YMCA, Community College, Recreation Center for a Beginner?

geezer

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For the people debating cleaning a dojo, and the legal side. What about blackbelt instructors who pay the monthly fee, but it asked to teach as a fill in by the head ranking instructor? Isnt this common as well? With the only payment being teaching experience that awards new dans/degrees?

Hey, I don't see the problem. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the "ins and outs" of the laws involved. But in my organization, both a knowledge of our instructional methodologies, and actual teaching experience are required for second degree rank. In fact, one of the big reasons I finally started teaching again was so one of our first degree students would have an opportunity to fulfill this requirement by assisting me and learning the ropes.

Now, I don't charge him for that. In fact I volunteer my own teaching time to support the Y. But if I were running a full-time, for-profit business, I don't see why I couldn't charge him. After all, it's part of our learning requirements, and I had to pay to be coached as an instructor back in my time. Heck, I also had to pay big-time to the state university when I was working (unpaid) as a student teacher in order to get my teaching certificate to work at a public high school.
 

jks9199

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Hey, I don't see the problem. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the "ins and outs" of the laws involved. But in my organization, both a knowledge of our instructional methodologies, and actual teaching experience are required for second degree rank. In fact, one of the big reasons I finally started teaching again was so one of our first degree students would have an opportunity to fulfill this requirement by assisting me and learning the ropes.

Now, I don't charge him for that. In fact I volunteer my own teaching time to support the Y. But if I were running a full-time, for-profit business, I don't see why I couldn't charge him. After all, it's part of our learning requirements, and I had to pay to be coached as an instructor back in my time. Heck, I also had to pay big-time to the state university when I was working (unpaid) as a student teacher in order to get my teaching certificate to work at a public high school.
It's one thing to have a student in what's similar to an apprentice program paying for the instruction he's receiving as he's teaching. I presume that you were there watching, guiding, and critiquing the instruction your student was giving. It's another, in my opinion, to charge the student for the privilege of coming in there to teach classes so that the master/owner doesn't have to be there. Which happens in quite a few commercial programs...

I know someone who signed up for an "instructor training program" at a commercial school in my area. He had trained in a version of that style in his childhood -- but not since. As in not trained in that in decades. His knowledge of that style was never assessed, as I understand it. But he was put to work teaching, right away. Sound like a sound instructor base at that school? Sure doesn't to me!
 

MJS

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For the people debating cleaning a dojo, and the legal side. What about blackbelt instructors who pay the monthly fee, but it asked to teach as a fill in by the head ranking instructor? Isnt this common as well? With the only payment being teaching experience that awards new dans/degrees?

Once I reached BB, I was never charged, so maybe I'm not the best person to be answering this question. :) But I'll toss in my 2 pennies anyways. LOL. Chances are, the head inst. does not teach every single class. They may, they may not. They may do a few days, and other black belts may take others. Thats the way its been at pretty much every school I've been at. Of course, many times, once you start advancing in the black belt ranks, its not so much about learning a new kata or technique...how many more do we need anyways...but its more of what you, as a BB, give back to the arts, to your teacher, to the school.

Like I said, I doubt that the cops are going to come knocking on your door, if you ask a student to help take care of the school, which while its technically not their school in a physical sense, but it is their school, a place that they train.
 

Carol

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Once I reached BB, I was never charged, so maybe I'm not the best person to be answering this question. :) But I'll toss in my 2 pennies anyways. LOL. Chances are, the head inst. does not teach every single class. They may, they may not. They may do a few days, and other black belts may take others. Thats the way its been at pretty much every school I've been at. Of course, many times, once you start advancing in the black belt ranks, its not so much about learning a new kata or technique...how many more do we need anyways...but its more of what you, as a BB, give back to the arts, to your teacher, to the school.

Like I said, I doubt that the cops are going to come knocking on your door, if you ask a student to help take care of the school, which while its technically not their school in a physical sense, but it is their school, a place that they train.

Probably not, but an inquiry by a lawyer or a complaint filed to the state's labor board can easily cost a school far more than they would have gained by trying to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

My old school suspended my tuition when I lost my job. They did for 2 months. What they asked me to do was to come to class every single day and to be as much of a part of class as I could. Believe me, I did. Personally, I think for-profit schools should follow something similar. If they want something from the student in exchange for suspending their tuition, ask for it on the mat.

Honor is a word talked about many times in martial arts. A school should show enough honor to uphold basic laws, yes?
 

jks9199

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There's also a distinction between club dues and commercial businesses. In a club setting, it's a bit different than a business where the people paying for the services are then expected to provide those same services to themselves and other paying customers...
 

psyon82

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Wow, this is a very helpful topic! I never thought of looking at those places for instruction. I was very fortunate, for my first introduction to Kajukenbo was by a 9th degree Grand Master (Dann Baker) while attending college. The only "con" in my book was I could only go 1 day a week due my schedule.
 

Laus

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I study both Karate and Aikido. The Karate is in a private location and opporates full time. The Aikido is held at the YMCA.

As far as the quality of instruction, it is just as good at the Y as if it were in its own location. My Sensei has been training for more than 20 years - his own Sensei has a full time dojo. The location is irrelevant to the quality of the teacher. As someone once said a dojo can be anywhere, at anytime. That said, do make sure the teacher is actually qualified to teach a martial art and is not just someone working for the Y a few times a week. I know around here the martial arts that are taught at local Ys are taught by instructors who have made arrangements to teach at the Y - I don't think they are even paid by the Y, but they may get to use the space free of charge. I'm not sure if that is true everywhere though.

Being at the Y has several advantages. For one thing we pay no membership fees (aside from the Y fee). Our dojo is not-for-profit - even when it was in its own location students were only charged the bare minimum to keep the place running - so the Y is perfect for us. Also, you have access to a full gym to keep up your conditioning without paying for a second membership, and all the other useful things a Y can provide.

The disadvantage is the limited number of classes per week. I do have the right to train at my Sensei's dojo under his instructor, but would have to pay a separate membership to do so.
 

Shawn

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Sifu Jon Funk teaches out of a community centre, and you would be hard pressed to find better instruction anywhere. Location only matters in relation to your ability to get there.

I've taught classes out of a community centre myself, and in a park when there were no other options.

Shawn
 

Jordan274

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Hey All,

What do you guys think about studying a martial art at the local YMCA, community college, or rec center for someone new to the martial art?

Might be an affordable way for some people to get a taste of the martial art.

What are some of the pros and cons?

Pro:
Cheap and affordable.
The instructor.

Con:
The instructor.

Know any other cheap alternatives for the beginner? Garage dojos? Parks?


Actually there is a Tai Chi and Bagua instructor near where I live at a local YMCA centre.
But basically its just a meeting place and actually instructs outside to achieve greater confidence in you (apprently).

The pro's I've found, (From research and friends that take his class) are:
Cheap
Cares for the individual needs (E.g. slow learners and such)
The instructor is well know in the UK, Swansea (Where he's based) and even well know in other places.

Con:
I hate to sound and be bias but from what I've heard I can't find any with the actually instructor or class.
Learning out doors is a turn off for me though, purely because I'm to shy to start performing forms in public (But I'm sure if you mentioned it, he should tailor to you're needs).

I think as long as your instructor is legit and got the correct creditionals and experience then it should be okay.
At least its not about the money with these kind of people.

- Jordan
 

Brother John

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Hey All,

What do you guys think about studying a martial art at the local YMCA, community college, or rec center for someone new to the martial art?

Might be an affordable way for some people to get a taste of the martial art.

What are some of the pros and cons?

Pro:
Cheap and affordable.
The instructor.

Con:
The instructor.

Know any other cheap alternatives for the beginner? Garage dojos? Parks?

The instructor of a school is ALWAYS either the biggest "Pro" or biggest "Con" of any school. Period. WHERE they teach hardly even enters the picture.
If they are worth their salt they could help you achieve greatly while teaching you in the middle of a public bathroom.
If they are a horrible teacher or worse, a fraud, then the prettiest and most well equipped mansion of a Dojo won't help them produce a single decent martial artist out of a thousand.

There's many a Grandmaster that taught out of places like garages, hotel rooms, back of a tea shop, alleyway behind their restruant, borrowed dance studios, on the beach, public parks, back-yards, aunts basement......etc.,
and believe me.....the crappy instructor in a shiny well equipped and expensive dojo is no laughing matter but a sad fact in many Many cities.

Your Brother
John
 

tayl0124

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They could also be the best place to be, period. Again, it really depends on the teacher.

This is exactly my situation. I study at the local YMCA. I see no need to go anywhere else. My Sensei has been studying for nearly 30+ years, and continues to study anything he can get his hands on. In the 2+ years I have been doing this, I have met many impressive Martial artists, and there are a few he surrounds himself with that I would like to meet. He teaches for the love of his art, not for the money it brings in. He is a full time photographer for our local paper, he makes good money, he doesn't need to teach karate for a living, as a matter of fact he only clocks in 1/4th of the time, as him and our other 3 instructors take turns because the y will only pay one person at a time for our class. IF YOU FIND A GOOD TEACHER, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE HE/SHE TEACHES!
 

Cyriacus

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This is exactly my situation. I study at the local YMCA. I see no need to go anywhere else. My Sensei has been studying for nearly 30+ years, and continues to study anything he can get his hands on. In the 2+ years I have been doing this, I have met many impressive Martial artists, and there are a few he surrounds himself with that I would like to meet. He teaches for the love of his art, not for the money it brings in. He is a full time photographer for our local paper, he makes good money, he doesn't need to teach karate for a living, as a matter of fact he only clocks in 1/4th of the time, as him and our other 3 instructors take turns because the y will only pay one person at a time for our class. IF YOU FIND A GOOD TEACHER, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE HE/SHE TEACHES!
I agree - Where i train TKD, they teach out of a Church Hall. Why? Because its seriously one of the only free Halls in town thats big enough.

Most of the time, a Hall is chosen either for Price, or because nothing else is available. You cant judge an Instructer based on where they train from.
 

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