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Old 02-06-2008, 02:30 PM   #16
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
Re: Business and Budo

If I were to charge people the opportunity cost of my time (say at an hourly rate equivalent to what I could make in computer industry), they wouldn't be able to afford it. You might say there should be some discount since teaching martial arts is more "fun" than other work, but how do you figure what that discount is? I'd rather just say that I don't care about the money at all.

Pretty much every teacher I know teaches out of love for the art, basically giving away their time either free or very cheaply because they care about what they are doing. To the extent that there is a sense of entitlement among martial arts students who think that training should be free or very cheap, it is fostered by the fact that are so many instructors out there who will accommodate them.

And I also don't agree that these instructors are deficient in some way because they don't make a lot of money teaching martial arts. I don't think how much money a teacher makes is a good metric for that teacher's martial arts skill or even teaching ability. The only thing it tells me is how good he is at turning martial arts instruction into a profitable business, which is an entirely different skill.

For example, it's quite well known that the easiest way for the typical martial artist (ie someone not born into a position where he will inherit a huge organization and its dues) to make good money teaching martial arts is turn their dojo into a babysitting service for kids. I don't have a problem with people who do that, but I certainly wouldn't consider them to be the best martial artists in the world.

It seems to me that there is an inherent conflict between between making money and being a serious martial artist. I think trying to do both at the same time will involve compromises that will likely make it difficult to do either particularly well.
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