$50, a bit much?

Doc_Jude

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Should I charge the market rate?
Charge whatever you like.

Should I charge what I can make in a differnet enviroment? i.e. What Iamke an hour plus the benefit cost as an engineer.

Are you going to be teaching engineering?

Should I charge only what a person can pay? i.e. A lot for those who have osme money or little for those have none, or more for thsoe who smoke as if they can afford a pack of cigarettes then they are better off spending the money for the private, or the people who buy $5 coffees and spend about $50 to $75 an week on coffee - I mean if you can spend that much a week on coffee or cigarettes then why not for someone's time to teach you something you hopefully enjoying.

I do agree with this. Most peoples priorities are completely screwed up.

In the past, I've paid an arm & a leg for training and I was also making alot of money working, but now that I'm going back to school full-time, I'm really happy that I've found a very good Silat teacher that makes plenty of money in his actual occupation & therefore doesn't charge so much. Also, my training group is very small, never more than three of us, teacher not included, so it's practically private.

I personally don't think that you can put a price on martial arts such as these. Strip Mall Tae Kwon Leap, on the other hand, can charge what they like. But arts like these can be simply ruined by folks being overly concerned over the whole money thing, especially those that try to make a living off of teaching MAs. I'll never put money before the Art. If someone wants to learn and can't quite afford the asking price, then we work something out. Commitment is paramount, money is a distant second. $50/hr? I could never rationalize that. It's just ridiculous, & I could care less what the "market rate" is, & neither should anyone else. Real martial arts are too personal to apply Capitalism to.

JMO, of course.
 

Josh Oakley

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Real martial arts are too personal to apply Capitalism to.

JMO, of course.



See, now that confuses me greatly. Painting is an incredibly personal art, and yet many paintings go for a high price. Music can be an incredibly personal art, and you won't see the greats, or even your local symphony ply their craft very cheaply either. Learning these arts under competent professionals can get pretty pricey as well. And there's no shame in any of this.

Ex-military professionals train cops and other agencies for high rates (I happen to know a few that make a good living off of it). Body-guards and bouncers make a living at what they do, and some are even well-off. and there's no shame in this.

And colleges? well, you know where I'm getting with this. (tell my Philosophy teacher there's nothing very personal in what he does, I dare you.)

Yet some how martial arts is to pure for all of this? Look, man, charge what you want, but there's nothing evil about capitalism, nor is there anything evil about applying business sense to something you're trained for years in.

Yes, real martial arts is an incredibly personal art and it's a lifestyle that has enhanced my quality of life greatly. But it doesn't make any sense to me to say that an artist, martial or otherwise, shouldn't be making a living off a craft he's devoted his life to. Or even get rich doing it. But just like a musician or painter, people can spot someone who's only doing their work for the money and nothing else, especially in this day and age, where people are often looking out for anyone out to screw them. If the martial art a person teaches is real, there's nothing wrong with him making a living off of it.

Look at Bruce Lee. He made millions in his martial arts movies, and often charged $250 an hour for private instruction, yet rarely do you hear the martial arts world call Bruce Lee a capitalist pig. What he taught was valuable, and people were willing to pay the price for it. Would we then say Bruce Lee didn't practice or teach real martial arts because he put such a high price on his teachings? What about ed Parker? What about a myriad of other accomplished teachers, masters of the martial arts, ho teach at high rates and hold seminars that fetch a pretty penny too?
 

Doc_Jude

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Yes, real martial arts is an incredibly personal art and it's a lifestyle that has enhanced my quality of life greatly. But it doesn't make any sense to me to say that an artist, martial or otherwise, shouldn't be making a living off a craft he's devoted his life to. Or even get rich doing it. But just like a musician or painter, people can spot someone who's only doing their work for the money and nothing else, especially in this day and age, where people are often looking out for anyone out to screw them. If the martial art a person teaches is real, there's nothing wrong with him making a living off of it.

There's nothing wrong with making a living. We're talking about $50 an hour. Work an easy week teaching martial arts, say 20 hours. Before taxes, that $4,000. Is that livin' enough for ya?

Look at Bruce Lee. He made millions in his martial arts movies, and often charged $250 an hour for private instruction, yet rarely do you hear the martial arts world call Bruce Lee a capitalist pig. What he taught was valuable, and people were willing to pay the price for it. Would we then say Bruce Lee didn't practice or teach real martial arts because he put such a high price on his teachings? What about ed Parker? What about a myriad of other accomplished teachers, masters of the martial arts, ho teach at high rates and hold seminars that fetch a pretty penny too?

Bruce Lee is a prime example of Capitalism & Martial Arts not mixing well at all. Funny that he's at the top of your list.

Folks can charge what they like, & there's going to be someone somewhere that's willing to pay. However, I don't agree with turning martial arts into a business, it can turn bad too easily, and there are many people out there that agree because they've seen or experienced the negative side of it.
 

qi-tah

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See, now that confuses me greatly. Painting is an incredibly personal art, and yet many paintings go for a high price. Music can be an incredibly personal art, and you won't see the greats, or even your local symphony ply their craft very cheaply either. Learning these arts under competent professionals can get pretty pricey as well. And there's no shame in any of this.

Hmm... not my paintings unfortunately.
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And not "many" paintings either, if you take into account the number of painters out there plying their craft. When i went through art school we were told that only 1-2% of us will ever make a living out of visual arts.

Yes, real martial arts is an incredibly personal art and it's a lifestyle that has enhanced my quality of life greatly. But it doesn't make any sense to me to say that an artist, martial or otherwise, shouldn't be making a living off a craft he's devoted his life to. Or even get rich doing it. But just like a musician or painter, people can spot someone who's only doing their work for the money and nothing else, especially in this day and age, where people are often looking out for anyone out to screw them. If the martial art a person teaches is real, there's nothing wrong with him making a living off of it.

Unfortunately untrue as well. Taking painting as my example again (cause that's what i know), the business of creating work often has to take a back seat to promotion, marketing and sponsership. For some artists, that's about 95% of what they do (unless they are lucky enough to have an agent), and from what i see in most commercial galleries, they are the ones most likely to sell. Has absoloutly nothing to do with how much skill or originality there is in yr craft.

There is a certain amount of "name yr price and they will value you the more highly for it", regardless of merit, especially if yr marketing is good. I suspect the same holds true in MA instruction as well.
 

Josh Oakley

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There's nothing wrong with making a living. We're talking about $50 an hour. Work an easy week teaching martial arts, say 20 hours. Before taxes, that $4,000. Is that livin' enough for ya?

If you're running a dojo, it would depend on your location. Up here in most places in Washington including where I live, $4000 would be enough to scrape by and keep your dojo open and found rent for your appartment and dojo that was cheap enough. if you're talking about running a dojo, which is part and parcel to the majority of martial arts businesses (legitimate or otherwise), than you're talking about more than just business and personal income.

Bruce Lee is a prime example of Capitalism & Martial Arts not mixing well at all.
Why?

Funny that he's at the top of your list.
Why? And what about the rest of the list?

However, I don't agree with turning martial arts into a business, it can turn bad too easily, and there are many people out there that agree because they've seen or experienced the negative side of it.
I've seen the negative side of beer, but I'll still drink it. I've seen the negative side of politics, but I still vote. I've seen the negative side side of driving, and I still drive. I'm DEFINATELY seen the negative side of marriage, and I still got married. In all these cases, as in martial arts business, the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
 

Josh Oakley

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Hmm... not my paintings unfortunately.
icon9.gif
And not "many" paintings either, if you take into account the number of painters out there plying their craft. When i went through art school we were told that only 1-2% of us will ever make a living out of visual arts.

According to my old instructor, that's part of why his wife charged as much as she did for her paintings. Him and his wife run an art studio in which they also teach Kung Fu San Soo, as well as painting. God I miss that place. every Saturday I would practice San Soo surrounded by beautiful art.

Which leads me to my shameless plug:
www.sidedooorstudio.com



Unfortunately untrue as well. Taking painting as my example again (cause that's what i know), the business of creating work often has to take a back seat to promotion, marketing and sponsership. For some artists, that's about 95% of what they do (unless they are lucky enough to have an agent), and from what i see in most commercial galleries, they are the ones most likely to sell. Has absoloutly nothing to do with how much skill or originality there is in yr craft.

I'll concede the point. My dojo does a lot of marketing and promotion. However, I've yet to see stick figures in galleries.

There is a certain amount of "name yr price and they will value you the more highly for it", regardless of merit, especially if yr marketing is good. I suspect the same holds true in MA instruction as well.
Yes, there's absolutely a certain amount of that. However, because I'd rather see people in a good dojo, rather than a garbage dojo, I try to go above and beyond what the garbage dojos are doing in all areas. That includes marketing, and marketing costs money.
 

arnisador

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There's nothing wrong with making a living. We're talking about $50 an hour. Work an easy week teaching martial arts, say 20 hours. Before taxes, that $4,000. Is that livin' enough for ya?

I would hope that if a professional martial arts instructor taught 20 hrs./week, he'd spend a comparable amount of time practicing alone and with someone else at his skill level, lifting weights/jogging/etc., and expanding his knowledge by cross-training/reading/attending seminars/etc. Then, any business will have paperwork, accounting, greeting potential new clients, etc. So, $50 per hour taught should be more like $25 per hour worked. That's not even including expenses for marketing, studio space, buying training implements, receiving additional training, and so on.
 

qi-tah

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According to my old instructor, that's part of why his wife charged as much as she did for her paintings. Him and his wife run an art studio in which they also teach Kung Fu San Soo, as well as painting. God I miss that place. every Saturday I would practice San Soo surrounded by beautiful art.

Which leads me to my shameless plug:
www.sidedooorstudio.com

I think i love you!
icon7.gif
Good on you for the plug, it's great to see MA and visual arts coexisting in the same space. But for anyone still looking for the site, it's at http://sidedoorstudio.net/kfss/index.htm, rather than .com

I'll concede the point. My dojo does a lot of marketing and promotion. However, I've yet to see stick figures in galleries.

You've obviously been hanging around the right galleries then!
icon10.gif


Yes, there's absolutely a certain amount of that. However, because I'd rather see people in a good dojo, rather than a garbage dojo, I try to go above and beyond what the garbage dojos are doing in all areas. That includes marketing, and marketing costs money.

Too true!
 

Doc_Jude

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Why is Bruce Lee a prime example of Capitalism & Martial Arts not mixing well at all?
Put the DVDs away and read about his life. When he started making movies, it all started going downhill. After finding out all of the sordid details of his life in the last few years, I actually threw two Bruce Lee t-shirts away (not that I wore them all that much anyway). He might have had some good ideas and been a good martial artist, he was in no way leading a life worthy of envy.

The rest of the list was Ed Parker. I don't know much about him but what kenpo folks say, which is all good.

When it comes to training, I've rarely had a good experience in big commercial dojo. I guess I finally figured out that 9 times out of 10 I was simply paying for someones big flashy storefront & not for really quality instruction. I've had much better experiences in small backyard or garage training groups. More cost effective & alot more one-on-one time with the instructor.
I guess that's just my experience.
 

Josh Oakley

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Why is Bruce Lee a prime example of Capitalism & Martial Arts not mixing well at all?
Put the DVDs away and read about his life. When he started making movies, it all started going downhill. After finding out all of the sordid details of his life in the last few years, I actually threw two Bruce Lee t-shirts away (not that I wore them all that much anyway). He might have had some good ideas and been a good martial artist, he was in no way leading a life worthy of envy.

I don't know much bad other than overtraining, and that he's accused of being a pothead. and he created Jeet Kun Do. and helped develop interest of martial arts in America more than many others. And was a good father and loving husband, by his family's account.

But you really didn't say anything specific in your reply; what can I really respond to?

The rest of the list was Ed Parker. I don't know much about him but what kenpo folks say, which is all good.

And he didn't charge Elvis or other notables a pittance. Compare and contrast to William Chow who died a pauper because he had terrible business sense, by account of anyone who knew him closely that has spoken publically.

I guess that's just my experience.

No, it's not just your experience. It's unfortunately the experience of many people burned by bad dojos, and were swindled out of their money to boot. And there are horror stories about my group of studios, and instructors I would not recommend to many people. But that boils down to the individual.$50 an hour is worth it if you find a good instructor. A steal, even. Backyard training is valuable too. (It's not an either/or. I do both).

But there's still nothing evil about capitalism, nor mixing martial arts and capitalism. and there are a plethora of martial artists who charge a larger price for their art than others that are great teachers, great people, and great businessmen.
 

PictonMA

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I charge $50 an hour for private lessons, $300 for 10 lessons if they pre-pay in advance (if I'm going to make the committment to teach them private then I want to know they are committed to training and not wasting my time).

I've actually had a number of people I've refused to teach privately and instead buy a regular membership and come to multiple classes a week for the same or lesser cost because I felt they would get more out of a class environment.

I charge what the market will bear, when I lived in Toronto (as opposed to rural Ontario) I charged $100 an hour, $75 if pre-paid in bulk.

I don't charge for travel or prep-time, altho I know of some pepole who do.

Small study groups / training sessions are great if the people involved are committed to them and the training is consistent. If it is sporadic and laxidasical (which has been my experience a number of times), then it can be a waste of time.

Large classes are great if there is a comfortable dynamic and everyone (including the instructor) feeds off of the energy and the workouts are intense, learning occurs and people have fun. I've also trained in large classes where this isn't the case and it's a waste of time.

I don't think there is a cookie cutter approach to private, small or large group sessions. Mileage will vary.
 

BudoTiger

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$50 for an hour private?? no thats not to much at all. some of the schools here in so cal charge as much as $100 per HALF hour for privates. if your getting what you want out of it then go for it. i got privates at my old school and i loved it.
 

Josh Oakley

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I know this is thread necro, but I find it interesting how I felt 4 years ago compared to how I feel now. My original comment about $4000 being barely enough to scrape by was made before I was a Chief Instructor. $4000 a month would not have even paid the RENT for my location!

I do miss running a dojo, I really do. I miss a lot of the people who I got to help grow and kick butt. But I don't miss the politics. I don't miss the endless marketing. I don't miss needing to get as many students as possible in the door, and then get MORE in, to keep the place growing.

None of this is objectively BAD, and I have much respect for those that do this day to day. But I'm honestly having more fun teaching now that money's not really on the table. My only requirement is they pay for lunch.

Will I always feel this way? maybe not, but for now, it's where I am.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Ok, so I'm learning Wing Chun from this guy who lives out here (Scott Baker's his name), and he charges $50 per lesson (About an hour's worth, or a little more). At first I thought that was a fairly hefty price, but after training with him for several months now (Going about twice a month), I really don't mind paying the price for such quality instruction.

However, everyone else I've talked to, even some fellow martial artists, consider the $50 a bit much to pay even if it is private 1 on 1 lessons.

Any thoughts?

Oh, and here's his website: http://www.wingchunkungfu.com/

Value lies in the eyes of the beholder. Titles and ranks are actually of little importance. An individual may have a 'title' or a high rank and yet be a lousy instructor. An individual may have no title beyond his first name and little in the way of rank, yet be an excellent instructor that opens the world to the student. If you are gaining knowledge, skill and experience that you previously did not have, and if you feel the classes are worth the money, and if you can afford the money...then you're getting a sound deal.
 

kbarrett

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I charge $75 a month for tuition regardless whether the student come 1 day or 5 day's a week, I've thought about rising it to $85 a month, but with economy not doing so good it may be a bad idea.

Ken
 

Danny T

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As to tuition, there was a time I charge 75-85 monthly for up to 3 training sessions weekly. Privates were $80.00 for non members and $60.00 for members. I spent almost as much time calling members about their missing classes and "selling" what the training provides and what the benefits of training is. (justifying the cost). Today our beginner 6 month membership is much more expensive with an "average" monthly tuition payment of $125.00 plus, equipment cost. Privates are $125.00 per hour. I have more members, I spend far less time chasing members about missing training because they do not miss as much and they pay the tuition. Nothing else has changed. Still provide the same classes in the same martial arts. More members less time spent following up or chasing tuition. We have much more serious student base who are in training, who make referrals and bring in new members, and who willing pay our fees. Average member age 32! (25% of my members are under the age of 13) In my case the higher cost of tuition and private training has increased our membership with dedicated students who want to train and are willing to pay for it. On top of that I get less complaints of the cost of the fees.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Not out of line for a private lesson for an hour. I charge $40 pr/hr for 1 hour private lessons but I am very critical and in depth in my correction of technique so the student gets a great deal of detail in a short time.
 

dougmukashi

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The important thing is the value you put on it. If it seems worth $50 to you, that is all that matters. Prices vary across the board, from geographic location, etc. Someone in one town or state may charge more or less. Here in NY, a private lesson can be $40-$80
 

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