able to attend on an ad hoc basis.
$175. This entitles the member to 10 general training sessions that must be used up within a 6-month period. This may be particularly helpful if students may be entering a study period, or period of regular/irregular travel away from the Dojo.
Members paying 6 months in advance will receive a 10% discount (over $100 off) on the total fee for general classes.
Members paying 12 months in advance will receive a 20% discount (over $200 off) on the total fee for general classes.
Members wishing to invest in their training for the future will be able to pay $3000 for 3 years (over $500 off). This covers ALL general classes within that three-year period.
For members (or member families) who wish to invest in their training for the foreseeable future, we have decided to open 5 places between 1st July and 31st August 2019, and another 5 places in from 1st February and 31st March 2020. The cost of Lifetime Membership is $5500. This membership entitles the member to attend all regular training events for life. Lifetime members will also be entitles to discounts on special events, products, and services that the Dojo may offer in the future. We have decided that Lifetime Membership may also be associated with a particular family. This means that the membership will be valid for one family member (immediate family shared membership), not limited to a particular person. This offer will require a meeting with the Sensei to fully discuss the conditions of course.
If someone comes to the club through your recommendation, and after their trial period of 4-weeks decides to join the club, then that member will receive two cycles of training for free (4 weeks). The direct debit billing will simply pause for two cycles.
2. Class Structure
In school Term 3 (Starting 15th July), Paul Sensei will be trialling a specific training program designed to engage children in Prep, Year 1, and Year 2. This will be a completely new training syllabus designed from the ground up to introduce the fundamental elements of movement, perception, fine and gross motor control, spatial awareness, play, strength, flexibility, and many other important, developmental, disciplines. The aim and ;culture' is still one of Budo (Martial Arts), but having a program designed to engage that age group will allow better success in progression, as well as better preparation for the transition into the standard curriculum in Year 3. Throughout Term 3, feedback is very welcomed, and parents can give their input to Paul Sensei through firstname.lastname@example.org
This new program will be run by Paul Sensei as a separate group specifically on the Monday and Thursday evenings.
During that time, the standard children's class (Years 3-6) will continue under Cyril Sensei and myself. I'd like to remind everyone that students in Year 6 are encouraged to stay and experiment with training in the Senior Class. It is required that students in Year 8 train in the Senior Class.
The Senior Class will begin as the Junior Class finishes, as per normal, but the first hour of that class will be solely focused on Mauve, Yellow, Orange and Green Belt curriculum. The re-structuring of the classes is another strategic move to give more focused training to the various dynamics. Students of Green Belt and above are welcome to either join in and revise over that curriculum, or use the free areas and equipment of the dojo for their own training. After that first hour, the class will then dismiss. The Green Belt's and above will have a targeted 60-90 minute class at an alternate location (purposely built Dojo) where they will engage in training specifically for their level, as well as join in with Yudansha (black belt) training. Intermediate ranks (Green's and above) also have the option to attend only the Intermediate class should they wish, but are, of course, encouraged to do both classes.
All these changes will come into effect on the 15th July.
3. Community and Communication
The Dojo has trialled many methods of communication in the past. Newsletters, single-sheet updates, SMS blasts, Facebook Group, a Group App (TeamApp) and a Direct Messaging app, which we are currently using, Telegram. Whilst many people are regular users of Facebook, not all are. Those that are often use Facebook as a central hub of their social media and communication (multiple Page Likes, personal feed, friends, updates, Groups, etc.). The Dojo, it was felt, requires something that is stand alone, easy and somewhat familiar, and non invasive or competitive platform. Enter BAND.
BAND is a cross-platform app that can be installed on almost every device as well as be accessible through a standard browser if necessary. The framework is very similar to Facebook, but the main difference is that members will belong to the YGB Seaford Band only, if desired, and therefore Dojo relevant social or important information will not be competing with all other social feeds and activities on Facebook. Think of it as a stand-alone, mini version of Facebook that only has information regarding the Dojo. Our own app for our own community.
Join the YGB Seaford group on BAND - https://band.us/n/a6a2102bT3qdr
4. Dojo - a place to call our own.
Amongst all of the Yudansha, it has always been a dream/plan to one day have a permanent Dojo. A centre for Yamagawa Budo and associated Health and Fitness practices. Part of our strategic plan for the next 12 months is to look at making that happen. An important first step, that we can all be involved in, is in building the membership back to the numbers we enjoyed 2-3 years ago. Cyril and I will be engaging a marketing campaign within the next few weeks as a push for new members, but the BEST new members are always word-of-mouth referrals form existing members. In that vein, we are encouraging for all our existing members to bring friends and family down to the Dojo between now and the 15th July. The training will be completely free for the potential new members. After the 15th of July, should they wish to do an official 4-week trial, they can sign up at the Dojo and then they will proceed as normal.
We are wanting to really push this incentive for new members (free training) and our existing members (referrals equal free training for you too!).
A permanent Dojo is an incredible opportunity for everyone in our community to access more classes, more free time using the Dojo space, as well as a venue for social gatherings, other practices (Yoga, meditation, self defence, first aid, massage, etc.) and special events such a competitions, presentations, guest instructors, gradings, etc. Best of all - no double or triple bookings!
We want everyone to know that training in Yamagawa Budo at the Seaford Dojo is more than just a way to better yourself through Martial Arts practice. Not only a way of personal development, physical and mental health and fitness, or a combination of practical and cultural study in self-defence. It IS a community, and thus every time you donate a single dollar, attend a training session, arrive early or stay back late, help a fellow student, pass out a flyer, recommend a friend, 'Like' and 'Share' a post online, review our Google Business listing, support a social event (fundraiser or not); it is an investment in a community that has a lasting impact on so much more than that single effort.
We are looking at raising the consciousness of the community so people can be more empowered, healthier, happier, stronger, and formidable in their lifestyle endeavours.
So - that it! I know there is a lot to digest, but if there is anything you don't understand or want more information about, please e-mail all your questions to the above address, and within the next fortnight I will put together a F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet and distribute to everyone.
New fee structure and new billing - transition is from 1st July to the 10th August. All current members will be on the new billing cycle and direct debit agreements by then. I will personally be in charge of this, so please be patient and I will work through everyone as soon as possible.
New fees for new members will start on July 1st, but referrals from Legacy Members will be able to access Legacy pricing if they join before 10th August.
Big membership drive - 1st July to the 15th July. Get as many people to come and enjoy the training, exercises, games, and contesting that we all love. The more who join, the more free training you will receive.
Looking forward to hearing from you all, training with most of you, and how we can build the future of our club.
Arigatogosaimasu! (Thank you very much)
Ganbatte! (Good effort - good fortune)
Shihan, Yamagawa Budo.