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  1. #16
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    Neil,

    I think the point is that many martial artists who do teach full time do not rate their skill and experience as high as they should. Nobody is saying that you should charge what a doctor charges, etc.
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

  2. #17
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    Default Charging

    But you might have to charge less than you think you are worth. More people will waste money on a gym and not use. But they keep it cause my use it, or want to get in shape.

    But most people look at martial arts/budo as a hobby. Not a system of self improvment/ self defense. So they are not willing to spend a lot of money or sign a contract.
    Train hard and you shall get what you trained for...

    Aaron Young
    Shotokan

  3. #18
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    Originally posted by John Lindsey
    Nobody is saying that you should charge what a doctor charges, etc.
    Allie wrote: I believe that we should be getting more than personal trainers at $50-$100 per hour. Or as much as Doctors and Lawyers at $300 per hour.

    Neil
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  4. #19
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    There are several experiences of mine that lead me to agree with Allie on this.

    The Dojo I train at is run through the university as a "Club." Students are charged a small fee each quarter to be part of the club. New students did not stick around, and many advanced came whenever they felt like it. There was very little dedication.

    My Sensei got so frustrated, that he tried adding an additional fee so that people would appreciated it more. It wasn't a big fee, just $10 a month, but immediately after that attendance rose.

    He hasn't been enforcing the fee for the last little while, and attendance has gone down.

    Another experience: I'm a part-time balloon artists (www.tjballoon.com). Whenever people see what I make out of balloons, they remark that I'm the best balloon artists they've ever seen (I can think of many balloon artists better than me, but I don't mention that--I like to bask in the praise). Then they find out how much I charge. They're blown away at how little it costs. They take one of my cards, and when their kid's next birthday comes around they hire someone that cost eight time more. That someone is often a lower quality entertainer than I.

    Several times I've heard parents remark that they paid too much for their birthday entertainer, and they don't know why they didn't hire me.

    It really doesn't bother me. I'm much to busy to make of business of this, and I just want to make enough to buy more balloons.

    Then there's my sister who shops at the Gap even though Old Navy is the same company, and sells much of the same stuff for less.

    You can see it everywhere in our capitalist society: People don't respect what they don't pay for.

    On the other hand, people do respect what the do pay for.

    Many Martial Artists feel that their Art is above money... and it's true. The benefits we gain from our Arts are beyond what money can pay for.

    But many of us want to share what we have discovered, and so we teach. To teach, we must have students. If a student sticks with it long enough, they will see the worth of our Arts, but we have to get them to stay that long--and before that we have to get them started. That means that the students must find it worthwhile to dedicate themselves before they have studied long enough to realize its true worth. In our capitalist society, that means they must pay for it.

    Time, sweat, blood... there are many ways that people can pay for it. But the most usual way, the way that is best understood, recorded, registered, aggregated, and allocated--is money.

    *** Gees... Previewing this post makes me realize how long-winded I am (or is long-fingered when you're typing?).
    Trevor Jacobs

  5. #20
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    Smile the key is education

    If you don't educate the prospective students, and their parents when applicable, they won't appreciate the value of what you do.

    If you are teaching kids and all the parent sees is kicking, punching, and blocking, then it won't be worth a lot.

    On the other hand, if you show how everything ties into improving self-discipline, self-confidence, self-esteem, raising grades, just about everything we already know it can do, then how much is that worth to a parent? Is it worth $100 a month to a parent to improve their kid in all those ways? More, perhaps?

    Many of us wait until someone is our student before we educate them on all the benefits of the arts. We need to do it before hand. Think about a new car....would you buy it and then check out all the options? I think not. The salesman will give you all the details and answer all your questions...hopefully, and then make the sale.
    With respect,

    Mitch Saret

  6. #21
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    Dear Rodier;

    Yes, in my school we do teach private lessons. I personally don't, but my Black Belt students do. I do not have the time, between the 8 schools.

    I recommend it though.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    LiNinja.com

  7. #22
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    Again. I am glad that some of your realize your self worth. I don't mean to offend anyone, but if you are not charging the students that is great. I realize that if I am a full time instructor I can reach more people then the part timer can ever reach. Therefore. I am helping more people. Young and old alike.

    I know people sometimes think that doctors are very special and saves lives. Well so do I. But I also believe that martial artists are very special as well. I also believe that I help as many people as doctors, sometimes more. I don't just deal with sick people, but sometimes with people who need help with their self esteem and so on. I council people regularly through my teachings. I am sure you guys do as well.

    Keep up the great work and keep teaching you are worth more than you can ever imagine.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    LiNinja.com.

  8. #23
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    Dear Neil;

    No one said you are worthless because you don't charge anything. What i am saying is that you need to feel confident about what you martial arts is worth. If you chose to put no price tag on it, then fine. That is okay. It is your choice. If you don't charge a penny the lessons you teach are still priceless.

    What is it worth to a student if one technique you teach saves their life. I am sure it is priceless.

    Ask yourself this question. What would you sell all of your martial arts knowledge for if you could put a price on it. If it were erased from you memories. All the people you have met, all the good times you would of had. What would you sell it for?

    That is what you are worth and what you lessons are worth. Now what is that worth to someone else. By the way. The questions are asked in concern to a martial arts school as a successful business.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com

  9. #24
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    Originally posted by Allie
    Also, the people who on average are charging less, then that is what they feel they are worth.
    I understand that you are talking about a Martial Arts school as a succesful business, but I totally disagree with the quote above. My sensei charges as little as he needs to cover the rent for the dojo time and for club events, no more. I think we are at about $350 US per year, and that includes kendo and Iaido. That isn't out of some sense of small worth or anything, my sensei simply believes that the art should be passed on to anyone who is dedicated enough to learn it, not to only those who can afford it.

    You belittle many fine instructors here with this comment. It seems that you define success by how many schools you have and how much profit you make, but please realize that some sensei define success as just passing on the knowledge to dedicated students, without charging them an arm and a leg for the privilege. They are our teachers, our companions in learning, our friends, and they don't feel that because they help us, they should be paid the same as a doctor or lawyer. My friends out of the dojo also support me emotionally, yet they don't expect me to pay them an hourly rate just because psychologists can do the same things.

    I'll keep out of this discussion from now on, since this is really about business. I just believe that sensei who are in this to pass on the knowledge to whoever wants it, regardless of financial means, are more upstanding than others who ask themselves just how high they can charge their students before membership and profits drop. To them, it's not about being "confident in how much they are worth", because it's not about the money. I guess they define success differently than you.

    ---
    Sebastien L.

  10. #25
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    Allie

    With all due respect if you are regularly "counsuling" people.

    I would assume you have specific training, education and experience in providing emotional/mental counsuling to folks??

    Hey I am all for being able to charge what the market will pay.

    But all to often people think that "teacher" is like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies. A wise and knowing being who thu disciplined training hs managed to overcome life's problems and somehow "transcended" thu their MA practice.

    A large number of teachers I have met and trained under--here and in Japan, were just folks--skilled folks but not the guys I would seek emotional/mental "counsuling" from.

    Just a thought.

    Chris Thomas

  11. #26
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    Question I think there is some mis-understanding here

    SLeclair quotes Allie and thinks he is being disrespectful. I think what's going on is a difference in philosophies.

    What Allie, and this thread, are talking about is making a living by teaching your art. Being successful has different meanings to different people, that is true enough. But supporting yourself and family is pretty much the same for everyone.

    SLeclair's instructor, who only charges enough to cover expenses, and there is nothing wrong with that. But he is a commercial dojo. He does accept money. Does that instructor have another job to cover the expenses of him and his family? Probably.

    I think the difference here is some people, like myself, have decided they could better serve their students by operating their dojo full time. I used to be like SLecair's instructor. And the money didn't matter because I had a job to cover any shortages as well as cover any of my other bills. I had worked for most of the radio stations in my area, and did not feel like going back to any of them. I went on to another area of employment, but after a few years the owneres were selling and I chose to leave so I could make sure I kept insurance. After the last job was becoming unworkable for me, I chose to go full time in the dojo. This was pretty much a 40th birtdhay realization for me. During this whole time, BTW, I was getting more students and having less time. I decided that to serve my students properly, I needed to focus on them. Consequently, I have had to charge more, market more, and try and recruit more students. I think the quality of my students, programs, and dojo overall have increased. And I can help more people experience the benefits of martial arts training. I am not yet at the point I would like to be, covering all my bills from the dojo income, but I am getting there. Does this make me commercial? Absolutely! But I was a commercial dojo the moment I accepted money from a student, just like SLeclair's instructor.

    What we are talking about is a difference in focus. And you have to ask yourself...would your instructor rather do his art full time? In most cases I think the answer is yes. But will they? That answer is usually no. It's a big step to become totally self employed, and doing it with martial arts is even tougher.

    Is Allie any less dedicated a martial artist than SLeclair's instructor? Am I? The answer here is no. Is SLeclair's instructor any less a martial artist than we are? Again, the answer is no. Judge instructors by the quality of their students, and their reputations as people, not by the success of their business or the fees they charge. Ultimately, it is for the consumer, or student, to decide if they are getting ripped off, not you.

    The easy way to find out is to keep raising your prices. When you start to get more turning away you know you are charging too much.
    With respect,

    Mitch Saret

  12. #27
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    Dear Mitch;

    Thank you so much for your reply. As much as I want to keep this to improving professional martial arts schools, and making the martial arts a more professional place for people to be, sometimes people will get upset.

    I must admit, people who are teaching part time are still helping people. I do believe that the true full time martial arts instructor is helping more people.

    Price is a concern for many, but the instructors that still feel guilty about charging what they are worth are still lacking in self confidence.

    Again, you must ask yourself if you got paid bottom dollar at your job and others were making a great deal more for the same position or job description you would ask yourself why? Why is it that we are not understanding that we are doing more for people then the average coach, personal trainer and physical fitness person.

    Dojo's are the temples of the future, were all religion is set aside and people of all races, colors and creeds can join in, in the same common goal. Self perfection -Shibumi..........

    I don't want to insult anyone. I only want to help this industry. Success is not a matter of how rich you are. But how rich you make other peoples lives. If you are doing that, then money will come. If you are offended, then you are not understanding me.

    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    LiNinja.com

  13. #28
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    Allie

    Again, no disrespect intended but you were very clear in that one of the things you do is "counsul" (sp) people.

    Again, do you have specific training, education, background to be running around "cousuling" people??

    In addition, I do not think that dojo's are the "temples of the future" as you put it.

    Not everyone has the goal of "self perfection" when they set foot inside a dojo/dojang/kwoon etc. Sometime they just want to learn how to protect themselves.

    A bit off topic I know, but it goes to the core of what and how a dojo should be run.

    Chris Thomas

  14. #29
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    Dear Chris;

    I don't mind answering your questions. Do I have a degree in counciling. No! Not in a formal sense. Do I have experience, Yes! I have helped thousands of people through my teachings and the philosophies of the martial arts.


    I am not prescribing medicine. I do have 36 years experience in the martial arts. I also have over 25 years of teaching experience and experience in helping people. I have helped people with many problems. You see this is where you don't get the idea of a martial arts instructor. The goal of an instructor is to help the student. Yes, some are there for the self-defense aspect only. Don't you think it would be nice if you could teach them more than that. They come to you with one vision in mind and you help them expand on that.

    So if it is self-defense that they want is that all you do is show them some moves, or do you build their awareness, their confidence, their ability to cope with stress, dangerous situations etc. You are doing so much more for the students than you even realize. I am sorry, but I think that the temples of the future are places were people can go, where then can feel comfortable. Build friendships and bonds with others, look inside themselves for answers. This is what I am talking about. This is spirituality. Not in a religious sense, but in a spiritual sense.

    Anyway, we are off track a bit, but it is a great debate.

    In closing yes, I have the ability to help others in all aspects of their lives. I have with thousands of students. So yes, I do say that I am capable of helping them and counciling them. That is if they need counciling. Most of the time they do it for themselves, through the teachings. I guess you are involved in an art that teaches mostly the physical side. That is great also. We teach a complete system of body, mind, and spirit.



    In spirit;
    Allie Alberigo
    Lininja.com

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