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-   -   Paying for testing? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8342)

Mike.Ordway 06-15-2005 07:53 AM

Paying for testing?
 
My dojo has a $30 testing fee. Is this normal? I don't really mind paying $30 but my parents are a little peaved... they are paying for my first 3 months of aikido and all that kind of stuff. after that I'm paying and wont mind the testing fee. I was just wondering if it was a common thing.

jimbaker 06-15-2005 08:35 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Hey Mike,

The testing fee is usually set by the parent organization.

The USAF fee is $30 per test for the five kyu ranks. There is also a $30 annual membership fee. Most dojos have you join the USAF when you take your first test, so the 5th kyu test would be $60. After that, the USAF dues are once a year. Your rank is registered with the USAF, you get a certificate and they send you a Yukyusha book for you to keep track of your ranks and seminars attended. You don't even have to buy a new belt.

I might add that all of that money goes to the USAF and not the local dojo.

If the dojo is not affiliated with any organization, then I think $30 is a bit too high. If the teacher is printing his/her own certificates, the actual cost of testing is virtually nil.

Jim Baker
Aikido of Norfolk

Amir Krause 06-15-2005 09:42 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
It's a matter of Dojo and organization.

Some charge for tests others don't.


Amir

Mike.Ordway 06-15-2005 11:59 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Alright thanx for the imput guys

Michael Meister 06-16-2005 02:03 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
We don't have any fees for testing. There is only an annual fee for the affililiation.

maikerus 06-16-2005 02:24 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

Michael Meister wrote:
We don't have any fees for testing. There is only an annual fee for the affililiation.

Wow...even for dan level grades?

Sonja2012 06-16-2005 02:33 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Same for us: no testing fees at all. But then, we don´t have any professional teachers in our organisation.

JJF 06-16-2005 03:27 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
No fee for kyu-grades.
Fee to the federation in Japan for Dan-grades (roughly 10.000 / 20.000 / 30.000 / 40.000 yen for the first four respectively) plus annual fee.

ian 06-16-2005 05:45 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
our affiliation is non profit making. Determine whether the sensei is making personal money out of it (which I personally don't agree with unless they are full time instructors, in which case they have to eat!)

However, your only real choices are i. pay the money, ii. don't grade or leave the dojo) or iii. complain about the cost.

Is there any subsidy for people who are juniors/students/unemployed at your dojo? I hope aikido doesn't go the way some karate clubs went for a while - instructors waiting to get to black belt so they could set up their own school and make lots of profit themselves!


You could always ask what the $30 pays for.

Amir Krause 06-16-2005 07:36 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
In our Dojo we have no testing fee, but, if a person is interested in a certificate from an organization (Either Korinkai or Dai-Nihon-Butokukai of which we are members), then the person has to pay for it. The certificates are only relevant to Dan degrees (besides the Dan we only test for Kyu 1 normally), and the fee changes according to rank (order of magnitude 100-300$ I think for low Dan grades 1-3).

Amir

Bronson 06-16-2005 11:16 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
The fee itself doesn't sound too unreasonable to me. Some other things to look for are: frequency of testing and number of tests.

One of our students was talking to his sister-in-law's boyfriend, this fellow has been promoted five times in five months in the art he studies. He has no previous MA experience. Our student didn't ask how much he was paying for these tests or how many he was expected to go through. In comparison our student has been tested five times in five years (but he did get skipped a rank once). Another lady who used to train with us was dan grade in another art. She told us that her first kyu level test, of which there were ten, was $100 U.S. and they kept going up from there :freaky:

Bronson

Nick P. 06-16-2005 01:30 PM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Correct me if I am wrong...

Aikikai tests and certificates
5th kyu (after about 1~1.5 yrs of training)
10,000 yen (a little more than 100 CDN, less than 100 US) for "opening of file"
? yen (about 50 CDN) for test+certificate from Hombu Aikikai
4-3-2-1st kyu
each same (about 50 CDN) each.
Total time from beginning to shodan, about 5.5~7 years.

I think that 30$/ test is not out of line, but like mentioned above, depends on "what it gets you and recognized by whom".

Or you could just say "Thanks, I'm fine. I would prefer not to test. I enjoy just training." and see what the response is.

Michael Meister 06-17-2005 01:45 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

Michael Stuempel wrote:
Wow...even for dan level grades?

As far as I know, yes. I thought about that, when I was on my way to the Dojo yesterday. I probably wouldn't grade, if I had to pay for it. It's just not important enough.

happysod 06-17-2005 02:26 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
This and several other similar threads has always got me to thinking, especially about the implied assertion that paying for grading is somehow wrong and needs to be justified.

Now normally, as our grading fees are relatively low, I trot out the time and energy put in by the teachers into actual arranging the test and acting in that uncomfortable seiza hot-seat. But I realised I'm missing an even more important point.

I don't know how it works in other dojos, but I also have to put in a lot of effort prior to the test, taking people through bits they're not getting time after time until they're comfortable, doing mock gradings, boning up on parts of the syllabus I may have not touched on for a while and generally subsuming my practice needs for my students. Dammit, I think I'm going to treble the fees and make them walk on lava to show true commitment, I need more me time on the mat!

mj 06-17-2005 04:46 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
In Shodokan UK all gradings are free for kyu and dans.

I can't speak for all of our organisation but at my club all kyu grades are supplied with new belts after grading free of charge, I assume this is the same all over. As are shodans supplied with embroidered black belts.

Dan grades can, of course, send of to Japan to get proper certificates denoting their grades. Around £120 for a sandan, as a rough guide.

Yearly membership is £20/$36. If you are unemployed or a student that fee is halved.

PeterR 06-17-2005 08:09 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Hi Mark;

My students pay no asscociation fees but they do pay grading fees. That is how I support Honbu and oh all those yudansha that take ukemi for the kyu grades get an honorarium as do the examiners.

I totally agree with Ian - I see no reason to justify the fees charged or instructors making a bit of money. I am sure I would do what I do for free but that bit of beer money is a nice touch.

mj 06-17-2005 11:42 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
We pay mat fees...£1 per lesson.

Having said that we don't pay for the hall or mats. We recently got 68 new ones from the University, bless them.

All of it goes into the club bank account though to subsidize seminars, trips, nights out and paying travel costs to bring teachers to the club and so on. It pays for a mobile phone for Martin (sensei) for club business too.

Keep in mind that generally students couldn't normally afford large training fees though.

aikidoc 06-17-2005 12:44 PM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Testing fees can consist of many things: cost of producing a certificate; cost of performing the test; certification of rank; organizational costs; etc. I personally have never been anywhere where there were not fees. Some places ridiculous-one dojo charged more for a 1st kyu test than the aikikai did for a dan test.

Mike.Ordway 06-17-2005 09:06 PM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
This and several other similar threads has always got me to thinking, especially about the implied assertion that paying for grading is somehow wrong and needs to be justified.

Now normally, as our grading fees are relatively low, I trot out the time and energy put in by the teachers into actual arranging the test and acting in that uncomfortable seiza hot-seat. But I realised I'm missing an even more important point.

I don't know how it works in other dojos, but I also have to put in a lot of effort prior to the test, taking people through bits they're not getting time after time until they're comfortable, doing mock gradings, boning up on parts of the syllabus I may have not touched on for a while and generally subsuming my practice needs for my students. Dammit, I think I'm going to treble the fees and make them walk on lava to show true commitment, I need more me time on the mat!

Sorry If i came off as meaning there was something wrong, I dont think there is. I took my test and passed. The thirty dollars went mostly towards our organization(not sure what its called) Thank you all for the feed back. :)

Michael Meister 06-18-2005 03:01 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
I don't know how it works in other dojos, but I also have to put in a lot of effort prior to the test, taking people through bits they're not getting time after time until they're comfortable, doing mock gradings, boning up on parts of the syllabus I may have not touched on for a while and generally subsuming my practice needs for my students. Dammit, I think I'm going to treble the fees and make them walk on lava to show true commitment, I need more me time on the mat!


That's what I pay club fees for. And that is perfectly ok. As for certificates and other bureaucracy stuff, I pay the annual affiliation fee, that's ok too.
But just to have someone to write down, that my Aikido has reached a certain level, or that I may use a differentely colored belt, and that's what specific trading fees would be for me, I wouldn't want to pay, or basically, I would had stopped grading after 4th Kyu.
This doesn't mean grading fees are right or wrong, it's just how it is for me.

happysod 06-20-2005 05:42 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

That's what I pay club fees for. And that is perfectly ok...
Actually Michael, here I have to disagree somewhat. I would take the view that you're actually paying to train in aikido. The work involved in getting a student up to a particular grade is extra (sometimes even superfluous) to this as it normally involves meeting artificial criteria - the grade itself.

Where I would agree with you on gradings is if the teacher forced you to grade - even indirectly by having a bar on "too deadly techniques below this level" nonsense - then yes it is open to claims of mere money making.

Note: I'm not defending the huge expenses some seem to claim for gradings, but a token to cover time spent and the extra bureaucracy involved (not always covered by the annual fees, certainly ours barely covers student insurance, equipment replacement costs and first-aid training for instructors).

Michael Meister 06-20-2005 06:25 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:

Note: I'm not defending the huge expenses some seem to claim for gradings, but a token to cover time spent and the extra bureaucracy involved (not always covered by the annual fees, certainly ours barely covers student insurance, equipment replacement costs and first-aid training for instructors).

Ok, I have to admit, that I expext those things to be part of annual fees/ club fees, which will even out the extra costs over time.
Anyway, as I said, it's neither right or wrong to have fees for grading.

My point is, I gladly spent money to get better at Aikido, but still I wouldn't pay just to hold a grade (and that's what grading fees are for me). So we probably just disagree, when to pay for what. I hope we both can live with that :-)

happysod 06-20-2005 06:39 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Quote:

So we probably just disagree, when to pay for what. I hope we both can live with that :-)
Absolutely not, I'm going to take the traditional aikido way of harmony and wear you down with incessantly lengthy posts until you agree with me! :p

Mike.Ordway 06-20-2005 06:56 AM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
I agree Ian. Dont be mean about it just keep going untill someone gives in. lol

Steven Tame 06-27-2005 12:57 PM

Re: Paying for testing?
 
Hi well I'm training at the Aikikai headquarters (Hombu dojo) in Japan. I can only tell you about kyu grades cos that is all I've taken so far but basically we have a monthly membership fee which is Y10,500 / 50 pounds / $100? and you can train as much as you like on that. For kyu tests we pay Y1000 / 5 pounds / $10 to take the test and then another Y2000 / 10 pounds / $20 for the certificate if we pass. Seems ok to me but I wouldn't know how it compares to the UK since I've only tested in Hombu


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