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Thread: Teaching in a Park

  1. #1
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    Teaching in a Park

    Anyone teaching in a park, home, garage or similar for donations only?

    I'm wondering how it works out for you? I've taken Tai Chi in a parking garage for donation. With the economy the way it is how do you avoid having a class full of non-donating students?

    Obviously I'm considering doing this (to make a few dollars). I've had neighbor's in the past wanting me to teach their kids. The best I could do now would be very informal class but asking for a donation for my time.

    Thoughts?
    When seconds count the cops are only minutes away!

    Quote Originally Posted by wenshu View Post
    Sorry, sometimes I forget you guys have that special secret internal sauce where people throw themselves and you don't have to do anything except collect tuition.

  2. #2
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    Back in the 70s and early 80s I taught in a park in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I loved it!

    In June I will be heading to China to study with a well-known Mantis instructor. He teaches in a park. Nuff said!
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/357219314344817/

    45 years of training and still not there. But every once in a while I get it right!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

    Yes, I fight in silk pajamas. And I have probably broken more opponent's ribs in my silk pajamas than many others rolling around in their knickers and mittens!

  3. #3
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    Yes on the park. No fees or donations, but the students do very well in remembering birthdays and xmas.

    Mainly, we take payment in sweat and discipline. Pay up or gtfo!

    And none of that, "I'm paying, so I'll tell you what I want to learn."

  4. #4
    Given the time and energy I put into students, I can't afford to trade so much of my life for such little money. I invest in them only to the degree that they invest in themselves.

    Martial arts has taught me to respect and manage energy. The most efficient way to do this is the only take students who have a good heart and who who think differently enough to contribute to my understanding.

    The cost of my tuition depends entirely upon the student.

    After a trial period I may accept and the amount of money is clearly marked out based on how long they can hold a proper horse stance. 5 minutes of horse stance costs a great deal more than 40 min.

    The students I have now are exceptionally high quality. I admire all of them and trust them completely. The ones who left leave me with no regret or resentment.

    Rotten wood can't be carved. Its not the wood's fault, the fault is with the carpenter for picking the wrong wood.
    OH MY?!?!?!? Holy Load of malarky........you win!
    Last edited by Snipsky; 03-01-2012 at 09:24 PM.

  5. #5
    With the economy the way it is how do you avoid having a class full of non-donating students?
    You could tell them it's based on donations but somehow suggest a range for what you normally expect. This way people who can pay will have a have better idea about the tuition fee and at the same time people who can't afford it will know that they can still discuss their situation with you.

  6. #6
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    If the teacher has no equipment costs, no supplies costs, no insurance costs, or any other overhead costs to run classes, the classes should be cheap. If some guy is charging you $85 to learn forms in his backyard 2 hours a week, walk away.

    $10/month is about the maximum you should kick in for something like that. If he's not going to run classes like a professional teacher, he shouldn't be charging like a professional teacher.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    As a mod, I don't have to explain myself to you.

  7. #7
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    I was paying $12 per class for Yoga. I don't know what it cost him for the room we used or if it was donated a couple days a week for a few hours. He would sell blocks of lessons for a discount but they had to be used within a certain time period.

    I've also done some Tai Chi from a Chinese guy in a parking garage for a five dollar donation per class.

    $10 a month hardly seems worth it to me. I can understand a higher cost to pay for equipment and overhead but the real value is what the instruction is worth.

    Without overhead do you really think learning CMA is only worth a dollar or two a class?
    When seconds count the cops are only minutes away!

    Quote Originally Posted by wenshu View Post
    Sorry, sometimes I forget you guys have that special secret internal sauce where people throw themselves and you don't have to do anything except collect tuition.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yao Sing View Post
    Without overhead do you really think learning CMA is only worth a dollar or two a class?
    I charge $50/month for three 2-hr classes a week. That's $2.08/hour for my time, and I have a gym full of proper equipment.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    As a mod, I don't have to explain myself to you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterKiller View Post
    I charge $50/month for three 2-hr classes a week. That's $2.08/hour for my time, and I have a gym full of proper equipment.
    That's about half of what most fighting gyms seem to be charging.
    Of course the more students you have, the less you can charge per student.
    With just a few students, it's almost like a private lesson--more personal instruction time--> greater cost/value.

    Figure what you're willing to teach for, divide by number of students...then compromise.

    Depending who your students (or their parents) are, trading time for time might be an option as well.
    Last edited by ShaolinDan; 03-02-2012 at 10:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    I don't know the current rates around here but $100 a month is probably about average. Certainly teaching a couple of neighborhood kids for $2 a class is just not worth it to me.

    BTW, this isn't just a spare time activity. I'm forced to find alternate sources of money so the few skills I have will each have to bring in enough to pay the bills.
    When seconds count the cops are only minutes away!

    Quote Originally Posted by wenshu View Post
    Sorry, sometimes I forget you guys have that special secret internal sauce where people throw themselves and you don't have to do anything except collect tuition.

  11. #11
    First, I don't teach kids. I have a policy to refer them to the local ITF Tae Kwon Do school. Secondly, I teach out of my garage which has been converted into my personal gym/gwoon. I accept only a few serious students at a time and have, on occasion, turned students away. Because I don't attempt to earn a living from teaching, money is not a motivating factor. I do charge a nominal monthly fee, but I also expect my students to work and contribute to earn their martial education. Plus, my students are very good about observing traditional etiquette and frequently bring me food, gifts, etc. to show their appreciation and respect. My gym is open every night from 5pm-11pm and my students are welcome to come and train whenever they like. However, they need to prove their commitment and are only given what they are willing to put in. Likewise, senior students are responsible for nearly all of a newer student's initial instruction. I'm usually there, in and out, but I am far more hands on with my senior students who have put in the time and effort to earn their training. Because money is not a motivating factor, if a student can't cut it, it matters little if they leave and don't come back. I don't advertise. New students are typically recommended by an existing student who brings them in. We are a very close group, and I end up with some very loyal, dedicated students this way.
    Last edited by crazyfistmonk; 03-02-2012 at 02:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    I teach a small group at a public park, twice a week for a total time amounting to about 3 1/2 to 4 hrs. There's no rent or insurance, but I do provide basic stuff like focus mitts, a wall bag, kicking shield, and sparring gear. I also have to pay monthly instructor's license fee, and personally cover all membership fees and testing fees to our national assn. For that I charge a flat rate of $40 per month ...which, incidently is exactly what I pay my own instructor (in a different system) who teaches in a park too. Even with almost no overhead, at this price I'm basically just breaking even. If I rented indoor space I'd have to charge more, teach shorter classes and get more students. For now I prefer the park.

    Now as far as dues... I never turn anybody away because they can't pay. Still the guys are really good about paying. They know my costs and try to help out.
    "No contaban con mi astucia!" --el Chapulin Colorado

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  13. #13
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    1. the space and the weather are limiting factors for teaching a group of people in the park.

    2. If you could reserve a community club house indoor, it is better.

    Usually you pay a nominal rental of the room, due to the fact that you pay monthly association fee already.


    3. If you do a lot of throwing practice, a good mattress is necessary.

    Maybe indoor is better for this.

    4. Yes you may bring along mittens, bags, pads to the park. It is better that let the students bring their own. due to personal hygiene etc.

    ---

    Since everyone shares the park, we have to sort of designate a circle of area by placing some safety cones around your practice area.

    we do not want to hurt passersby by accident.

    --

    5. My brothers would place a desk with fliers of school info and sign up sheets. They get a lot of new students this way in the park.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPJ View Post
    1. the space and the weather are limiting factors for teaching a group of people in the park.
    To practice in heavy rain is very important life experience training. If you have eaten toilet paper mixed in water, everything will taste good for the rest of your life.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 03-02-2012 at 07:19 PM.

  15. #15
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    Training in parks is also great for networking. You never know who is watching and the other martial artists you may meet. It is a great way to find others with which to cross train.
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/357219314344817/

    45 years of training and still not there. But every once in a while I get it right!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

    Yes, I fight in silk pajamas. And I have probably broken more opponent's ribs in my silk pajamas than many others rolling around in their knickers and mittens!

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