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Tiger-eye

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A studio having an invite only demo team that you have to pay to be on? I can understand one or the other, such as invite only those who work hard OR charge a fee so only those really serious about it will join but BOTH? I feel like it's verging on McDojo style of business, charging for every little thing.
 

jezr74

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You have to pay to be part of the demo they are planning on putting on for paying customers?

They are asking for volunteers or have asked you to be part of it then asking for payment?
 
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Tiger-eye

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The studio is planning on creating a junior (11 and under), senior (12 and up), and elite(black belt only) demo teams. You can't ask to be on it, the instructor must come ask you to join. But it cost $30 a month. And they meet once a week. I personally was asked to be on the elite team and I was going to, until they said it was going to cost. Demo teams are used to draw business in to the studio. The demo team is doing the studio a favor for "showing off" to interest potential students. It just upsets me that they would charge for something like that.

You have to pay to be part of the demo they are planning on putting on for paying customers?

They are asking for volunteers or have asked you to be part of it then asking for payment?
 

jks9199

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OK -- you're helping them bring in new business. You're also taking up time -- both studio and instructor -- for the demo team. There may be added insurance costs for traveling to do the demos in locations outside the school. The question is simple: are you going to bring in enough new students to offset the costs involved in running the team?

If they discover that they can't get their students to sign up and pay up for the demo teams, and the teams are something that they feel strongly enough about -- they'll decide to eat the costs. But if they're getting even a handful to pay up, and that handful is enough for the team... they won't.

Another clue... if they're "invitation only" policy turns out to be "can we get you aside for a private chat {read sales pitch} and do we think you're a good prospect?"... it just might be an income gimmick.
 

Buka

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I'd get prepared - start thinking about buying a bridge. :)
 

Chris Parker

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A studio having an invite only demo team that you have to pay to be on? I can understand one or the other, such as invite only those who work hard OR charge a fee so only those really serious about it will join but BOTH? I feel like it's verging on McDojo style of business, charging for every little thing.

Opinion? None. I don't have anywhere near enough information.

I'll put it this way… there are reasons that there's an extra fee involved. I don't know what they are, what's being covered, or anything else. And, I'd suggest, neither do you.

Possible reasons might include extra rent for a different night (if the school isn't a full time one); higher insurance costs for higher risk activities, which are limited by the group's makeup itself; extra equipment needed (specialist uniforms, if this is TKD then breaking materials, specialist weapons not commonly used, and so on); or simply that you're now being given extra (specialised/semi-private) tuition.

In other words, there might be very good reasons… and it's "invite only" because they don't really want to waste such effort on someone that they're not thinking is going to get benefit out of (both the students and the schools). Right now? I don't know what they are… but you might ask the school if you're concerned about why they're charging more to be a part of an exclusive group (again… this is not restricted to martial arts, or really uncommon at all).
 

K-man

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For me, I'd be keeping away from it. What benefit is it for you? You are a second degree black belt. My blackbelts train for half the normal fee. My senior black belts train free. Why? Because I can depend on them to take classes if I am unavailable. I can rely on them in class to look after the lower ranks. I respect what they give back. Insurance policies normally cover demos and even tournaments for no extra charge. Sorry, for me you are being exploited.
:asian:
 

WaterGal

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I think it really depends. How much is it, and what do you get for it?

For example, if the fee gets you a special demo team uniform, lessons from a professional gymnastics instructor on how to do fancy stunts, transport to demo locations in a school van, boards and tiles to break, special equipment, water, food, etc - I think it's reasonable for them to ask for something. ($30/month seems like a bit much to me, though.)

Demos also usually cost the school money - one local festival I was looking at wanted us to pay $300 to come entertain their audience. That's higher than normal, but $50-100 is typical in my experience.

Now, we don't charge for our team, other than for the team uniform, but we do expect students to transport themselves, to help setup and breakdown, to bring water and snacks, etc. And it does mean we're giving 90 minutes of extra instruction every week in exchange for a small amount of publicity a few times a year.
 

jezr74

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The studio is planning on creating a junior (11 and under), senior (12 and up), and elite(black belt only) demo teams. You can't ask to be on it, the instructor must come ask you to join. But it cost $30 a month. And they meet once a week. I personally was asked to be on the elite team and I was going to, until they said it was going to cost. Demo teams are used to draw business in to the studio. The demo team is doing the studio a favor for "showing off" to interest potential students. It just upsets me that they would charge for something like that.

I'd ask, I'm not sure of your age or how long you have been training at your studio, so I assume there must be some trust and communication between your instructor.

But if your not comfortable with it, ask the questions and then decide if it is in your studio's best interest to accept and your willing to give up your own time as well for that cause. If not you will be skeptical of the motivations and any further hidden costs.. may as well get it all out in the open..
 

jezr74

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I think it really depends. How much is it, and what do you get for it?

For example, if the fee gets you a special demo team uniform, lessons from a professional gymnastics instructor on how to do fancy stunts, transport to demo locations in a school van, boards and tiles to break, special equipment, water, food, etc - I think it's reasonable for them to ask for something. ($30/month seems like a bit much to me, though.)

Demos also usually cost the school money - one local festival I was looking at wanted us to pay $300 to come entertain their audience. That's higher than normal, but $50-100 is typical in my experience.

Now, we don't charge for our team, other than for the team uniform, but we do expect students to transport themselves, to help setup and breakdown, to bring water and snacks, etc. And it does mean we're giving 90 minutes of extra instruction every week in exchange for a small amount of publicity a few times a year.

When money is involved their should be transparency to prevent issues imo.

Are demo slots like purchasing advertisement space? Is that how the owner of a training studio would see it?
 

WaterGal

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When money is involved their should be transparency to prevent issues imo.

I think that explaining what the money is used/needed for would help prevent resentment in this situation. But I think there's a real limit to how much financial transparency there should be for a private business, generally speaking.

Are demo slots like purchasing advertisement space? Is that how the owner of a training studio would see it?

I do think of them that way, which is why we don't charge. I think doing demos raises your cred in the community and builds brand awareness - they can hopefully get people to associate your school name with people throwing down and being awesome. But in my experience, demos aren't a very effective way to get students, in terms of direct sign-ups. So I think some people see hundreds of dollars going out to pay for demos and nobody signing up for a membership from it and stop seeing it as advertising.
 

jezr74

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I think that explaining what the money is used/needed for would help prevent resentment in this situation. But I think there's a real limit to how much financial transparency there should be for a private business, generally speaking.

As far as the running the school from a business aspect, I pay monthly and annual fees. I don't need transparency for the behind the scenes running of the school that's implied, I am receiving services in the form of tuition of MA.

If I am asked to pay an amount for something deemed extra curricular, I'd expect their to be some form of logic to it so I can assess. This is no way restricted to an MA environment, work, family, charity etc.. it's all about good will. It all may be innocent, but transparency or an account for what the surcharge is for is much better than feeling I was duped or it will start to cultivate resentment and poor culture in a school. The OP is a perfect example.

So if there are hidden and not so hidden expenses with setting up a demo, and the business wants to on-charge to their existing customers. I'd expect some form of disclosure, and at the very least acknowledgement of it. If the good will is there, students will happily help out, if none, personally I'd want to question it until I'm satisfied.

Taking in account I fully understand that some schools will have bigger budgets than others like any other type of business.

I do think of them that way, which is why we don't charge. I think doing demos raises your cred in the community and builds brand awareness - they can hopefully get people to associate your school name with people throwing down and being awesome. But in my experience, demos aren't a very effective way to get students, in terms of direct sign-ups. So I think some people see hundreds of dollars going out to pay for demos and nobody signing up for a membership from it and stop seeing it as advertising.


Ok, so it's not unusual for a festival to want money for a slot, like paying for a tv commercial at prime time. I was just curious on this part.
 

tshadowchaser

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My question is why have a "SPECIAL" demo team. Why not use all or a verity of students. why not let the public see that not all are superstars and that anyone can learn?
or is this for competition only?

what other coasts are involved: transportation, uniforms, equipment,etc.

The "oh your such a good student that.............." is a sales pitch. NOt saying that that student is not good but still it is a sales pitch
 

WaterGal

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My question is why have a "SPECIAL" demo team. Why not use all or a verity of students. why not let the public see that not all are superstars and that anyone can learn?

It's because putting on a good demo requires a lot of rehearsals, to make sure everything goes smoothly according to plan and people don't get stage fright and forget their techniques. You can't just show up and hope for the best.

You need to make sure that, if you want to demonstrate sparring, that your students are in good enough shape that they can spar for 20 or 30 minutes in the hot July sun. If you want to demonstrate breaking, you need to make sure that all the students have their breaks planned out, that they can do them, and that they can hold for other people's breaks.

You don't have to be a superstar - we have yellow belts on our team - but you do need to be rehearsed.
 

tshadowchaser

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I disagree. A good demo is one put on with people doing the best they can and enjoying doing it. If the instructor has taught his students correctly they all will know whatever material he wants them to do.

Being on this "special" team gives an elite status to those on it making a large division in those who study. "Oh your not good enough to be on the team" To me this is against all of what studying the arts should be about. The person studying the art should be competing against themselves to do the best they can not competing with everyone else to be on a "special" team.
If these special classes to improve the team are held why dose the instructor not care about improving the rest of the class.
Sorry just that is the instructor wanting his status improved by only putting his best in fount of people. The impression these special teams gives is LOOK everyone can be this good. It is a sales technique to bring in more people. AND then what happens when they join and are not that good?
If the instructor wants more money that is the whole point the money. Yes he is spending more time and may feel he should be paid for his time. If he is getting a bus, train, plane to transport this team he may need to pay for it in some way but if the team is traveling by auto or autos then why the extra fee.
As you can see I believe the class is for all not just the special few
 

WaterGal

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I disagree. A good demo is one put on with people doing the best they can and enjoying doing it. If the instructor has taught his students correctly they all will know whatever material he wants them to do.

I've seen and been involved in demos that were put on by a team that had rehearsed ahead of time, and demos that were put on by a group of people that knew their stuff but hadn't prepared for the event. And there is a real difference in the quality of the performance.

That's not a slight against anyone. It's just that planning ahead and doing run-throughs makes things go better. It's like if you're in a band and going to do a concert - even if you're all great musicians and know lots of songs, you still need to plan out what songs you're going to play and practice them together.

Being on this "special" team gives an elite status to those on it making a large division in those who study. "Oh your not good enough to be on the team" To me this is against all of what studying the arts should be about. The person studying the art should be competing against themselves to do the best they can not competing with everyone else to be on a "special" team.

I actually don't like invitation-only teams for pretty much that reason. I think that can lead to resentment and feelings of division, yeah. That's why we have open tryouts for our team instead, and the requirements are just basic fitness things and can you do your techniques really well. So there's no resentment - why did so-and-so get on the team and not me - it's just an extra optional thing for people that want to do more.

If these special classes to improve the team are held why dose the instructor not care about improving the rest of the class.

Hopefully they can do both. Different people have different goals for training, different interests and levels of commitment. I think demo and competition teams are (or should be) a way for students who want to train more intensely than other students - or who want to learn things specific to performing - to get that extra training.
 
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