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on 1 March 2013
This book acts as a source of both information and inspiration. I've often considered starting my own business but always discounted the idea all too quickly thinking there's too much to learn or I haven't got what it takes to succeed on my own. Talib Felhaber provides the information you need to get started on your own but more importantly complements this with "self help" guidance to make sure that you actually follow through and make it happen. As he says himself in the book:

"I asked myself what the worst case scenario would be if I took the plunge. Why? Well, the worst case scenario for me was that I would probably have to find myself another job if I failed in making it as a full-time martial arts professional. It was then that I realised that I was already in my worst case scenario. Without further ado I printed my notice on company stationary and handed it in and was off like a kid in a toy store."

Definitely a recommended read - hopefully you'll have a similar story to tell too one day as a result.
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on 10 March 2013
Having recently read Talib's book, i can honestly say that this book is an essential read for all Martial Arts Instructors and for those planning on starting their own clubs. Luckily for me, i came across this book at just the right time. New to running my own martial arts club, and being a bit unsure of what to expect and lacking confidence in the 'business' side of things, this book gave me an insight into the martial arts industry and how to navigate it's many facets. Talib offers a helping hand and an encouragement to keep going and to persevere no matter what. Additionally, the points raised in this book are transferable to any small business which you may have. My partner, who is starting her own small business is now reading this book and is already implementing many of the key points raised. Thanks Talib and i'm already looking forward to the next instalment!
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on 14 December 2012
Talib's book is packed full of the secrets that helped him build and run a successful Martial Arts School. This is a great reference book for any Martial Artist Instructor looking to open his own school. It's written in an easy-to-read conversational style. Talib includes personal stories of his own ups and downs, and hard-earned lessons.
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on 8 December 2012
This is a unique and extremely well thought out book about making a living out of running your own dojo. It is full of good ideas that are very easy to put into practice. I would definitely recommend this for people who are looking to take the leap from teaching martial arts part time to doing it professionally.
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on 29 April 2013
I've only been a martial artist for a few years now and currently assist my instructor in his classes. I would love to one day run my own financially successful school or dojo and Talib Fehlhaber's book has shown me that this dream is more than achievable if you follow some pretty simple guidelines detailed in his book. I liked the book so much that I have also bought copies for some self-employed friends of mine, who are not in the martial arts, but nonetheless found the advice and ideas in this book very helpful.

Talib's book also deals a lot with the human factor behind any business, which makes it much more than yet another business book. There are so many things in this book worth mentioning, which makes it hard to do it justice. Most of all this book is all about taking action and there are plenty of tools both in the book as well as on the author's website that will help you to run a financially successful martial arts school without compromising on standards or ethics. Its conversational style makes it also a joy to read.
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on 11 April 2013
I have recently set up a martial arts school and i have been looking for info on how to help on all aspects of running a martial arts school. In the book Talib mentions about being a black belt in martial arts but a white belt in business and i agree. My school has been doing fairly well but there is definitely lots of room for improvement. Any help i can get i am very grateful and this book has helped a lot. A very close friend bought this book for me and sent it to me as a gift and for this i am very grateful. I have bought material offline on how to run a martial arts business, alot of material is focused on USA gyms and a lot of info is either outdated or useless. Money wasted. The information in this book works, there is alot of content, very useful and i have been following many of the plans in this book and i am starting to feel i am moving in the right direction. Planning and organising my time better, following a plan and working towards my goals. I highly recommend this book for anyone out there that really cares about running a successful martial arts business, not solely for profits but a gym where students love to train. Enjoy!!
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on 27 March 2014
I wrote and published my own book on starting and running a martial art school, "Small Dojo, Big Profits", back in 2004 and it has been on file with the U.S. Library of Congress since that time. And, since I first published it, my ideas on martial arts business have spread throughout the industry, both in the United States and abroad. And, while I've often seen my ideas and concepts copied by others without attribution to the original source, it's rare to find someone with the utter lack of originality and sheer chutzpah to borrow so liberally from my work that their own book practically follows the outline of "Small Dojo Big Profits" chapter by chapter. That's why I was absolutely delighted to have discovered Mr. Tehlhaber's book recently while browsing on Amazon.

Always curious about what others have to say on the business of martial arts, I clicked on the image of the book, making good use of the preview feature that Amazon provides. Lo and behold, as I reviewed the table of contents for his book I found some quite startling, and should I say almost scarily coincidental, parallels between the chapter headings and subheadings from my book and Mr. Tehlhaber's...

Curious enough to further investigate this seemingly anomalous display of quantum physics and extra-sensory perception, I purchased the book. And what did I find when I opened it and perused the contents? AMAZING! SHOCKING! GLORIOUS! It would seem that Mr. Tehlhaber has written the EXACT SAME BOOK I wrote all those many years ago (albeit with less actual content and advice, but more fluff) by covering many (well, most) of the exact same topics and concepts I covered in my own book, but written in his own words and in much less detail.

Now, in spite of the eerily coincidental similarities between this book, published in December 2012, and my book, published way back in 2003, the most curious thing about Mr. Tehlhaber's book (at least in my estimation) is not that he managed to restate my book in its entirety without directly plagiarizing it (a talent, to be sure) but that in the introduction to his book he clearly decries the books that are "predominantly focused on the U.S. market." And yet, he chose to rewrite an American martial arts business book in a mind-boggling display of originality and wit. What an astonishingly original twist on an established premise, Mr Fehlhaber... I applaud your audacity!

The fact of the matter is, you can't restate someone else's ideas enough, especially when those ideas have stood the test of time and been accepted by thousands of satisfied readers plus proven by hundreds of people who have implemented them successfully in starting their own martial art schools. I so enjoyed reading my own work in the revised and rearranged form that Mr. Tehlhaber has republished it in, I couldn't help but take this opportunity to laud his book here on Amazon (and thanks to Amazon for allowing me the opportunity to express my opinion publicly). Of course, this journalistic review only reflects my personal opinion, and I invite the reader to compare this book with my own in order to draw their own conclusions.

I'm sure upon comparison of both works, you'll react as I did and state out loud, "Well, that's fantastic!" In fact, I'm still exclaiming "W.T.F." every time I think about it. But, that's the gift that Amazon self-publishing has given us, that along with all the well-written and original new works that are brought to us daily by self-published authors, anyone with a keyboard and basic typing skills can publish their own derivative works for all the world to purchase. Thanks Jeff Bezos, and thank you Mr. Tehlhaber for sharing your brilliant book with us all.
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on 23 April 2013
I have read many books and articles over the last ten years mostly from America, and as good as some have been none of them stand anywhere near as clear & well defined as Talib Fehlhaber martial arts school guide, this no B.S. book has given me a better understanding of the path that I need to take to keep moving up in the martial arts business, Wish had this book 10 years ago.
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on 12 July 2015
How curious that Talib Fehlhaber has written a book on how to run a succesful martial arts club, when his own club (The Rapid Defence Martial Arts Academy) failed because of his negligence and mis-management.

Before you think about buying this book, ask yourself: Can I trust the author?

Let me give you some background. I had the mispleasure of training at his club in Norwich for a period of time, but left because of the extortionate prices that Talib was charging. Many of his students were signed up to 3 year contracts with a company who would threaten debt collection if you attempted to cancel your contract, and they were left with a sour taste after they had to cancel for genuine reasons (i.e. an injury).

All of his assistant instructors left after 2-3 years because of his bullying behaviour. I spoke to some of his instructors, and they were all miserable as they were unpaid and overworked (they were doing the majority of the teaching and running of the club while he was sitting at home on Facebook). They also described how they were being exploited as cheap labour by Talib who himself described them as "expendable".

Talib was pocketing several thousand pounds a month, but not only did he refuse to pay his instructors, he also refused to invest any money into the club itself, which had fallen into a state of disrepair and was generally grotty.
As an example, there was no hot water in the toilets, no shower, the hand driers were broken, and there wasn't sufficient heating of the gym in the winter. Waste bags full of garbage were piled up in the womens changing rooms (which was itself a hygiene issue, as well as being generally smelly) and there was a leaking roof and mould in the matted dojo where the childrens classes were taught.

Completely unacceptable if you are paying £120 a month for 2 classes a week.

After doing some research, I found that Talib had been kicked out of some high profile martial arts organisations because of his behaviour, and Rapid Defence eventually closed its doors after the majority of his students left because they were fed up of having their wallets cleaned out. Talib fled the UK back to his home in Germany after one of his ex-instructors sued him!

Not a good track record for someone publishing a book on how to run a succesful club.

With all of that in mind, how has he managed to write a book on running a succesful martial arts club? Put simply, the majority of it has been copied and pasted from other, better, business books. Nothing in this book is from Talibs personal experience, its all theory he's read from other people but never managed to succesfully put into practice himself.

An honest businessman would have made their own club succesful, expanded into a franchise with satellite schools, and then written a book detailing the methods they used (and the pitfalls to watch out for). Talib hasn't done this. This book was written first in the hope that it will be another moneyspinner for him, with nothing to back it up. Its all talk and no substance.

In short, this book is a con.

If you are an instructor struggling to make your own club take off, then don't waste your money buying a book from someone who doesn't know the first thing about running a succesful club. Find someone who actually has a succesful organisation and a good track record behind them, and learn from them.

If you follow Talib's example, then you will learn how to cheat and scam people out of money and then go bust in a few years like some dodgy car dealer. The best thing you can learn from him is how NOT to run a martial arts school.
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on 15 March 2013
I found this book very useful and different from the other titles that are available on this subject. The author is the only one who takes different mentalities and cultures into account, that vary from country to country. All the tips and advice given in the book are applicable whatever the country you might find yourself in (I live in France near Paris). I have been a black belt for a long time, but as the author says "You might be a black belt in your chosen martial art, but you are probably a white belt in the professional management of a school". In his book, he provides great insights, such as the right mindset, how to adopt administrative procedures, financial management, etc. In addition to this, he gives a lot of links to useful websites and even provides access to the book's own website which contains a lot of free and useful resources. Finally, I found the author to be very accessible and was able to discuss several issues I was facing with him on Facebook.

Highly recommended!
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