Fitness | Confidence | Self-Defense
When I began my martial arts training in the 1990’s there was only one place to buy equipment: the dojo. Everything I needed for training, from sparring gear and uniforms to books and weapons, I bought from my dojo. The 90’s turned into the new millennium and so began the era of online shopping, Kijiji and cheap international shipping. Shopping for equipment was no longer limited to the dojo.
This shift in martial arts merchandising did not change my shopping habits. Every time I made a purchase from my instructor, I was supporting my dojo. It was the honourable thing to do. Could I have saved a few dollars by shopping elsewhere? Probably. In the long run though, I benefited directly from every dollar I spent at my dojo. After I purchased my Black Belt membership (thereby no longer paying yearly membership dues) I felt it was more important than ever to shop at and support my dojo.
Purchasing your equipment from the dojo has many, many benefits that both the students and the parents of students receive. The ones immediately realized are:
There are other benefits that are not quite as obvious but equally, if not more, important. Your equipment purchases through your dojo help to:
Many dojos will not permit students to train with gear purchased elsewhere. That is not how I choose to operate. I will not prevent you from purchasing equipment elsewhere. If it meets the standards we have outlined then you are welcome to use it. I do, however, implore you to consider what it means to purchase from the studio you train at, to support the instructors who are supporting your journey through the martial arts and to invest the few dollars you may save into the studio that you have trusted to train you or your child.
Personally and as a business owner, I strive to support those who support me. I make every effort to purchase products locally and hire professional services from dojo families. My plumber, my bookkeeper, my accountant, my mechanic, my sign company, my financial planner, my real estate agent, my veterinarian, my children’s music instruction and a variety of dining options all come from relationships here at the dojo.
P.S. – To this day I continue to support the instructors who have supported my journey. I earned my black belt under Don Warrener in 1994 and I continue to support him through book purchases made by Driftwood Martial Arts. Many of the books available at the dojo are purchased through Sensei Warrener’s company, Warrener Entertainment.