Monday, January 11, 2010

Cost of martial arts classes

How much should classes cost? This is an extremely variable figure.

Depends on where you live, but I've found the price range for classes is $25-200/mo (yes, that is a huge range) for most non-mcdojo schools. I've never lived in a huge city though - LA, NYC, etc nor have I taken classes from martial arts 'celebs' (top ranking people in the space).

When I lived in small-town Illinois the price range was $20-100/mo generally. $100/mo was on the McDojo end of things. Now that I'm in Austin I usually find $45+/mo is common. $200/mo is the usual cap out here if you're not planning on training every day of the week (usually for 3-5 times a week is the range).

Remember, these folks are looking to make money. This is a business.

But, how much is it worth to you? Figure out how good your instructors and classmates will be and that will determine your price. Also depends on the amount of time you can train - 3 days a week? 5? An hour a day? Three hours?

Find what the local market rate is (shop around at similar schools) and then determine from there based on quality of the school (it's people) and the quantity of time you want to devote to going.

Variations on price model

Some people charge based on a flat monthly fee. They offer x number of classes a week and you go to what you can. Some do it based on a base rate and then how many classes you attend (once a week, five times a week, etc).

Some will add on other things. Testing fees, equipment fees, uniform purchase (you should be able to buy this for yourself elsewhere - if they won't let you it's 99% likely that it's a bad school unless they're discounting your tuition with the purchase.), etc. Sometimes there will be an association fee - don't be too put off by this, it usually goes to a larger national organization that helps make things better for your art's community (making sure certifications are given to those who deserve them, etc.), but do your research still.

Some will have you sign a contract to ensure you stay and pay for a certain amount of time. I really recommend not going to any school that requires a contract with them over two months, especially if you're new to the martial arts world.

Also see: What martial art should I study? and Choosing a martial arts school.

8 comments: said...

I think some prices nowadays are too high. I remember back in the day when training would cost a couple of pounds each session. There where no monthly fees, no beginer or advanced fees etc. Everyone gave there couple of quid and got on with it. no there are liscence fees, mnthly fees, etc etc. Its too much business invloved.

Anonymous said...

In the DC area, the costs are in $100-200 range for martial arts schools. Anything less than $100 is usually a club associated with a gym or something similar. The value of the school or club, as always depends on the instructor and the time you put into it. Also, I agree with staying away from places that make you sign a contract and then use a collection service! I have heard nothing but horror stories.

I have no idea how much I am paying because my instructor gives me a group discount for my family and I also instruct. Over all, we average about $75 per person and I get some freebies from the pro shop. That's NEGOTIATING!

I am expecting the costs to go up a bit because he is expanding his floor space. That cost of rent and contruction can factor into the monthly. I have been around this business too long!! LOL

Jesse Crouch said...

@MarksTraining - agreed, wish there were still more places like that. I understand how difficult it is for some people to stay in business doing things that way though. I know how bad people are about coming to class if they haven't paid in advance. Heck, even getting people to pay monthly is a hassle.

Anonymous said...

Story goes that many of the 1st gen students of Leo Gaje of Pekiti Tirsia studied basically free. Many of those guys that are made a living or greatly influenced their current place today. There's very few teaching the old school method today.


Keith said...

I am so glad to share that my training in martial arts didn't made me spend too much amount of money. Why? Simply because most of the time I look for classes that are free of charge. Although it is not as good as those who require payments I can assure you that I was trained the way I expected. What matters is that you have the motivation to learn. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Cost for training is a fact of life. If you are lucky enough to find an experienced partner in the park, then great. If you want to attend a class in a school where there are real expenses, not to mention the Master who is devoting time and experience to condition and train you, then you should expect to pay a premium. I agree that tuition costs can get out of control. Instructing shouldn't be about the money entirely. However, if my Master's students refused to pay, I am sure my Master can get a job doing something else... but then we lose the opportunity to train with the Master. I, for one, decided a long time ago to share in the support effort for my Master to allow continued training. How much would you expect to be compensated for your time and life experiences? Bottom line... if your Master is worth the cost you pay, then pay it. If not, look for a new Master.

Anonymous said...

Contracts are a necessity!!! Do not be fooled into thinking the school's a mcdojo because they use them. Contracts can actually really work in your tabor. For example, if the master stops teaching you for whatever reason you have the right to sue him for breach of contract or just not pay him. Without a contract he would be able to get away with it and still insist upon tuition

Anonymous said...

Prices are not too high its not about price!!! I mean if everything was about price rather than quality we would all be giving our kids the cheapest doctor examination or surgery rather than the one that has a higher quality. Bottom line, high price equals high quality and if its worth it then pay it!!!

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