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Rochambeau
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2015
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: New Parent Question: Must purchase dojo's sparring gear? Reply with quote

Hi there,

My 10-year old son just finished his first week of classes. We live in a kind of rural area with few choices of dojos and ended up picking one that is close to our home.

I was told tonight that he needed to buy gear to spar (tonight they loaned him some school gear). They want $170 for the set. Money is really not that much of an issue but that seemed like it might be a bit steep considering the stuff is all foam so I asked the sensei if he HAD to buy it through the dojo or could get it somewhere else. He told me that his insurance requires that we buy it from them. As it happens, I am in insurance and that did not strike me as truthful. Granted, I have never sold a policy to a dojo, so I can't be certain.

So my question is: Has anyone ever encountered a dojo that REQUIRED that you buy their sparring gear if you are going to spar?

(Further, has anyone ever seen such a requirement on an insurance policy? Now, I don't expect to find insurance experts here, so that's why I asked this particular question of an agency that specializes in dojo insurance. BUT, I figured as long as I am here I might catch a break and find a dojo owner who has seen exactly that requirement on a policy.)

Thank you in advance.
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liger
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 194

Styles: RyobuKai (Shindo Jinen Ryu)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to go yes and no. Me personally I haven't seen it as an adult. When I did what I did as a kid I honestly don't remember. My mom took care of that back then I just remember doing a few classes. I was very unfocused as a kid. I feel kind of bad now about it especially where I am now in martial arts. Yet back on topic my nephew is going through ATA Karate and I think his mom said she had to buy a bunch of sparing gear from them that has there logo on it. I didn't ask if they made her to or not. Was not my place.

I hate to ask what was the style they are teaching?

As an insurance I don't know. I would think as long as its official sparing gear from somewhere it shouldn't be an issue.

Have you googled searched this?
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27636
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could ask to look at the insurance plan. But that aside, look around online at companies like Century or AWMA to see how the same gear stacks up in price. If its TKD, a chest protector and the headgear tend to be the more expensive pieces.

It could be that the insurance policy has approved the gear that he sells, and therefore covers sparring with his gear, as opposed to whatever anyone else would walk in with. But that's just me spitballing.
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1603
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a place around here that forces you to buy uniforms, sparring gear, t-shirts and a gym bag from them. But I'm pretty sure they're upfront about it just being a school requirement and not being for insurance reasons.

You could look into it more, as others have suggested. I don't think it's a terribly shady requirement in and of itself (schools are allowed to want students to have uniform gear for which the school can assure quality), but if they are lying about the insurance thing, that's pretty shady.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to KF; glad that you're here!!

You're the consumer; you decide!! Not the school!!



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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2202
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is common from what I see. Because at my dojo my sensei sells the equipment but 3 different types which cost different amounts.
My sensei doesn't go out and say "You must buy from me and nowhere else". Everyone from the dojo buys from him unless they happen to know of a different brand but is essentially the same thing.
He tells people that you can buy them

The Three types my sensei sells are:

1. Cotton; Hands and legs in same pack. It is the absolute cheapest option

2. AKF Approved Gear; Hands, Shins + Feet sold seperately. So you pay $30 for Hands (Red or Blue) and $35 for feet (White Shins, red + blue feet). But if you want to buy the extra set of hands you pay an extra $30. ($75 for 1 set of hands and legs; $105 both sets of hands + 1 set of feet/shins).

3. WKF Approved Gear
Can be in excess of $70 for legs (all one colour) then similar for hands.
So you have to buy Two Sets of legs + Two Sets of Feet for competition.


If the student doesn't plan on competing, you can go for the cotton ones as they do the job. but most go for the AKF approved because of the better quality.

I have spoken to my sensei about why some schools would sell specific gear over others. And he says that some insurance places ask that the school sell the better quality gear to help in relation to the safety.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My former dojo required us to buy gear directly from them. It was an organization-wide policy, not an individual policy. The reasons stated were so that everyone wore the same thing (we all wore the same uniform type, so the gear was just another way of having uniformity), and no one wore stuff that wasn't safe for themselves and others. The gear was priced in line with buying it elsewhere. It had our organization's logo on it, so no could pull a fast one.

My current dojo doesn't have this policy. Truthfully, I liked the old dojo's better. In my current dojo, the gear needs to be approved by the CI. People have bought stuff that wasn't allowed due to safety issues. Our gear also has to be solid black or white only.

$170 may be steep depending on what you're getting. Foam dipped head gear, foot gear, and gloves typically cost $30 a piece, give or take a few bucks. Add tax, shipping, or other charges and you're around $100. Add a mesh bag, mouth guard and cup/supporter, and you're up a few bucks more. Add forearm pads, shin pads, chest protector, and what you're being charged isn't out of line.

It all depends on what you're getting. If you can find the same stuff for $100, yet he's charging $170, chalk it up to the cost of membership.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6118
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not uncommon. Usually it is because the insurance policy requires a specific level and standard of equipment. By buying through the instructor they can guarantee everyone is wearing the right type and quality. Also some organisations or tournament circuits require a certain style for uniformity.
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Montana
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 823
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do some comparison shopping the the exact same equipment to get a price comparison..and if it's the same, buy from the sensei.

The sensei buys at wholesale and sells for retail, which you, the consumer, pays. Generally, wholesale is about HALF the retail price. If you find he is charging OVER retail prices, buy it elsewhere.
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Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14268
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the consumer decides what to and what not to purchase, the proprietor must meet the bottom line month to month, in each quarter, and in the year end P&L. If not, the risk of closing the door forever becomes tantamount.

In that, the dojo owner will do whatever it is to reach every business goal in a positive manner. Those owners that use underhanded tactics to reach said goals, that's NOT cool, and that's when the power switches back to the consumer...to buy or not to buy!!

Any school of the MA only has to worry about their business, and in that, any decision about that business is their right across the board. If I don't like what my competitor does, then that's my problem!! If my competitor doesn't like what I'm doing, then that's their problem.

I don't require things, like those mentioned in the OP, but that school does. So, the tennis game of back and forth continues until the consumer buys or doesn't buy.

Imho!!




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