Tuition Fee

Discussion in 'General' started by junior eskrimador, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Wow it amazes me that some people think 100 is exorbatant. Break it down and do the math...I charge 100 a month and teach 2 , 2 hour sessions per week...that comes to exactly $6.25 dollars an hour...WOW..not even minimum wage..and some of you think that 100 is to much..amazing.

    People are willing to spend hundreds upon hundreds for crap....

    Hell people..whats your life worth?

    Don't sell yourself or your art short...if you give good quality time (which is what your paying for..not the art)....then by all means charge 100 a month minimum...but give them the time and effort deserved...don't make it BS and dogma.
  2. Rapier

    Rapier RHC

    Here are my two cents. Martial Arts trainers some of whom have spent 20-30 years or more studying, paying their dues for classes with money, blood, sweat and tears, and just like any professional who has earned a degree we need to charge what is fair in our market. So charging $100-$200 is not a lot considering the amount of time we put getting here, that’s more time than some put into becoming a doctor or a lawyer. So charging $100 to $200 is fair for sharing our knowledge. You also need to take into consideration that rent has to be paid for the location that is being used, insurance, adds, phone, equipment, Taxes, travel time to and from that’s 60 miles and gas is not cheep. That’s anywhere between 6 and 7 dollars per class, then subtract the expenses then what do you think we are making per hour less than working at mekie-dees In the long run it’s not really that much considering what you’re getting and how long it took us to get where we are. I think I said something to this effect in another post here about.
    Dan Medina

  3. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas

    I think it would really depend on how practical the methods are taught and what the individual is looking for...

    If one just enjoys learning then let them pay the money for it... Let them do what they want... I even know alot of Judo places here in Hawai'i that charge only $10 a month or even give out training for free... I know a Gracie Barra place that charges $120 a month...

    So it depends on how much value you put in what you're training...

    You have to remember that there is very little money to be made in MA... Even pro MMA fighters don't make millions in their fights... Only pro Boxers and only the well known ones are the ones who make millions for a fight...

    If you're looking at the price of your tuition... Just ask yourself, how much value do you put in your training? Only then will you get your answer...
  4. snake

    snake New Member

    how are people going too still train if they are loosing there jobs like alot off people are at the moment.what are people going to choose feed the kids or train.130 a month is alot off money
  5. greg808

    greg808 PSDE Main Branch

    Seems to me you know how to pick out these McDojos. What are we looking for? High tuition? If they teach children? Are these people in this article taking MMA for the right reason from the right instructors?

    The ABCs of MMA
    Mixed martial arts is all the rage - sometimes literally. Here’s a brief guide for the uninitiated

    Wednesday - April 15, 2009

    Egan Inoue works with Lorrie Torres, Draten Morisato
    Apetite middle-school teacher, Cindy Watanabe doesn’t fit most people’s stereotype of someone who trains in mixed martial arts - neither does pastor David Giomi, attorney Jerry Chang, financial adviser Terry Lee nor (I’m guessing) yours truly.

    But all of the above - none of whom is a tattooed, aggressive, twentysome-thing male - have trained in mixed martial arts for years.

    Mixed martial arts - commonly know as MMA - is said to be the fastest-growing sport in the world. Whether or not that’s true is hard to say, but there is no doubt of its immense popularity. After all, one of the most recent televised events, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) 95, attracted 3 million viewers.

    For the uninitiated, the world of MMA can be bewildering. There are more than 50-odd organizations in the sport, from Japan’s Shooto Association to the doomed Elite Xtreme Combat league to the aforementioned UFC, undoubtedly the best known of the lot. Each of these organizations has it own quirks, champions and rules. Elbow strikes may be allowed in one organization, for example, but banned in another.

    Then there are the fights themselves. MMA fights tend to incorporate three basic disciplines: striking, clinch and ground.

    Striking is just what it sounds like: A fighter tries to punch or kick (and maybe elbow) his or her opponent. Clinch is similar to what happens in boxing when two fighters get tied up, only the fight keeps going, usually with one fighter trying to take the other one to the ground. That’s where things can really get confusing for a newbie. Watching two fighters roll about on the mat throwing punches and trying to trap each other in head or arm locks can easily look like, well, just two people rolling around chaotically, instead of the complicated game of physical chess it is.

    To attain proficiency at all three disciplines, mixed martial artists utilize training and techniques from a variety of sources, such as boxing and Muay Thai for striking, judo and wrestling for clinch, and Brazilian jiujitsu for ground. This creates a truly rounded fighter, one who epitomizes Bruce Lee’s dictum “Absorb what is useful.” It also prepares them to defend themselves on the street, and therein lies the appeal for many everyday folks who want to learn MMA.

    Terry Lee fights off instructor Burton Richardson
    “I specifically was looking for self-defense,” says Cindy Watanabe, who has been training in MMA for 10 years. “I’m 5 foot 1 and 105 pounds. I wanted something practical that didn’t take 20 years to be learned.”

    Fifty-two-year-old Terry Lee, president and CEO of Lee Financial Services, was initially drawn to MMA because he “was looking for a good workout,” but also wanted to be able to defend himself. “You have to be prepared in this day and age.”

    Both Watanabe and Lee train with Burton Richardson at JKD Unlimited/MMA for the Street, who makes self-defense a “big part” of his curriculum. A longtime veteran of martial arts, Richardson has coached top professional fighters such as Baret Yoshida and Chris Leben, as well as celebrities such as Keanu Reeves and Brandon Lee. It is important to him to be able to maintain an atmosphere in which all sorts of people can safely, effectively learn mixed martial arts.

    “In a MMA gym where pro fighters are being trained, you find that everyone spars very hard and takes a lot of abuse,” says Richardson. “People think you either spar hard, or you don’t spar at all ... not a good idea. What I like to do is progressive resistance. You vary intensity based on the person. That way you can train anybody. It doesn’t matter how old they are, or even if they have physical handicaps. Right now, I’m working with someone who is partially paralyzed from a stroke, and the important thing is he still spars.”

    Hannah Hsi comes in low on instructor David Giomi
    Former professional fighter Egan Inoue also stresses the universality of mixed martial arts. At his training center, The Studio, he teaches everyone from kids to women to seniors. “We started our seniors program a year ago,” says Inoue. “We now have about 30 enrolled.” He stresses how older people can benefit from MMA training. “Hitting the heavy bag helps fight osteoporosis,” Inoue explains. “Their bone density is much better after hitting and kicking these bags. Also, an important part of MMA training is balance. As you get older, your balance diminishes. This is important for seniors, who if they fall may break a hip. We do lots of pure balance work for seniors.” His school is popular with women, too, as well as many professionals, including “attorneys, doctors and a lot of dentists.” Inoue also teaches children as young as 3 and 4, who learn “skills like rolling, tumbling, foot speed, agility.”

    David Giomi teaches children MMA as well. “I have a class for 4-, 5-, 6-year-olds,” he says. “I teach them the basics - how to throw a punch, how to duck, how to do a forward roll, fighting stances. There is a separate class for kids 6 or 7 up to 13 or so. They train in the same things as the adults,” says Giomi, “but I usually don’t teach submissions, arm bars, and chokes to kids under 8 to avoid injury.”

    A licensed pastor and worship leader with Hope Chapel, Giomi’s Cornerstone Martial Arts is a bit unusual as it is a Christian MMA school. He doesn’t see anything odd about that at all.

    “Martial arts should be about morals, ethics and values,” he says. “Bruce Lee said a martial artist should have a code of honor like a knight. My philosophical paradigm happens to be a Christian one.” His training sessions begin and end with prayers, and kids are given reading assignments relating to Scripture.

    Like Richardson and Inoue, David Giomi finds his MMA school attracts a wide variety of people. “My youngest student is 4, my oldest is 58. Many of my students are in their 30s and 40s, and the class is about an even split between men and women.”

    From getting a good workout to learning valuable self-defense techniques, mixed martial arts offers something to all sorts of people, young or old, male or female. It does not have to be all about violence and bloodshed. What we see on episodes of The Ultimate Fighter or in a professional fight is only part of what MMA is about. There are many schools and teachers out there looking to do something more than churn out the next UFC champ.

    “The environment you learn in is determined by the head of instruction and the actual school,” says Richardson. “You can train safely and have fun if you have the right sort of group. You want a group intent on developing human beings, not just fighters to do battle in a cage. Everyone can have fun and have a great time.”

    For information on the MMA schools mentioned in this article, visit, and
  6. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas


    Yes, I know a McDojo when I see one... The obvious signs are when they don't teach a student how to fight and take a hit...

    Let the students spar-alot, let the students feel what pain is, let the student know how it feels like to get hit, and pit the students against each other... Not 100% but 40-50%... Just enough for the students to get a taste...

    That's why Boxing is so good cause they teach students how to take a hit... How good will all your skills be if someone hits you in the ring or in the street and you can't handle it cause you did not learn how to take a hit?

    You can have kids classes and all... Charge thousands a month... But those basics of fighting should be the core... If they do not at least meet those then they are McDojos... Fighting should be the very core of Martial Arts, the rest like traditions and history can be focused around it... Not necessarily take it away but not let it be the main focus...
  7. greg808

    greg808 PSDE Main Branch

    Thanks I knew I could count on you.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  8. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    everyone can value their own time based on whatever formula they want. Some people have lots of money, some people need don't matter. All I can say is there is no dollar amount and some yahoos who call me will never train with me. I don't teach jackasses how to kill for whatever price.
  9. tellner

    tellner New Member

    Mike, you're getting $6.25/hour per student. If you have a reasonably sized class it means they're getting a tenth of your time and effort for their six bucks and change.

    Seriously guys, two hundred a month? What we're selling here is fun of a masochistic sort, fantasy, some exercise, membership in a club, the students' own adrenaline and self defense skills that most of the them will never use. Except for a small few this is a luxury, part of the entertainment budget. Even with the rise in unemployment median household income in the US is around $40,000. Assuming a quarter of that is withheld we're talking about eight percent of take-home pay for something they can do without. Put it another way and think of how many days' worth of food it represents if you're a reasonably careful shopper.

    The last big recession in the 1980s saw martial arts schools dropping like flies. This one will be worse. Get used to teaching in the backyard, because unless you're highly optimized for mass appeal - think stripmall TKD or a few MMA gyms - it's where you're going to be. Your overhead will be tiny. So will what you're able to charge. Get rid of the self-congratulatory talk about tradition, the Keepers of the Flame and all the exotic ways you can hit people with a stick.

    You're selling something which not too many want and fewer need. Think about the minimum price per hour you're willing to take for standing in front of a bunch of people instead of whatever else you could do with your free time. That's what economics dictates you will be taking home.

    I don't take any joy in saying this. It's just the way it is, and we need to adjust to the fact instead of bitching about how much more we would be worth in a perfect world.
  10. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    ??? You would pay $100 a month for a fitness centre where you simply jump on a machine or a bench and to be honest you can do that for free at home, yet you would not pay $100 a month for life saving knowledge?????

    Each to his own I suppose but I know where i would rather spend my hard earned cash.

    Best regards

  11. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    So the instructor has to go hungry maybe and loose his house too possibly, but that is OK he has only spent decades aquiring his knowledge, yet you would not quibble about paying a good Barrister twice that for an hour yet he only spent a few years getting to where he got.

    Best regards

  12. robertlk808

    robertlk808 Member

    I had an instructor that would barter with people if they couldn't afford, its not like he charged that much or sometimes he would work deals - free tuition if you helped him complete a project @ home.
  13. Hudson

    Hudson Junior Member


    "If you're looking at the price of your tuition... Just ask yourself, how much value do you put in your training? Only then will you get your answer... " So true ! great comment Phalanx

    I charge $50 month 8 sessions a month and people still have problems coming up with that now adays. I do now require that the guys purchase needed personal training gear, I only supply major equipment (Kick shields, Mook Jong, B.O.B.'s and focus mitts, thai pads, 6' Thai bag and some helmets.)

    Ideally $80 -$100 a month would be great to charge, but that is not happening now at least.
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm sure the fitness trainers at the gym would argue that they too add value, and if you're trying to be Arnold Schwarzenegger (the body builder, not the actor or governor) then it's probably true--technique counts. In fitness and in martial arts a good coach can be a motivating force for those who need that. Plus, the equipment and utility costs are higher at a gym.

    But overall, I'm in full agreement with you, to be perfectly honest!
  15. junior eskrimador

    junior eskrimador Expect the Unexpected

    That idea is great and has been done. I know of a person who did that. My instructor/friend has the passion for teaching and art. So, barter is a great idea.
  16. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I tried the bartering prospect with a professional videographer who wanted to train with me.. We struck a deal where for every hour of training, he would video and edit an hour of training footage.. Well, we trained for 9 months and whenever I asked to see the video footage that he had shot, I would get the old " its in the editing room" reason.. Finally, I gave up on teaching him when he would schedule lessons and not show up, I saw him a few days later after our last training session when I received my edited video (all of 15 minutes of it). I went and prepared a bill for over 3000.00 for services rendered and presented it to him, he went apeshit and said that isn't what we agreed on.. I told him that if he ever did the barter thing again on another instructor, he had better make sure that he lived up to his side of the bargain negotiated, because some people would not just walk away from the agreement after being raked over the coals the way he did me.. So from an instructor's viewpoint, be careful of what you negotiate as far as bartering services for teaching time.. Some people still don't believe a handshake is a gentleman's way of securing and finalizing a deal in business between professionals in their field
  17. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    I use to barter with a student I had before I moved my school to a different location. She would train at my school and in return she would give me an hour massage every two weeks since she was a message therapist. That was the best. My body is a mess right now. I wish she lived closer .

    Currently, I let one of my students pay half tuition because they couldn't afford it anymore. I talked with his parents and since he still wanted to train he just comes in 15 minutes early every class and helps clean the place up. It's very helpful, because my school is very big. I still miss those massages though.
  18. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    That sounds all too familiar, Bill. One of the problems with the free lessons and/or bartering for lessons is that many, if not most, people don't value something in which they haven't made an investment. The most direct, tangible method of investment is obviously money. Only after some length of training will someone have made an investment in the form of hard work.

  19. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    The same could be said of just about any trade - plumber, electrician, mechanic... It is interesting that most people will be outright dismissive of the years of experience a martial arts teacher has invested in their art. Yet they expect to benefit from that knowledge for a pittance.

  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I have long since learned the fact--but am still amazed by it--that you cannot give away martial arts instruction for free (except to experienced martial artists). You have to charge at least a token amount for it.

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