Frank Hale (fvhale) wrote:
I have lived a monastic life for a long time, and trained in martial arts for a long time. ...
It is easy enough to tally up dojo fees, equipment costs, testing fees, etc. But then how do you estimate the cost of your practice time outside the dojo? Or your mental practice or reading/study? Or your spiritual practice? ...
Frank Sensei, You lead a monastic life and need virtually no money. What happens to some one who wants to devote his life to the arts but does need to make some money?
He starts charging fees that go into his own pocket for his own livelihood but then he is in a dilemma because he has to maintain enough students to keep his bills paid. So he makes compromises and starts giving the cool flashy stuff rather the (sometimes)boring, repetitive hard work that is an integral part of the art. The Sensei will make compromises in who and why he is promoting because he has a financial interest in it. He breaks down the art into "Weapons", "Advanced techniques class", "pre-grading extra's" etc. All for a fee. Sometimes he will bad-mouth other arts or senseis so to keep his students from leaving.
The previous paragraph was written from experience. I have learned from a (non-Aikido) "The arts are my life" Sensei. I was very much taken by the romance of such a life and considered it the only option for me. Today I am older and more cynical and I am very happy my Sensei's are not dependent on the art for their livelihood (no disrespect intended)