Need help finding classes for a family

TimS

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Hello Martial Talk,

New guy here on this forum and I don't really know much about martial arts. I did some wrestling and some boxing back in the day but that was a long time ago, so I really don't claim to know much at all.

A little over a year ago, my nephew/godson came to live with us. My wife and I have four children, so what's one more, right? H'e has faced some trouble in his young life but my kids like having their little cousin around and we're all determined to make the best of it. We were hoping to get him involved in some kind of sport but he's not quite ready for that yet. Well out of the blue he asked to learn karate. We weren't sure how he would do with this either, but after asking around we learned of a family near us that teaches Tae Kwon Do to a few area kids out of their home. We started my godson and he has done really well. Much better than we thought he would.

The bad news is that around New Years the family has let everyone know that they will not be teaching any more after the school year is up. This is a shame for us because he is getting a lot of support. So while he still has his school for now, we've been trying to find a new place for him to learn. So since we have been looking around at schools for my godson, two of our kids think the idea of karate or Tae Kwon Do is pretty cool. Given how my godson took so well to the class, I am all for more of my kids taking classes.

What I wasn't expecting is the price. These schools I'm looking at are all at least 100 dollars a month for one child, which is more than twice what we are paying for the home-based school. A few schools do offer a family package but still even with that I'm looking at almost $300 per month to send three kids to karate class! Is this normal? My wife and I are in sticker shock. Suggestions or advice would be really appreciated

Tim
 

Dirty Dog

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Welcome to MT.

Commercial schools are, shockingly, commercial. That means they need to pay the bills, including supporting the insturctor(s). I think $100/month is average or a little below average, based on what I've seen in my area and read here.

If you can't find another 'home based' school, you might check with places such as your local YMCA. I teach in a YMCA based program. The YMCA charges $40/month for Y members. And there are scholarships easily available to further reduce (or completely eliminate) the cost. As a YMCA-based program, run by a man who already has a full time job, and assisted by people like me who also already have full time jobs, there is no real worry about profitability.
 

arnisador

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I'm sorry to say that $100+/month is now pretty standard for commercial martial arts instruction. As suggested, you may be able to find better prices at community-run orgs., including possibly ones run by a YMCA, community college, senior center (I studied Tai Chi at one), etc.. The downside of part-time 'garage instructors' is that all too often must stop teaching for financial or time pressures, as you've just found out. A commercial school can be a safer long-term bet, but much pricier. Good luck.
 

WaterGal

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I have to agree with these two. That is a pretty typical price - unfortunately, martial arts is an expensive business.

Another place to look for cheaper classes is local community centers. The one near me has somebody that teaches Aikido for I think $40/month, but it's only one class a week. A full-time school is generally going to give you more classes and more flexibility. So that's part of the trade-off.
 

mysurvive

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Where do you live?
A lot of Karate/TKD schools that you will *hear* about/see when driving around are going to be commercial ones with nice padded floors and pristine punching bags. Not saying that's bad, but I remember doing some karate in a gym like that and I just really didn't get into it... it felt really forced. You might want to try looking around for a smaller dojo that isn't commercially advertised. Where do you live? Maybe someone on here lives around there and could give you the insider's edge.
Are you set firm in Karate? I've noticed that a lot of the other martial arts tend to be much cheaper. My Wing Chun classes are $75/month and from what I understand, that's a bit on the high end for WC. (though, the kwoon is open 6 days a week and we train 2 hours per day.)

Anyways, Happy hunting!
 

oftheherd1

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Welcome to MT! Hope you find what you are looking for at an affordable price.
 

rframe

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Keep looking and asking around. Yes $100+ is not uncommon. However, around here, the strip mall highly commercialized karate/tkd schools are the highest price and the lowest quality. There's a really good MMA gym here with nice facilities which teaches TKD, Boxing, Karate, MMA, fitness classes and you can choose two classes per week for $50 or have unlimited access for $80. Additional family members get discounts, so you're not paying full price for each additional person.

One of the highest quality traditional karate schools in the area is $30/month and each additional family member is $15/month. Excellent karate and very affordable, but you wont find them in a strip mall store front and need to Google around or ask around.

Do a little more leg work and you might uncover some affordable quality options.
 
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TimS

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Wow, this is a fantastic place. Thank you all for your insight and ideas! We've been asking around other parents that we have gotten to know through school and sports, thats how we came across the current school. So far we haven't turned up anything suitable but to be honest I never thought of checking with a YMCA. I'll definitely take a look.

I am also a small business owner. I definitely understand what its like to have to pay the bills. The commercial school isn't necesarily out of the question for my kids. I won't lie, this will not be easy but I hope we can make a more informed choice when it becomes time to make a decision.
 
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