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Old 02-28-2005, 07:37 AM   #6
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Re: Grading Issues and Questions :MAD:

Tyler, as a veteran grade-dodger, I'm the last person who'd tell you to grade, but your claim of over-paying seems a bit strong. The annual federation fee will go towards several areas, including your insurance, your clubs insurance, instructors insurance and (hopefully) federation courses. While 80 euros is more than I'm used to, it doesn't sound too outrageous.

Now on to the grading fee, now that's a contentious issue and I've heard a lot on both sides.

1. Pros for fees. If several senior people are willing to make time to watch and critically mark your performance, some recompense is surely reasonable - if only to cover expenses and perhaps the odd beer as a thank you. Grading someone is not often loads of fun, you lose your feet from too much seiza, normally freeze bits you are really attached to and then face the prospect of causing genuine upset when you tell little timmy they need to do it again in a few months as they didn't quite manage it this time round.

2. Cons for fees: along the lines you intimated, you've already "paid" in annual and monthly dojo fees (plus hopefully blood and sweat on the mat) so what is the grading fee except a form of extortion?

Now I'm normally only with the cons when huge amounts for dan gradings are set (I've heard of hideous amounts being charged in these cases) - even then if the costs include flying someone in specially to grade people (normally with entourage) I can see a case being made.

However, from what you've written your fees aren't actually outrageous, you may find it useful to compare the charges for other activities. If you can't afford them, I'd agree with Ed, talk to your instructor, just be upfront and say "love to, but can't afford to".

[caveat - I'm assuming you pay one fee per grade, not grading attempt, which brings in a whole different dynamic]
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