“Expanding the academy requires tactical planning”, by Rafael Dallinha

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Rada Jiu-Jitsu is based in La Jolla. Photo: Reproduction

Text: Rafael Dallinha

Our school, Rada Jiu-Jitsu, had been in the same location for ten years, in La Jolla, California. 

We knew it was necessary to change and expand, for the comfort of the students. But we had to wait for the right time to find the ideal place that I liked 100%. 

When a school changes its address, there are many other variables at play. First, it is essential for the teacher to be financially prepared. It is necessary to have extra cash for at least one year, just to be on the safe side. 

It is also essential to choose a school close to the old one in order to avoid a noticeable loss of students. If you move to an area too far away, the risk of losing your clients will be greater. 

We are now the largest Jiu-Jitsu academy in La Jolla, so it was crucial for me to stay in the area where I was established. We are well known in the community and have a certain prestige for the work we do around here. 

Of course, as Jiu-Jitsu teaches us, you often have to take risks. However, what counted the most for me in this change of dojo was being financially healthy enough to make the investment. We went from a small place to a space three times bigger, and this gives me the greatest satisfaction.

What the teacher should know is that there is almost never a perfect place, but the one we chose is satisfactory. I am a detail oriented guy, and the new version of the Rada Jiu-Jitsu academy was planned step by step. Every black belt ends up having a perfectionist mind, and I try to professionalize our environment and the service provided to the students. 

The Jiu-Jitsu values were essential during the whole change process, but what speaks louder, almost always, is determination. 

The Rada Jiu-Jitsu store. Photo: Reproduction

It was a complicated negotiation that lasted nine months, until both parties gave in to reach an agreement. At certain moments I thought that the deal would not go through. But the inner strength didn’t let me give up. We made the move official in January, and already 50 more students have come. To be honest, the gym is already getting small, which is good: we have plans to expand the location or open another one in the region.

I am grateful to all the people who were by my side during the transition because it was a big challenge. I spent a lot of money to renovate the school, but I have already started to reap the rewards. I visualized the gym, redesigned the space several times until I was sure it was close to the ideal. 

The change of scenery makes me feel more like working. Our academy has grown a lot, and the determination we have sharpened in Jiu-Jitsu continues to be the key to prosper. Oss…




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