What's a good range for instructors to charge for BB?

DarkPhoenix

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We charge $200 for a 1st dan test. That is the test, embroidered belt, Black Vneck dobok, CDK cert from GM Hyun Ok Shin, boards.

We add $100 more for each dan test afterwards, ie $300 for Eedan etc. That doesn't include the insane $50 dollars per "level" between 1st dan and 2nd dan, 8 levels in all.
 

Flying Crane

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My point is that weather you like it or not Martial arts is a business, and if you think that your instructor isn't making money from teaching your wrong. (enless it is free). People make thier living off teaching, just like some sell necklesses. The price will always be an issue no matter what the wigit that is sold. Price is in the eye of the beholder. Most people do not make decision only on price... it value. I could charge an all in one price, but some find it easyer to paid a lower monthly fee.

well, in addition to my day job, I am also a self-employed jewelry maker and metal worker. I have a line of silver pendants that I sell with a leather cord as standard. If someone wants a silver chain instead of the cord, I can provide that. Of course that does have an extra charge, since acquiring the chain does cost me money.

I don't think this is a good analogy. I think that a martial art rank test is often turned into a big event, when it really doesn't need to be. The big event does incur extra costs, as well as create a justification for charging more on top of the real costs. I think this is really unnecessary. Testing could be kept in-house or at least local, and those costs would disappear. Of course this would mean that people need to make certain decisions about rejecting the notion that they need to belong to a larger organization instead of just a dojo.

As you say, martial arts is business for many people, and part of running the business is in convincing the student that they need all the extra trappings. I guess everyone needs to make their own decision on this. I've never seen a need for it, personally.
 

dancingalone

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That is kinda the thing though, and what I was trying to say, that if they are one of those types of instructors it is reasonable to ask a testing fee, so as that each student is essentially buying their own belt and boards and stuff. If an instructor was to pay for each students' boards when they aren't making much if any profit, then it would start adding up and make them unable to teach just for the love of it, as it starts to impact on them financially.

To be honest, I'd be shocked if my teacher ever did go in the black on his school considering how many hours he spent teaching. After finally agreeing to take me as his student, he only charged me $5 a week for 4-5 classes. All materials were furnished by him, including boards, etc. You could buy your own weapons like a bo or a pair of tonfa if you wished, but that was optional, and Sensei never bothered trying to sell equipment. He just told you where he bought his stuff from so you could buy it yourself. These days I understand he charges a 'whopping' $50 a month, so things haven't changed. It's tough to join his school though, similar to Michael's story above.
 

Earl Weiss

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Since NPTKD brought up the medical field, I'll use them as an example. Every time I get some tests run or go to the hospital for an emergency, my insurance company and I get a complete breakdown of what procedure was performed and how much it cost. Same deal when you get your car serviced.

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FWIW, on the first day students get a handbook which lays out all costs thru 4th Dan. It does have a disclaimer with regard to possible future increases.

I must be going to the wrong doctors / hospitals. I usualy don't get a complete breakdown until AFTER the serice is performed.
 

dortiz

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I have personally experienced 3 different scenarios in different parts of the countrty.
1. teacher takes you on, no cost. We pay for whatever anything costs ourselves or split events up among the students as well as dinner for teacher we always paid for him. (3 thumbs up)
2. Higher monthly fees, no testing fees or special seminar and no multiple testing in between. Just monthly dues (2 thumbs up) Necessary though to run a school in commercial environment.
3. Monthly dues, high test fees, multiple mini test which range from 50 to 125 in between and special wekend seminars that cost 300. (3 thumbs down).

Dave O.
 

Flying Crane

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That is kinda the thing though, and what I was trying to say, that if they are one of those types of instructors it is reasonable to ask a testing fee, so as that each student is essentially buying their own belt and boards and stuff. If an instructor was to pay for each students' boards when they aren't making much if any profit, then it would start adding up and make them unable to teach just for the love of it, as it starts to impact on them financially.


Yeah, if I was being completely honest, I don't think I would object to testing fees that are used to cover real costs that actually exist, like the new belt and embroidery if that is something the student wants. A certificate cost as well as framing, if necessary. I don't even have a big problem with the teacher making a modest profit from it, but I think it's easy to cross the line and go overboard. In my opinion, several hundred dollars and up is inappropriate. And I think it's also inappropriate to charge higher fees for higher dan grades, because it kind of ties the rank to the money paid. Did you earn the rank, or did you pay for it? And I don't think the big testing venues, with their associated costs, is appropriate.
 

Earl Weiss

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Charge nothing. The student is already paying tuition to train at the school. Ranking should be part of the package, and not an extra charge.

for the instructor, this is simply part of the job.


That is one plan. Build your test costs and fees into the tuition.
This may or may not be optimal. 1. It will make your costs appear to be above the competition since many may only compare monthly costs and not take into account all the extras. 2. If you are at a Park District / community center etc. they may set class fees and not be able to take testing costs into account. 3. Students who take longer between tests are then actualy paying more for testing than those who progress more quickly.
 

dancingalone

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I must be going to the wrong doctors / hospitals. I usualy don't get a complete breakdown until AFTER the serice is performed.

You might be. I got a pre-estimate of costs when my wife was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. It was within 20% of the final bill, but that's another discussion.
 

Flying Crane

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That is one plan. Build your test costs and fees into the tuition.
This may or may not be optimal. 1. It will make your costs appear to be above the competition since many may only compare monthly costs and not take into account all the extras. 2. If you are at a Park District / community center etc. they may set class fees and not be able to take testing costs into account. 3. Students who take longer between tests are then actualy paying more for testing than those who progress more quickly.

Or, if you keep it small and in-house and don't worry about paying homage to the big orgs, then there really are no extra fees other than the cost of the belt and cert, and I think those are reasonable costs for the student to pay. So a very reasonable tuition rate is all that is necessary.
 

dortiz

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With no disrespect intended" It will make your costs appear to be above the competition".

Here lies a big problem. If schools are competing for the business of students all kinds of problems arise.

Dave O.
 

NPTKD

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You win, I see your point.

Monthly Fee's are as follows
1Class per week $125.00 or free you pick
2Classes per week with meals included $150.00 (free if you bring your own food and a credit if you share)

New Dan fee's are as follows
1st Dan $25.00 :KKW cert, BB Uniform,Belt , air fare, bus fee , Hotel, car rental,meals, snack, battries for your camera, drinks and hookers. Silver neckless and! chain
2nd Dan: $26.00 All above with a second silver chain
3rd Dan : $27.00 All above ,third silver chain and a franchize option
4th Dan: All above, four silver chain and Logoed coffee cup
 

Flying Crane

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With no disrespect intended" It will make your costs appear to be above the competition".

Here lies a big problem. If schools are competing for the business of students all kinds of problems arise.

Dave O.

why would it appear to be that way?

My kenpo school charges $50 a month which is much lower than typical in this neck of the woods. We have zero testing fees, zero other hidden fees, and our head instructor is very senior in our lineage.

Of course he doesn't make his living thru teaching, so that's the other side of the situation.
 

dortiz

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"why would it appear to be that way?"

Its back to that business versus Art question. If two schools are so close they are competing and thats survival, the students will losee. Fees wont be based on what they are, but what needs to be competitive. Now the pendulum swings in the other direction. The better school may go out of business because the crappier one has better backing. Its just sad.


Dave O.
 

Stac3y

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Charge nothing. The student is already paying tuition to train at the school. Ranking should be part of the package, and not an extra charge.

for the instructor, this is simply part of the job.

Since our brown belts pay no tuition, that would not work for my organization.
 

Earl Weiss

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With no disrespect intended" It will make your costs appear to be above the competition".

Here lies a big problem. If schools are competing for the business of students all kinds of problems arise.

Dave O.


Yes, and no. I am in one Park District where there are other programs. I tell the district to price mine in the catalog the same way they price the others. I know that the initial choice is made on price and or convenience.

Fortuneately is is not a relevant revenue stream for me so if little Johny or Susie does not do as well as mommy hopes or wants and they leave to go to McDojang and show up later to visit and brag about a fancy new belt in short order, I view it as a compliment.
 

dortiz

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"ok, that's an interesting situation. Obviously one size does not fit all. "

Thats just a darn good line to keep handy for many heated debates.


Dave O.
 

matt.m

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I know in msk our black belt test is 120.00. In Missouri the charge per month in 40.00. The belt test fee is 40.00 for yellow through red. The belt test for 1st dan includes the certificate, embroidered belt.
 

goingd

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Well, to answer the actual original question:

Geup testing: $25
1st Dan KKW: $100 (same $25 testing fee plus $70 KKW plus $5 shipping)
2nd Dan KKW: $120... you get the point.

Breaking down prices can lead to dishonesty. To say that it includes the uniform for $100 or what have you, when the instructor actually gets it for closer to $50 or less is not being honest in my opinion. Boards do not cost $5 a pop, whether you're cutting it yourself or getting them from MA SuperStoreLand. If I am going to charge for profit and people ask me about mark up I am going to say, "Like any kind of retail, we need to make some money. I am just glad that I can charge less than everybody else."

I agree that price does not automatically equal quality, but that is how many - not all - people associate it. The one who cares most about their training will take the time and make the effort to observe beyond that. I believe testing fees are "fair, only when fair." We all have a different opinion on that, and my opinion would probably be different if I was making my entire living from teaching.

Greg L. ^~^
 

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