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  1. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/02/2007 8:13pm

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The problem is that some systems like the ATA run belt testing with an expectation that a certain number of people will be tested a month or quarter, they start passing people to make money and make people happy, and bang you have a McDojo.
  2. OnceLost is offline
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    Here's looking at you, squid.

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 10:22am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Ke?po, MMA ultra-newb

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Someone with more experience can correct me if I'm wrong, but don't certain franchises require a minimum number of belt testers per month?
    "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"
  3. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 11:55am

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by OnceLost
    Someone with more experience can correct me if I'm wrong, but don't certain franchises require a minimum number of belt testers per month?
    From what I remember in other threads, the ATA and/or WTF require schools to test a certain number of people per month and also promote a certain number of people to black belt as well. From one of the bullshido.net articles I read it was similar to a pyramid scheme. You are paying the organization above you a percentage of the fees you are getting from the students. After awhile, you get enough people ranked and you in turn get a higher rank. Then you promote black belts and have them open schools under you and now you are the higher organization. You have them do the "super happy promotion funtime" thing and you get a percentage of that. I'm sure some of the more TKD experienced people here can provide more detailed and accurate information about this as I can only tell you information that I've read on this website and looked up myself. They would probably have first hand experience on this matter.
  4. FictionPimp is offline

    Sexiest Punching Bag Alive

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 1:42pm


     Style: BJJ/Judo/Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My judo and bjj club do not charge for belt tests. They just hand the belt out when you are ready. My aikido club did charge it was 20.00 for the test and 100.00 for black belt if I remember correctly. I think it is silly to charge for belt tests. I could see charging to pay for the large association fee's, but I'm giving you a hundred bucks a month, that should cover the 3.00 belt and 50 cent paper.
  5. whitematt is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 2:28pm


     Style: TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Browning
    The problem is that some systems like the ATA run belt testing with an expectation that a certain number of people will be tested a month or quarter, they start passing people to make money and make people happy, and bang you have a McDojo.
    Mr. Browning:

    ATA schools are independently owned and operated. With that said, I run with an 8-10 week testing cycle. There are no expectations on who will test - nor are there guarantees for promotion. Can I make projections on who will test? Sure based on past history, I can say that 66% of my students will be ready to test.

    As for happy people, parents are much happier when I visit with them one on one and explain that Johnny is not ready to test, and would benefit from additional time in rank. And adults that aren't ready are mature enough to know. (I don't make enough on one person testing to justify promoting someone that isn't deserving.)

    Oh, and pass or fail, you pay the same amount. But if you do fail, you don't pay to try again. (Think of it as pay to pass - but you still have to earn it.)
  6. whitematt is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 2:42pm


     Style: TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FictionPimp
    My judo and bjj club do not charge for belt tests. They just hand the belt out when you are ready. My aikido club did charge it was 20.00 for the test and 100.00 for black belt if I remember correctly. I think it is silly to charge for belt tests. I could see charging to pay for the large association fee's, but I'm giving you a hundred bucks a month, that should cover the 3.00 belt and 50 cent paper.
    So instead of charging belt tests, build the fees into the program...?

    Class = $40/month

    Belt Test = $30/occurence

    Testing Cycle = 8 weeks (6x year)

    Total Annual Fees = $660, or $55/month

    But what happens when you only test 4x year (not uncommon)?

    Class = $40/month

    Belt Test = $30/occurence

    Testing Occurence = 4x year

    Total Annual Fees = $480 dues + $120 testing fees = $600, or $50/month

    So in that case, you are actually saving money by having belt test fees.
  7. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 3:17pm

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     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by FictionPimp
    My judo and bjj club do not charge for belt tests. They just hand the belt out when you are ready. My aikido club did charge it was 20.00 for the test and 100.00 for black belt if I remember correctly. I think it is silly to charge for belt tests. I could see charging to pay for the large association fee's, but I'm giving you a hundred bucks a month, that should cover the 3.00 belt and 50 cent paper.
    Quote Originally Posted by whitematt
    Mr. Browning:

    ATA schools are independently owned and operated. With that said, I run with an 8-10 week testing cycle. There are no expectations on who will test - nor are there guarantees for promotion. Can I make projections on who will test? Sure based on past history, I can say that 66% of my students will be ready to test.

    As for happy people, parents are much happier when I visit with them one on one and explain that Johnny is not ready to test, and would benefit from additional time in rank. And adults that aren't ready are mature enough to know. (I don't make enough on one person testing to justify promoting someone that isn't deserving.)

    Oh, and pass or fail, you pay the same amount. But if you do fail, you don't pay to try again. (Think of it as pay to pass - but you still have to earn it.)
    Quote Originally Posted by whitematt
    So instead of charging belt tests, build the fees into the program...?
    - Class = $40/month
    - Belt Test = $30/occurence
    - Testing Cycle = 8 weeks (6x year)
    - Total Annual Fees = $660, or $55/month
    - But what happens when you only test 4x year (not uncommon)?
    - Class = $40/month
    - Belt Test = $30/occurence
    - Testing Occurence = 4x year
    - Total Annual Fees = $480 dues + $120 testing fees = $600, or $50/month
    So in that case, you are actually saving money by having belt test fees.
    There is a problem with your math unfortunately. I quoted the original poster. If you notice he said BJJ and Judo. In those particular martial arts, your rank is usually earned although from what I've found out, Judo tends to do belt testing moreso then BJJ but usually not with a fee attached. There are many of reasons why but I'm sure you can read this site and figure that out.

    One thing I will let you in on is that; I'm not sure you are aware of this, but BJJ/Judo with the exception of some fringe schools, don't have testing cycles. You earn your belt busting your ass, you get it. Another thing, is that BJJ has typically 5 ranks and Judo has about 7. Unlike a lot of martial arts out there that has about 10+ and a bunch of sub-ranks that really are there moreso to bleed money from the students then anything. Yeah, I know, I know, "...so the student can see their progress more clearly"...yeah, I get it, I get it.

    Another thing is belt testing fees, who created this? It isn't mandatory, it's one of those things that someone decided to do (my guess for extra cash for whatever reason) and it's been passed down. You don't actually have to charge fee's for belt testing nor do you need to put it in the monthly fees. Don't get me run, it's a way of of getting a continual income source from a student.

    The one thing I'm curious about is contracts. Many may be wondering "what does this have to do with ranking..."? Well, I'll tell you, it's one thing to not promote someone because they are not ready, especially if they under a contract and HAVE to pay monthly, but what happens when they are not under contract, if they are not passing their tests so they get pissed and leave. They go somewhere else were they WILL get promoted. Then you are left with a choice to promote students for retention purposes and then you get people who don't deserve their rank but you need to promote them to keep them. Can this happen if you didn't charge for rank, sure. But people would be almost 100 percent sure they students are earning rank and not just buying it. It would also increase the value of said rank because the student knows that he/she/mom/dad didn't just buy it, they worked hard for it.

    I will give you some props on some things:

    1) If your example is what you actually charge then you "seem" to have some resonable rates...good for you.

    2) If you are good on your word and don't promote those who are not ready then again...good for you.

    3) If you in fact don't charge them the fee again to re-test (which is something that is done a lot in MA, hell, testing in general) then great for you on that one.

    - As you can tell from above, I'm not a big fan of belt testing, but I've come to understand that some schools use them to help cover costs. Of course I would prefer that they are used to cover costs of keeping the school open and operating and not to cover the costs of someone Escalade note!
  8. whitematt is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 3:47pm


     Style: TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
    There is a problem with your math unfortunately. I quoted the original poster. If you notice he said BJJ and Judo. In those particular martial arts, your rank is usually earned although from what I've found out, Judo tends to do belt testing moreso then BJJ but usually not with a fee attached. There are many of reasons why but I'm sure you can read this site and figure that out.
    The original poster stated he was paying $100/month. So no belt fees, but $100/mo x 12 mos. = $1,200.00/year. At $1,200/year you are paying more than just $3.00 for that new belt.

    Quote Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
    One thing I will let you in on is that; I'm not sure you are aware of this, but BJJ/Judo with the exception of some fringe schools, don't have testing cycles. You earn your belt busting your ass, you get it. Another thing, is that BJJ has typically 5 ranks and Judo has about 7. Unlike a lot of martial arts out there that has about 10+ and a bunch of sub-ranks that really are there moreso to bleed money from the students then anything. Yeah, I know, I know, "...so the student can see their progress more clearly"...yeah, I get it, I get it.
    I'm well aware that BJJ and Judo don't typically have testing cycles. I also know that BJJ is one of the more expensive styles out there. The Gracie Academy lists on their site that classes are $50 per class. So again, they are more than making up for the lack of testing fees.

    As for Judo - what can I say? It's is obviously one of the most underrated styles out there. And historically cheap. I know Judo instructors that would love to charge more, but for one reason or another feel they can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
    Another thing is belt testing fees, who created this? It isn't mandatory, it's one of those things that someone decided to do (my guess for extra cash for whatever reason) and it's been passed down. You don't actually have to charge fee's for belt testing nor do you need to put it in the monthly fees. Don't get me run, it's a way of of getting a continual income source from a student.
    It may not have been mandatory in the beginning, but it ends up being if you are tied to an association. For my students to promote, they need to test, pass, and have the appropriate fees sent to the organization. Do I make any money on this? Of course I do, but nowhere close to what you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
    The one thing I'm curious about is contracts. Many may be wondering "what does this have to do with ranking..."? Well, I'll tell you, it's one thing to not promote someone because they are not ready, especially if they under a contract and HAVE to pay monthly, but what happens when they are not under contract, if they are not passing their tests so they get pissed and leave. They go somewhere else were they WILL get promoted. Then you are left with a choice to promote students for retention purposes and then you get people who don't deserve their rank but you need to promote them to keep them. Can this happen if you didn't charge for rank, sure. But people would be almost 100 percent sure they students are earning rank and not just buying it. It would also increase the value of said rank because the student knows that he/she/mom/dad didn't just buy it, they worked hard for it.
    Not sure what to say. I don't use contracts, and I have had people quit because they were not ready to test. Did they go somewhere else and get it? Yep. But at least I wasn't responsible for it. As for mom and dad buying it... I think you give kids too much credit. Kids really don't know the value of a dollar. If they did they wouldn't be begging for Xbox, PS3, iPods, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
    I will give you some props on some things:

    1) If your example is what you actually charge then you "seem" to have some resonable rates...good for you.

    2) If you are good on your word and don't promote those who are not ready then again...good for you.

    3) If you in fact don't charge them the fee again to re-test (which is something that is done a lot in MA, hell, testing in general) then great for you on that one.

    - As you can tell from above, I'm not a big fan of belt testing, but I've come to understand that some schools use them to help cover costs. Of course I would prefer that they are used to cover costs of keeping the school open and operating and not to cover the costs of someone Escalade note!
    Those are my rates, and how we run the program. I'm just trying to make the point, that belt testing fees or not, at the end of the year it's very likely that it all evens out. And I'm not really an Escalade kind of guy.
    Last edited by whitematt; 3/05/2007 3:59pm at .
  9. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 5:39pm

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     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by whitematt
    The original poster stated he was paying $100/month. So no belt fees, but $100/mo x 12 mos. = $1,200.00/year. At $1,200/year you are paying more than just $3.00 for that new belt.
    Unfortunately not all martial arts are created equal. If that's the case then your rates would probably be considering that some schools charge less. Sorry, but you really can't compare what you are learning in TKD to what you are learning in BJJ. They are both way too different and accomplish different goals.

    I'm well aware that BJJ and Judo don't typically have testing cycles. I also know that BJJ is one of the more expensive styles out there. The Gracie Academy lists on their site that classes are $50 per class. So again, they are more than making up for the lack of testing fees.
    Actually, I think Stephen Oliver's style of MA is one of the more expensive styles out there...lol! Read here for more info:

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=50220

    As for the Gracie Academy, I wouldn't use it as the standard. One, you are paying for the Gracie name; two, you are paying for the location, extreemly nice and also in a high income area which means higher prices. I pay a little more then that for monthly classes, won't say how much, above 50 but below 100. That's 2 classes a week with a brown belt. Prices can vary based on rank and name. Name being who you are and also who you are ranked under.

    As for Judo - what can I say? It's is obviously one of the most underrated styles out there. And historically cheap. I know Judo instructors that would love to charge more, but for one reason or another feel they can't.
    From my experience, it's usually cheap because most Judo players are in it for the love of the sport and martial art, not to make a profit. They usually have regualar jobs and what money if any being paid, is almost strictly for paying rent, utilities, things like that. It's been like that at the last two Judo clubs I've trained at (the only two actually). I'm sure there are probably comercial schools out there, but most of the ones I've come across are usually there for the love only. That's why it's historically cheap. Those instructors who probably want to charge more probably do so because they don't want to seem like they are in it for the money and cheapen what they do. Then again, I haven't been a part of the Judo culture enough time. I'll let others chime in on this one.

    It may not have been mandatory in the beginning, but it ends up being if you are tied to an association. For my students to promote, they need to test, pass, and have the appropriate fees sent to the organization. Do I make any money on this? Of course I do, but nowhere close to what you think.
    Well again, I'm of the idea that belt fees suck, but I accept them. I do understand things can be different being tied to an association. But then again, that's only with an association that does that kind of thing. Case in point, the Federation for BJJ, has annual fees for from what I've researched, they don't ask for money for belt testing because belt testing and belt fees are somewhat frowned upon. Really, all they do is say, we recognize your rank. Then again, most people who aren't recognized by them are recongnized as legit black belts because of who promoted them or their tournament winnings. It's the one thing I love about BJJ, you don't need an organization or payment to prove your rank, you just need to be able to consistantly beat the crap out of others in the lower ranks or the same and even higher ranks to validate your own rank.

    Not sure what to say. I don't use contracts, and I have had people quit because they were not ready to test. Did they go somewhere else and get it? Yep. But at least I wasn't responsible for it. As for mom and dad buying it... I think you give kids too much credit. Kids really don't know the value of a dollar. If they did they wouldn't be begging for Xbox, PS3, iPods, etc.
    Doesn't matter, parents still buy their children rank. There are plenty of articles here for you to read up on the subject. As for children knowing the value of the dollar, well it's not the children's fault, it's the parents. Trust me, children learn real quick the value of the dollar when it's their money that they spend on such things and not the parents. Mind you, when I say children, I mean teenagers, as most "kids" don't even know the value of the snot they are pulling from their noses and eating.

    Those are my rates, and how we run the program. I'm just trying to make the point, that belt testing fees or not, at the end of the year it's very likely that it all evens out. And I'm not really an Escalade kind of guy.
    Well, it only evens out if you are putting the fees as part of the monthly rate instead of a testing fee. Now if you were to stop testing fees period, then it certainly doesn't even out. Again, belt fees is a marketing tool that was added for more to gain more money for whatever the reason. There is no other reason to have a camouflage colored belt except to have an extra rank to make money off of.

    Hey, as long as the rims on the wheels spin...it doesn't matter what you drive (yeah, I know, stereotypical comment coming from the black guy)!
    Last edited by datdamnmachine; 3/05/2007 5:42pm at .
  10. FictionPimp is offline

    Sexiest Punching Bag Alive

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    Posted On:
    3/05/2007 5:39pm


     Style: BJJ/Judo/Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm getting really really ripped off. I've trained in bjj for a year and not even got one test! Thank god those strip fee's were put in the contract!

    See that's the problem with your thinking. There are no testing fees, its not built into my contract. I'm paying for instruction, not for a belt. Even if I never get a new belt, I am still getting taught the same material as everyone else and gaining skill. If my class charged for testing, I would never ever test. A 3.00 belt does not dictate skill.

    If I'm paying the man for his time, it should be inclusive of all his time required to teach me.
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