Giving everything to your Assn.!?!

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by geezer, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I had an interesting phone conversation today with an old acquaintance who has been teaching martial arts for nearly 40 years. In all this time he never made much money...in fact he's often nearly broke. And he still has the day job too! I don't suppose that would be so bad if you intended to teach for near charity (as I do), but this man always hoped that he could use his considerable experience in the MA to make a living. Now he'd be the first to admit that he's not the greatest businessman in the world. He's not really a "people person", and he's a bit of a perfectionist, and his students advance through the ranks a bit slowly...but with very solid basics. In spite of everything, he probably would make a fairly honest income from teaching if he didn't pay a small fortune in association dues, fees and tuition for continuing "instruction". Basically, the harder he works, the more of his profits go to his association, and to his "Grandmaster". For years...hell, for decades I've told him that he could do better on his own and to quit the almighty association. Other independent schools in the area have done quite well. And there are other associations he could join if he wanted some form of accreditation. But, for whatever reasons, my friend is unwilling to "cut the old umbilical cord". What would you do?
     
  2. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Somple cut the cord and go on my own
     
  3. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Purple Belt

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    I would lean towards cutting the cord as well, but without understanding your buddy's reasons for staying, perhaps he is bound by "tradition" than most others when it comes to the Martial Arts. You've stated that even he doesn't see himself as good businessman, that he is not "people" oriented, he demands perfection from his students and they rank slower. Too me he sounds a lil like an "old school" instructor, someone that would teach outta their garage, backyard, or YMCA setting.

    Maybe his goals are just what they are, and even though he would probably be able to make lots of $$, that may not be his intention other than to pass on his art as it was passed on to him. Then again I could be off the mark, and he wants to make it his living and if that is the case, then he should learn how to become commerically successful in the MA world. Just my 2 cents :)
     
  4. Hyper_Shadow

    Hyper_Shadow Green Belt

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    Traditon is important and I'm personally against teaching for profit full stop. Martial artists aren't designed to be profiteers in our chosen path.
    However, if your friend is getting taken for a ride, he should just cut his ties and carve his own path in whatever it is he wants to do.
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    There is alot for him to consider and as someone else said, without knowing the full story and his reasons for staying, its hard to say what he should/shouldn't do. This is the price you pay (no pun intended) for being part of an assoc. He's basically using the GMs name, and anything associated with his name and org. to promote his school, so of course, the GM is going to want to capitalize on that.

    Its nice in a way to be a part of an org. for the reasons I mentioned. The flip side is if he goes on his own, he should probably find another umbrella to be under. In other words, lets say your friend is a 5th degree. Once his students reach that level, I'd imagine your friend would need to eveltually be promoted. Who would promote him? This is where those questionable sokeship boards come into play, and frankly I'd steer clear of those. There are enough threads on those things on here, so I won't go into the details of that. :)

    In the end, your friend will need to make a decision and decide for him what is more important.
     
  6. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's hard to say, not knowing what your friend is getting out of his association, in return for his dues, fees, etc. I've left an association in the past because I felt that their policies were not in the best interests of the students; I stay with the one I'm with now because I feel that their policies are in the best interests of the students, mine and others'. But I also know people who stayed in the previous association because of personal loyalty to the person who is the head of that particular association - and that's a very significant piece, especially for someone who sounds to be as traditional as your friend. Money is nice... but for some people, other things are more important. With just the information you've given, I can really say what I would suggest in your place.
     

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