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#431407 - 01/27/11 09:26 AM School sharing one location with other styles
E. Vigilance Offline

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 1
I am new here and would like to ask a question about certain
prudent legalities I think are necessary if my wife enters into a
school sharing arrangement. This arrangement is further
complicated by the fact that the current owner is her instructor,with whom she now has an informal school sharing arrangement.
This arrangement is about to change as the instructor will be moving and is wanting my wife to continue to teach there with her current students. Additionally any of his students that wish to stay and be instructed by my wife.
As a side note it is unclear to me as to whether or not they remain his students insofar as testing and progression of rank are concerned, she is a 4th degree and can only promote up to 2nd degree and that would also seem to change the flow of lineage.
The departing instructor has transferred ( for some unknown
reason) to another student (of lower rank) the lease and the
various accounts. This student is now the "administrator".
For numerous reasons (which I will not go into) this is not
the type of transfer that was expected. ( or deserved, in my
opinion ) My question, as there is nothing in writing, what
type of contract is commonly used when a martial arts
or a dance instructor, etc. work within a gym or a similar
establishment? What would be this description used to describe
such an arrangement? Subcontractor? Consultant? Etc. She
currently is operating as a small business within this
One final note. My wife has been working
(for several years) on her 5th degree under the current owner/operator of the "Martial arts center". She is unhappy about this arrangement (as am I) and contrary to my advice did not attempt to require a controlling document to clarify the
rights and responsibilities of all the parties and the
particulars of the agreement. These are the type of
misunderstanding that inevitably occur "without" a controlling
"written" document.
Anyway, what type of documents have any of you used if
you have or are in a similar situation?

Thank you very much.

#431420 - 01/29/11 07:11 PM Re: School sharing one location with other styles [Re: E. Vigilance]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello E. Vigilance:

I am NOT an attorney, I do not know if I am able to help you with "legalities" per se. However the situation you describe should be a serious problem for everybody.

The understandings must be in writing, documented so there is ZERO confusion what her responsibilites are and are not. It can be plain English, or in expensive old english hertofore, wherewithall etceteria (ie attorney). But if not written down she has no "rights" at all.

He said I could... I did not say that. Building owner wins...

She happens to be the "front" the only face the students see. But she gets no money, no salery, has no ability to earn it, if it is not written down in plain very simple language. The terms can change on a whim, there's no written contract...

The current owner gave your wife a "spy", someone to keep close track of what does and does not happen at HIS school. Certainly his right, but what happens if your wife makes a decision which conflicts with the owners assistants position/opinion?

We're going to wave the sign up fee on this student? We are going to wave the testing fee for this family? All kinds of scenerios which are administrative which conflict can occur. Needs to be written out.

As far as ranking, and lineage... there is no such thing as any governing laws about either one. No state or federal laws exist. If she is a part of a state or national, or internatiolnal martial arts association/federation of some kind they may have rules.

But if she is on her own, sets the rank standards she can do anything she wants. The two grades below yourself rule re: rank was taken from different political martial arts associations and efforts in Japan and Okinawa from the 70's and before.

But it is not some kind of international martial arts law... rank is entirely subjective. If your wife recognizes and acknowledges that a student has certain specific skills... why does the owner of the buildings opinion matter at all? Assuming it does for a moment... what happens when he disagrees with your wifes opinion... now what?

Sorry i don't have a specific answer to you excellent questions. In her place I would not teach anything without written documents. Guaranteed she'll be asked to sign a non-compete clause by the owner, for using his building... just in case. If she signs it <shrug> likely not enforcable but that won't stop him suing her, if/when they split and she takes the students with her.

Good question, hopefully others will chime in.

#431513 - 02/12/11 02:26 PM Re: School sharing one location with other styles [Re: Ronin1966]
integrityma Offline

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
I am currently in a similar situation. I found a school with open time slots, and rented specific blocks of time that i could train my own students, in whatever way that i want, and we had a lease drawn up. So my students who i trained from the beginning are mine and mine only, and if i leave, they go with me, and all im really leasing is the four walls.

If your wife is worried about her students being stolen, i would recommend she take her students to the local ymca and rec center to get her teachers hands out of the pie. And there is not now nor has there ever been any type of regulation that says she has to train with just one person. She is free to find a teacher who is much more suitable to her likings at any time.

Remember, a piece of paper that says "can only train someone to second degree" has no bearing whatsoever to anyone except the guy that signed it. if i tell my students they are all 87th degree black belts then thats what they are. because i as their teacher am the only one with control over their ranks. However my fourth degree means that i can only test people upto fourth degree "under the guy who signed that document" meaning in that lineage.

I might ask, if i feel i am being treated unfairly by my teacher, why would i want to promote more people into his family when i can go to any streetcorner storefront school in america and find a new family that would treat me appropriately?

hope this helps.
[url= ] IMA Warrior [/url]

#431541 - 02/15/11 06:47 PM Re: School sharing one location with other styles [Re: integrityma]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello mark:

<< treated unfairly by my teacher, why would i want to promote more people into his family when i can go to any streetcorner storefront school in america and find a new family that would treat me appropriately?

You raise an excellent point. A martial arts school may have a certain "familial quality". With luck a certain intimacy with its members exists. How many places in life can we strick/attack someone with this intensity, this intent and still be friends afterwards?

However, I already have a daddy, a mother... I do not seek another. I contend there is a serious danger to the familial quality of a school if we are not extremely aware and careful too. From the lineage perspective its a decent parallel, but beyond that narrow context, there are very real potential risks.

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,

#431587 - 02/18/11 09:44 PM Re: School sharing one location with other styles [Re: Ronin1966]
integrityma Offline

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 10
Loc: US
You are a wise man sir.
[url= ] IMA Warrior [/url]


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