Blackbelt clubs, masters clubs; thoughts?

Daniel Sullivan

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
270
Location
Olney, Maryland
I check out a lot of schools just to see what they're doing and get ideas. I see that a lot of schools have blackbelt clubs and masters clubs. Some require a fee, but all testing fees are waived, others have discounts and such.

So here's the question: Does your school implement such a program and if so, what are the details? I'm currious as to whether or not something like this would be a good fit for our school, and wanted to get some feedback.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
14,879
Reaction score
4,450
Location
San Francisco
I'm curious to know what is the reason for such a club? How is it somehow an improvement over attending class and training hard?
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 9, 2004
Messages
41,259
Reaction score
338
Location
Grand Prairie Texas
We have no such classes, we treat everyone the same. If they come to class to learn they will and if not then that is there choice.
 

bowser666

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
751
Reaction score
26
Alot of schools use these "clubs" to get students into lengthy contracts. Not all , but most. Unless it is free, I don't see a need for it.
 

shihansmurf

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
679
Reaction score
100
Location
Casper, Wyoming
We have no such classes, we treat everyone the same. If they come to class to learn they will and if not then that is there choice.

As it should be.Every student should be treated with respect and with a focus on their learning the same as every other student. BB Clubs and "accelerated" training programs are divisive, and do more to damage a schools atmosphere than they do to enhance the learning environment.

BB clubs are a great way to fleece gullible customers out of their cash. I have never encountered one where that wasn't the intent.For me they are a huge red flag that a school isn't one where I would train.

Mark
 

crushing

Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
5,082
Reaction score
134
Every six weeks my TKD organization has a "Black Belt Workout" where black belts from the various clubs in the organization come together. It helps keep everyone on the same page in regards to the execution of forms and expectations of the different clubs. There is a $25/year "fee" that covers postage for postcard reminders.

The workouts are also excellent opportunities to share and contribute to the organization. The last workout a black belt shared some drills he learned from a Kenpoist that had visited his dojang. Also, blackbelt pre-testing and blackbelt tests fall on blackbelt workout days, twice a year.

Also, attending this class is NOT an indicator of people not training hard.
 

bowser666

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
751
Reaction score
26
Every six weeks my TKD organization has a "Black Belt Workout" where black belts from the various clubs in the organization come together. It helps keep everyone on the same page in regards to the execution of forms and expectations of the different clubs. There is a $25/year "fee" that covers postage for postcard reminders.

The workouts are also excellent opportunities to share and contribute to the organization. The last workout a black belt shared some drills he learned from a Kenpoist that had visited his dojang. Also, blackbelt pre-testing and blackbelt tests fall on blackbelt workout days, twice a year.

Also, attending this class is NOT an indicator of people not training hard.


That is some expensive postage dang !! I am sorry, but I feel benefits like that should be part of regular tuition and available for all students. You shouldn't get special training above a "regular" student because you pay a little extra.
 

IcemanSK

El Conquistador nim!
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
6,482
Reaction score
180
Location
Los Angeles, CA
My school doesn't have either, nor will it ever. I see no need to have a separate club for what every student wants to be.
 

crushing

Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
5,082
Reaction score
134
That is some expensive postage dang !! I am sorry, but I feel benefits like that should be part of regular tuition and available for all students. You shouldn't get special training above a "regular" student because you pay a little extra.

First, it's NOT special training. It's a regular part of the training. It's mandatory for ALL blackbelts to participate. It is no more special training than needing to attain a certain rank before being taught Shipjin or Pyongwon.

Perhaps I should have explained better that the organization consists of several clubs that are spread out over a large geographic area. The blackbelt workouts are a way for the individual clubs, and particularly the instructors at those clubs to understand what is expected of them and have some consistency across the organization.

I suppose if you only consider postage, that is expensive, but there is more to sending out an invitation than the $0.27 postage per printed and labelled card. It may cover some other costs too, but I think it's bargain for what I get in return. A blackbelt with difficulties coming up with $25 in a year wouldn't be turned away these workouts.

It's unfortunate your experiences with blackbelt workouts haven't been as positive.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
152
Location
California
First, it's NOT special training. It's a regular part of the training. It's mandatory for ALL blackbelts to participate. It is no more special training than needing to attain a certain rank before being taught Shipjin or Pyongwon.
I use the BB club concept, too, and it has some similarities to this. It's for everyone who reaches a certain level on the way to black belt.

It's meant to encourage the teens I teach, who've basically failed at every organized activity they've ever tried before. And it's really a black gi *club* in the sense that I use it to try to encourage kids whose parents have often given up on them, and so who have trouble buying uniforms, to find a way to get something to sew their cool new patches on. ;)

Oh, and I've never charged for instruction, or even belts, and don't anticipate that that will ever change. My wife and I make a decent living, so this is not a problem. :)

Anyway, this may not help the discussion too much, because mine is not a commercial application of the concept, but it does use the concept--not for exclusivity, but for inclusivity.
 

Deaf Smith

Master of Arts
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
85
I have no desire to be in a snobs club.

Any and all belts are welcome to have a beer with me. Any and all are welcome to discuss ideas (you would be supprised how many good ideas come from a freash view point.)

We are all students and will always be students cause man is not prefect, never was and never will be.

Deaf
 

Brian S

Purple Belt
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
383
Reaction score
9
Location
Rogers, AR.
As it should be.Every student should be treated with respect and with a focus on their learning the same as every other student. BB Clubs and "accelerated" training programs are divisive, and do more to damage a schools atmosphere than they do to enhance the learning environment.

BB clubs are a great way to fleece gullible customers out of their cash. I have never encountered one where that wasn't the intent.For me they are a huge red flag that a school isn't one where I would train.

Mark

Well said! Just another form of elitism and I don't have any use for elitism.
 

thetruth

Black Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
555
Reaction score
9
These clubs in schools that require extra fees etc are solely for revenue raising. They are the brainchild of organisations such as NAPMA to help schools make money and retain students.

My old school(that I attended not owned) had both of these clubs and other classes that were a total wank. Money money money!!!!!!!

Cheers
Sam:asian:
 

crushing

Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
5,082
Reaction score
134
Judging from the very negative comments regarding blackbelt clubs I realize I must have misunderstood what a blackbelt club was. Obviously, the blackbelt workouts we do must not be the same as the blackbelt clubs and hopefully that was clear from my description.

My apologies for my misunderstanding.

Celtic Tiger, If your organization consists of several individual schools, you may want to consider a blackbelt workout program, but it sounds like you should be leary of forming a club. Hope you find what you are looking for.
 

bluekey88

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
89
That is some expensive postage dang !! I am sorry, but I feel benefits like that should be part of regular tuition and available for all students. You shouldn't get special training above a "regular" student because you pay a little extra.


I'm going to lay devil's advocate here and say that's actually not a way to maintain standards in an org that has several schools in the area. Blackbelts are more than likely going ot be instructors, having them get together periodically to make sure everyone is teachign the curriculum appropriately seems to me the responsible things to do. It prevents "technique creep." And, as the person who brought it up mentioned, it's a chance for instrucotrs to possibly bering new ideas to the organization and improve/update the curriculum. It also appears then 25/year fee is pretty modest and only charged to those as blackbelts. This is not an opportuity that woudl benefit those not instructing.

Peace,
Erik

P.S. oops, I see this issue was already addressed.
 

bluekey88

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
89
I'm on the fence with this issue. If used as simply a money making tool with little value added, then the various 'clubs' find at some schools are a rip-off. however, if an instructor can create an 'extra' program that is worth the money then what's the harm.

It all seems to come down to price structure. In one scenario, everyone pays the same flat fee and can go to whatever classes they want. This may include extra competition team stuff, and maybe there's a demo team, maybe there's a weapons night. But maybe I don;t want to compete, and I don't demo, and maybe I can't make that weapons class. I'm losing money in a sense because I', not fully able or willing to participate in some of that extra stuff.

So, scenario b has different levels pricing base don what a consumer wants. there could be a basic level where you go to the techniques classes...you will learn the art just like anybody. then maybe you want to do some extra weapons work so you pay an extra fee to do that extra training (in an art like TKD without an inherent weapons componenet this would make sense...less so in something like Budo Taijutsu where weapons work should be part of the curriculum). Maybe I wan tto compete, so I pay a little extar for the extra competition training.

As long as I'm getting value for my money, that's ok. As long as there is no pressure ot join these clubs and it's NOT an elitist thing...jsut vlaue added stuff. Good.

I'm not sure entirely how to pull that off (but since I would like to run a school someday), it's something that bears some thought.

Peace,
Erik
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
152
Location
California
Judging from the very negative comments regarding blackbelt clubs I realize I must have misunderstood what a blackbelt club was. Obviously, the blackbelt workouts we do must not be the same as the blackbelt clubs and hopefully that was clear from my description.
I think this is a problem in this thread, or really anytime this subject comes up. We all have our own preconceptions about what *BB Club* means, often influenced by our own experience. This is not bad, as long as we're open to hearing others out and expanding the possibilities. That's why I gave my own experience, in an attempt to widen the discussion. Blue Key says something similar in musing about just what a BB club is or could be (value added, vs. gimmick), as he readies to begin his own school.

It's a little like hearing 'karate', or 'kung fu', or 'taekwondo', and lumping all the variations of these into the one or two versions we're personally familiar with. For example, the kung fu I practice is not what most people think of when they hear the term.
 

Grenadier

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
10,826
Reaction score
617
In many cases, those names are simply fancier terms for those who wish to pay more for extra training.

The way I see it, as long as the student is getting what he perceives to be his money's worth, then good for them!

Some schools might offer kobudo training, for example, to only those who pay for the extra training. Since the student is essentially learning a separate martial art, I have no problems with this at all, as long as the instruction the student is receiving decent instruction, and as long as the kobudo training isn't an absolute requirement for someone advancing in the empty hand art.
 

Svart

Yellow Belt
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
50
Reaction score
1
Location
Sydney, Australia
We dont have a "BB" club, but there is a night where they all get together to train. Its a much heavier work out and they concentrate on more advanced techniques. We have a lot of kids so regular classes this is a bit hard to get done. There are no extra fees of any kind, its just an extra night for the more advanced to take it up a notch without worrying about having the kids get hurt or in the way.
 

Latest Discussions

Top