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#335032 - 01/15/07 10:44 PM Declining promotion re: promotion fees
Fletch1 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 2218
Loc: Florida
This is just something I was thinking about after reading about belt test fees.

Say that you have a student who joins your class and gets to the point where he is ready for promotion. Your program involves paying a certain amount of $$$ and everyone else pays. This student says that he doesn't care about promotion and declines the test if he has to pay for it. He tells you that he will just stay at his present rank and keep training.

As an instructor in a Professional Facility, what do you do?

Do you allow him to keep training at his current rank and restrict him to material appropriate for his level?

Do you allow him to keep training and allow him to work "outside the belt curriculum" to advance on his own without belts?

Do you pressure him to pay the fee and take the promotion?

Do you "comp" his fee and test him anyway, so that he will progress in both skill and belt level along with everyone else?

We don't charge for belt promotions and have no formalized tests for our adults so this is not for me. I was just curious as I have seen students balk about test fees.
_________________________
www.brazilianjiujitsunaples.com

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#335033 - 01/15/07 11:13 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
IRKguy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
My school charges neither for testing nor for tuition (promoting students costs us money because we have to buy the belt), so we avoid this issue for about the reason you raised, which is a credibility crisis. Eventually, you can end up with a white belt with black belt skills.

What do you admit at this point? Anything you do will make you look stupid. Even if you comp him, you're admitting that the other students are being ripped off.

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#335034 - 01/16/07 09:27 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

Do you allow him to keep training at his current rank and restrict him to material appropriate for his level?




Tough choice. If you are charging for rank, then I think the only fair thing to do is restrict the new material that student would learn. Only fair to the other students that have paid for their advancements.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#335035 - 01/16/07 10:03 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
MikeC Offline
Dragon

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 130
Loc: Kingston Ontario
This should have been explained to the beginner when they signed up at the beginning. In a commercial school the purpose of the fees is to support the facilties and instructor. In schools that use grading as a sign of progress, you can not get around that a beginner has to gradeup. How many exceptions are you willing to make?

I am non-commercial and do not charge for gradings but students must grade when they are ready.

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#335036 - 01/16/07 10:05 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: MattJ]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Tough call. The most I've seen is someone request to wait a testing period because they didn't feel ready to test.

While I don't care if I test or not, if my instructor says I'm testing I will and I will pay whatever fee is asked. Our rates are not high and I know that the money I spend in class or testing fees just goes to support the club. Plus I find it valuable because we get written feedback to help us improve and see how we are doing over time. I personally find the testing sheet to be more important than the belt.

I guess if it were me, I would ask the person why they didn't want to test.

Laura

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#335037 - 01/16/07 11:04 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I don't understand the conflict. One is paying for a belt...to acquire status within a dojo. Outside of the dojo, in another system, it's meaningless anyway.

If he is willing to be unranked, to be happy with training and be of use (sparring partner) to those with rank within the 'club' and stand last in line (white belt/newbie 'status')...seems like a good deal.

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#335038 - 01/16/07 11:09 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

I don't understand the conflict. One is paying for a belt...to acquire status within a dojo.




That is over-simplifying a bit, IMHO. Many schools have rank requirements to learn different parts of the total syllabus. So, if you want to learn more techniques or kata, then you must advance in rank to do so. Some people are interested in learning the material, and not just for "status" ie; belt rank.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#335039 - 01/16/07 11:22 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thanks for the clarification.

Quote:

Many schools have rank requirements to learn different parts of the total syllabus. So, if you want to learn more techniques or kata, then you must advance in rank to do so.



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#335040 - 01/16/07 06:22 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
If the belt is earnt and rank is conferred, why would I as a student have to PAY for it?

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#335041 - 01/16/07 10:39 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I think part of the problem is that there are lots of different types of dojos out there... some of which are "black belt mills" and others that are legitimately trying to produce results with the students. Whether or not money is involved, I've always been one that would teach anyone all (not really ALL) I knew as long as they gave it the kind of effort to make the skills work.

I've found that "teaching over their head" helps as much as teaching at their "level", so whether or not you're teaching a blue belt the skills of a black belt, they will have to develop what it takes to make the skills work for them. Since learning isn't linear, the particular regimen you use to get them trained is only important if they're paying X dollars for this set of skills and Y dollars for "that" set of skills.

I still like the "years of training" rank idea, because there are some people out there that would never reach yellow belt if they only got there on skills. At least, YOT promotions recognize that you've spent some time in the dojo... and if you're wearing a black belt, you better have what it takes, 'cause I'll launch you...

It's kind of like walking up and getting into a race car. You're only in trouble if they didn't bother to install the brakes...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#335042 - 01/17/07 08:11 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
There are systems that have rank, but don't wear it. (kyu ranks in Aikido come to mind).

actually, I think Aikido has the most reasonable ranking system. A local Aikido club here gives the option of paying a test fee or not...but the student still tests either way. Since the dojo is affiliated with an organization in Japan, the org test fee pays for the ranking certificate which is universally accepted (since the org is accepted as legitimate budo by whatever heirarchy Japan uses for that system, and the instructor administering the test is likewise affiliated and trained/ranked by a senior member). no fee = no certificate. but the rank is still recognized within that local dojo only. generally, thats only applicable for mudansha ranks. post-yudansha, the student must legitimize the rank in order to be considered for future dan grades.

I think that way makes the most sense for commercial dojo. for dojo/teachers which are not affiliated with a recognized issuer of rank - their rank is considered 'local rank' only....pretty much limited to that person's whim of what they want to rank themselves and claim...if at all.

so what is a 'recognized issuer of rank' ? and who designates them as such? I dunno people branch off, create their own organization, issue ranks, etc often without any recognition of legitimacy from it's parent organization. Receiving rank from an organization as such, makes the rank you receive/pay for only recognized within that org. If the org is large (has many affiliated dojos), it gives more appearance of legitimacy (and perhaps in a way, rightfully so...since 'legitimacy' itself is a term which basically serves as: 'formally recognized by many').

you can't really 'decline promotion' - plus it's considered bad form to decline such a thing...but some dojo allow you to decline organizational recognition of that promotion.


never decline rank issued by your instructor - think of the rank as just being used for teaching structure...it's like declining to learn something that is taught - you just don't do it unless you quit altogether. but I don't think pre-shodan rank would be necessary to be organizationally recognized.

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#335043 - 01/18/07 02:23 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Fletch1:

Remove the money entirely from the equasion and that problem disappears immediately. Personally have no need for review by strangers whom I will never meet again, and have no other interactions. If I did interact and/or felt sufficently strongly (ie seriously important to me) I suppose paying the money would be necessary...

Given only the options you presented I vote for outside the curricilium route.

We also change nothing for the testing. The belt &certificate combined are minimal... $10 I think? We had folks who had no real interest in testing were essentially the same rank for 20 years... despite having no fees/testing boards....

One walked away continuing to their ~own drummer~, another became very, very good. Interesting topic, thank you...

J

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#335044 - 12/08/07 03:26 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: eyrie]
DojiSan Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 24
My instructor ask us to pay $15 to test. If we feel ready and he feels we are not ready then he will refuse to test us. His reasoning is that the $15 pays for the belt and the certificate. I have no problem with that because if we fail then we don't have to repay again.

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#335045 - 12/08/07 07:52 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: wristtwister]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
It would be up to the instructor to decide what his school is going to be about: art or money.

If it's about the art, you eliminate the certificate fees.
If it's about money, charge what you want to and anyone that doesn't pay doesn't train.

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#335046 - 12/09/07 11:00 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: JAMJTX]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Just an idea, at my school we have many lower income students who are able to attend because of scholarships they've received, or because they or their parents have traded services for tuition, such as cleaning the dojang or yard work, etc.

Laura

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#335047 - 12/09/07 03:45 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Fletch1:

I LOVE RENEGADES!!!! An outstanding question for those it would apply towards.

Jeff

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#335048 - 12/10/07 10:09 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Fleth1:

Disappointing thought for certain others would chime-in. Hummmngh. Lets kick this around see if we can generate a little maybe? Ok, now neither of us use them (testing fees) but lets play devils advocate here anyway.

Pretending I used them, how would it work, I charge a nice round number ummmngh..... $50 in order to take the test? Failing, if I did not charge you the second time through, the third time taking it again... would that be more acceptable?

What happens if the testing fee were merely $25 dollars? Would that be "reasonable"? If that fee was mandatory with
the head office of your organization in Bumble but whom you never saw at all?

Can there be a reasonable, justifiable testing fee IYHO?

Now, if you did not wish to take part in the administrative sillyness of my organization (pretending we used this stuff) should you be compelled in order to gain new information.... Wonder what clever methods there would be to avoid this avoidable problem, within that approach? Waiving the testing fee once? (ie once but only once proving the fee did not change relative to the rank) Pass them and give them their belt but no certificates, until such time as they pay the fees to their current level?

Think that could work?

You raise an interesting question for those groups with signifigant administrative overheads.... international groups, etc.

Jeff

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#335049 - 12/10/07 04:41 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Ronin1966]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Quote:

Can there be a reasonable, justifiable testing fee IYHO?




for colored belt and maintenance testing, our fee's are quite small, but they cover the cost of the belt, boards, and pizza afterwards.

Black belt fees are more expensive as it also covers the cost of the certificate as well. However, you have years to save up for that, so it isn't a big deal.

Laura

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#335050 - 12/10/07 08:14 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: tkd_high_green]
BadDad Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 4
My story...

I am 47 yo white belt, taking traditional Shotokan from a local dojo with a 40 year history in the same location. I started about 5 years ago after my son and wife enrolled. Testing is held twice/year. No fee for test or belt. Only white, brown and black belts.

I tested the first two years but stopped 3 years ago when the son and wife stopped going. I practice 4 days a week at the 6AM class which is usually just me, the master, and another 47 yo black belt with about 20 years training. Many others have come and gone but no on else has stuck with the early class.

Last year the Master asked me to test for Brown Belt saying the school could use a Brown Belt in the morning class. I explained that I really didn't care about the rank but would test if he wanted me to.

Problem is when I tested (basically a 6-8 hour ordeal on a Saturday) it was obvious the "Black Belt Council", (5 or more Sandan's, Yodan's and Godan's from other dojo's), was not going to let me test for 3 kyu (brown belt). I am pretty sure they were offended that I hadn't tested for two plus years. I could tell I was being held back when they did not ask me to perform any of the upper level kata. Two years before when testing for 6th Kyu I was asked to perform two Heian's, Bassai, and Tekki Shodan. This time I was only asked to perform Heian Yodan.

I spoke with the Master the next practice and explained that I was very dissapointed that I had shown up at his request and was not allowed to test for 3rd Kyu. I have not tested for a year and a half. At my age I don't like being messed with and don't have the time for dojo politics or BS.

Am I wrong to not test?

The angry white belt

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#335051 - 12/10/07 10:57 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: BadDad]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
So, dod your teacher offer any explanation? What did he say?

If he wants to promote you, he should just promote you or at least let the people testing you know what is going on.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#335052 - 12/11/07 11:14 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: BrianS]
BadDad Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 4
Brian:

No real explaination and I didn't really ask for one. I was mostly dissapointed that I spent a full day on a Saturday and wasn't even allowed to do the kata.

This is a very Traditional group, the Master would not rock the boat as he needs the support of the established group in order to progress himself. Black belts all test at the main dojo and at his level he needs to be recommended by his peers and
those with higher rank in order to have an opportunity to test himself. Karate is his life and I don't want, or expect, him to fall on his sword for me

I was actually relieved at the outcome as I can now just come in and focus on my training. I continue to show up and teach what I know to people of lower and higher rank than myself. I line up with the white belts and prefer it that way as I need the work out and don't really want to have the added responsability. The dojo is my only outlet where I can just show up, work hard, get out my aggressions, and then go back to work and family obligations.

I wasn't interested in rank when I started and don't need the recognition. Aside from the council, I am well respected by the students for what I know and what I can do.

Plus my white belt looks really cool after all this time. I would really hate to give it up for a crisp, clean, brown one. I figure in another few years it will break at the knot and will will have to go with one wrap instead of two!

Oh, I don't want to leave the wrong impression, I am not called "the angry white belt" over this incident. It is because of the look in my eye when I am focused.

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#335053 - 12/12/07 09:50 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: BadDad]
shills11 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Glasgow Scotland
give it another couple of years with no washing it and it'll go brown anyway
_________________________
Its not about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward

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#423619 - 11/20/09 12:41 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: shills11]
integrityma Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
haha i dont know guys, i have to pay for the belts from my supply company, so umm...yeah ultimately my customers will have to pay for it. as far as testing fees go...

i have a wonderful new student, who told me he wanted to test for his second degree. the reason he never did? his teacher wanted $1800 for the test. plus the 1500 a year tuition. now i have another great student. i recently paid 400 for my own rank test. because we had to rent a facility for all the people testing. im way behind on the times i think.
_________________________
[url= http://www.imawarrior.net ] IMA Warrior [/url]

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#426357 - 04/06/10 01:16 AM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: Fletch1]
ScottBolinger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/23/07
Posts: 13
when I changed to instructing my own style of fighting, I took out any fees for testing. Your skill level dictates were your at on your belt level, not the money you have in your pocket.
_________________________
WarriorRage KickBoxing Federation www.wrkf.us

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#426403 - 04/08/10 12:18 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: integrityma]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Integrityma:

Ancient thread but good topic

You're not behind the times at all, merely of a different mind set than too many supposedly "teaching" today. If you had to rent a place to be tested, or for the party afterward THAT is understandable on some levels at least.

Jeff

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#426404 - 04/08/10 12:22 PM Re: Declining promotion re: promotion fees [Re: ScottBolinger]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Scott:

Its even far simpler than that.

Rank is an acknowledgement between two people. You acknowledge I have reached a specific level, in your opinion.

Jeff

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