Training Never Ends

Unless you allow it to

  • 20th October
    2014
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    2014
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    2014
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Three simple rules in life:
1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.
Unknown (via flowerjjangftw)

(Source: purpleemoon, via greatgretuski)

  • 15th October
    2014
  • 15
Hi! What do you think is to much to pay for classes?

Asked by: oldschoolhoodlum

shaped-by-karate:

Well, that really depends on different factors, but I suppose, ultimately, it comes down to value.

The usual price range is anywhere from $50 to $75 per month, with the more expensive ones being around $100 per month. These prices can mean different things in different places, like, the bigger the dojo, the bigger the rent for the school, so the more they may charge. Other places might set a high price by how many days a week they open the dojo and/or how many hours they open each time. Some charge big prices for aesthetics, a pretty dojo with lots of equipment.

There are many things to consider, though. Definitely no to a school that charges $100 a month for one day a week of training, no matter how nice the neighborhood it’s in. Even if it’s a big and pretty place, one day a week is just not worth it to me.

It’s also a no if it turns out to be the type of place that’s more a gym than a martial arts dojo.

Now these are just some of the things that can influence prices, but you must always be careful of the “everything is money” type of place, where a monthly payment may be low, but then you end up paying fees for pretty much anything, like memberships, donation quotas, tests for a single stripe on a belt, different uniforms, one for class, a different one for fighting in competitions, a different one for kata in competitions, and it HAS to be bought through them, and they give you no choice, you either buy the uniforms or you “can’t compete”, stuff like that.

A lot of schools may also offer a contract in which you pay up front for six months or up to one year. These contracts sometimes offer a slight discount, i.e. you save, say $100 for going with the contract, instead of paying month to month, so these prices will, of course, be way higher if you decided to pay in one go, but may save you a little bit in the end.

On average, though, like a said, schools will be anywhere from $50 to $75 per month.

Now you gotta consider that not all, but these average priced schools will usually only open once a week for one hour, so if you break that down, you’re actually paying about $10-$12 an hour for their time and service. This is also the reason why the more times a week a school opens, the more the monthly price may be. Add more times a day for the school to be open, say they teach a class in the morning, one at noon, and one in the evening, giving you more freedom with your time, then you may find yourself in a more expensive school.

If you see it that way, you can break down the prices and add to whatever you may need to spend with them on the side, plus consider the general teaching methods, if they are friendly and understanding, if they are good overall in your opinion, and figure out if it’s worth it for you, and if you can actually afford it.

The big no’s, of course, would be schools that, as soon as you enter the door, are already charging you exaggerated amounts of money.

So, yeah, too much to pay for classes, in my opinion, would be over $100, but again, depends on different factors. However, that or a little more than that is not a bad price if a school is open often, if they are very attentive of individuals, if they have good equipment for training, if their schedules allow for flexibility if you’re a busy person, etc. Value is the important thing here.

Remember also that you’re not paying just to learn how to punch and kick. In a good school, the most valuable thing you can gain from it is good friends, people who support you and are there for you, a life coach through the teacher, a mentor, someone who will help you become better in many aspects of your life both physically and mentally, among other things.

In the end, If you don’t feel that you’re getting your money’s worth, then you definitely may want to look for another place.

Good luck, oldschoolhoodlum =]

  • 15th October
    2014
  • 15
Hi! What do you think is to much to pay for classes?

shaped-by-karate:

weakness-into-strength:

Here is a really good post from shaped-by-karate about evaluating the pricing of a martial arts school that I highly recommend taking the time to read.

It would be really nice if we could offer classes for free. Classes in everything for free from martial arts to music to theoretical physics. However, as someone who helps out with the backend mechanics of a small not-for-profit dojo, I have found that there is a crap ton of time, effort, money, and stress that are required to keep even a little school running. There is an entire world behind the curtain and thing the senseis have to do and manage and pay for that those just coming up through the rank likely don’t even know exist.

And setting your schools prices in such a way that you can afford to pay bills, attract enough students and compete with surrounding schools but still have people take you seriously and get enough students with commitment to work through the ranks to build a healthy teaching hierarchy, is a very difficult and underappreciated line to walk.

But that rant aside, I wanted to offer some options for those who are interested in, already training, or wanting to come back to, a martial art but think they can’t because of limited finances.

1. Talk to the head sensei or whoever is in charge of registration 
One of the easiest routes, if your financial situation is going to be temporary, is probably simply an exchange of services. Maybe you could come in and clean the floors, or if you’re good at web design: help out with the website for a couple of months. Maybe you can draw and could make up posters and put together some advertising for them. Or if you’re a higher rank, assist with teaching for a while. Especially with smaller schools there are usually a ton of odd little jobs just waiting to be done. They might have a policy of making no exceptions but you never know until you ask.

Another option may be a “sponsored membership”. Our dojo might be a bit different because it is non-profit but I’m sure we cannot be the only one. Every year we apply for funding and grants and part of the basis for our receiving this is based on us assisting “target demographics” which includes low income families and those in financial need. Which sounds weird but means we get some money to support students who couldn’t otherwise pay. There isn’t a lot there and depending on how many students we have who are in financial need, you’d need to talk to us. But again. You don’t know if you don’t ask and I’m sure there are other schools out there that do this kind of thing.

2. Research cheaper schools
This probably sounds like the dumbest piece of advice ever, but if you can’t go afford to go to one school doesn’t mean you can’t afford to go to any school. And 1. cheap does not always mean low quality instructors, sometimes it’s the opposite with instructors who are really passionate about what they teach but simply don’t care about making money off it B. tends to be smaller schools with less funds can afford less advertising so yes, they may take longer to find, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it.

Check out the small schools in the back corner buildings. (Smaller schools with passionate are also more likely to be more understanding about money situations as well and may offer paying on a class by class basis or what have you. Although they also likely really need the money so their hands may be tied)

Look into your local YMCA. Some offer martial arts classes under their regular membership fees and if you get a family membership or apply for financial assistance it may be a cheaper approach. I probably never would have considered it because I would have figured they would just be generic box-store type fitness classes but I have since met a few senseis who instruct from the YMCA and while it is not a traditional dojo they still have the experience and the passion and definitely know what they are doing. Just make sure to register for sessions early as it is often the YMCA that manages the registration lists not the sensei and if you miss out on sequential sessions because the classes fill up it will suck.

Look for non-profit schools in your area. More funding opportunities and also typically lower fees.

Ask around at a nearby college or university if the school offers any martial arts programs. Students are renowned for not having money so often these classes are cheaper. They are usually only offered to students of that college/university but if you track down the instructor and talk to them/email them about it, past experience has found some are willing to let in non-students to make up extra numbers if the classes aren’t full and you ask nicely. It may mean changing styles for a while or starting a style you didn’t know you were interested in. But if it is a choice between not training at all or doing something. I’d pick doing something any day. You might be surprised and find something you absolutely love.


3. Look online for your own funding

I don’t know enough to list a whole bunch and it’s going to depend on your age and location, among other things. However, I do know that, at least in Canada, there is an increasing movement to get active and “reduce obecity”, which means that there are organizations out there willing to pay to help people do sports. Especially for kids.
Jump Start is a good one for those under 18. We have had at least one student that I know of have fees paid through Jump Start (you can apply here) Look around and see what you qualify for or set up a go-fund-me. Whatever it takes.


The thing is, if you are a student with good character and a respectful attitude eager to learn and earn your place in the school, you are an asset to your sensei. Even if you’re a lower rank now, you still contribute to the school, and one day you’ll be wearing a higher belt teaching others. You might be wearing a black belt and one of their go to istructors. Good students are hard to find and worth keeping around. Their hands might be tied because of circumstances or policies, but you might just be surprised. Nothing sucks more for us than having a good student suddenly drop off the face of the earth and then running into them 6 months later and finding out it was because of money but they didn’t want to talk to us about it at the time and now it’s too late because their moving away or reason X Y Z.

But please talk to them respectfully and don’t asssume they can or will make an exception for you. Someone who thinks it’s their RIGHT to be there is not an asset and that attitude alone can be a quick deciding factor in whether the exception will be made.

Also, if there is any way you can afford regular fees, or once you start being able to afford fees again, please let them know as soon as possible. It really is tough keeping the doors open in a small dojo as it is and there is only so much funding to go around. So if you’re limited funds are, “I have limited funds” that’s fair. But if your limited funds are “I don’t want to have to sacrafice my morning coffee and donut routine to pay for class” or “Shoot! a new video game comes out the same day dojo fees are due” reconsider how much you care about you’re training and let someone else get the support they need.

^^^ This points are important. Thank you for adding this
weakness-into-strength
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  • 14th October
    2014
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