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Old 08-21-2005, 01:30 AM   #1
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Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 21, 2005:

How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?
  • I don't do aikido
  • $0
  • $1-10
  • $11-20
  • $21-30
  • $31-40
  • $41-50
  • $51-60
  • $61-70
  • $71-80
  • $81-90
  • $91-100
  • $101-110
  • $111-120
  • $121+
Here are the current results.
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:34 PM   #2
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

show me da money.....
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:10 PM   #3
malsmith
Dojo: Masters of Aikido in Fogelsville
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

do you think that if the classes are not expensive then they are not 'worth as much' as the really 'expensive' ones? i geuss what im asking is 'if you pay more, do you get more?'
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:36 PM   #4
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Interesting question. What the poll does not take into account is the cost of living in various areas. For instance, the cost of maintaining and running a dojo in NYC is considerably higher than the cost of running a dojo say in Columbus, Ohio. NYC is aguably one of the most expensive cities in the world whereas Columbus is not. So, your $40 in Columbus gets you much further than your $100 in NYC. Another factor to consider in the subjective cost analysis of running your dojo is in the compensation for the instructor. A full time Aikido instructor who relies on the dues and tution from the dojo to put food on the table and other ammenities would be more expensive than a part-time instructor that has a salary job. The dojo that employs a full time instructor will most likely be more expensive. Does this mean the salary job guy is not as good an instructor? Not necessarily, but the instructor with a salary job has distractions to his own training, his full time job. Arguably a full time instructor, when he is not instructing is perfecting his own training and technique, and therefore may be seen as more of a professional in the field. He eats, sleeps and breathes Aikido, it is his life. Not necessarily so for the salary man.
Ultimately though the value of the instruction is not what you pay, but what you receive. A terrible instructor charging you $100 a month is still a terrible instructor. You have to see them in order to know the difference.
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:04 AM   #5
Eric Webber
Dojo: Aikido West Reading
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
do you think that if the classes are not expensive then they are not 'worth as much' as the really 'expensive' ones? i geuss what im asking is 'if you pay more, do you get more?'
No. Good is good, expensive is expensive, one does not always mean the other.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:25 AM   #6
Berney Fulcher
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Another thing that it doesn't account for is: how many classes are available a week? I have visited several dojos who are on the low end of the scale but only offer 1-2 classes a week. So in regard to that, paying more might indeed get you more (mat time at least).
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:52 AM   #7
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

In the UK the average price of a class is 4-5 pounds ($7-9). The lowest I know of is 1 pound and the highest 6.5. Monthly fees are normally 40-50 at the larger dojos.

Another factor is association membership. Mine cost me 27 pounds and covers UKA and BAB membership and insurance. I've heard it's higher in the states?

I've often been told, "pay what you can", or "you're a visitor, you don't pay." I think that this lack of commercialization is refreshing and wonderful. One aikido instructor I trained with actually stated that money should never be reason for not training, and I never saw anyone unfairly take advantage of this generosity.

Summer Schools are the real killer at approx 300 pounds.

Try adding up all the cash you've spent on aikido over the years (add gis, seminars, transport, etc. I could be driving a Merc by now if I'd saved it!

Re exchange rates an relative wealth, this becomes an issue for international organizations. Does anyone know of an group with a tiered policy?
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:31 PM   #8
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

". . . but the instructor with a salary job has distractions to his own training, his full time job. Arguably a full time instructor, when he is not instructing is perfecting his own training and technique, and therefore may be seen as more of a professional in the field. He eats, sleeps and breathes Aikido, it is his life. Not necessarily so for the salary man. "

I would not necessarily agree with that statement. I have seen far too many full time instructors be so wrapped up in making a buck that they don't train. Also, my instructor (Hiroshi Kato) is a prime example on the other end. He reached 8th dan while being a soto deshi-he held a full time job until he retired and trained at night. You don't achieve that by taking a cavalier attitude towards your training. Even though a soto deshi may not be on the mat 24-7 that does not mean their training stops nor their desire to move ahead. I know many who integrate aikido principles into their jobs in various ways and still eat, breathe and sleep the art.
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Old 08-23-2005, 01:16 PM   #9
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

I'm scared to answer. Don't want to cheat Sensei of his due.

I train at a university branch of a private dojo. Keeps the cost way down. I'm a dojo member, just train at the closer, less expensive, nearby U.

I almost walked recently because the U. allows students to use our dojo area as a 'snack bar'. I'm no sissy, but I don't like rolling through spilled soda, or 'sticking' to the mat for any reason!

Sensei's mats are wondrous - impact foam with canvas cover. The U has an old thin wrestling mat. Sometimes I pay the extra mat fee and train at the main school. Same great instructors; cleaner better dojo.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

david
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:57 PM   #10
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

I started out with a year's commitment which was about $250, but after a while of that, I went to the month by month which is about $65 per. I got my uniform and weapon fee waived, plus an extra 2 months free. I say this is worth far more than I paid for it. I've never had a problem with any of the other students, and the yudansha and sensei are so helpful you rarely have to *ask* for help more than twice. It's definitely a quality dojo.

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:54 AM   #11
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

"It's definitely a quality dojo."

As is almost everything in San Leandro. great town.

dk
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Old 08-24-2005, 01:25 PM   #12
Darren
Location: London
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

don't be fooled by the money, check to see the the sensei's credabilaty .
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:57 AM   #13
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

I pay $85 a month. Couples pay $150, students (college, high school but training with the adults) pay $65 a month. We have classes two to three times a day 7 days a week, and you can take as many classes as you want. I get to not only train with a great sensei, but many senior students who are 3rd-5th dan as well. It's well worth the money. Also I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA) and the $85 fee is pretty standard for a school offering daily classes. It's a little less for schools who can only offer classes two to three times a week.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:38 PM   #14
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

I hope this will give a good reference point, it did for me. When I opened up my dojo 13 years ago, I was a nidan. I was told by a senior instructor to always use this formula: charge $10 x your rank. I have found this formula to be really helpful and useful. In gassho
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:30 PM   #15
akiy
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Hi folks,

Just a pointer that I asked this very same question a bit over three years ago:

http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=121

I was curious to see if/how fees have changed since then...

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:27 PM   #16
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
I would not necessarily agree with that statement. I have seen far too many full time instructors be so wrapped up in making a buck that they don't train. Also, my instructor (Hiroshi Kato) is a prime example on the other end. He reached 8th dan while being a soto deshi-he held a full time job until he retired and trained at night. You don't achieve that by taking a cavalier attitude towards your training. Even though a soto deshi may not be on the mat 24-7 that does not mean their training stops nor their desire to move ahead. I know many who integrate aikido principles into their jobs in various ways and still eat, breathe and sleep the art.
Good points, John. My statement was a gross generalization made with the full knowledge that there will be exceptions on both sides of it. Being a salary job sensei myself, I'm primarily speaking from my own experience dealing with my sensei (whose sole source of income is from the martial arts) and other Aikido teachers I have met here in Asia. There does seem to be a correlation in ability with the amount of time spent in practice. My sensei, while reliant upon the dojo and organization of his welfare, is not overly interested in amassing a lot of wealth. His ability is much greater than my own. My own training is fraught with distractions; nonetheless I still pretty much eat, breathe and sleep Aikido much to the chagrin of my wife. My students pay a considerable amount less than his (almost 50%). This is primarily due to the limited amount of class time scheduled (I only teach 3 classes a week on the military base). Other "professional" Aikido instructors that I have run across also display a great deal more ability than the many salary sensei that I know. I personally do know of several exceptions to my own statement. Generalizations are always flawed and never truly universal. So, take it for what its worth.
The upshot of my whole post was to just give an idea as to why some places might have higher fees than others, even those located in the same area, not necessarily to condemn any salary sensei as not worth the time (that would be detrimental to my own student population ).
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:17 PM   #17
ajbarron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Hello from north of 49,

I was very interested in the poll. Here in Calgary we pay $70 CDN ( 58.50 USD) per month. I was wondering how many sessions per week do you get for your fee?

We have 6 available per week if you include one lunch hour ( Mon. Tues. Wed.Fri (lunch and evening) and Sat. Once a month we have a special session for Black and Brown (2kyu and up) belts and other students who are invited due to their dedication.

So this works out to about ( given a 4 week month) 25 sessions possible a month @ just over $2 US per session...... in these terms it seems like a deal. ( I usually do 17 / month which equals $3.45USD/session)

Since our Sensei is 6th Dan Aikikai it seems we are getting a good deal!

Please let us know about your dojo.

Thanks

Andrew
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:42 AM   #18
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Andrew,

If your sensei is the same Inaba Sensei that I met in Japan a few years ago at Igarashi Sensei's 20th Anniversary Seminar, then I would say your are indeed getting a good deal. The Yongsan Aikikai (member of the Korea Aikido Federation) members pay only $40 per month. They get me (2nd Dan Aikikai) for 3 classes per week. They do have the opportunity to go to classes off the US military base at no extra cost (I teach 2 extra classes "downtown" at the KAF headquarters per week). KAF headquarters members pay about 100,000Won (about $97) per month. Classes there are everyday of the week (M-F at 7am, 11am, 5pm, 7pm and 9p, Sat 3pm and Sun 12pm). Most classes are taught by Youn Sensei (4th Dan Aikikai), his wife, or one of the other Yudansha (I teach the Friday 9pm and Sat classes, Andrew teaches the morning classes and another Shodan teaches the Sunday class).
There are other dojos spread throughout Korea, but I am not up to date on what they charge.
Youn Sensei is a marvelous instructor with a great martial arts background both inside and outside of Aikido, so I have no complaints. Considering the cost of living in Seoul (its a pretty expensive place to live) it is a good deal....
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:45 AM   #19
ajbarron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
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Re: Poll: How much do you pay each month for your regular aikido classes (in US dollars)?

Joseph thanks for the reply.

Yes Sensei Inaba is the same person you met in Japan.

Igarashi Sensei and Koybyashi Sensei are his teachers and they visit us at least once a year for seminars.

Igarashi Sensei was at our 25th Anniversary Summer Camp this year. Pictures are on our website at www.calgaryaikikai.com

We, as most dojos do, grapple with fees and costs so your information is appreciated. Sensei Inaba is as you say a very good teacher for which we are very greatful. He also runs a Shiatsu clinic which my neck, after a rear ender which wrote off my Subaru Outback, is most greatful for !

Yours
Andrew
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