The problem with this is the fact that martial arts are providing a service. It's not up to the person asking for the service to make a commitment, it's up to the service provider to make a commitment to provide the best service possible to the customer (student). Imagine if my tax accountant told me that I had to sign a contract with him for 5 years because he needs to pay for bills and other things and in order to keep him afloat, I need to make a long term commitment to him and his business for the pleasure of him doing my taxes. **** that ****.
Originally Posted by doninha
I understand that contracts give you a bit of security to have income flowing in and I accept that. I have a contract where I train. The fact is, if you have a quality school then expect to get quality business. Will it be easy...no. Can it be done, sure. After all, there are lots of businesses providing services to others without a "contract"!
I think it depends on what you mean by a "decent" living. This is highly subjective. In my limited experience I have yet to meet a rich sensei, or one with a nice car (the guy who owns my dojo has the best car, and that's a jeep liberty). As for contracts, I think they are ok if you can choose between one, and the option of paying month to month. I also think people should have a couple months of training before deciding on a contract... this just makes sense right?
At my school we do an automatic one year contract. This means though that you can cancel anytime as long as you give us 30 days notice.
We do this so if people want to pay off the year they get a break in price.
Also, i have met Sensei that tteach TKD make $30,000 a month! They are super rich! CAn they fight? They don't even care so much( one had a blue belt in Bjj also)
A decent living depends on the person. One of my friends is a Bjj Black Belt and has tons of private lessons. He makes around $4000 a month and is happy with that. He also does pro fights and gets good money for that on top. I know another guy that probbly doesn't make that much but he does not care since he has a full time job.
There's so much bullshit ego-driven opinions about teaching MA it overshadows every discourse on how much an instructor should get paid or how they get paid. Examples of this:
"If a MAist really loved their art, they would not be in it for the money."
HA! Love doesn't pay bills or buy food. And you could also argue that if they really loved their art, they would devote all their time to training themselves and other people, instead of only doing it a few hours a week because they have to work full time to pay their rent.
"Just work another job, then you don't have to charge/charge a lot for classes."
As someone who has worked a full time job and tried to teach classes and train myself, the energetic drain on this made it suck so badly I will not do it again. It's exhausting, you end up skipping out on your own personal training (and if you are instructing and not training/learning new things, then you are cheating your students, unless you are grandmaster/originator of your school), and you lose flexibility for working with your students. Now, if you only give classes for a couple hours a week to 4 people, this is different I admit, but it is downright rude to insist that an instructor who wants to do more have to kill themselves in the process just because you're cheap and don't want to pay for classes.
"It's not the students' responsibility to pay for their instructors' choices."
On one hand, I do agree. If the instructor wants a brand new Mercedes, or take a vacation, it's not right to suddenly charge a whole bunch more or make everyone take a special seminar or something like that. But think of a kid having a tutor, or going to a private trainer at a gym and paying extra for it, or anything like that. Obviously the money they charge and the money you pay them goes to support their lifestyle, but there's no problem there. If an MA instructor's needs mean they charge $100 a month vs. $75 compared to the others in the area, that's their choice and the student's choice to pay them.
I don't know if $100 is a big price in Virginia but I live in New York City and my place charges $100 a month which is in my opinion as cheap as it gets. In fact the Sensei, a 6th Dan in Judo, doesn't even charge you; the space is owned by two guys who are heavily into MA, one a teacher, the other just a students and they rent space to different people. As far as I know my Sensei retired from his day job and now he just wants to teach so the money basically goes to the space upkeep (I don't know if he gets a part after).
There are vitually no fees after; you buy a uniform or if you own one fine, there is a club patch that costs like 2 dollars which is completely your choice to buy, its for tournaments and I haven't worn it since January, you pay $50 for a Judo Association to ensure you in tourneys (regulation) and thats it. Testing, unless its an official grading which comes after brown and is an organization function, is free and he doesn't even test you but has a point system for progress (tourneys you've been at, class performance, etc) when he feels you are reayd he just gives you the belt and certificate.
The two guys who own the space both have jobs outside the school and still come to train and manage it. Now on the other hand a WT place I attended before had a Sifu who owned the place and charged $100 for 2 hourlong classes a week and the price went up in 6 months (currently Judo is 2 hours a day 3 days a week). Despite owning the place and operating it as a primary source of income (with a lot of students mind you) he wasn't there for half the classes and didn't teach the beginner class at all. Also there were seminars (you wern't obligated to go) and tons fo crap to buy including sparing gear that cost like $150 though you have to buy it but you did have to buy sparring gloves and uniform). Not to say that I didn't like his instruction, just a question of price differences.
Last edited by FUNKtastic; 4/15/2007 12:09pm at .
I think that a valid alternative to having vs not having contracts is to have a lower monthly rate for people that sign one - make the contract or upfront purchase a deal/loyal customer reward, but have flexibility for people that know they won't want a year (college students, for example).
That is where the trouble comes in. Some schools don't just offer a service, but it is more than that. In some cases I think having that kind of capitalist power over your teacher can affect your learning.
Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
I have done something similar to this in the past. People could pay monthly, or for 3 month chunks. If they did it in three month chunks, the price would come out so you get a 1/2 month free. Similarly, if they wanted to buy a year, they would get about 2.5 months free. It was required, but it allowed those who were dedicated to pay up front and get a discount, while I got the money up front.
Originally Posted by JohnnyCache
My club is $85 a month, no contracts. However this is an auto debit. You simply give him 30 days notice and your out. He has also credited me for time when I was unable to train due to injury. This covers the MMA classes, the Judo classes, and of course the reason 90% of everyone is there, the BJJ classes. We are getting so full there is almost no mat space on the night classes 3 times a week. 30+ people is the norm. I'm not sure on the morning classes, but I bet it is similar.
You do not have to buy any gear, you can choose to buy a gi yourself, though the club, or simply go no gi. Of course a cup and mouthguard are required for MMA. Gloves are provided for those who can't afford them. Judo requires a gi, but you can get that yourself or buy it though the instructor. The instructors prices have typically been the same or cheaper then online resellers. I usually buy though him to help support the club.
There is also a boxing class that runs out of our club. It is a separate rate, but they let us jump in and train with them anytime we want, and they do the same. So if you are going to attend regularly then you need to pay, otherwise they have no problem with you jumping in a few times a month.
The instructor also supplements his cash by hosting MMA events downtime. They are very popular and always sell out. I'd say he's doing great.