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Old 08-15-2015, 06:17 PM   #1
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 202
Australia
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Unhappy Training when you are broke.

What do you do when you are struggling financially and wish to train Aikido or another martial art or combat system? How about if you are already a student and have a cash flow problem? - Some advice for Students and Sensei's alike, -

https://dontmakemeangrymrmcgee.wordp...you-are-broke/
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:06 PM   #2
Shadowfax
 
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Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
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Re: Training when you are broke.

When I was going through some very bad financial times my teachers were really generous about helping me out. At times overwhelmingly so. Their feeling is that they would not want to lose a dedicated student just because of financial issues.

I was very honest with my teachers about my situation as well as how much I valued my training at our dojo, and I made sure they knew how much I appreciated being able to continue training and even attending some seminars while in that very difficult situation.

As far as your advice to lose weight. Well for me it just was not going to be possible to start working on that until I fixed the rest of my life. Improving things like the quality of my employment and living conditions were far more important to improving my overall sense of well being. Having the dojo in my life was really the first step though and finding the right place to train and the right people to train with can make a big difference in finding the strength and courage to do the rest.

Last edited by Shadowfax : 08-16-2015 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 431
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Re: Training when you are broke.

Most of my Tai Chi training was free of charge. This is also something that once you learn it you can always practice on your own.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Training when you are broke.

Point of disagreement: calling the YMCA "not for profit" may be a bit of a stretch. Their programs aren't free and access to their facilities isn't free, and indeed can be a substantial chunk of change.

If you don't have the money to pay dojo fees, it's always worth looking at what you are spending your money on. Perhaps you have things pared to the bone already, but perhaps there is some discretionary spending that could be reallocated. A cable TV subscription costs as much as a dojo membership, and hey, if you're training regularly, you don't have time to watch TV anyway ;-)
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:00 PM   #5
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 202
Australia
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Re: Training when you are broke.

Hi Mary,

This is a cut and paste taken from their website, Perhaps this might differ from country to country? but in Australia as I am aware, the YMCA are able to access the same not for profit tax status that different religious and community organizations such as Rotary and others use.

"About YMCA of SA Inc

Established in 1850, the YMCA of South Australia is one of Australia's oldest and most respected community organisations. As a community based organisation, we work collaboratively with government, non-profit groups and partners to provide a range of programs and services to build strong people, strong families and strong communities.

Attracting more than 450,000 participants each year we provide services to the community from over 15 locations across the state. The YMCA of South Australia is a not for profit organisation governed by an elected Board of Directors who, in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, establish strategic directions, but delegate operation control through a professional management team".

https://govolunteer.com.au/Organisation/Details/2961
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:59 PM   #6
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Training when you are broke.

Hi Ben,

Here in the United States we also have this technicality called "not for profit". This doesn't mean that an organization doesn't charge for their services, and charge plenty -- it just means that they don't show a profit on their books. I do know that here in the United States, people who go to the Y thinking it will be the least expensive alternative (to a gym, for example) generally find that this is not true.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:49 PM   #7
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 202
Australia
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Re: Training when you are broke.

That is interesting Mary, We have two YMCA's in my area, one runs a large public swimming pool and community centre, the other is more of a traditional activities gym where they have Jujitsu training once a week along with various other activities. Cost wise for laps in the pool I have found them better than the privatley owned pools and on a par with the one run by the local council. Unlike the popular song by the 'Village People' they no longer do accomodations services though!
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:03 AM   #8
jonreading
 
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Re: Training when you are broke.

I am not sure dojos should be in the position of giving financial advice. I understand you have a blog, but sometimes the scariest thing for me is when someone takes my advice. That puts me on the hook for when things go wrong. I think the advice, "never place a bet on friendly advice," is well-said. I would advocate that people in financial debt need to seek counsel from debt advisers who can help them leverage their resources and prioritize their focus until the debt is addressed.

I think dojos can be supportive of students addressing debt by providing an environment to relieve stress, anxiety and a host of other issues in which physical exercise can reduce those emotions and physical discomfort. But the converse of the question is do you really want something training who may be distracted or focused on other personal issues? Do you think that is safe for everyone training? Maybe not. Sometimes the best thing a dojo can do for students with personal issues is be there. Let the student know that the dojo supports them and we'll be there once things are handled.

Finally, I think Mary is trying to differentiate that just because it's the Y does not mean it will be free or cheap. Charitable giving is a large component of any non-profit and when giving is down, prices are up. Although, some activity based non-profits (like the Y) offer foundation grants, discounts, initiative programs and other tools that can alleviate financial barriers to participation.

Last edited by jonreading : 08-18-2015 at 07:06 AM.

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Old 08-19-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 366
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Re: Training when you are broke.

If one of my regular students looses he job, he trains free until re-employed. They need to workout to help with the stress.

Funny how I have had many not take me up on this offer and stop training until they were working again.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:00 AM   #10
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
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Re: Training when you are broke.

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
Funny how I have had many not take me up on this offer and stop training until they were working again.
People have their pride, and they have emotional reactions to situations that don't necessarily make sense. Accepting help from others is not easy in a culture that tells you you're a loser if you're not 100% self-reliant. For that matter, it seems to be the dominant theme in many political campaigns here in the USA these days. So, it takes a lot of reassurance to overcome that strong cultural message, and it requires a level of trust that not everyone feels, even though your offer is sincere. I've seen so many situations where people just aren't ready to accept the help that's available. I used to think, "They could but they won't," but I've come to think that that's a bit facile. Anyway, if a student doesn't take you up on your offer, I wouldn't necessarily see that as a judgment of either you or them. You can only offer -- they'll accept if they are able to.
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