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Niccolo Gallio
09-20-2007, 12:02 PM
Hi everyone.
I'm writing this to have some opinions on my dojo's monthly fee:
before i go on let me say that i'm totally satisfied with the quality and quantity of the istruction and practice i get.
But the cost of the monthly fee seems to me a little steep.. we practice three times per week for a total of 5 hrs 1/2 in a relatively large tatami in decent conditions, the rest rooms are decent too and sufficently clean.. we are hosted in a gym that has also weights and some machinery.. the gym staff is not particularly friendly but not hostile either, while my dojo fellows are ok to great folks. for our monthly fee we are only given permission to use just the tatami and the restrooms/showers.
the fee is 60 euros (circa 84 usd) per month.
I'd like to know how much yo kind folks pay, especially those training into commercial facilities..
thanks

niccolo'

Ron Tisdale
09-20-2007, 12:14 PM
More training time would be nice...but other than that, probably not outrageous. See if you can get more time for the same price...

Best,
Ron

Bronson
09-20-2007, 01:31 PM
A lot of what makes a reasonable fee depends on local factors. A reasonable fee in a large city like Chicago would be considered outrageous just 2 1/2 hours away in the smallish Michigan town I teach in. Your best bet is to take a look at the fees for other martial arts in YOUR area. Especially those in similar settings and with similar schedules.

With the info you've provided I'd agree with Ron that it doesn't sound too over the top.

Bronson

John Ruhl
09-20-2007, 07:18 PM
For what it's worth, check out this poll in 2005 and the associated discussion:

http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=286

(and in the discussion Jun points to a similar poll 2 years earlier).

-John

Mark Uttech
09-20-2007, 08:28 PM
I was always told that the monthly fee = the teacher's rank x 10.
So a 2nd dan is $20/hr., a 3rd dan $30/hr, etc. So a 6th dan instructor can reasonably charge $60 monthly dues and for seminars, can command $60/hr.

In gassho,

Mark

crbateman
09-20-2007, 10:33 PM
I think it's all regional. The amount you suggest would be considered a bargain in many places, yet outrageous in others. The important thing is whether you think you're getting your money's worth.

George S. Ledyard
09-20-2007, 11:13 PM
I was always told that the monthly fee = the teacher's rank x 10.
So a 2nd dan is $20/hr., a 3rd dan $30/hr, etc. So a 6th dan instructor can reasonably charge $60 monthly dues and for seminars, can command $60/hr.

In gassho,

Mark

Mark,
The fact that you state that you were "always told" that indicates that it was the case for some time. I would say that is dated info. I couldn't even keep my doors open if that was the going rate standard. I charge $100 / hr for private lessons, although it's possible to buy a six lesson set for $450 which comes to $75 / hr. Most of the senior instructors I know would normally get $100 / hour if they did a class at another dojo. The going rate for a 6th Dan in the ASU is $1500 for a weekend seminar with an average of ten hours of class time.

The national average for martial arts dues is between $120 and $140 at this point with Aikido bringing up the rear on the rates. Aikido Dojos with professional instructors are usually just a bit below the average for martial arts schools and those with part time instructors are often substantially below that national average. Our dues at my school are between $100 and $120 (there are some options available in our dues structure).

Regardless, it's still cheap training compared to other fields. Try getting top notch instruction in much of anything for less than $100 / hour.A Rokudan has spent 25 - 30 years getting there. What field can you think of where you could get that level of expertise for that?

On those rare occasions when I bother to do private Defensive Tactics jobs, I get substantially more than I do for my Aikido ($1000 / day) and my place in the DT world is no where what my position in the Aikido world is.

Niccolo Gallio
09-21-2007, 12:43 AM
Ok, thanks for pointing me to the poll and, by the way, my Sensei is 7th dan so I assume my fee is correct..
now, if only i could get some machinery time and sauna for the same price.. ;-)

PhilMyKi
09-21-2007, 05:40 AM
Hi,

Before I go on I will point out my dojo charges 20 GBP / c. 28 EUR / c. 38 USD for unlimited training (upto 7 1/2 hrs a week) per month - very cheap.

I trained at your dojo whilst I was in Florence a few weeks ago. I approached the receptionist and thought she was joking when she listed the charges even after I explained I will be training for that night only. I thought the facilities were great, but not good enough for the quoted cost. I was unable to train with Ruglione Sensei as he was teaching abroad, but I found my welcome, in the most part, was good (albeit one individual was a little patronising).

But as Florence is an expensive city, I think the costs have more to do with overheads (that is a big unit you have there) and the fees allow you to do all the other activities the dojo offers (dancing, judo, karate ... ...)

PhilMyKi
09-21-2007, 06:39 AM
Actually now I clicked on your link I think I went to another dojo, I went to the Ki Dojo on Viale Corsica, which had costs in line with yours - must be geography. Like I said Florence is an expensive city. :)

ivobear
09-21-2007, 06:57 AM
the fee is 60 euros (circa 84 usd) per month.
Ciao Nicolo' ... I am also from italy (ivrea near turin), my dojo (aikikai Ivrea) with 5th dan sensei, ask us 50 euros for 6 hour by week ... a little bit hight in my opinion. I know that it depends from many factor, number of practices, place, people density and so on ... but the dojo of Fujimoto sensei in Milan (7th dan aikikai shihan), asks 50 euros monthly fee for more then 10 hours by week (..look aikikaimilano (http://http://www.aikikaimilano.it/)..) in a place dedicate only for the Aikido dojo. It is also possible to have some discount (family or more moths payment). I do not think that milan is less expensive then florence ...
Well it is possible to pay a little bit more to maintain alive a dojo with economic problem, but some time the gym structures and some time sensei clime have too hight price ... it is difficult to get the right price, but in my opinion 60 euros in italy is a little bit hight.

nagoyajoe
09-21-2007, 07:25 AM
Very often instructors inflate their prices based on rank and not skill…or even worse on who their teachers are even though their own skills are not so hot; however, your fees seem reasonable, especially from a Japanese perspective (as I have lived and trained in Japan for a while).

rulemaker
09-21-2007, 09:24 AM
Aikido is affordable in the Philippines (www.aikido-philippines.com). Most of our dojos charge US$15-$20 monthly fees for 12 to 16 sessions, lasting an hour and a half per session.

When Aikikai Hombu Dojo Shihans visits us for weekend seminars we charge our members US$2-4 per session.

I would like to know how much does it cost to host a US based Shihan (8th Dan level) for a weekend seminar?

How much does it cost in other countries other than Japan to host an Aikikai Hombu Dojo Shihan for a weekend seminar?

Thanks!

Mel

Will Prusner
09-21-2007, 09:56 AM
The cost doesn't sound over the top... and in my opinion, quality instruction in Aikido (or anything worthwhile, for that matter) + cameraderie w/ good people on a similar path = Priceless.

I know that even though I live in a psuedo-major city, Miami, Florida, I am still grateful that I have found a Dojo, Instructor and group of folks who I feel comfortable training with.

W.

Qatana
09-21-2007, 01:27 PM
I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most expensive places to live in the US. I pay $80 us/month for a total of four aikido classes, one tai chi class and one energy awareness classes in a week. My sensei is 5th dan and he takes all of our testing fees below shodan, our belts, new mats & upkeep out of those fees, as well as paying the rent on the space we rent from the ballet school, and "not noticing" if we have to let tuition slide for a month or so.

mathewjgano
09-21-2007, 01:42 PM
I pay $65(US)/month and if I can't afford it, other arrangements can be made to do some work around the place. Granted, it's a Shinto shrine so there might be a little more upkeep available than other dojo.
I think it's a hard industry to put a dollar value on. So much can vary from dojo to dojo and when you include the potentially huge cost of running and maintaining a place where people could potentially get hurt (insurance costs can be very high from what I can tell), I can see why some places cost quite a bit more than others.

dalen7
09-21-2007, 02:16 PM
Lets see...I have a 1kyu with 10 years of experience who charges $14 per month for a total of 8 lessons 1 1/2 hours each.

Infact, that seems to be the going rate pretty much.
The Thai boxing is 3k forint (just 500 forint more, but 3 times a week), the wing chun is $14 per month...

A 4th dan in Sopron is the same per month as it is on the east side of the country with my 1kyu...so that gives a person the idea of the going rates in matial arts in Hungary.

Our seminar (4 day) with a 4th, 3rd, 2nd dan cost around $20 if I remember correctly.

But it varies, Hungary cant charge more, the people cant afford it despite the E.U. status. (maybe the westerners in Budapest can...but Budapest does not represent Hungary by a long shot. i.e. the whole country voted for a Prime Minster that didnt make it, Budapest voted for the guy who is in office, and he got it. Just threw that in there to show the difference in mentality...Im not Hungarian, so I dont vote - and Im not into politics anyway)

Peace

dAlen

- by the way Niccolo, all these European flags look the same - you and I have the same colors, just the stripes pointing in a different direction. I thought you were a Hungarian at first. ;)

gregg block
09-21-2007, 04:32 PM
Often in life we get what we pay for. I first shop for quality then look at price. The same strategy should be used in finding a good dojo. There's a lot of crap out there. so buyer beware!

Ecosamurai
09-21-2007, 05:19 PM
I think most people who have (legitimate) questions about a dojo fee usually don't know too much about running a dojo and the costs involved, we usually do a little better than breaking even but occasionally I take a head count on a particular night because I think we may have lost money on that night. We charge 6 for 2 hrs (5 concession) and a monthly fee of 40 (32 concession) so about 80USD a month for two nights a week training. That's as cheap as I can make it too without it being a waste of time and a financial headache.

"I was always told that the monthly fee = the teacher's rank x 10.
So a 2nd dan is $20/hr., a 3rd dan $30/hr, etc. So a 6th dan instructor can reasonably charge $60 monthly dues and for seminars, can command $60/hr."

If I only charged 20USD per month we'd be closed by the end of that month. We're starting a monthly seminar series up that will mean inviting guest instructors but often at first it means I'll be teaching for 4-6hrs, 20USD per hour (with an attendance of say 10 people for a first attempt) would again ensure that we only had that first seminar and I would have to pay the rent shortfall out of my pocket.

FWIW I do not nor have I ever received any personal payment for teaching aikido, though I have on a number of occasions paid out of my own pocket when we couldn't manage the bills, effectively paying money in order to teach others. I doubt I'm the only one to have done this sort of thing either.

I don't think it's wrong to question what you're paying for something, especially given the number of fraudsters and mcdojos around, I just think that in the end we all have to pay for our training, either in sweat, tears, blood or yes... money. If a nidan or sandan has to charge what a rokudan charges in the next town, well that's just the way it is. If they were next door to each other on the other hand, well. Then you might well ask legitimate questions :)

Regards

Mike

jennifer paige smith
09-22-2007, 08:12 AM
I think by formula of ---dan times ten for the fee structure, we run into some time old problems of ranking, gender, racial inequity,boring, etc......

and her's another example, why wouldn't a person just run out and join an organization that ranks more quickly (which some people I know have done) so you can get more acknowledgement and money . I personally chose to follow the path that I've been on, ranking very slowly relative to others in exchange for excellent training and some obscurity.when students can achieve a Sandan in 6 years of training, which was somewhere around my shodan, ranking doesn't neccessarily mean quality, that is for sure.
I believe 'what the market will bare' is the national economic model and I can do better in that model than trying to break down all other codes and formulas. So I charge what I can which is $85.00 a month for several classes a week and $100.00 an hour for private lessons. Having said, that I taught my first year independently for donations only and I accepted food, flowers or finances.

as to the original poster, what do u intend to do with the information you get here. are you going to object to the fee's or are you going to shop elsewhere, or....?

Niccolo Gallio
09-22-2007, 09:30 AM
Thanks to everyone.
Miss Smith, I do not intend to "do" anything in particular with the informations gathered from this topic, I'm just asking to be more, well, informed.. thanks for your comment/opinion/story.
I have a problem in understanding one of your sentences (due to my english understanding problems, i suppose): "I believe 'what the market will bare' is the national economic model and I can do better in that model than trying to break down all other codes and formulas"
could you explain/elaborate this to me please?

sincerely

niccolo'

jennifer paige smith
09-22-2007, 06:56 PM
Thanks to everyone.
Miss Smith, I do not intend to "do" anything in particular with the informations gathered from this topic, I'm just asking to be more, well, informed.. thanks for your comment/opinion/story.
I have a problem in understanding one of your sentences (due to my english understanding problems, i suppose): "I believe 'what the market will bare' is the national economic model and I can do better in that model than trying to break down all other codes and formulas"
could you explain/elaborate this to me please?

sincerely

niccolo'

Sure.
Rather than using a formula based on ranking in aikido I use a responsible capatalistic approach to my dues structure. An approach that pays for the dojo, helps financilly support my time there as well as the other people who provide instruction to my students, and keeps us ahead of the stresses of financial poverty that so many small organizations face. We are then in a position to provide classes for free or low cost to elements of our local community who may not be able to afford to practice aikido at all. This fee structure is relative to the average cost of many other classes and professional services that people charge in central California ( a bit like George Sensei alluded to in his post when he mentioned the price of professionals who have many years in their fields. Such as a therapist or a lawyer, etc.. . We, as an organization, have discovered that this model best serves our dojo and the needs of the larger community.
Many of the services in the dojo are provided for free by wonderful students and teachers also. This is appropriate and normal while in a position of internship and learning.
No sensei I know or have met who is teaching aikido from their hearts and in the service of creating a world family is remotely compensated for their real time and energy contributions financially. The rewards come from the life it leads us in. That is why I teach and practice and that is why my teachers do.
I hope this answers your latter question.

Please forgive my question to you if it sounded harsh. Information is a resource that is often put to use. I wanted to know what your use would be. I don't think you liked the word 'intend' so I would like to make obvious my feelings about the word. Intent or intend is not a 'bad' word in my book. Intent can be many things. It seems your intent is to use information to be more, well, informed. That is a positive intent. Again, from my point of view my question was to clear up exactly what and why you are wondering about the cost of your training. Thank you for your answer.

Shannon Frye
09-22-2007, 10:27 PM
I'd check around, and see what the "going rate" is. Around here, most martial arts schools charge around $100 a month, but require a 3,6, or 12 month contract.

A previous aiki dojo only charged $55 a month, and no contract.

Current dojo charges $1 a class, and no contracts.

Niccolo Gallio
09-23-2007, 01:52 AM
Jennifer, I think my use of quotes (") around the word "do" (again ;-) ) looks really picky.. your question and the way it was put is not at all harsh and is fully appropriate.
Yes, sometimes, specially at the beginning of training year when we have to pay 40 euros for the annual registration (40+60) i am inclined to think that the fee is a little steep, but not at all indequate to the level of instruction. if there ever could be any dissatisfaction it would be oriented towards the hosting gym and not at all to my Dojo and Sensei.
Anyway, you explaination makes sense to me and I thank you for taking the time to elaborate, I bet everyone here except me got that the first time..

Shannon, your Dojo is a real bargain!

Thanks

Niccolo'

Mark Uttech
09-23-2007, 07:02 AM
[QUOTE=Jennifer Smith;190327]

No sensei I know or have met who is teaching aikido from their hearts and in the service of creating a world family is remotely compensated for their real time and energy contributions financially. The rewards come from the life it leads us in. That is why I teach and practice and that is why my teachers do.

This is very well said. Everyone is a student, and not everyone can be a teacher. I'm a strong believer in the concept of the 'village dojo',and those who put their hearts into it may succeed; or not.

In gassho,

Mark

Mark Freeman
09-23-2007, 07:27 AM
FWIW I do not nor have I ever received any personal payment for teaching aikido, though I have on a number of occasions paid out of my own pocket when we couldn't manage the bills, effectively paying money in order to teach others. I doubt I'm the only one to have done this sort of thing either.

I reckon I was out of pocket most of the first two years of trying to establish a dojo, it was a price I was willing to pay.

Most of the fees quoted here seem affordable. I guess that many teachers teach, not for any monetary gain, but for the love of passing on an art that they know and love.

I charge about 2 an hour, less for unwaged, kids, etc. we cover the costs of the hall/mat, and the occasional petrol bill for me up to HQ.

The riches I have gained from aikido are immeasurable, but not in terms of money

regards,

Mark