Belt testing fees: end of the big experiment
So a few years ago it was suggested that belt testing fees were unnecessary and basically bullshit. Well I took this to heart and decided to do a 6 year experiment where I would do away with belt testing fees and see what effect it would have on my students.
Understand we are not calculating many other factors into this; we are not throwing in factors like a growing school, the economy, different locations etc.
So what have we found out in the six years that I've done away with belt fees? Well the truth of the matter is nobody looks forward to testing. There was one test I conducted in which nobody showed up after 10 people decided they would turn in an application. I tried doing a no show deposit. They pay $10 to submit the application and they would get it back when they showed up. I also found myself not wanting to make the sacrifice in conducting long drawn out exams (because I didn't want to cancel other classes to conduct the test) I would use my spare time (family time) to conduct the test which would take hours to complete. Most of the time I ended up with only a headache at the end of the day.
Does that make me a bad instructor? Possibly, except many of the other instructors felt the exact same way. The little fees I would request for the testing was to pay for their belts and other minor things. Then I would have to spend extra time to make out certificates, have a belt ceremony. It made people feel special. In the end, while I was proud of my students and their accomplishment, I felt spent and not looking forward to the next time I could promote both kids and adults.
Will I go back to doing belt fees? I don't know but it is tempting.