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Mad King
09-10-2010, 03:11 PM
Hi guys,

can anyone tell me why Aikido in Los Angeles is so expensive?
It seems that it is only affordable when you have a much better income and not for someone with a lower one.

I couldn't find any dojo under $90 there.

Lyle Laizure
09-10-2010, 03:22 PM
It could be that the market there is such that $90+ a month is common. What is the cost of other martial arts?

Larry Feldman
09-10-2010, 03:24 PM
My guess is the rent is high.

If you truly are constrained financially - talk to the dojo, and see if they can accommodate you. Perhaps they will allow for some work at the dojo to supplement your dues.

Mad King
09-10-2010, 03:38 PM
My guess is the rent is high.

If you truly are constrained financially - talk to the dojo, and see if they can accommodate you. Perhaps they will allow for some work at the dojo to supplement your dues.

Great idea. Let's see is one dojo is doing this.

Mad King
09-10-2010, 03:39 PM
It could be that the market there is such that $90+ a month is common. What is the cost of other martial arts?

I don't know the costings of the other martial arts. Sorry.
But they charge also a mat fee??? $10-$15 a month. Never heard of that.

Brian Gillaspie
09-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Are you sure the mat fee is in addition to the monthly tuition? Usually a mat fee is just what they would charge per class for a someone visiting the dojo to train but not for regular students.

Mad King
09-10-2010, 04:22 PM
That was what I understood.

Lyle Laizure
09-10-2010, 09:18 PM
Most schools have a mat fee for students that do not belong to their dojo that are maybe passing through or something like that. I have never heard of a mat fee on top of monthly dues. I'm not sure where in LA you are but you should check out Toshishiro Obata Kaiso. Go to www.shinkendo.com and you can find the location. I'm not sure of the cost but I know the training is excellent!

Janet Rosen
09-10-2010, 09:20 PM
Most Bay Area dojo are in that price range. It's the overhead - rent, utilities, insurance.

Mad King
09-10-2010, 09:36 PM
Most schools have a mat fee for students that do not belong to their dojo that are maybe passing through or something like that. I have never heard of a mat fee on top of monthly dues. I'm not sure where in LA you are but you should check out Toshishiro Obata Kaiso. Go to www.shinkendo.com and you can find the location. I'm not sure of the cost but I know the training is excellent!

They charge for 3 times a week $240 a month.

Aikibu
09-10-2010, 10:13 PM
Aikido in LA...After 20 years we've never raised our prices and still had to shut down...Why in this town it's hard to keep anyone's attention away from the next Hip Slick and Cool Dojo and on the other side of the spectrum I would bet the house there's more Martial Talent here than almost anywhere else on earth.

Keep looking my young friend....You will find something that suits you. In our Aikido it has never been about money and I know several other Teachers that are not trying to get rich so it's out there. I looked for almost a year before I found Micheal Fowler and his Teachers Shoji Nishio and Masa Tazaki. Fowler Sensei still had to close down because good students who stick with it are VERY HARD to FIND in LA. I have been Ronin ever since. LOL :)

Yoshida Shihan... Shoji Nishio's personally Designated US representative will be here the 24th through the 26th of September at Santa Monica High. I invite you to come and check it out. :) PM me if you're interested in the details. It's inexpensive 100 dollars for 2 days of intensive Aikido but you can pay ten bucks just to watch if you like.

Good Luck. :)

William Hazen

Dan Rubin
09-11-2010, 12:01 AM
Jeff, 45, living in Florida and doing since one Year Aikido and I love it.

So if you're living in Florida why do you care about the cost of training in LA?

RED
09-11-2010, 12:03 AM
Typically, the study of a martial art or joining of any activity that cost extra income isn't exactly the sort of luxury you see out side of some privilege.
Having done missions work internationally, I've never seen people groups fork up their cash for any hobby, or extra activity.
When you are working 15 hours a day trying to scrap by, there isn't much time left to pick up hobbies, nor to study foreign philosophies. Frankly, in it of its self, philosophy is a rich man's endeavor, for the above stated reasoning.
So it really doesn't surprise me when I see dojo prices for membership. The assumption is that the student has a disposable income in our society.Add to that local real estate, rent, utilities and taxes of the location... it isn't surprising how big the bill can get.

Mad King
09-11-2010, 07:42 AM
So if you're living in Florida why do you care about the cost of training in LA?

Because I am moving to LA?

Mad King
09-11-2010, 07:43 AM
Typically, the study of a martial art or joining of any activity that cost extra income isn't exactly the sort of luxury you see out side of some privilege.
Having done missions work internationally, I've never seen people groups fork up their cash for any hobby, or extra activity.
When you are working 15 hours a day trying to scrap by, there isn't much time left to pick up hobbies, nor to study foreign philosophies. Frankly, in it of its self, philosophy is a rich man's endeavor, for the above stated reasoning.
So it really doesn't surprise me when I see dojo prices for membership. The assumption is that the student has a disposable income in our society.Add to that local real estate, rent, utilities and taxes of the location... it isn't surprising how big the bill can get.

That is true for the USA. Yes.

Janet Rosen
09-11-2010, 01:49 PM
Re paying for hobbies or optional activities: In SF area I knew folks who'd complain they couldn't afford "overpriced" dojo fees while paying beaucoup bucks for cigarettes and beers.... chacun a son gout.

Rob Watson
09-11-2010, 04:36 PM
In SF area I knew folks who'd complain they couldn't afford "overpriced" dojo fees while paying beaucoup bucks for cigarettes and beers

Let's not forget the $300 a week pot heads.

RED
09-11-2010, 08:41 PM
Heck, just quitting smoking is the equivalent to getting a pay raise.

Michael Hackett
09-12-2010, 12:36 AM
There's an old Gatlin Brothers song that goes something like this:

"All the gold in California
is sitting in a bank in Beverly Hills
In somebody else's name.

It don't matter
where you played before,
California's a brand new game."

That had some truth in the 70s and is really accurate today. Paying $ 90 a month dues will be the least of your financial worries out here in the Golden State.

Linda Eskin
09-12-2010, 01:42 AM
That's about what we pay in the San Diego area. It includes all classes (there are 11 per week for adults, 2 of which are 4th kyu and above). Seems reasonable to me.

At our dojo a mat fee would be a one-time fee for someone visiting from another dojo, not in addition to dues.

Keith Larman
09-12-2010, 09:18 AM
Los Angeles is a very large area.

I know of groups who train in the valley's at park and rec locations with multiple classes a week that cost less.

If you want to find a dojo that has a dedicated physical location, well, consider what a lease costs at any commercial area, parking, utilities, etc. and you'll find costs from about 70/month and up for tuition.

The local strip-mall karate production line McDojo/McDojang charges more, tests frequently (testing fees), has all sorts of programs (little ninja, various uniform/patch/whatever changes, etc.) all as money making ventures. Most Aikido dojo are lucky to break even.

And another point... It is all relative as others have noted. People with smartphones often pay as much if not more for their phone/data service per month. Maybe you can't afford it. Bummer for you. Maybe see if you can work out some reciprocal deal.

I had a guy tell me once that I "owed the world" to teach some old sword related crafts I'd worked very hard to learn to ensure that the skills were passed on. My reaction wasn't very pretty considering how much it cost me and how hard I worked to learn them in the first place. No, I owe my family to pay our bills, feed them, get my daughter educated... Same for the folk running dojo. They have bills to pay too. And most I know spend their extra money and a *huge* amount of their free time teaching, doing paperwork, cleaning, etc. to keep a dojo running.

In other words, most aikido dojo (in my experience) rarely charge enough to be what anyone would consider a viable business. They rely on the support and donation of free time and expertise of others. We have a lot of people teaching at our HQ and none of them are paid instructors. Many, in fact, pay tuition, donations, etc. to the dojo *and* donate their time to teach what they've spend decades learning.

But someone still has to pay for the floorspace, insurance, mats heat, water, electricity, business license fees, phone line, internet, taxes...

lbb
09-12-2010, 09:34 AM
They charge for 3 times a week $240 a month.

You haven't said who "they" is, so it's always possible, I suppose...but that price seems unlikely.

Dan Rubin
09-12-2010, 04:01 PM
You haven't said who "they" is, so it's always possible, I suppose...but that price seems unlikely.

From post #10 it looks like he's talking about the Shinkendo honbu dojo in LA. According to their website, to study both aikido and sword it's $150/mo plus an initiation/annual fee of $70, so it would cost Jeff $220 to begin (and, I guess, every January), whether he trained once or up to 6 days per week. But he would be training with Shinkendo's founder.

Gorgeous George
09-12-2010, 04:10 PM
But he would be training with Shinkendo's founder.

That's not a bad price - as long as Chuck Norris is no longer allowed in the dojo, of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9L6ZpOa_VA