Need some help

antny825

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Hi to all, I am new to the martial arts. my son 4 years old has begun training at the local dojo. I really like this place, but I feel that I am getting ripped off money wise. I currently pay 129 a month which I feel is high,with a rate increase in 2007 (They are trying to get people to lock their 2006 rates in now) As of now they want to move my son into a more advanced class called the leadership program for between 21- 71 a month more depending on how much we want him to learn. On top of that they want another 500 bucks for all the weapons and gear he will need. When we first signed up they talked us into getting the basic package which was 99 dollars, and two weeks later they wanted to move him into the leadership program. I have also noticed they seem to promote some of these kids into their next belt without much effort, so they can collect their 60 dollars every two months.Any info for a good school in the Haverhill massachusetts area would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance for any replies
 

Kacey

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First, welcome to MT!

Second, yes, I would say you are being taken for as much money as they can get you to cough up. I wish I could help you find a new school, but since I'm in Colorado, I don't know too much about your neck of the woods. I'm sure someone who does will be around sooner or later. Good luck!
 

Ping898

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Welcome to MT!

I can't tell you yes or no you are being ripped off just because every situation is different and every school is different. I used to pay about $130 a month and it was for a school in Las Cruces, NM....not exactly an affluent area, there was another school that was only charging $40 a month, was I being ripped off, I don't think so, the school was in a nice area, had rent, was part of organizations so I am sure had dues and other expenses. The $40 a month one was taught by a guy in a slightly unsavory part of town and he had a day job so didn't need the money to live on per se.
Every situation is different, but I would say if you feel you are being taken advantage of, ask them to justify the expenses, tell them you are uncomfortable with the upcoming prices can they please give you an idea of where it is all going to and what the benefits to you are....I am not saying ask them to tell you their monthly rent, but they ought to be willing to let you know if they have organization dues, are they sponsoring any students?, do they provide seminars free of charge to you that cost them money to bring in the instructors, do they have an office manager who the pay? Is there extra fees on top of rent for the space they use?...if you don't like the answer...leave...or don't re-up went your contract is done and be looking for someplace else in the mean time...
Also you might check out other schools in the area even if you don't intend to train there just to see if the prices you are paying are comperable to the area...
 

Ceicei

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For your four year old son? No, don't sign up for all of that. You're definitely being ripped off. A four year old has a typical short attention span and a leadership package at this point will not make much difference. Keep to a basic tuition for the first few months. The interest of your son might change, so try for month-to-month basis rather than a yearly contract. I strongly suggest you look elsewhere for a different school.

- Ceicei
 

thetruth

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This whole locking in for this years prices and leadership programs sounds like they are utilising one of the many marketing companies out there such as NAPMA. It's totally up to you if you are getting ripped off but that seems excessive for a child.

Cheers
Sam:asian:
 

Jonathan Randall

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For your four year old son? No, don't sign up for all of that. You're definitely being ripped off. A four year old has a typical short attention span and a leadership package at this point will not make much difference. Keep to a basic tuition for the first few months. The interest of your son might change, so try for month-to-month basis rather than a yearly contract. I strongly suggest you look elsewhere for a different school.

- Ceicei

That is very good advice, Ceicei.

I know that the local community college here has JKA Karate for less than half of what the school antny825 is paying - also there are no "extra" fees in the range you're speaking of. Check YOUR local community college/community center, etc. for classes like this as well. The hidden secret of the Martial Arts is that many of the best little gems are inexpensive while many of the expensive ones are worth little.
 

shesulsa

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There is no reason for you to have to pay that much for your four-year-old son to train.
 

bushidomartialarts

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many schools charge that much for lessons. mine charges $125.

trying to put a child that young in a leadership program is a red flag, though. so is the 'false scarcity' close they're trying on you by telling you about a 2007 rate increase.

honestly, you're being charged a legitimate amount for attending a professional program. and if you can afford it, a professional program is worth that and more.

now, the question remains if that program is, in fact, professional.

what's the name of the school and organization? someone on here will recognize the name.
 

Tez3

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I don't know what the exchange rate is but that looks an awful amount of money! The leadership programme for a four year old sounds a bit odd. they should be enjoying the classes at this age, playing games and learning basics. We run classes for 4-7 year olds. It's twice a week for 3/4hour. That's long enough for such an age group. We charge 瞿4 a session or 瞿25 for the month. the chikdren go up to the older childrens class at about 6 or 7 depending on the child. The cost goes up to 瞿4.50 an hour or 瞿30 per month, for that they get training twice a week, a kata class once a week and once a month a free Saturday seminar. Just checked the paper, the tourist rate of the dallar to the pound is $1.90 to the 瞿, but I can't do arithmetic lol!
 

KempoFlow

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For your four year old son? No, don't sign up for all of that. You're definitely being ripped off. A four year old has a typical short attention span and a leadership package at this point will not make much difference. Keep to a basic tuition for the first few months. The interest of your son might change, so try for month-to-month basis rather than a yearly contract. I strongly suggest you look elsewhere for a different school.

- Ceicei
Plus weapons training for a 4 year old is a bit much IMO.
 

ArmorOfGod

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Wow, you are being taken for a ride financially.
According to NAPMA, the average monthly fee is around $65 per month. In my opinion, you should not pay more than $70 per month.

Do your research and find every school in your area. Make sure you call all YMCA's and community centers and see if they have classses going. Many of the best schools are tucked away in these places and only charge around $40-50 per month. I am a community center bred martial artist and for the past 15 years have always trained in city rec centers. This hint is important. Call the local rec and community centers!

It looks like you have a lot of schools in your city. It should not be hard for you to find a better one. Here is a small list that I found with Google:

1 All Together Fit, Inc.
200 Brickstone Square
Andover, MA 01810


2 Four Seasons Chinese Martial Arts
14 Granite Street
Haverhill, MA 01830


3 Universal Kenpo Karate
135b North Broadway
Salem, NH 03079


4 World Gym Haverhill
2 Water St
Haverhill, MA 01830-6223


5 Yang's Fitness Center
5 Dundee Park
Andover, MA 01810

Ocasios True Martial Arts
Haverhill, MA 01832
www.ocasiostruemartialarts.com

World Taekwondo Federation
Haverhill, MA
Business Phone Number
www.wtf.org
 

MJS

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Hi to all, I am new to the martial arts. my son 4 years old has begun training at the local dojo. I really like this place, but I feel that I am getting ripped off money wise. I currently pay 129 a month which I feel is high,with a rate increase in 2007 (They are trying to get people to lock their 2006 rates in now) As of now they want to move my son into a more advanced class called the leadership program for between 21- 71 a month more depending on how much we want him to learn. On top of that they want another 500 bucks for all the weapons and gear he will need. When we first signed up they talked us into getting the basic package which was 99 dollars, and two weeks later they wanted to move him into the leadership program. I have also noticed they seem to promote some of these kids into their next belt without much effort, so they can collect their 60 dollars every two months.Any info for a good school in the Haverhill massachusetts area would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance for any replies

Welcome to Martial Talk! :)

As for your question. First off, it should not be a matter of what they want to enroll him in, it should be what you want to enroll him in. Personally, that is a bit pricey. What do the 'extra' items consist of? It also seems like they want to 'fast track' your child and his progress. There really is no 'fast track' to anything IMO. Quality learning takes time, and there are no shortcuts. Sure, a private lesson is an extra perk, but it still comes down to the person putting in that extra time at home, working on the material.

If you don't feel comfortable with this, I'd sit down with the instructor and tell them that you're really not interested at this time. If you're feeling pressured, I'd thank them for their time, and find your son a new school to enroll in. As harsh as that may sound, it really isn't, as its your money, and you should be able to spend it how you want, not how they want.

Good luck.

Mike
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Really rates depend on the area. If you were in a large Metro area then you are going to pay more based on the cost of rent, etc. Having said that I do think you are paying quite a bit and signing up a 4 year old for a leadership class is a little much. Plus if you feel you are being pressured to lock in rates then that might be something to watch out for.

I would definately look around and see what else is available.
 

Naha

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I agree with what everyone else has said. The actually cost of classes will vary. The things to notice are the extra charges. Also, your son's age is a major factor. I think you brought up a good point when you mentioned how quickly and easily students were obtaining rank. All of the factors together make me uneasy about the school.

There is a school here that has fees for testing and everything else. I see parents sign a contract for very young children who lose interest quickly, and then they are stuck paying for classes that the children do not attend. If you look for another school, ask about things like testing fees. I do not want to cause controversy, but I do not believe you should pay to test or sign a contract. I know some school do, and they may be good schools. However, when you're dealing with someone as mercurial as a four year old, I would avoid contracts because you do not know how long he will stick with it.
Good luck.
 

bydand

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Have to agree with the general statements here. Sounds like a bit much (rate at the school I go to is 50/month for yourself and 40/month for additional family members. Granted it mat be quite a bit higher depending on your location, but check around to see.

As for leadership training for a 4 year old, WHAT??? Sounds like a weight loss program for your checking account. $500 for weapons and extras, again, seems a bit high to me, and that brings up weapons training for a 4 year old. We don't do "weapons" until the Junior level (about 8 or 9 years old) and then it is very limited as to what weapons. All my training weapons come to WAY under the 500 figure. Talk to the instructors, Listen to your feelings and intuitions, hope everything works out well for you and your son.
 

bcbernam777

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Hi to all, I am new to the martial arts. my son 4 years old has begun training at the local dojo. I really like this place, but I feel that I am getting ripped off money wise. I currently pay 129 a month which I feel is high,with a rate increase in 2007 (They are trying to get people to lock their 2006 rates in now) As of now they want to move my son into a more advanced class called the leadership program for between 21- 71 a month more depending on how much we want him to learn. On top of that they want another 500 bucks for all the weapons and gear he will need. When we first signed up they talked us into getting the basic package which was 99 dollars, and two weeks later they wanted to move him into the leadership program. I have also noticed they seem to promote some of these kids into their next belt without much effort, so they can collect their 60 dollars every two months.Any info for a good school in the Haverhill massachusetts area would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance for any replies

In the world of Martial Arts this is what is known as a McDojo.

Look Learning how to develop yourself comes at a price tag, it is not the money that you are paying I would be most concerned about, what would set the red lights of for me is the ease and speed they are pushing your son through into the leadership class and the belts. If you have to work your butt of to attain it, then it is probably genuine, but if it comes to easy then that is a sighn that you are in the wrong place.....however what you need to do as a parent is really evaluate what you want your child to get from the classes, do you want him to actually learn Martial Arts (i.e. how to fight his way out of any situation) or do you want him to build some self confidence? If it is the later then the school you are in may or may not fit the bill.
 
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