When do people drop out?

agemechanic03

Purple Belt
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
387
Reaction score
2
Location
Germany
Another reason people drop out or even stop training for a while is b/c there are no schools within a reasonable distance. As in my case...I just left from training 5-6 days a week in Korea for a year straight to no training here in Germany b/c there are no schools within a reasonable distance. Plus, it's winter time here and the weather is a lil bit unpredictable and American people can't drive in the snow!!! (I'm American too, by the way.)
 

Makalakumu

Gonzo Karate Apocalypse
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
13,887
Reaction score
232
Location
Hawaii
American people can't drive in the snow!!!

I lived for 31 years in Minnesota. We have snow there donchaknow. In fact, we need to be ready to drive in snow nine months of the year. There are some Americans that know how to drive in snow, youbetcha!
 

Sukerkin

Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
15,325
Reaction score
493
Location
Staffordshire, England
Similarly, I think for many working adults, making a commitment to do something two or three nights a week, it has to be something you really love in order to stick with over time.

A good old "Quoted for truth" here :tup:. It's something we haven't explicitly mentioned in any of our posts above I think i.e. that to continue in an art, regardless of rank attained, means that it is indeed something you love to do.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,563
Reaction score
3,914
Location
Northern VA
My experience is that there are a couple of main points when students quit.

Lots quit whenever their initial commitment runs out, whether that's one month or one year. They just weren't more interested...

I've seen many quit after their first test or competition. Especially if it didn't go well... Or the first time they really get hit. In short, after a sort of reality check about what they're doing, and that it's not easy.

Others quit somewhere shortly before black belt. They don't want the responsibility or to make the commitment that a black belt carries, it seems.

The last major quitting point from the martial arts side occurs shortly after black belt. Many, many students quit sometime shortly after they obtain their first black belt. Some run off to teach (or so I hear, 'cause I rarely see them again!), some have just achieved their goal, and they're done.

Outside of the dojo/dojang/kwoon, there are other reasons people quit. Lots of students that start in college or high school quit when they graduate; they're simply moving on. Others change jobs, get married or have kids or have some other life change that interferes.

What I've found is that the student who truly sets aside the class time as CLASS time, and little is allowed to interfere, stay. The rest? Excuses and justifications for missing class seem to breed more of the same...
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
A good old "Quoted for truth" here :tup:. It's something we haven't explicitly mentioned in any of our posts above I think i.e. that to continue in an art, regardless of rank attained, means that it is indeed something you love to do.

When I first started out, our son Tucker was in Kindergarten. We were a family of three with two jobs and one car. It's tough enough getting kids to all their activities -- factor in an adult, and it does get complicated. I see it all the time with parents who train, swapping cars with the spouse to get the kids home, etc. In that sense, it's all the same to me, whether it's karate, or yoga, or pottery. People doing these activities probably want to experience success for their efforts.

That said, yes, there are folks who come into the dojo with expectations that don't match reality. And that's just as well. They got to see it, and found that it wasn't what they are seeking.

Now, how many got discouraged or skeptical when the Sensei asked for a year's tuition and guaranteed they would be eligible to grade in a year, with a tidy grading fee?
 

Kwanjang

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
917
Reaction score
19
Location
Missouri
My EPAK sensei used to regularly comment on the drop out phenomenon, and often quoted the following statistic to the class: the belt at which students most frequently drop out is white belt, followed by first degree black. Third most frequent dropout rate is from the third degree browns.

It's obvious why so many drop out at white belt level, as mentioned by posters above. Not so obvious for the high first degree black belt drop out rate, but it is thought that first degree black is frequently the highest goal a student has set for himself, he achieves it, and never thought beyond that goal to what he was actually going to do with it. Perhaps also a first degree black is like much of the general public which believes that black belt rank is the pinnacle of the martial arts, automatic proof of ultimate proficiency; so what's the point of sticking around for second degree, third degree....must seem redundant to the uninformed person.

As for the third degree brown belts; that's when the pressure really starts to rise and the big test is looming. A lot of people decide that they really can't handle it then and there. Sad, to come that far and quit. I really pray that when I get there I have the gumption to continue no matter what.

Great post!

I do beleive it is the Sr. Instructor job to instill in to his student that BB is not the end...but the beginning of your training. I and my instructors instill this from the the very first class..and we talk about training beyond the black beltmost every class. Regarding 1st degrees droping out-I think some instructors fail to feed them adequately. You've got to have a black belt class.

Still sometimes people just quit! I can only hope if they choose to return to martial arts they will come back to me- if I have done a good job teaching them.
 
Last edited:

DMcHenry

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
245
Reaction score
5
Location
Houston, TX
My wife trained with me off and on for about 20 years (more off than on). She attained 1st gup/kyu, but had no interest in achieving her Chodan. She didn’t have the interest, and with her idea of what a ‘black belt’ is she couldn’t see herself as one. She encourages and backs me 100%, it’s just not for her.

My youngest stopped training after reaching her Chodan – picked up track and cross-country running as her ‘thing’. My oldest is the only one who has continued, and still trains today in 2 arts, having achieved her Sahdan.


As mentioned before, seems to be those who really LOVE it and makes it part of who they are that continue. Heck, I’ve been a student for quite a while, just never quit. The training is the goal, not a ‘belt’ or rank.
 
F

foggymorning162

Guest
I think it depends on the age when the highest drop out rate is. For adults it is usually when they hit the advanced classes and start realizing that hey this hurts. For kids it is at the intermediate level when it starts taking longer to get a new belt, kids need incentive. But if you really step back and look at the big picture and the total ratios of all students who start and those who complete at any given level then the highest drop out rates are
1)White belts; because people are curious but it's not for everyone.
2)Cho Dan; it is unfortunate but a lot of people think once you get it your done.
3)Apprentice Black; although not all federations have this level for us it has a high drop out rate because it is a required one year minimum at this rank and you don't get a lot of new material this is a time your expected to perfect what you already know it weeds out a lot of the less than commited.
 

JoelD

Green Belt
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
106
Reaction score
1
Location
Akron, OH
Most of our dropouts tend to be children 13 and below, they seem to just lose interest. When we lose adults it is almost always because of a change in jobs that causes conflicts with class or if the people just move away. there are exceptions to that rule, of course, but that is generally the way it goes.

I for one plan on training till i drop dead. I enjoy it alot.
 

SA_BJJ

Blue Belt
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
225
Reaction score
3
Location
San Antonio
Most of our dropouts tend to be children 13 and below, they seem to just lose interest. When we lose adults it is almost always because of a change in jobs that causes conflicts with class or if the people just move away. there are exceptions to that rule, of course, but that is generally the way it goes.

I for one plan on training till i drop dead. I enjoy it alot.
I think 99% go in with good intentions of sticking it out, but lose interest along the way. I also think alot of dropout rates depend on the instructor.
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
Most of our dropouts tend to be children 13 and below, they seem to just lose interest. When we lose adults it is almost always because of a change in jobs that causes conflicts with class or if the people just move away. there are exceptions to that rule, of course, but that is generally the way it goes.

I for one plan on training till i drop dead. I enjoy it alot.

Interesting. I used to notice a slightly different trend. At about 12 or 13, a kid transitioning to middle school or a junior high, getting into a more active social life, etc. That's when I noticed kids quitting. Karate wasn't as cool as it seemed when they were young.
 

bluekey88

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
89
I've been around a lot of different styles over the years and I've noticed some patterns. Poeple tend to drop out at certain times...3 to 6 months in. The initial glow of new learning has worn off and tehy get bored or regular life catches up.

After about a year or so...when one tends to get to the mid levels of many arts. The easy successes of the eraly ranks are done and there is more work involved. This is often the time I see the "naturals" quit...when things aren't coming so easily.

Another time is right before and right after acheiving advanced rank (black belt in most arts). For many, that was the goal, with the goal accomplished, the desire to continue training goes with it. Also, some schools do not have much in the way of a set curriculum for post dan ranks and this lack of external goals can be problematic in some schools.

For younger students, I see many studnets of all ranks leave between 15-17. Why? Jobs, dating, driving, etc. All much cooler than MA (that they've been doing almost forever). Those teens that stay past 15-16 usually leaver after 18 when they move away for college and or work in the real world. Usually see them again in the later 20's ealry 30's when the financial situation is more stable and they are able to carve out some free time.

Peace,
Erik
 

JoelD

Green Belt
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
106
Reaction score
1
Location
Akron, OH
Interesting. I used to notice a slightly different trend. At about 12 or 13, a kid transitioning to middle school or a junior high, getting into a more active social life, etc. That's when I noticed kids quitting. Karate wasn't as cool as it seemed when they were young.


We seem to have been lucky that way... most of our teenage students stick around. in fact a good number of our Dan member are teens.
 

hong kong fooey

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
527
Reaction score
4
Location
West virginia
I agree with alot of the post here. People drop out for a bunch of different things. money,Family, TIME, ETC, I went all the Way to brown Baelt in TAE KWON DO and droped out for A TANG SOO DO class. because I wanted to try somthing different
 

Latest Discussions

Top