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Thread: Charge me to meet?????

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    Default Charge me to meet?????

    I have always had an interest in Bagua. I recently found contact information for a local gentleman who is supposed to teach the art. I sent an email inquiry today. He responded and said he was open to meeting me to discuss the art and instruction. He also said it would cost me $20 to avoid wasting his time. In all of my time in Japanese arts (almost 13years) I have never experienced anything similar to this either as a prospective student or teacher. Seems strange to me. Thoughts?
    Jeff Brown

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    Never heard of that before, unless an instructor was charging a fee for an introductory private lesson, which would not be unreasonable. But the way this fellow worded his expectation of payment for an initial meeting, if that was indeed how he put it, was pretty crude -- at least, based on the information you've provided.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 5th September 2013 at 02:35.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Here is the direct quote: " we can arrange a time to meet or chat over the phone. I normally charge $20 to meet so I do not waste my time." If I become his student it will go towards tuition. If we meet and I find he has no legitimate claims to teach I am out 20 bucks. Seems strange to me.
    Jeff Brown

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    Although Baguazhang seems an interesting Chinese art (I am fascinated by their circular stepping tactics), It is not a “gendai budo”, hence shouldn’t it be discussed elsewhere? This could help to keep the forums organized.

    Having said this, regardless of its non Japanese nature (to qualify as gendai budo), It is also the first time I hear of someone already charging just to meet (and I unfortunately have come across quit some arrogant and/or commercial guys).

    May-be you can propose the following: put each 20$ on the table, if he wasted your time take back 40$, if he realy enlighten you, he can take 40$, if it was “ok, but,...", then call it a draw and take each 20$ back. By this you use philosophy compatible with Baguazhang: use the opponent’s strength and tactics against him (just joking of course).
    Last edited by Guy Buyens; 5th September 2013 at 07:08. Reason: typo
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    I would wager he would not be so interested to meet if the shoe were on the other foot and I used your suggestion.
    Last edited by morpheus; 5th September 2013 at 10:47. Reason: Typing on a phone

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    Also it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Buyens. We share Hontai Yoshin ryu. I have been involved in the art since around 2003 (with a lull in the middle) under instruction of Brian Barnes and Stephen Fabian. Nice to meet you.

    Jeff

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    He's probably been stood up so many times he's had it and is trying something different. I'd make a counter offer. "If I show up will you refund the $20?" That aught to get him to sit up and take notice.
    Doug Walker
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    Why can't you just go observe a class? Seems fishy to me.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    I had a lengthy conversation with the gentleman on the phone today. The first face to face meeting will include a private lesson. If we agree for me to become his student the $20 will go towards the first months tuition. I felt much better about the situation after we had a discussion on the phone. He seems to be a stand up guy with a good list of credentials. He teaches privately and only has a couple of students. All the training is done outside. The class he currently teaches is during my work day. He agreed to meet at an alternative time. Look forward to meeting him. Honestly, still seems like an unusual way of doing things but alas it his way of doing them.
    Jeff Brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    Mr. Buyens
    Jeff, I prefer Guy to Mr. Buyens!.

    So you know Brian and Stephen: a small world. Good luck with your Chinese adventure. (nothing negative, the Chinese have great stuff, I wish I had more time) and may-be he is good because I know some Chinese very well and they are born businessman.
    Last edited by Guy Buyens; 5th September 2013 at 20:37. Reason: typo
    Guy Buyens
    Hontai Yoshin Ryu (本體楊心流)
    BELGIAN BRANCH http://www.hontaiyoshinryu.be/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Buyens View Post
    Although Baguazhang seems an interesting Chinese art (I am fascinated by their circular stepping tactics), It is not a “gendai budo”, hence shouldn’t it be discussed elsewhere? This could help to keep the forums organized.
    Yes, I let that one slip by completely unintentionally. Maybe because I train in a bagua-like contemporary Chinese martial art, so it looked like a "normal" post to me...

    Jeff, now that you've had a more detailed discussion with the instructor, and provided more details here about the initial encounter, his remark makes much more sense and certainly is understandable. As I'd originally suggested, if the money up-front is for an introductory private lesson, then it's entirely reasonable, IMO.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Cady, thanks for moving the post. After speaking with him I felt much better. I think his writing did not convey his intent.

    Guy, small world indeed. Dr. Fabian was just here in Louisville for a nice weekend of training. Hopefully we will be able to train at taikai some time.
    Jeff Brown

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    If anyone is interested I did have a face to face meeting with him. It was a great experience. He explained his lineage, talked about his training, asked questions about mine and asked to see some me move. We trained for about 75 minutes. He was quite impressive and his movement was beautiful. When we finished I went to give him the money and he refused to take it. All in all a very good guy.
    Jeff Brown

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    Maybe it was a test of sorts to see if you'd really show up? My teaching partner and I charge $25 per month for training and we let people know that up front. I'm not sure the last time anyone paid dues. It has been over a year I think lol.
    Christopher Covington

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    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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