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?