“Attention all dojo-chos! What do you think about these ideas?”, by Stanley Pranin

We’re getting ready to take the Aikido Journal Members Site to the next level. The site has grown steadily since its inception back in September of 2011. Thus far, our advertising efforts have been limited to Aikido Journal channels, but I think there is considerable potential for partnering with dojos who are interested in our subject matter and supportive of our efforts.

It is obvious that there is a steady shift taking place in the marketplace towards the digitization and online delivery of products as fewer and fewer customers opt for physical delivery of their purchases. I think this is a positive trend as it eliminates several steps in the product development cycle. Of particular interest to customers, this allows the lowering of prices and makes delivery of products almost immediate. Perhaps more importantly, it eliminates the need for dealing with the world’s postal services. The performance of these institutions is uneven at best, and their pricing has risen to the point that, in certain cases, postage costs more than the product itself! Then, there is the potential for loss, damage or theft, and the assessment of customs charges in the case of international mail.

Aikido Journal is, in a business sense, in the Internet marketing field. In this field, one of the essential elements for success is the building of opt-in email lists culled from visitors interested in the content offered by the website. As these email lists grow in size, economies of scale are achieved that allow businesses to reduce prices, expand sales and extend their product lines, and take on additional personnel as needed. To be specific, we’ll be in a position to do a better job at what we do, and at a quicker pace. (This is my 50th year in aikido, and hence my interest in accelerating the tempo!)

How might Aikido Journal and interested dojos partner? Here are some thoughts that have been banging around my overworked brain that I hope will result in an exchange of ideas for possible collaboration. Here is one scenario, fleshed out in some detail:

  • Dojos who are interested in partnering with AJ contact us and describe their particular area of focus, and the size of their current email list
  • AJ tailors messages with content designed to appeal to the areas of interest of the school
  • Dojos send out mailings to their internal email lists–the messages prepared by AJ–encouraging members to explore links to our content and products. The emails contain a message from the instructor or list owner explaining the reason for the mailing, how it will benefit the dojo, and encouraging members to “opt-in”.
  • AJ provides gift subscriptions and digital and/or physical products to participating dojos for their assistance in developing its email lists

Another scenario might involve the dojo using its social media accounts to send out the same or similar contact conveyed in email messages. There are many possibilities.

Beyond this, after working relationships are established with a core group of dojos, affiliate-type relationships can be explored allowing the level of collaboration to be expanded in a number of ways, perhaps even to the point that income-generating opportunities for the dojos become possible.

Please give me your feedback on these ideas, and also feel free to suggest other collaborative approaches that might be mutually beneficial.

Thanks folks!



  1. Hi Stan,
    I like the idea of content being focused for students, however I am interested in all of the Aiki martial arts so having choice is important for users. I would be interested in participating in a trial. As my discipline is Daito ryu Takumakai, it would be good to have students benefit from the extensive historical articles and interviews for Daito ryu. Would you keep the format of making part of an article free to access with full access requiring payment?


  2. neat idea stan

  3. I love the idea of having AJ articles go out to students regularly. How big a mailing list would you need and how often would they go out?

    • I would imagine that a list of at least 100 addresses could produce reasonable results. I hadn’t thought of it, but your idea of “dripping” articles to those who sign up is a good one.

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