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FangPwnsAll7
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 377
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Styles: Tang Soo Do

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Belt tests...too often. Reply with quote

There is something I just thought about, and I think belt tests at my dojo are held too often. Every 3 months, there is a new belt test. I'm going to post how the belts in my school go. You pay for belt tests and the prices are as follows. I have a feeling I might be going to a McDojo. It costs $1260 each year you go in the dojo.

The youngest person in my dojo I saw with a black belt on was 5 years old. You have to know all of the forms, long distance, and you have to say some of the body parts in Korean. My instructor says that it takes 4 years to get a black belt there. Of course, he also mentioned that you have to pay $400 to actually take the black belt test.

Yes, I admit I do take these belt tests every time their held.

Belt System
White Belt [$60]
Yellow Belt [3 months, $30]
Orange Belt [3 months, $30]
Orange Belt w/ 1 green stripe [3 months, $30]
Green Belt [3 months, $30 + $15 for lapel]
Green Belt w/ 1 red stripe [3 months, $30]
Green Belt w/ 2 red stripes [3 months, $30]
Red Belt [3 months, $30 + $15 for lapel]
Red Belt w/ 1 blue stripe [6 months, $30]
Red Belt w/ 2 blue stripes [6 months, $30]
Blue Belt [6 months, $30]
Blue Belt w/ 1 white stripe [6 months, $30]
Black Belt [1 year, $400]

Your thoughts?
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that it could be a money spinning machine.
Gradings in our club are held every three months, but only when you are ready. My wife waited 10 months before the teacher felt she was ready to grade. I have had three gradings in that time, but I train more often and have more experience than her. Each grading costs £20, regardless of grade.
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Dobbersky
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 1323
Location: Manchester. United Kingdom
Styles: Black Tiger Ashihara Karate Jutsu, Japanese Kickboxing, Cheng Man Ch'ing TaiChi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With respect, its a belt factory!

I can't believe people charge that much for gradings.
My Student's 9th Kyu Grading is Free, part of the joining fee.
All Kyu Grades are £10
All Dan Grades are £80

And I feel guilty my dan grade was too high but it JUST covers the costs, but I'm not for profit

But I suppose if people are willing to pay for it, they'll keep charging it
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our Sensei would train us for free if he could; he doesn't do it for profit.
For him it's to do with the pleasure of seeing his students develop, this is quite unlike a lot of schools I could mention.
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DWx
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6455
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you need to jump to the conclusion of belt factory. Testing cycles every 3 months are pretty common in a lot of styles. I don't think a $30 testing fee is too outrageous either, matches up with what we get charged. The blackbelt test fee does seem a little steep but it may be covering getting an external examiner in (paying for their travel expenses and time), breaking material, and registration with an (inter)national governing body or if it's like my school, the fee also covers a day's intensive training with the local master.
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darksoul
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 19 Jul 2012
Posts: 548
Location: Montréal, QC, Canada
Styles: Shaolin Kempo

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna go with the belt factory too.
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Dobbersky
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 1323
Location: Manchester. United Kingdom
Styles: Black Tiger Ashihara Karate Jutsu, Japanese Kickboxing, Cheng Man Ch'ing TaiChi

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What gets me is $30 for a bit of electrical tape around the end of the belt?

I tend to have a system where I have 3 to 4 stripes around the belt before they can grade for the next colour (they don't pay for these stripes)
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2735
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The prices of the promotions ($30) aren't outrageous, and neither is the yearly cost ($105/month) for most martial arts schools in America. The $400 cost of the black belt exam IS very high, and charging for stripes is ridiculous. This school is obviously a commercial school, doing everything they can to get as much money as possible out of people--following what Fang provided, it will cost you a total of $5860 to earn your black belt, provided you pass every exam.

FangPwnsAll7--does anyone ever fail those exams, and do they still pay for the exams if they do fail? I am also curious as to the level of skill of the instructors at your school and how effective the style is as they teach it. It is entirely possible to have a commercial school that is NOT a McDojo--if they do fail people for not meeting their standards and if they do teach effective martial arts then they do not really qualify as a McDojo, just a commercial school.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu/Shinkoten Karate | 2010-Present: Yondan, Renshi | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker (RIP)
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker (RIP), Ramon Rivera (RIP), Adrian Rivera
Illinois Practical Karate | International Neoclassical Karate Kobudo Society
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FangPwnsAll7
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 377
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Styles: Tang Soo Do

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A white belt never fails, but I saw a few belts fail above green belt.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some schools charge extra for a pre-grade before you are tested for your belt. We don't, Junior grades get a new belt each time they grade. The only thing that our school has that is different from most is that you grade for a Pre-Dan before your Shodan. You are given a Black Belt with a white stripe. I'm not sure if our Sensei charge extra for this grade but it's 6 months before your Shodan test.
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