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17 October 2014 @ 09:03 pm
martial arts, I guess the search continues  
I've been taking a trial class at a Taekwondo school for the last few weeks and I've been loving it. I was impressed by the black bets and loved the intensity of the classes. I was looking forward to joining the school, but then I got the price schedule. The classes are limited to 2 or 3 a week (they don't have that many adult offerings anyway. The fees are yearly, with a complicated and somewhat costly cancellation fee. And they do not list other fees, such as patches or testing or a like (they do list the cost of boards for breaking.)

The real problem isn't the money it's 1) they're requirement for a commitment, which given that I'm not 100% sure I'm quitting taiko for good, is an problem and 2) (and this is much worse) the way the fees are laid out, it feels less like a school covering their costs and more like a used car salesman catching you for that last $500 for "detailing." I feel a little betrayed. I feel a good martial arts school should feel like a family.

I'm super sad because I've been looking forward to my classes so much and feeling so good afterwards. It was night and day compared to the other place, but the idea that it's fairly costly, for short limited classes, with potentially high testing fees with belts which are artificially divided (yellow and then yellow with white band, for instance.) The internet even says that a TKD black belt test often runs $600 or more.

I am super disappointed.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on October 18th, 2014 02:56 am (UTC)
Have you considered asking for a detailed price list? Some people may not care; they just want to join (or send their kids there).

I feel the way they answer that question should be very telling: either they're a good school and will be very quick to be transparent, or not.
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on October 18th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
if they're really a good school, they probably have scholarship programs -- help out around the dojo for a discount on fees.

good schools (afaik) know that not everyone will be able to afford them, and be flexible, esp. if the student shows commitment.
JBjbsegal on October 19th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
If you're at all interested in sanity checking this, I know someone who (has been? was?) instructing TKD in Cambridge for years, and she could probably tell you what's normal/expected and what is unusual/unethical, if any of it is.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on October 19th, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
I'm going to try the not-for-profit TKD place in Cambridge on Monday. I hope it's a good fit teaching wise, because cost and plan wise, it's a much better fit. it will be stiff drive for me, but the classes are twice as long.
Natashahoneyartichoke on October 20th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
Depending on the time of the class it may be in the other direction from commuters. If it helps at all, you are welcome to park in my driveway, steps from Alewife T and ride the T the rest of the way.