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Veers
08-30-2002, 12:09 PM
How much do you guys pay for lessons? As in, if you pay by lesson, how much; and if you pay by month/quarter, how much? Just wondering so I can get an idea of how much this'll cost me (aside from the outfit, another $50)

Wayne
08-30-2002, 12:20 PM
For us, it is $60 per month for unlimited training. Most people attend 2 - 3 sessions per week although there are ~ 10 sessions scheduled each week. The student rate is $45 per month.

guest1234
08-30-2002, 12:53 PM
The best way is to go to the dojos you are considering, and ask their fees. It can vary too much, even within a city: one place I lived one dojo charged $80 (or was it $85) per month, another four blocks away charged $25. Just like Gis--some will cost 25, some 50, some 150+.

While you ask about fees, ask about annual dues as well, and if there is a contract required.

If cost is an important factor, consider checking out local community centers, junior colleges and universities, etc for clubs, as they are often less expensive (less overhead), ask at local MA supply places as some new dojos may not advertise (to keep down dues/fees)...and you can also ask the sensei at the high priced places if he'd consider working with you in paying less, but maybe helping out around the dojo/office etc, or even just a reduced fee (the place I trained with dues in the 80's often waived dues for students with financial problems).

I think a lot of dojo's put their fees in the handout they give to prospective students who drop by to watch a class...it's not an uncommon question.

Marc Kupper
08-30-2002, 01:43 PM
Aikiweb did a survey on this very question. See http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=121

Overall, if cost is a big issue for you then check out the adult education classes offered by most cities and try your local junior colleges.

Do your footwork and visit as many dojos as practical to both get prices and to watch classes. If you can't afford them then tell them that and also let them know you do want to try aikido. They may be able to point you to local clubs, people operating out of their garage, etc. that would be cheaper.

Veers
08-30-2002, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the feedback and suggestion.

Well, I am going to go to the dojos and check them out and ask about prices. Also, there are no aikido dojos in the phone book (had to use this site to find the 3 in town here) so I don't tihnk I have that much selection. Anyway, I talked on the phone with an instructor today for 20 miuntes, but he said he didn't discuss money over the phone. From what he told me, I think he's my best bet even though I haven't talked to the others yet.

guest1234
08-30-2002, 02:13 PM
Don't let the refusal to discuss fees over the phone discourage you, many probably say that because they want you to come see and/or try a class, not just phone around for the best price---cost often has nothing to do with quality, nor either of those with how you will feel about a place.

Pretoriano
08-30-2002, 08:50 PM
Dojo Caracas, Venezuela Aikikai, $21.5 choose between 4 clases a day plus one for children Mon. Frid. Sat 9-12.

Pretorian

tedehara
08-31-2002, 11:59 AM
We charge $20/month, which is ridiculously low for a major US city. However we only have one night of classes in Chicago (http://home.att.net/~tedehara/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html). If we can find a few more students, we might be able to rent more time.

Nacho_mx
08-31-2002, 02:01 PM
Our dojo (In central Mexico City if someone wishes to visit us) charges $80 U.S.D. monthly. You can practice 5 days a week up to 2 daily one-hour classes. That comes to $2 U.S.D. per class...a bargain if you ask me. Daily fee for visitors is $10 U.S.D. and you can have 4 classes (2 in the morning, 2 in the evening).

JJF
09-03-2002, 04:00 AM
About 27$ a month. Evening classes monday through thursday and sunday. Plus the occasionally morning practice (not scheduled - decided on a day-to-day basis)

ian
09-03-2002, 06:30 AM
We operate in a non-profit organisation, and since my club is affiliated with the students union at a university, we pay no hall fees. Thus, for any members of the sports centre we pay exactly nothing per session. Non-members have to pay a temporary membership of 2 per session. On top of this is a 5 annual insurance charge and a 3 charge for grading booklets. Gradings are free.

I'd hate to see aikido go the way of many karate clubs, with individuals setting up clubs purely to make money. Apart from full time instructors, I believe instructors or clubs should gain no financial reward from the teaching. The cost of training in some dojos can deter younger or less well paid students.

Ian

ian
09-03-2002, 06:35 AM
P.S. why don't instructors want to talk about money over the phone? Does this suggest they would waive the charge for a new student? Unlikely! - I expect they hope to encourage a student to join, and they then feel obliged to pay the high fees. Money is a consideration when you want to train, because if you can't afford it you can't afford it. I would not trust anyone who is unwilling to discuss fees; why withhold information?

Maybe it is different in the US Colleen, but in the UK there is usually not much of a choice of dojos, so training isn't 'market driven' it is whatever is available.

Ian

Greg Jennings
09-03-2002, 08:15 AM
I know folks get tired of me bringing this up but...

Our dojo charges nothing...period. No tuition, no grading fees, nada, nothing.

I generally give students completing tests a gift.

I know that this model doesn't fit every situation. It does, however, have a number of strengths and I highly recommend it.

Best Regards,

Choku Tsuki
09-06-2002, 09:39 AM
P.S. why don't instructors want to talk about money over the phone?
My guess if the first criteria is $$$, then they can't be that serious so the instructor cuts bait.

--Chuck

opherdonchin
09-06-2002, 09:59 AM
Everyone who calls our dojo always asks about fees. I can't imagine calling a dojo and not asking what their fee is, and money certainly isn't a consideration for me in choosing a dojo. If I was talking to a sensei on the phone and asked about fees and the sensei didn't 'discuss money over the phone,' I would be distrustful and might (if I had other options that I liked) forego visiting the dojo.

Of course, much depends on how things are said.
From what he told me, I think he's my best bet even though I haven't talked to the others yet.
I don't know what he told you, but this sounds suspicious, too. If it was me, and it isn't, I would definitely think twice before joining that dojo.

Opher

Veers
09-06-2002, 03:28 PM
Look, I don't know what his reasons were, he didn't tell me, and I'll be sure to ask him when I visit. Money is important to me because, after taxes and car insurance, I might not have enough given the job I hope to get. Therefore, it is a consideration for me. It is not the biggest, however; if he charges $40 and is a lousy teacher and another dojo is $70 and is a great teacher, I'll head over to the $70 one.
I don't know what he told you, but this sounds suspicious, too. If it was me, and it isn't, I would definitely think twice before joining that dojo.
Woah, down boy! Maybe I didn't elaborate enough... I didn't mean he smooth talked me or whatever, I meant he answered my questions, was civil, provides what I'm looking for in a dojo (mainly doesn't stress the spiritual side, but rather lets the class decide their path in that respect but is also ready to answer questions), and even though it really did strike me as odd that he wouldn't talk about money over the phone, that's hardly enough to turn me away.

pointy
09-07-2002, 01:53 AM
Our dojo charges nothing...period. No tuition, no grading fees, nada, nothing.
so how do you pay the rent? of course it'd be easier to not have to pay dues but there are certain realities like rent, phone bill, electric, etc..

wow, no dues. for me, some months it is a real challenge to come up with my dues...it must be nice.

fwiw, our dojo is $70/mo., $120/mo. for couples. and they have a reduced price if you pay for 6 months or a year at once.

i was interested in learning tai chi in my neighborhood (park slope, brooklyn). there is a school nearby so i called to ask about rates, among other things. they wanted $90/mo. for 2 classes per week. they also wanted a $90 "registration fee," which included a uniform - "a tee shirt." that quote is verbatim, people, and one expensive tee shirt! all i can say is, it's gotta be tough paying the bills being a MA teacher in today's world.

Bronson
09-08-2002, 01:29 AM
My sensei's dojo charges $40/month for unlimited classes in three arts. If you want to take just the tai chi and chi gung it is $25/month. There are also family/group rates and student rates.

The dojo I teach at is $25/month unlimited classes in all arts (aikido, judo, okinawan karate, okinawan weapons, BJJ) except BJJ, they charge an additional $15/month). We operate as a non-profit organization. All the instructors volunteer their time and most still pay dues.

Bronson

Chris Li
09-08-2002, 02:44 AM
so how do you pay the rent? of course it'd be easier to not have to pay dues but there are certain realities like rent, phone bill, electric, etc..
IIRC, they have an unusual situation where they get the space for free.

In Japan (at least in the Tokyo area) very few people get actually paid for teaching. It's not unusual to be able to train with 7th and 8th dans (for example) for 10 or 15 dollars a month - that to cover the use fees at the facilities (usually a city or university gymnasium). Permanent private martial arts facilities are fairly rare in Japan because of the very high cost for space, and because there are very few professional martial arts instructors (relatively speaking) in Japan.

OTOH, the few places with permanent establishments (ie, Aikikai Hombu) run a little more because they have to pay the rent - an usually pay the teacher or teachers too, because anyone putting the (very large, in Japan) investment into a permanent facility is probably going to be doing if for a living. Aikikai Hombu runs around 80 dollars a month (depends on the exchange rate), which is pretty cheap considering that you can train 5 times a day. IIRC, Yoshinkan hombu was fairly similar, but they have (or had, last time I looked) a couple of different pricing structures.

Best,

Chris

rachmass
09-08-2002, 08:37 AM
Hi all,

I am planning on charging $45 per month for three days of classes a week. Even with that, I am sure that I'll be paying a huge chunk out of my pocket every month for rent. The place I was scheduled to take this week just fell through! And all the places that I am looking at are $800 (or much more) or so per month for a 900 square foot space with a bathroom. Add to that utilities, and it is apparent that you have to have 20 members just to break even (and that is not counting the cost of insurance and mats!). I am not looking to open a dojo/club to make money, but I would hope not to have to be paying more than $200 out of pocket each month to do so.

My home dojo (where I will still be training) charges $85 per month for unlimited aikido practice (10 classes per week total offered).

all the best,

Rachel

JO
09-08-2002, 08:38 AM
I just paid 387$ Canadian for a 9 month period, tax included. We have 3 2h classes a week. We are a university club and the prices are set by the university sports complex rather than by my instructor. Students at the university pay quite a bit less (not much more than half if I recall). Visitors, or those not showing up enough to pay for a period of several months can pay by the class, 5$ for a member of the sports complex, 9$ for non-members.

Greg Jennings
09-08-2002, 10:12 AM
so how do you pay the rent? of course it'd be easier to not have to pay dues but there are certain realities like rent, phone bill, electric, etc..

wow, no dues. for me, some months it is a real challenge to come up with my dues...it must be nice.
As Chris said, we have a situation where we have no rent or utilities. Our instructor and I do not get paid for teaching. Rather, we have, over the years, committed significant amounts of our own money to the dojo.

Recently, the membership, Myers Sensei and I abstaining, voted to take up voluntary donations for dojo upkeep. I think this is excellent, but I don't want anyone that wants to train deterred in the least by a set tuition.

While doing things non-profit is difficult, it has a number of advantages. One is that there is no pressure to tone down your training to accomodate the average, sedentary, person.

Best Regards,

Choku Tsuki
09-08-2002, 07:24 PM
I am planning on charging $45 per month for three days of classes a week....
To help with startup costs, offer a better deal for 6 months. Also if you are figuring on Zebra mats, see if each member of your core group will pitch in for one 2 meter x 1 meter mat.

Good luck,

Chuck

rachmass
09-08-2002, 07:44 PM
Hi Chuck,

I bought 32 (granted, only 576 sqft) Swain mats while I was getting ready to take the space that just fell through. Now I have tons to pay off just on that expense. What do you think would be a better deal for six months? How much of a discount would you offer if you were in my position?

Also, I had been planning on taking a space between Ann Arbor and Toledo, as I have a good friend who practices in Toledo and she said she would help me out (also, we have routinely had folks come up from Toledo to train in Ann Arbor, but then say the drive is just too far). Now I don't think I should limit my search to this area, but surrounding areas heading towards Detroit as well. If anyone out there in the Detroit/Toledo area has a suggestion.....

Best,

Rachel

Choku Tsuki
09-09-2002, 01:52 PM
What do you think would be a better deal for six months? How much of a discount would you offer if you were in my position?

Rachel
I dunno. I like the psychology of it more than the money; everybody wins. Let's say six months for $216, a 20% savings? Consider a registration fee (but grandfather the regulars in). A deal for couples too perhaps. Maybe someone up in your federation/association will offer their services gratis for your opening celebration/seminar? A few bucks there wouldn't hurt.

Location, location, location. Where is your core? Make it easy for them to show up 'cuz you need them.

Everyone wants to help you get going and unfortunately money is what you need now. Now it's your turn to receive.

Good luck!

Chuck

Later, you can also offset cost by selling supplies. Kiyota Company has the best services and prices (but no web site; they'll send you a catalog):

Kiyota Company, Inc.

2326 N Charles St

Baltimore, MD 21218

1-800-783-2232

rachmass
09-09-2002, 02:04 PM
Hey Chuck,

Thanks again. Your ideas are appreciated, and I'll take them under consideration. I particularly like the idea of a discount for six months, and a couples discount. Thanks also for the lead on a supplier, although I don't think I'll be offering any supplies as then I have to get a sales tax license too :-(

Got several leads happening here, and I'll keep you all posted on what transpires!

best,

Rachel

Jermaine Alley
09-09-2002, 05:27 PM
Our dojo costs about $60 a month which isn't bad when you compare it to the other systems that are out there.

Be careful when it comes to signing contracts. At some schools contracts are good, because they guarantee an income for the instructor, the school, and usually the parent organization. But by signinging one, you might get into all kinds of legal and money issues in the long run.

I had a realy bad experience with a dojo that was under another parent organization that had its members sign a contract. I was in school at the time and had to travel a bunch. I thought that they would allow some kind of allowance for me, but they ended up making me pay for classes that i couldn't take cuz i was out of the state. Bad situation...

The majority of really good systems are not really concerned with making a lot of money at all.

good luck in finding a good school....

j

kironin
09-09-2002, 07:32 PM
I know folks get tired of me bringing this up but...

Our dojo charges nothing...period. No tuition, no grading fees, nada, nothing.

I generally give students completing tests a gift.

I know that this model doesn't fit every situation. It does, however, have a number of strengths and I highly recommend it.
Hi Greg,

How about, MOST situations.

I thought you belonged to an organization ? You pay your students rank fees ?

The only way I could see charging nothing is if I ran a club that belonged to no organization and that had a special deal to use public space with mats for free.

or I had a goverment's support that paid for everything

or I had a rich benefactor that sponsored the club

or I was just plain wealthy and enjoyed paying for a private social club to meet several times a week.

I have seen teacher's throw thousands of dollars into their programs over a number of years even when students were paying $40-60 per month.

I wonder how we got from Sokaku Takeda keeping a ledger and charging a fee for every technique taught to giving students gifts for passing tests ? I fail to see any benefits from having students who are used to expecting to be given everything for free.

I am not fond of people in the martial arts who talk of it as a business, but I think the pendulum can swing too far the other way too. Why do I have to endanger my financial well-being so my students can have a bit more spare change each month ?

When I win the lottery, I will consider becoming a charity organization. I would still have them pay dues but they could vote on the charity that we donate to as a group.

best regards,

Craig

member dues are $70/month.

members with provable financial hardship are dealt with on a individual basis.

Veers
09-10-2002, 07:49 AM
"Dealt with" lol :]

rachmass
09-10-2002, 08:15 AM
okay, I guess I am short name illiterate. What does LOL mean? Is there a place that sites what various abbrieviations mean?

Paul Clark
09-10-2002, 08:43 AM
I wonder how we got from Sokaku Takeda keeping a ledger and charging a fee for every technique taught to giving students gifts for passing tests ? I fail to see any benefits from having students who are used to expecting to be given everything for free

Craig,

I started at Capital City Aikido in Montgomery with Greg Jennings and Ron Myers sensei. Their situation is that they have access to permanent space at no charge, so they have little or no "recurring" costs to run the dojo--only the capital costs of setup that Greg and Ron have paid themselves. As Greg once told me--"When you pay for aikido, you pay for the expenses of the dojo, the aikido is a gift", or words to that effect. (Greg, hope I don't too grossly misquote!)

Now, I could have afforded to pay, certainly, and I do now here in Dayton. But "the gift" will always be key to my aikido, because it was given in the "vigorous" martial spirit that defines not only Myers sensei's technique and approach, but now mine as well. For that I'm eternally grateful, and as Greg and sensei encouraged me to do, I'm doing my best to pass on that "gift" every time I train, whereever I train.

By the way, when I was last there (gosh, 16 months ago, but I'll be back for the Goto sensei seminar in Nov!), all the students clearly understood the value of that real gift. Lest you think the students ungrateful or spoiled, know that it's not unheard of for small gifts to flow in both directions at important events

Paul

memyselfandi
09-10-2002, 08:49 AM
okay, I guess I am short name illiterate. What does LOL mean? Is there a place that sites what various abbrieviations mean?Yeah, I also have problems with all these abbreviations.

Try http://netforbeginners.about.com/library/101/acronyms/bl-acronyms101.htm and http://my.erinet.com/~stealthy/Misc/acronyms.html (this one doesn't have any popups).

rachmass
09-10-2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks Ari!

LOL, Laugh out Loud. Okay, now I have a source to go to.

Hey Ari, did you ever get your aikido situation worked out? Have you found a dojo to train at?

best,

Rachel

memyselfandi
09-10-2002, 09:03 AM
Actuall yes. As far as all the other religious stuff is concerned, I am allowed to join the dojo. Now all I need is permision from the instructor for my "special circumstance", and money :D . (I'm waiting for the money before I actually contact him again :p )

Veers
09-10-2002, 08:49 PM
Bummer, HEB said they probably won't have a job opp for me :[ *sigh* back to the drawing board? I hope not... *sigh* :[ Well, hey, maybe they will after all, eh?

(oh yeah, and sorry for not explaining "lol" I've been busy with school)

Veers
09-11-2002, 05:12 PM
And I still have to wait four days to find out.

Hey, who gave this thread 4 out of 5? Cool :]

Greg Jennings
09-11-2002, 09:24 PM
Hi Greg,

I thought you belonged to an organization ? You pay your students rank fees ?

The only way I could see charging nothing is if I ran a club that belonged to no organization and that had a special deal to use public space with mats for free.
Our organization, the Takemusu Aikido Association, http://www.takemusu.org/ charges $35 per year per dojo. It's insignificant, so I pay it out of my pocket.

The organization has nothing to do with kyu tests; that's the dojos' basket of eggs. I'm the only yudansha our dojo has produced. What we've talked about when it comes up again is adding nothing to the fees that the organization charges. They, BTW, are basically exactly what the Zaidan Hojin Aikikai charges them. Gotta love low overhead.

As you indicate, we're really able to do this because we have a situation where we don't pay anything for our rent or utilities. Myers Sensei and I, with occasional help, have footed everything else.

As I said, it's not for everyone, but it has its advantages.

Frankly, not many people are going to hang around and train as vigorously as we train, so the model ends up working for us. Your milage will probably vary. I'm OK with that. I hope you're OK with the way I do things because I ain't changin'.

Best Regards,

Choku Tsuki
09-11-2002, 09:30 PM
...
Forty nine posts and you don't practice aikido! Yikes. All I can say is, focus! And keep it to yourself. And good luck.

--Chuck

Greg Jennings
09-11-2002, 10:12 PM
Craig,

I started at Capital City Aikido in Montgomery with Greg Jennings and Ron Myers sensei. Their situation is that they have access to permanent space at no charge, so they have little or no "recurring" costs to run the dojo--only the capital costs of setup that Greg and Ron have paid themselves. As Greg once told me--"When you pay for aikido, you pay for the expenses of the dojo, the aikido is a gift", or words to that effect. (Greg, hope I don't too grossly misquote!)

Now, I could have afforded to pay, certainly, and I do now here in Dayton. But "the gift" will always be key to my aikido, because it was given in the "vigorous" martial spirit that defines not only Myers sensei's technique and approach, but now mine as well. For that I'm eternally grateful, and as Greg and sensei encouraged me to do, I'm doing my best to pass on that "gift" every time I train, whereever I train.

By the way, when I was last there (gosh, 16 months ago, but I'll be back for the Goto sensei seminar in Nov!), all the students clearly understood the value of that real gift. Lest you think the students ungrateful or spoiled, know that it's not unheard of for small gifts to flow in both directions at important events
I don't want anyone to get me wrong: I see nothing wrong with different approaches. This one just works for us for a number of reasons. If one can find free space, it really takes a load off.

Paul: You quoted me accurately. BTW, when you see the dojo again, you'll see that there are two very fine Jim Clark bokuto on the shomen. To me, that captures the essence of our little country dojo.

Best Regards,

Kat.C
09-12-2002, 08:29 PM
While doing things non-profit is difficult, it has a number of advantages. One is that there is no pressure to tone down your training to accomodate the average, sedentary, person.

Best Regards,
Hi Greg,

Just curious as to why would you have to tone down your training if the students had to pay for it? By the way, anytime you mention about free classes I get this really strong urge to move!

Actually, getting back on topic, our sensei charges reasonable rates and we get a discount for paying for three months at a time and a couple's discount. We pay a little under $75 a month for the two of us. 3 classes are offered per week (we can only make two right now unfortunately) It's paying the babysitter that really kills us!

Greg Jennings
09-12-2002, 09:57 PM
Hi Greg,

Just curious as to why would you have to tone down your training if the students had to pay for it? By the way, anytime you mention about free classes I get this really strong urge to move!
You'll just have to come visit and find out :) . Just wait till the hot weather is over. Montgomery was the hotest place in the CONUS yesterday.
Actually, getting back on topic, our sensei charges reasonable rates and we get a discount for paying for three months at a time and a couple's discount. We pay a little under $75 a month for the two of us. 3 classes are offered per week (we can only make two right now unfortunately) It's paying the babysitter that really kills us!
That sounds quite reasonable to me, especially if it's in Canadian dollars vice US$.

Best Regards,