Here is a list of the projects we are currently working on. Please consider contributing (you will be credited for your contributions and with linkbacks to your own websites. Join our Discord server or email the authors for more information on how to become a collaborator.) When they’re completed, the results will be provided under previous projects and under the resources tab.
1. The Dojo Toolbox
A master file of how to’s for those who plan to open their own schools, or those who are looking to revamp their schools.
Take a look at our progress. Think you can help? Join the Aikido Network Discord chat to contribute!
2. Preliminary survey on what makes for a good martial arts instructor, what makes for a good martial arts school?
We’re working on a second project that will help us understand what it is that people look for in a martial arts teacher and a martial arts school. With it, we can begin to understand what instructors and schools can do better and be more effective instructors and organizations. Please consider taking this survey to help us further our understanding! Your information will only be used for this survey and you will never be contacted for any other reason than to provide you with the results of the survey. If you wish to opt out of providing your data, please contact the surveyors in the About Us page to let us know you do not want to provide your information.
3. Release Date Pending: Motivations and Beliefs of Aikido Practitioners
A collaborative project between the Long Island Aikikai and Aikido Journal. It will be linked in our Past Projects page when Aikido Journal releases it. Specific organization demographics will also be available after, for those who need it. Please contact the site owners directly for more information on that.
4. Technique Card Template
This is something the United Kingdom Aikikai organization shared with us–they had done surveys on their new students and asked them what the most difficult and off-putting things were when starting and doing Aikido. They found that 1. the Japanese names were very confusing, and 2. the students did not know what to expect in their classes. So they came up with this amazing idea in order to address this problem. Their conversion rate is now hovering at 35%.
They plan to build a card that has a list of techniques and teach one pin, one throw, and one fall and mark the ones the new student learned so they can take it home and review it. We will also build a template that is free for dojos to use if they want to try it, and provide it here.
11/27/2019 Update: We’ve completed the LIA technique card template— you can see it here. It’s a different format than the UK one (instead of circle/check off, they have write in) but they will release theirs when they have finished testing it. We will post the results of how people feel about it after we deploy it for a few months!
5. Guide to Identifying and Fixing Business Operational and Administrative Issues
Our collaborator, Graeme Ede (read a little about him here and check out his website) is well versed in both puns and operations project managing due to his career. He identifies bottlenecks, deficiencies, and insufficiencies in order to help smooth out and streamline business management and operational functions. A current project is translating it to the martial arts dojo–what are the steps that can be used to identify issues and what are possible solutions to those issues?
6. Step-by-step Free Student Sign In Program/Waiver Form
We’re in the midst of writing a guide on creating your own online sign-in program and waiver forms using Google forms and Google sheets to track student information and attendance utilizing QR codes. An open-source software code may also possibly be available in the near future based on the LIA online waiver and digital sign in program.
You can see what we have so far: pros and cons of the few simple ones here.
8. Identifying Disruptors for Retention Efforts
Disruptors are events in a person’s life that may increase the chances they will stop their Aikido practice. Identifying them, researching them, and then creating retention plans can help identify the at-risk population and begin retention efforts before they stop, as well as provide a strong re-onboarding process to get them to come back after they leave. This can help overall attrition rates.
If we also can gather data on attendance trends of individuals, we can also begin identifying a pattern of how likely someone is to stop Aikido if their practice amount falls x percentage.
Please view our Common Disruptors page and feel free to let us know if you can think of other Disruptors.
9. ONGOING: Raising Awareness of Aikido As A Whole By Embedding It Into Societal Norms
Please consider joining a small team of volunteer writers that are working on embedding Aikido into societal norms in unrelated niches. Free (and super easy) training available and the benefit is you can link-back to your specific website so long as we can link to the successful instance. I do this for other niche clients (real estate and interior design) but have very little time to do this for Aikido–I do as much as I can, when I can, but consistency is key. These are NOT cold calls, they are templated responses to requested queries (for example–we receive a request like “How do you stay social if you work from home?” from other blogs and websites and you respond to those queries with slipping the topic of Aikido in.) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook/Discord/Instagram to find out more.
Check out examples in the Past Projects page.
10. ONGOING Ask Me Anything at Reddit
Collaborator DLVX and Josephine moderate the Aikido subreddit. One of the community engagement projects that they implemented is an Ask Me Anything, where notable members of the Aikido community are asked to give interviews that are led by the public. This once a month event is the chance for the general public to ask questions and receive responses by notable members of the Aikido community.
You can see past AMA’s in the Past Projects page.
8. ONGOING: The Library
The current project of our collaborator Yulie Simonovis, in which all the books on Aikido are collected in one place. Please be patient with us as we slowly build up the list and migrate it to a directory where we can sort by author, by year, and by title.
9. ONGOING: Funnel Course
The purpose of this project is to design a 5 week introductory course that funnels and onboards newcomers into the regular classes to create life-long members, taking into account what we’ve learned about marketing, motivations, and issues facing newcomers. See the curriculum here. Results will be posted in 2020 of the trial runs.