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  1. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 1:47pm

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     Style: Chinese Boxing

    7
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    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.
  2. Devil is online now
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    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten.

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 2:19pm

    supporting member
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just curious. How frequently do your adults get promoted? Maybe if they have to wait longer between promotions they'll bring their asses in when it's time to test.

    My kids' school has a really structured ranking system. They get stripes pretty frequently. There is no testing fee. If the kid has earned a stripe, they'll get them on the spot. Then, every month and a half or so there's belt testing for kids that are eligible. Non-participation never seems to be an issue.
  3. Krijgsman is online now

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 2:22pm


     Style: Judo noob, injured guy.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Interesting read.

    My Judo club is getting ready to do their promotions. The head coach pretty much just takes some class time to observe and work out with individuals to make sure people know the required curriculum for their promotion. It sounds like will just give out the new ranks at the end of the year.

    My previous club was even less formal: they just watched each person during practices and would occasionally hand out a round of new belts/ranks at the end of a class (seems like on a 6 month or so schedule).

    In my TKD experience, we would have very formal large testings with all the local TKD schools. I seem to recall there were fees that were paid after the fact, but I don't know how that influenced my motivation to test. The one thing was most of what we did in class was in prep for the next testing, rather than actually getting good at fighting (lots of reps of forms and one-steps). So I imagine that, once you do a few months of a certain form, you just want to test and move to the next one.
  4. Devil is online now
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    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten.

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 2:31pm

    supporting member
     

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My opinion regarding testing fees. I would rather pay a higher monthly rate that covers testing fees than to be nickel and dimed at testing time.
  5. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 3:18pm

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    My opinion regarding testing fees. I would rather pay a higher monthly rate that covers testing fees than to be nickel and dimed at testing time.

    That didn't quite work out either.
  6. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 3:20pm

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    Just curious. How frequently do your adults get promoted? Maybe if they have to wait longer between promotions they'll bring their asses in when it's time to test.

    My kids' school has a really structured ranking system. They get stripes pretty frequently. There is no testing fee. If the kid has earned a stripe, they'll get them on the spot. Then, every month and a half or so there's belt testing for kids that are eligible. Non-participation never seems to be an issue.

    Completely dependent upon the style they were being test on. Grappling we tested belts ever 3-6 months, stripes every 2 months. Kung fu kids every 2 months Kung-fu adults every 3 months.
  7. NeilG is online now
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 4:17pm


     Style: Kendo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Had trouble parsing the OP, did you mean to say that removing fees caused fewer people to test?
  8. PDA is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 4:36pm

    supporting member
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Supreme View Post
    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.
    Could it be something to do with the test process itself rather than the cost or lack of?
    King without a crown
  9. killface is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 4:37pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Why did you keep testing when you donít make any money out of it?
    As for the adults, just give rank according to performance in training. Less work and much fairer. For the higher ranks maybe some ceremonial thing followed by a team building activity (whatever you like, eating together or something).

    Personally I do NOT think that children need rank to feel progress and but believe that the testing is mostly important for the parents. (And the parents are important to the children, so that why they start caring.) Maybe that is a discussion for another time though. You have additional work because of the testing so it seems fair to take a small fee.
  10. cualltaigh is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2013 6:09pm


     Style: BJJ, MMA, JJJ

    3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by killface View Post
    Why did you keep testing when you donít make any money out of it?
    I'm not going to speak for Omega's testing regime, but I can say that there is (or should be) far more to a belt test than a mere recognition of skill, pomp and/or ceremony.

    My last test affected me in a deep psycghological/spiritual way that has taken me weeks to recover from (and not just because of the cracked ribs i received during). As well as providing me the opportunity to showcase what I have learned, it pushed me beyond the limits of my abilities and conditioning and highlighted what I need to work on and how far I have to go.

    And no, didn't have to pay for it but gladly would have contributed.
    Dum spiro, spero.
    Tada gan iarracht.
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