DUES- How much do you charage?

Indie12

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How much do all the Martial Art Instructors on Martialtalk.com/forum, charge for their services?

Do you charge a monthly fee, hourly fee, contract, initiation fee, etc?

Do you charge belt fees, testing fees, club fees, etc?
 

jks9199

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Our club charges $45 a month dues. That covers any and all training opportunities provided by the club including regular classes and our own seminars/clinics. Clinics or seminars with other instructors or things like that are separate, with their own costs.
 

Carol

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Personally I've found that costs vary in accordance to class schedules. The folks that offer classes 6 days a week tend to charge more per month than the folks that run schools that are open 1-3 days per week.
 

Josh Oakley

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Currently I charge nothing, except that they pay if we go out to lunch.
 

Blindside

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I charge $40/month for two nights a week training and I usually run a quarterly seminar that has a seperate cost (usually $20), private lessons (not required) are $40/hour.

Belt fees - no belts
Contract fees - no contracts
Testing Fees - none, and I don't really "test" anybody because there are effectively no ranks below Lakan Guro (beginner instructor) which I haven't gotten anyone to yet.
Club Fees - none
Uniform fees - no uniforms (wait, I make $2 per club shirt, which is not required which I have sold 4 of in three years.)

Clearly my revenue streams need some work. :D
 

shihansmurf

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I teach for free at the local YMCA and a recreation center. My class is aimed at helping out the youth programs at both places and is populated by low income families.

I charge wholesale and shipping on uniforms and equipment and the students must have memberships at the YMCA but those scale with income level around here.

Mark
 

Big Don

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In theory, my Sifu charges $65 for group and $130 for private lessons. In practice, he accepts what you can afford, and gives more lessons for free than he is paid for. He really isn't in it for the money.
 

Buka

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I'll have to ask. I only go to Dojos of students or friends. I'm old, I haven't paid in a long time.
I do most privates for free. It seems everyone is the son, grandson, nephew, or cousin's kid of a good friend or long time neighbor. I can't charge friends, never have, never will. For a paying client it's a hundred a session, which lasts for two hours or until me or the client has to go do something else.
 
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Indie12

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Yeah, training people for free is always a good feeling. Too bad, we don't have more people doing that! I still on occasion will train people for free, however have found that because time is of great value to me, being compensated for time is I believe fair enough! I'm actually quite busy, so being asked compensation for those wanting to learn, is I believe fair. Yes, unfortunately I do charge friends, (not too close family), and everyone, just to try to be fair!

I/We (my organization and I) charge $10/hour to train, and we always go 2 hours minimum. We do charge an initiation fee, because we are a private and closed group. Usually I'll charge for the first two hours and then go 'freebies' on the rest of the training time (if we extend passed the two hour minimum). For now, for private lessons it's still $10/hour to train, although I've debated on that cost!

The point (for me at least, in my own personal opinion and views) is that to charge per hour, means the student doesn't have to pay for the time they don't time. In other words 'you only pay for the hours you train' and if you miss a class, your not charged. Unlike most organizations which have monthly dues and make you pay the full price even if you come once a month. (Although I do understand the business aspect to that, I also disagree with it)

I teach Martial Arts/Defensive Tactics/SD, part-time and have a full time job, so this actually (for now and it has changed over the years from cost to cost) works decent for now.

We don't use contracts, we don't have uniforms, or testing fees, or any other fees, other than the initiation fee and hourly charge!

Interesting differences though, please keep em coming!
 
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Gemini

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Yeah, training people for free is always a good feeling. Too bad, we don't have more people doing that!
I initially charged nothing because I don't carry much over head, nor do I teach for financial gain. In a discussion several years ago regarding this with a senior instructor, he told me that people will associate training value with training cost. In other words, with no charge, they will equate there training to little or no value. After hearing that I began charging $40/month. Oddly enough after that, my attendance rate increased while my drop out rate all but disappeared.
 

Grenadier

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I initially charged nothing because I don't carry much over head, nor do I teach for financial gain. In a discussion several years ago regarding this with a senior instructor, he told me that people will associate training value with training cost. In other words, with no charge, they will equate there training to little or no value. After hearing that I began charging $40/month. Oddly enough after that, my attendance rate increased while my drop out rate all but disappeared.


This is actually quite true.

If you try to be the lowest cost guy in town, a lot of times, you're often going to end up attracting people who aren't going to put a high value on the training. The same thing holds true for those who let students train for free on "scholarship."

We've tried letting some folks attend on scholarship, where their tuition was taken care of, and all they had to do was pay for belt exam fees at a reduced rate. That's where the parents of those individuals would balk, and as a result, there were some who would even argue with us, asserting that their child was not ready to test, etc.

If you run a commercial location, it all depends on what the surrounding area is, in terms of affluence. If you're located in the heart of a relatively wealthy city, $150 / month would actually be inexpensive for that area, provided that you teach good material. If, on the other hand, you're in a poorer town that doesn't have much $$$ to spare, then charging $65 / month might be the upper limit. There are individuals like Stephen Oliver who charge $250+ / month, and they get it, too, since they're in rather wealthy areas, along with being quite good at marketing.

Still, if you teach good quality martial arts, you shouldn't be afraid to charge what the others in the area charge.
 
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Indie12

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This is actually quite true.

If you try to be the lowest cost guy in town, a lot of times, you're often going to end up attracting people who aren't going to put a high value on the training. The same thing holds true for those who let students train for free on "scholarship."

We've tried letting some folks attend on scholarship, where their tuition was taken care of, and all they had to do was pay for belt exam fees at a reduced rate. That's where the parents of those individuals would balk, and as a result, there were some who would even argue with us, asserting that their child was not ready to test, etc.

If you run a commercial location, it all depends on what the surrounding area is, in terms of affluence. If you're located in the heart of a relatively wealthy city, $150 / month would actually be inexpensive for that area, provided that you teach good material. If, on the other hand, you're in a poorer town that doesn't have much $$$ to spare, then charging $65 / month might be the upper limit. There are individuals like Stephen Oliver who charge $250+ / month, and they get it, too, since they're in rather wealthy areas, along with being quite good at marketing.

Still, if you teach good quality martial arts, you shouldn't be afraid to charge what the others in the area charge.

I agree, however will add that it depends on the Instructor, organization, and rather or not the class your teaching is open or closed.
 
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Indie12

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I initially charged nothing because I don't carry much over head, nor do I teach for financial gain. In a discussion several years ago regarding this with a senior instructor, he told me that people will associate training value with training cost. In other words, with no charge, they will equate there training to little or no value. After hearing that I began charging $40/month. Oddly enough after that, my attendance rate increased while my drop out rate all but disappeared.

I started out the same way, then found that by charging, I was not only getting people who were taking it seriously, but my attendence, retention, and numbers actually improved.
 

Mark Lynn

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This is actually quite true.

If you try to be the lowest cost guy in town, a lot of times, you're often going to end up attracting people who aren't going to put a high value on the training. The same thing holds true for those who let students train for free on "scholarship."

We've tried letting some folks attend on scholarship, where their tuition was taken care of, and all they had to do was pay for belt exam fees at a reduced rate. That's where the parents of those individuals would balk, and as a result, there were some who would even argue with us, asserting that their child was not ready to test, etc.

When I took over a class at the Rec. center where I teach I upped the monthly dues to $50.00 from $40-45 for two classes a week. After about three years I upped it to $70.00 a month and added Saturday classes for a total of generally 3-4 hours of training per week. My attendance or student count has stayed the same in fact we have grown from just a couple of years ago. As well as the quality of my students, meaning they attend more. With the added income I invested in more equipment to raise the training experience for the students.

In regards to the scholarship issue, I have had a few students whose parents hit a rough spell especially this past year. I've had the students on scholarships so to speak, all of them because they value my program have without fail as soon as they could went back to paying full dues. The parents would come to me and tell me they got a job, or got caught up on bills, etc. etc. and that they wanted to make up the costs or that they were paying this months tuition etc. etc. I had one yesterday in fact pay 5 months a head (this was a first) (Christmas gift from grandparents). When my rates were lower I had more complaints from parents, more that wanted month prorated etc. etc. More that just left without a word.

If you run a commercial location, it all depends on what the surrounding area is, in terms of affluence. If you're located in the heart of a relatively wealthy city, $150 / month would actually be inexpensive for that area, provided that you teach good material. If, on the other hand, you're in a poorer town that doesn't have much $$$ to spare, then charging $65 / month might be the upper limit. There are individuals like Stephen Oliver who charge $250+ / month, and they get it, too, since they're in rather wealthy areas, along with being quite good at marketing.

I think Stephen Oliver's program is upwards of $350.00 and they get it. I believe them getting that fee is more than just marketing they have added value to their service. Which allows the parents to believe they are getting their money's worth that mare than makes up for the difference between taking little johnny to a rec center and paying $200.00+ a month less. It's not all about the quality of instruction it is about the product. Like paying $2-5.00 for a cup of coffee from Starbucks instead of paying .50 cents for the coffee fund at work.


Still, if you teach good quality martial arts, you shouldn't be afraid to charge what the others in the area charge.

I had a mother who is an accountant come to me a few months ago and tell me I had new competition in town, she showed me a flyer promoting a local karate program which was going to teach out of a public school and charge only about $40.00 a month for one class a week, kind of like I should be worried. She was only looking at the $$$ amount per month. Not that I was actually cheaper per hour, nor that I offered a better training environment and experience, had (probably) more experience (31 years in the martial arts) teaching, and taught good quality martial arts. I explained I'm going after the serious student not the type that only wants to go 1 day a week because they will be the ones to leave when soccer (or insert sport) season comes along. I had two students sign up with me last week because the mom wants them in a more "serious" program.

Getting back to the whole teaching for free or very cheaply thing just to have work out partners. I tried this because this was how I was taught by my sensei. I wanted to recapture the whole training experience like I had with him, a bunch of serious students all training wearing no uniforms, no belts (except when testing) etc. etc.. But he had a core group he cultivated over the years before he taught us at his home dojo, he didn't take just anyone off of the street into his group. I didn't have that so trying to pick up training partner's I taught for free, then $5.00 per lesson and so on, $30.00 a month for training at my house etc. etc. Nobody valued the instruction per say. I would turn down over time to teach what amounted to a $2.50 an hour lesson only to have that person not show (a co worker cause he took the OT in another shop). Or set up a workout with a friend only to be blown off for a haircut. It's crazy but price does indicate value as a general principle.

I heard that concept (price determines or has impact on value) years ago in the late 90's and still held onto my belief that no it was better the way my instructor taught me (free). Later on as I started teaching at the Rec. Center and reflected back on my prior teaching experiences with teaching for free, or cheap, I also remembered that I too in my training at my sensei's dojo did the same thing, I didn't value what he was giving me at the time. I stayed home many nights because I was lazy or sore, it didn't cost me anything but sweat back then so I didn't see the value as if I was paying what it would actually mean to me in future. Years later now I do (I realize the value of the time and lessons lost) but at the time I didn't.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Our dojo charges $65 per month, reflecting a recent price hike. That is for two sessions per week, 2 1/2 hours per session. There is an additional fee for three sessions per week, but I don't know what it is. Promotions cost $10 if a new belt is awarded. No contracts. Those are all the fees. Black belts do not pay but they are expected to help teach. No one, including our sensei, get paid; the monthly fees keep the doors open. Many people are unaware of what an amazing deal they are getting in our dojo; our sensei is 2nd generation from the founder of our style.
 

James Kovacich

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Our dojo charges $65 per month, reflecting a recent price hike. That is for two sessions per week, 2 1/2 hours per session. There is an additional fee for three sessions per week, but I don't know what it is. Promotions cost $10 if a new belt is awarded. No contracts. Those are all the fees. Black belts do not pay but they are expected to help teach. No one, including our sensei, get paid; the monthly fees keep the doors open. Many people are unaware of what an amazing deal they are getting in our dojo; our sensei is 2nd generation from the founder of our style.

It sounds like your school kept some of the old ways. Some of the better ones!

Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
 

geezer

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My goals are simple. Make back in student fees what it costs me to keep training... and that way cut down on a lot of 'splainin' to my wife. I can do that charging $30 dollars a month for one to two group classes per week, testing and association fees not included.

My next objective is to get enough paying students to be able to accomplish the first objective and move out of the park and into an indoor studio that I sub-let for a couple days a week. To get to that point, I will need to both charge more and get more students. I'd rather not have to charge more than $40-$50 tops.

The going rate for my system at commercial schools in similar areas is $80 -$110 a month. I'm not comfortable with that myself. Even with a nice facility, I'd lose my current students if I charged that much. They just don't have that much cash... and as I mentioned, I do this for enjoyment, not as a business.
 

Mark Lynn

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My goals are simple. Make back in student fees what it costs me to keep training... and that way cut down on a lot of 'splainin' to my wife. I can do that charging $30 dollars a month for one to two group classes per week, testing and association fees not included.

My next objective is to get enough paying students to be able to accomplish the first objective and move out of the park and into an indoor studio that I sub-let for a couple days a week. To get to that point, I will need to both charge more and get more students. I'd rather not have to charge more than $40-$50 tops.

The going rate for my system at commercial schools in similar areas is $80 -$110 a month. I'm not comfortable with that myself. Even with a nice facility, I'd lose my current students if I charged that much. They just don't have that much cash... and as I mentioned, I do this for enjoyment, not as a business.


Geezer

I'd look at from a different angle.

How much better could you teach and serve your students if you were in a indoor studio, where the weather wouldn't hamper your training etc. etc.? In a indoor studio that had mats or other training equipment could also improve the training of your students. If the answer is that it would help matters and possibly improve your students training than I would do what was necessary to move that direction. Either by raising your fees slightly or by getting more students. However it might be easier to raise your rates somewhat and then sub lease. With new students coming in then who would be expecting to pay more anyhow.

1) Raise your rates slightly to cover your expenses to try and sub lease.

2) Grandfather in your existing students at their current rate or at the slightly higher new rate when you move into sub leasing a space. Then raise your rates closer to the more normal rates that other commercial schools are charging for the new students.

3) Don't short change yourself or your abilities by charging to little because you think they can't pay more or what you are worth. If you sub lease you are on the hook for X amount per month, how do you help your students if you are undercharging them and are always on the verge of losing your space because the money just isn't there. You might have 10 students relying on you, making you $300 a month and your rent is 400.00 when with just $10.00 more you would make rent. At $15.00 more you are on the plus side $50.00 to help cover your other costs and to help keep your wife happy. Is 15.00 dollars going to cause them to leave you or put them in a real bind? Do they have high end data phones? Do they drive nice (even semi nice), OK nicer cars than you, do they eat out, do they have cable high speed internet etc. etc.? I believe there is more disposable income there then you give them credit for.

At 2 classes per week at $30 a month you are charging less than $4.00 a class Don't get me wrong but as a professional, skilled, martial artist who's spent years of time honing your craft, surely you are worth more than 4.00 a class. I don't think you are short changing your students by charging more I think you are short changing yourself and your family.
 

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