Here's looking at you, squid.
Posted On:1/31/2007 1:56pm
Style: Ke?po, MMA ultra-newb
Do Mile High Karate schools charge a reasonable (but high relative to other schools tuition) - you bet. And appropriately so. $300? $197 for a new student, up to $359 for our leadership programs - more in some cases.
The question becomes whether the instruction is actually worth that price (which seems remarkably inflated) or if the students are just convinced that is the case.
It is important for a student to properly evaluate their needs and reasons for training prior to choosing a school. If a family is interested in developing focus, character, discipline and in training in a fun environment then my Mile High Karate schools would be an excellent fit (http://www.MileHighKarate.com, http://www.FreeKarate.com) If a student is interested in being most effective in hard-core combat, in becoming a UFC fighter, or in learning self defense skills that are most appropriate for police or military application my schools would not be a good fit. And, anyone looking for a gym environment mostly without traditions or the trappings of traditional martial arts instruction would not feel comfortable in my schools.
I, for one, appreciate the honesty. Again, my issue becomes one of market price versus artificially inflated price in an attempt to boost the validity of the instruction ("Of course I'm learning the REAL martial arts - would I be paying $300+ a month to learn crap?").
When I want my son to work on "developing focus, character, discipline and in training in a fun environment," we'll join cub scouts.
"Reason is a choice. Wishes and whims are not facts, nor are they a means to discovering them. Reason is our only way to grasping reality -- it's our basic tool of survival. We are free to evade the effort of thinking, to reject reason, but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see."
- Terry Goodkind, "Faith of the Fallen"
Posted On:1/31/2007 2:05pm
Style: punching bag / crew jitsu
Effective Teaching & interpersonal skills to allow them to keep their students training LONG Enough to achieve a level of Mastery. (the sad fact is that most students drop out in the first 3 to 6 months) Instructors who believe themselves to have the least BS or to be the least "McDojo" to use terms of this forum are the ones typically least likely to keep students long enough to achieve any success.
You're missing the point. If a student is learning nothing, but is only staying because you have convinced them that they are, you are full of ****. At my old TKD school the instructors did just that: convinced me that I was learning something that I wasn't. Fortunately I came to my senses at my green belt test, when the "master" instructor came in a wife beater and jeans, and was impatient enough that he wouldn't let a 10 year old try more than once at breaking a board. Even if you're a better bullshitter than that guy, you're still nothing but a bullshitter.
If the instruction is of a high enough quality, you won't need some kind of special interpersonal skills and marketing stuff. You need good advertising and sales, but that should not be your main goal. Your goal is to teach. So be a good teacher, and let the other stuff supplement that.
Posted On:1/31/2007 2:38pm
I know a guy who is going to be charging $205 a month in the Dallas/Ft Worth area though he's only a green belt in Krav, and maybe has a black belt in TKD or another art, and has lied about having a purple belt in BJJ not to mention lying about having a full contact record.
My question is Mr. Oliver, under your system, do all teachers get to charge approximately $200 a month just because they are full time instructors, have a black belt and are presumably worth this amount?
The Bottom Brick
Posted On:1/31/2007 2:56pm
Style: BJJ, Ju-Jitsu
Hello Stephen Oliver,
Good of you to step up and come on this site. However it is evident that you did not read the thread prior to posting. That was not the smartest of all tactics.
Look in the mirror and ask now who is throwing the mud.
"Sifu, I"m niether - I'm a fire dragon so don't **** with me!"
Posted On:1/31/2007 3:02pm
Style: Amer. TKD, Kickboxing
You're missing the point. If a student is learning nothing, but is only staying because you have convinced them that they are, you are full of ****. …. If the instruction is of a high enough quality, you won't need some kind of special interpersonal skills and marketing stuff. You need good advertising and sales, but that should not be your main goal. Your goal is to teach. So be a good teacher, and let the other stuff supplement that.[/I]
I'm not missing any point. Clearly there are many bad instructors.
For a school to succeed it must:
1. Attract students.
2. Retain them.
3. Teach them what they want to learn in a way that they eventually master the skills.
It is common to either attempt to teach too much , too early or to be a poor teacher (or of low character and not lead by example) It is important that the student learn quality skills and to approach mastery of their art - but that really is only going to ultimately happen with 200, 300, 400 or more hours of training.
For example from News Week:
Highest graduation rates
Following are the schools with the highest rates of students who graduate in four years.
Holy Apostles College and Seminary (CT)
St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing (IL) 94%
Columbia University (NY)
Bowdoin College (ME)
Princeton University (NJ)
Williams College (MA)
Yale University (CT)
Amherst College (MA)
College of the Holy Cross (MA)
Colgate University (NY)
Georgetown University (DC)
I’ve yet to encounter a martial arts school that beat these numbers for a quarter (ie. 3 months) much less for 4 years. This would mean that if you enrolled 200 students in a year 176 would be there – graduating to Black Belt in four years. That doesn’t happen.
I’ve yet to see anyone rate colleges on how great their “graduating” freshmen are – they full process is important.
Certainly, if you are teaching low quality curriculum or attempting to “fool” people then everything else is manipulation. That’s certainly not what I’m talking about.
With Regard to Pricing:
I’m not trying to convince anyone in this forum of anything but the “Market Rate” analogy just doesn’t apply. As mentioned in the forum we are Franchising and are currently legally registered in all 50 states and are ready for about ˝ of Canada as well. See: http://www.MileHighFranchise.com As we set this up I was looking for the BEST attorney’s in this specialty and then figured out if we could afford their rates. I was not primarily looking for the MEDIAN priced attorney in the area and, certainly didn’t want the cheapest. My concern was proficiency in this area of specialty.
Another example. I just bought a new SUV. Ended up buying a V-8 Volvo. Not the most expensive (I really liked the Porche Cayenne) and certainly not the cheapest. However, it seemed like the best for what I wanted. Criteria? Drive like a car. Hold 7. Storage Space. Enough Power (311 hp) Safe with my 5 year old in it all the time. And, it had to have the TV in the headrests. Spent $20,000 more than the cheapest in the category – maybe $20,000 less than pricier alternatives that weren’t quite right for what I wanted.
When I attended Georgetown – same thing. I was looking for a highest quality education (and, in fact ended up there in part due to having a Job teaching karate for Jhoon Rhee) Georgetown’s current tuition: Full-time per year
$33,552 Ref: http://www9.georgetown.edu/finaff/st...07listing.html
I didn’t pay that 24 years ago – but, I’m sure inflation adjusted it’s about on par.
I do believe that the education analogy holds true whether you are comparing Sylvan learning Centers, a Private Montesori School, or a College.
The Martial Artists who claim that they are cheap due to “not wanting to compromise” their integrity – are just fooling themselves. Your integrity comes in knowing that you are providing the highest possible quality learning experience for your students – not in ignoring business realities or in failing to addresses effective teaching pedagogy.
I don’t believe this forum is only MMA guys. I do think there are some quality martial artists who police and share their opinions on legitimate issues. On the other hand there are many uninformed opinions and unnecessarily rude, uniformed and profane postings as well. Yes, it’s easy to find some of that offensive.
If you run a school and are not interested in providing the highest quality curriculum and teaching you should get out of the industry you are giving us all a bad name. If you run a business (including a school) and are not interested in maximizing customer service and experience while learning to effectively market your business and ethically persuade your prospective customers – you really shouldn’t be running a business. Get a job and teach as a hobby.
Mile High Karate
Posted On:1/31/2007 3:33pm
I disagree with you concerning market value. Any student shopping for schools should know what the average charge in his area is for classes. Someone wants to charge more, that's their right but the consumer should obtain a good reason why they are paying extra. If you want, or need to pay more to obtain a specialized legal niche thats great, but as a saavy businessman you know precisely what you are buying which puts you one up on the average martial arts consumer.
So what's so special about your leadership class that makes it worth an extra $100 a month. Why couldn't someone instead buy Tony Robbins tapes? Just to provide one name.
And once again your education analogy fails. Martial Arts Schools are not four year undergraduate institutions. They are not regionally accredited. As a matter of fact there is no uniform standards in the martial arts remotely comparible to what one would find in professional licensing or undergraduate degrees.
I've previously mentioned all the services that an undergraduate college typically provides to its students, secondly the economic value of a college education is much higher then earning a black belt. So comparing your program to say Georgetown is comparing apples and oranges.
There seems to be a disconnect between price demanded and the skill of the actual teacher. Is any professionally run school worth $200 a month? Lets say we have a 3 year first dan in ATA who has implemented all of your systems? Are they worth this amount of money, to me, Joe consumer?
Posted On:1/31/2007 3:34pm
I think it's a little on the pompous side to compare martial arts instruction to secondary education and earning a black belt with getting a four year degree. Two very different animals.
I have a problem with this:
For a school to succeed it must:
<snip>3. Teach them what they want to learn in a way that they eventually master the skills.
No, a school shouldn't teach a student what they want to learn. A school should teach what it is good at (qualified in) and continue to adapt by encouraging instructors to cross train and get good at more things. A school that compromises instruction may be a financial success, but what are they preparing their students for? A beatdown when they try to whip out their krotty in real life.
If you run a school and are not interested in providing the highest quality curriculum and teaching you should get out of the industry you are giving us all a bad name.
You haven't addressed the issue of using an inflated price to increase the students perception that they are receiving a higher quality product than they actually get. Think about the Emperor's Clothes here...
As we set this up I was looking for the BEST attorney’s in this specialty and then figured out if we could afford their rates.
Did you actually look for the best or did you look for the most expensive? They are two separate things, you know.
Posted On:1/31/2007 3:48pm
Clearly he shouldn't be running a school - regardless of what he charges. Unfortunately we don't have the martial arts equivalent of the AMA or Bar Association and there really are no licensing requirements. Should he be charging $200? No, he shouldn't be teaching at all.
There are alot of bad instructors. We don't want them in Mile High Karate. Should bad instructors charge high rates? No they should do something else. How can we police them? I don't know - but typically they weed themselves out by failing.
Our schools have consistent pricing & high standards.
I have no control over who buys business information that I'm involved with - those who are involved at a coaching level I make every effort to either weed out flakes (like you describe) or work on makiing otherwise good & honest martial artists into quality instructors.
Posted On:1/31/2007 4:08pm
Style: Muay Thai, Judo, BJJ
Originally Posted by StephenOliver
There are alot of bad instructors. How can we police them? I don't know - but typically they weed themselves out by failing.
Actually that is not true many good martial art instructors fail because they lack business skills, and many successful mcdojo owners that teach bullshido succeed even though neither they nor their students can fight their way out of a wet paper bag. The reason for this is because the public does not understand what is good and what is crap training. The majority of the public cannot handle real training. Too many want to LARP. For me living in the beach cities of L.A. that is fine as if I only get 2% of the L.A. area I would have more students than I could teach. Now if the public knew what good effective training was then yes the bad instructors would fade away, but with the majority of the martial arts industry it is water down training with slick sales tactics that gets the biggest buck. Now hardcore schools can make money and several have.( I am on my way to doing that very thing). But hardcore successful schools are the minority. Heck look at judo, one of the most effective TMAs, 95-99% are not professional school and make no money.
Posted On:1/31/2007 7:46pm
Style: JKD BJJ JUDO MUY THAI
197 Seems awfully steep. My HapKido school is only 45 a month for 3 classes a week and my BJJ school is open six days a week and is 55 a month. I'm sure Mr. Oliver has better facilities then we do but I think Martial arts should be open to everyone not just the kids who can afford to do so.
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