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Thread: Church Programs

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    Default Church Programs

    I've been toying with the idea of trying to start up a church program of some sort. I know a lot of Kenpo clubs/schools are based and taught out of church youth and other programs. Since there seems to be quite a few instructors and students of such programs that post here I was wondering if I could pick your brains a bit about what is involved in putting together and managing these type programs.
    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Church Programs

    I've been on both sides of that one, although currently our church is not doing a program. Just some thoughts from what I've seen:

    1. Be sure you have insurance! If your church has a school with an athletic program, then a martial arts program would probably fall under that guideline, but you better check on it to be sure. If there was no physical contact, it wouldn't be quite as big of an issue (although still important), but it's tough to teach a decent MA program without contact!

    2. Decide on your goal for the program and keep it in focus. Is it for the youth at your church already? Is it an outreach ministry, where you invite youth from the community to be a part of it? Is it a seasonal class, i.e. dismissed during the summer?

    3. Be sure you have the right equipment. As I'm sure you know, most insurance companies will require basic safety equipment, i.e. floor pads, sparring gear, etc.

    4. Did I mention insurance?

    5. Determine how the program is to be funded. If the students pay for it, since actual services are rendered, it is not considered a donation. Finances are a touchy thing when dealing with tax exempt organizations: make a mistake in this area, and your church could lose its 501(c)3 status.

    6. Who has the oversight of the program? If it is accredited by an organization/school, how much control will that organization have over the operations? All that is done through the church should have the oversight of the pastor in some way -- don't do anything that he doesn't want!

    7. Be sure you have insurance coverage -- your school's insurance company may not cover you teaching at another location -- people are sue-happy; don't be a victim!

    OK, I think I've covered the basics that I would consider. As far as running the class itself, well, I think you've probably got that covered!

    Hope that helps...
    Salute


    edit: YES...That post finally gave me a yellow belt! Now the real work begins...
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    Default Re: Church Programs

    This would have been a great topic for the instructors or school owner's forums.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    This would have been a great topic for the instructors or school owner's forums.
    I had considered it, but I wanted students of these programs input as well. Also, many of these programs are non-profit so I felt "school owners" would not be applicable. Of course, if you feel this thread belongs there you can move it, but if you do I'm afraid I won't get all the input I'm after.

    BTW, thanks sensei. I know insurance will be a factor regardless. Even if I taught out of my garage I would need a separate policy for that (I used to work in insurance )

    TBH, I'm not a "church goer" but was approached by an interested party and asked to discuss the possiblity with the youth minister at a local church. I have portable mats from Swain and other basic stuff like kicking shields.

    Believe it or not, I hadn't actually considered charging money for it if I do it. I routinely donate my time to charity and the community.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    In this case, it sounds like you're about ready then. I figured that you probably wouldn't be seeking for profit from it, so the only reason to charge for something like this would really be for necessary equipment, but if you already have it, you're set. And it sounds like the goals and oversight will be taken care of tby the youth minister of that church. So all you need to do is...teach the class!
    BTW, just out of curiosity, what church is it? I went to Gilead Baptist on Rocky Creek Road for about 4 years - that's where I got my start in Kenpo! My youth pastor there was a Kenpo blackbelt, and we had a karate team...great way to get a fabulous introduction to the art!

    Have fun with this endeavor.

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    It seems the sensei pretty much has this covered . All great points and thanks for being open to serve your community, it's getting rarer.

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by thesensei View Post
    In this case, it sounds like you're about ready then. I figured that you probably wouldn't be seeking for profit from it, so the only reason to charge for something like this would really be for necessary equipment, but if you already have it, you're set. And it sounds like the goals and oversight will be taken care of tby the youth minister of that church. So all you need to do is...teach the class!
    BTW, just out of curiosity, what church is it? I went to Gilead Baptist on Rocky Creek Road for about 4 years - that's where I got my start in Kenpo! My youth pastor there was a Kenpo blackbelt, and we had a karate team...great way to get a fabulous introduction to the art!

    Have fun with this endeavor.

    Salute
    Small world! The church is actually in Warner Robins. I didn't know there were other Kenpo programs in Middle Georgia. The closest one we knew of was in Atlanta. Do you know if this Kenpoist is still around? We'd love to network with him/her to provide a larger presence and more options to the community. There's umpteen million TKD schools in this area and pretty much nothing else!
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    Currently, although I teach a couple of private students for pay, my main "school" is at a church. I don't charge the students for lessons, so it is pretty much a wash as far as insurance, etc. goes ... At least that's my understanding.

    Students purchase their own uniforms from websites, we charge 5 bucks for a patch, that we already purchased in volume. We charge 5 bucks for a manual that covers yellow to blue, that we produce on home computers that come with step by step breakdown per technique with pictures. We don't charge for testing, or certificates, which we also make ourselves on home computer.

    There are some programs out there that can make a church-run school a real money maker. It's all about kids, getting the parents involved, and turning into a McDojo kind of operation, charging by the lesson, charging for the gi, charging for the test, charging for the patch, getting parents to volunteer to fill in for administrative requirements, etc. etc. It works out well for both you and the church. The members of the church want to support almost any program that supports them. The students have a safe environment to practice in with Christian based atmosphere, you make a fairly good amount of money. Your overhead is pretty low. You give a portion of all profits to the church. It is basically a win-win-win type of proposition.

    If that would be your bent, I think that it might be worth your while to contact Vick LeRoux of IKCA. Many, many years ago I had an idea like that and presented it to him. He came up with a whole bunch of material about how to do it. I don't know that Vic ever did it that way, but the info was pretty good. I wish I still had it, I'd just pass it on to you.


    For me, it's pretty much, simply, an avocation. I don't teach to make money. I do it to simply pass on what I know from all the years of not taking singing lessons ...

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    I think I can add a couple of things:

    1) The kenpo club that I am training at now has been meeting in a church for the past year-and-a-half. It is not an outreach program of the church at all (and I do not know if I would be there if it was). Rather, one of the other students was a member of the church and when it closed down asked them if we could train there. Now the church needs the space and they have asked us to leave, which may end the training of many students. If the church is approaching you about it there may be some in the church who see it as an outreach tool, and while I am all for outreach, if I were in your shoes I would not want kenpo training to be used that way. I suppose it could be simbiotic -- they offer a place for you to train and help give you a venue to spread your gospel of self-defense to many youth who may find it valuable, but I would not want you to be caught in that situation. (If it does not bring people into the church, some members might later question the idea and ask you to leave).

    2) As a deacon of a church I would be wary of hosting a martial arts program for the very same reasons that you would need insurance and safety equipment. An accident can always happen (though they are rare) and it could be devastating to both a kenpo program and a church regardless of whether or not you and the church were both fully covered. That said, I would not negate the possibility absolutely. You may have some members of the church who do not understand why they are hosting you and may be resentful (I've been in too many churches, obviously).

    I'm not saying don't do it, especially since the church approached you, but know that when you bring a program like this to a church that church politics (no matter how decent and loving the congregation may be) might give you some frustration.

    Whatever the case, be up front with the church and tell them whether or not you see this as a tool for outreach. More importantly, make sure you ask the representative of the church why he/she is pushing this idea and how the church benefits from it. That may reveal their motives and help you understand what you may be getting into.
    "Let the wookie win."

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    Default Re: Church Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Small world! The church is actually in Warner Robins. I didn't know there were other Kenpo programs in Middle Georgia. The closest one we knew of was in Atlanta. Do you know if this Kenpoist is still around? We'd love to network with him/her to provide a larger presence and more options to the community. There's umpteen million TKD schools in this area and pretty much nothing else!
    Unfortunately, no, he's not around any more. He is a fabulous practitioner, and a great teacher, but he's now in Florida, and doing the same thing...as a matter of fact, I was just looking at his family tree on Kenponet, and noticed that he just added another 3 blackbelts to his list...that makes 8 of us. Not bad for a guy who's never taught comercially! And, BTW, he doesn't give away blackbelts...
    And, no, I don't know of any other Kenpo programs there either. We looked while I was there, and I don't think you guys were even there then, at least not comercially. I left in '98, so you must have come in after that.

    Keep Kenpoin'...
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    Default Re: Church Programs

    There might be some info that may of some value in this thread http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17700
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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