Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Gwai Lo Dan, Feb 18, 2014.
Yes all those other things are paid for by the club. Assistant instructors train for free.
A school hall can be rented for $10-$20 per hour in my area and permanent bookings are closer to the $10 mark. The club pays for advertising and other incidentals, those things aren't paid for by the instructors.
There are a lot of factors that go into this, not just the style. First and foremost, market demand will drive pricing. More times than not if you have a demographic of younger (example: 4-12 year olds) and you live in a middle - upper middle class area, you will have more demand for schools that are not as "hard core" for lack of better words. In which case more people will choose a TKD school as opposed to MMA school. So the TKD school can charge a higher price where as the MMA school may have to charge lower in order to draw more interest. Another factor is how the owner/instructor values himself. Some may feel they are only worth $69.00 for their time while others feel that their time is more valuable. Doesn't actually mean one is better than the other, it is only how they value themself. Plus, there is the "carrot" of being an olympic sport. Though I find that has had very little impact lately on swaying consumer decision. Another factor is their location. The TKD school may be located in a spot where his rent and utilities are higher, perhaps the MMA school is in less expensive location. Heck they could be right next door to each other and perhaps the MMA school negotiated a better deal and so his costs are lower. Finally, but not definitely the last reason, the MMA school may have a lot of students and so has the opportunity to lower his/her price whereas the TKD school may be struggling a bit and so needs to charge a bit more to make up for lost income.
When it comes to the ranking and their prices, again, this goes to market demand. If school owner feels he can get $1000.00 for the black belt test then he/she will charge it. While some people on here will argue that is not right or say "I teach for free" in long run it doesn't matter what others think. It is a personal business decision and at the end of the day these two schools that you are talking about are a business, plain and simple. If the owner sees that only 2 out of 10 people are willing to pay that, then he/she may lower it to an acceptable amount that the market deems fair.
So to answer your question, there are many factors that determine how prices come about. In this particular area the TKD school is more expensive. In my area there is an MMA school that charges $150/month for 3 classes while the TKD charges $120. Then again there is another TKD school that charges almost $200 a month for unlimited classes. They tend to do well as do the other two schools I mentioned.
The dojang owners pay. Typically facilities are not purpose built but they are often purpose equipped i.e. mats, kick bags, changing rooms etc. They have the same bills as everyone else. In fact, the commercial property prices here are incredibly high. They make up for it by having students pay direct debit, and making training available morning afternoon and night to those who wish it. This allows a dojang with quite a small hall to have many members because some only want morning, or evening. The attendance is closely managed.
I just can't see how the US prices are justified; I mean what kind of profit margin must we be talking about in a KKW certification alone?
It wasn't something I thought of at the time. The two places are maybe 1 km apart. The TKD place isn't exactly a residential area, more business, but on the edge of a residential area (it's in a small plaza). The 1 km difstance to the MT/BJJ gym is into an area that starts to become more industrial, less business (e.g., industrial supply businesses!).
$89 isn't incredibly expensive, although that is only twice per week and works out to much more when testing is factored in. Again I wasn't trying to saying it is "too expensive", only trying to discuss the underlying reasons.
In the Washington, D.C. area, TKD is pricey for a few reasons. The area is expensive to live in, and dojang owners simply copying one another in terms of prices. This is especially true of the Korean owned shops. These days,TKD does not cost me dime, as I study alone, read books, watch videos and occasionally train with friends. Once lure of the belt left me, a great weight and a great expense was left behind.
True. Our joke in university economics was that every answer must include the phrase "supply and demand".
Helping increase demand IMO is pushing the dream of the black belt, as opposed to the dream of getting better. Also, kids in particular are competitive, and if one kid is going for a black belt, the next kid wants to do so as well.
There is also the leming effect, whereby if several people are willing to pay $X, then it must be an ok deal, and the next person will pay it too.
And of course, the student / parents decides that $x is worth it only after a heavy investment and significant deference to authority (i.e., to the Master / GM). The school doesn't tell you that in the introductory offer of $49 for 1 month & free uniform, where the student / parents would have no investment already and would be more apt to say "no".
I really see the deference to authority as a big reason for the high demand. Students don't feel (IMO) that they can politely shop elsewhere once they started at a club for some time and realize the average cost per month including tests, especially BB tests. I think shopping elsewhere would be viewed as an insult to the school and would burn bridges. For instance, could a person say that $X is too much for a BB test and simply get it done elsewhere while remaining a student? I'm sure the first school would tell the student to leave, even if the student was fine with not wearing the new belt in class.
Why? Because as a sparring sport it requires competition as part of rank advancement and when you do these things in a western society, lawyers get involved. Hence the $200 training bra, $65 headgear, $60 gloves, $35 footies, $20 shinguards. Liability plays a major role.
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It's not been my experience that WTF TKD is more expensive at all, so I would question that assumption. I know the 2 TSD places that we compete with charge a little more than us (and for the kind of limited schedule you mention). I don't actually know the prices at the MMA place nearby, but what I've heard from people that have done BJJ/MMA type arts is that it's usually more expensive, not less.
That being said, I think people charge what they feel they can get away with and afford based on prevelent pricing in the area, what their costs are and what they offer. If BJJ guy's in a warehouse and his rent is $2,000/month, while TKD place is in a strip mall paying $4,000/month, then the TKD place is going to have to charge more to stay in business.
If you're paying that much for standard-issue TKD gear, you're getting ripped off. Also, it's actually easier to get insurance for TKD-type sparring than it is for sparring that involves submission holds. Many insurers won't even cover you if you do that.
I pay what the only two stores in a reasonable distance charge.
In other words....liability.
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I detest price gouging, but Taekwondo here in the U.S is actually cheap when compared to many other activities/sports, especially for youth. I wonder what you would say about costs of seasonal youth soccer or hockey? The sports media org ESPN did an informal survey in 2009, which showed youth in 16 amatuer soccer clubs here spent up to $6,000, each, a year to practice and play soccer. That's about $500 a month. Here's a link to the related article -- http://espnfc.com/columns/story?id=620541&cc=5901.
The financial magazine Forbes in the summer of 2012 published a column decrying the hight cost of youth sport, and cited the example of a regular American father who discovered his average spending per child playing youth sports jumped from $9,076 in 2010 to $11,704 in 2011. That's an average of $756 per child, per month in 2010, to about out $975 per child, per month in 2011. Non of the father's kids were involved in a martial art. Here's the Forbes article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johncla...ucking-sound-is-just-your-kid-playing-soccer/
Here's the blog directly relating to the father who tracked cost of his children's sporting activities. http://www.statsdad.com/p/youth-sports-costs.html
Shocking to me. Thank you for providing some context. I feel sorry for you guys if there is not a way for kids to get access to quality sports training and tuition without a fairly wealthy sponsor parent.
You'd be hard pushed to achieve those prices in Europe even if the kid took one on one tuition with a coach every day.
In fact, when I looked into sports costs in the UK a few years back, TKD was also one of the cheaper activities, but there was nothing even close to the prices in those articles even among the most expensive activities.
I think I'd have my kids be swimmers. Public pool, shorts and a towel can't cost that much.
Poppycock. These links have to do with the amount of money going towards school sports. There is a political agenda. Now when I enroll
my son in the local basketball or soccer club, it costs me about $100 for a good two months. All gear is included. Tkd on the other hand never stops bleeding: monthly $100, gear, test fees, sundries, seminars, blah, blah.. Tae kwon dinero
My kid's have played a variety of sports and most of the time it was pretty affordable. However, when you advance to a travel team, all star team, etc. then those costs really start to soar and can make looking at training in Tae Kwon Do a cheaper alternative. Yet, if your kid's are elite Tae Kwon Do athletes then again those costs can really soar as well.
You are right pool, swim shorts and you are good. Except if your kid's wants to be on a swim team. Then there will be some more costs. If they are good here in the states you would have then on a swim team (more $), they would need a coach (more $), there would be travel (think $$$$$$$) for competition including competition fees, hotel, air fare, etc. It can add up quickly. It all depends on if they in it for recreation or more.
I would add I love the European model and renting out the gyms. That is some thing that should be done here in the States more and is some times done at local community colleges, town halls, etc. We do have lower cost alternatives at the YMCA where many have karate or Tae Kwon Do programs and it is pretty reasonable. Yet, frankly some of the best training, teaching will cost some dollars.
What political agenda and what school sports are you talking about? Are we reading the same articles I referred to? Wait until your son starts getting into serious soccer -- if he want to and you want and can afford to support him -- and you'll see.
I disagree. I played soccer seriously, and it was much cheaper than the martial arts.
Yes, I read those articles. Ridiculous and sad no-limits parenting going on there. How about setting some reasonable parameters and managing reasonable expectations for children? If one enrolls kids in elite clubs that cost that much and cannot say no to expensive traveling teams, well the only sucking sound is that of a foolish parent. Local soccer or basketball is much, much less expensive. I would argue light years cheaper.
I think there's a good price point for everything but we too often cite the highest prices we've seen in taekwondo as the baseline for disussing cost, and also forget the pricing of other activities and sports. In the same way that you will find more affordable places for soccer, you can find more affordable alternatives for taekwondo and other martial arts. There are park district, YMCA and JCC taekwondo programs, for example, that have good programs at what many would agree is reasonable price and sometime cheaper than other activities in those venues.
That is true.123
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