What’s the going rate for private lessons?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Monkey_Magic, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    It's no-one's business how they choose to spend their time! Going back to the plumber analogy; would you demand a plumber knock off a few hours' labour costs because they were giving free plumbing advice on a forum the night before?

    If people choose to charge less that's fine, I would still defend anyone wanting or needing to charge a professional rate though. At the end of the day it is some people's livelihood, not a public service. If people are put off by high rates then find someone else or suck it up and attend the public classes.
    aaradia likes this.
  2. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    I’m in an identical situation to Bruised Lee. However, the fees have just doubled. This is very stressful, because I’m now wondering if I can continue. It’s come as a shock, because I’ve been training there for several years.

    Sorry about that. It’s because I’m so stressed about the situation. (I already work immense hours, with no opportunity to add a second job.) Also, my wife only just tolerated me paying 30 quid an hour for martial arts and a higher hourly rate would be beyond the pale.

    I’m not some teenager with expensive DJ equipment! I don’t waste money. I’m an older guy who’s done years of martial arts, just with a family to support and a job that prevents me from being able to make group class times.

    A little more about what some students give: prior to having kids, I used to drive three hours each way to my previous class (i.e. 6 hours driving per class). In addition, I’ve had to have surgery multiple times to be able to continue martial arts. Please don’t patronise me by saying “it’s there for those that want it”.
    David Harrison likes this.
  3. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That sucks.
  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I'd say if they value their time so much why are they wasting it on a public forum giving away free advice unless its to draw I'm customers in which case its a good marketing tool :)

    Its not about sucking it up (passive aggressive again) its about do you agree with how they value their skills if you don't don't pay and as you say go elsewhere

    Lloyd Irwin used to charge £5,000 for a private if I remember rightly, not sure anyone ever paid it not because they had to suck it up but because they didn't feel it was worth that cost.
  5. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I got into contact with one of the teachers via another forum and asked him, if I were allowed to watch a session he gives during the summer holidays, because "my" club doesn't train then.
    He invited me to attend and after that session he and another trainer offered me to stay the whole holidays.

    I talked to first teacher from the go, that I couldn't afford them but they said right away , I shouldn't worry and wait for the holidays to pass.

    I should also mention, that my Sensei knows the people and the club as well and is friends with them.

    After some weeks even *after* the holidays, the "boss" approached me, offering the deal and I was then happy to agree!
    That it came to the extent it is now - let's just say, I doubt anyone expected that to happen.

    But I also will suck it up (to use the words as I can't think of anything else right now. My brain is on "freeze" at the moment, sorry! It's not to sound like an ass) and will try to get 22€/months for another club, so I can learn at a former teacher of mine again, and that maybe even twice a week.
    But I'm nor sure I'll make it unless my Mom decides to help me out with it, since I can't go and work, unless I want to get into real trouble (a situation, admittedly, that doesn't fit most and normal people!)

    Of course, I'd never had the idea to call a private school, going: "Hey, here I am, teach for free or maybe a tenner".
    That's entirely different.

    But I admit, some answers here came across a little off and seemed to blame a person for not being able to pay and therefore not being worthy.
    And yes, that still strikes me unfair, which was the reason I write something here.
    David Harrison and Monkey_Magic like this.
  6. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    This shows why it is so hard to run a martial arts business.

    The business professional is chastised for putting a value on his product.

    How much did you pay for your iPhone that cost Apple less than $225 to manufacture by the way?
    Thomas likes this.
  7. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I see nothing close to any attack in any of these posts. I see a person asking about private lessons, then not liking the answers. Then, instructors explaining why they charge what they charge. Hannibal and Simon have families. If it isn't worth taking more time away from THEIR family or other things for less than a certain rate, I think that is totally fair and their right to say so.

    I also don't see any reference to hobbyists in a derogatory way. What I saw was someone saying it wasn't fair to families putting food on the table for kids, and people correctly pointing out that that is a necessity and MA for most of us is a hobby. No one is entitled to private lessons because it IS a hobby - not a basic necessity. Making a distinction between a hobby and a basic need was appropriate because others made it sound like food and lessons were on the same category.

    Instructors have a right to prioritize their time as they see fit. Most instructors at my school have a main other job that pays their bills. Even though they get paid, it isn't what they sustain themselves with. So, they work two jobs, spend time training. Add they may or may not have other things in their life- like their own family. (Again, my school doesn't exactly fit scenario's like private lessons taught as extra, because our structure is different than most.) But Simon has a main job and Hannibal's main gig was an LEO for a long time. Like I said, they both have families. They have to find time to train so that they stay qualified to teach. And then they have a right to other things in their life as well. To tell them to give that up and teach at a rate the student dictates is where I see an attitude issue. We live in a free market. Go find private lessons at the rate you want to pay. If you can. And if they are good quality- more power to you, but don't complain and tell others what to do with their time and business.

    Mind you, I am not an instructor. I have no personal stake in defending instructor rates. Haha, actually the opposite as spending less would be personally beneficial. Who doesn't like to spend less on anything?

    What I found condescending is someone who doesn't teach telling others what they should charge. Fine if you think it is too much, but just don't pay it. Don't tell others they are wrong for what they charge. They have every right to charge what they see fit in an open economy. Invoking the "what about families choosing food or martial arts" was really silly. And should have had responses saying so.

    I think you are possibly reading the posts with a defensive attitude because of your personal situation and reading a lot into/ or misinterpreting what is actually being said. I could be wrong, but that is how it comes across to me.
    David Harrison likes this.
  8. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    No he isn't, it's simply a buyers market and some business professionals are worth more than others no matter how said business professional views his or her self
  9. Bruised Lee

    Bruised Lee Valued Member

    You're correct, market dictates price. Most people can't afford some of the prices quoted on here. Fortunately there's some amazing teachers charging 'Ford' prices because they know people can't afford more
  10. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Thanks Latikos. I was gobsmacked by some of the replies. If they were in Bruised Lee’s or my shoes, they might be less condescending.

    Consequently, I was very disappointed by the condescending replies of some of the instructors here.

    I’ve been through considerable physical pain, in order to continue martial arts (surgery on most of my limbs, plus the pain of kickboxing with arthritis).
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  11. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I stopped training for 5 years because my son (then one year old) was just hours from death.

    Another son is now disabled due to a road traffic accident.

    My wife too has been in and out of hospital.

    Please don't assume you are different to anyone else, especially when you call us condescending.
    Hannibal likes this.
  12. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That kind of attitude really rubs me up the wrong way. No-one is entitled to their time, nor are they entitled to chastise them about how they spend it.

    Passive-aggressive? I don't know, maybe. I've had my eye on a particular electric guitar for a couple of years now, but I can't justify the cost because of other responsibilities. I'm sucking that up! :)
    Hannibal and aaradia like this.
  13. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    First, double rates is a serious bummer. I am truly sorry to hear that. But on the business side, maybe their rent for their place went up? Maybe the insurance rate went up? Maybe they are investing in more equipment? Or finding the current rate didn't support their own family?

    I didn't say everyone was the equivalent of the example of the teenager. In my many years on forums, that more people than not prioritized other things and then complained about not affording it. That isn't the case with you. But in a general discussion it is worth pointing out it is the case with a lot of people.

    If you have jobs that prevent you from going to group classes that is a bummer. Again, I feel for you. But it still does not mean any person has to charge a particular rate for private lessons. Private lessons in most anything are going to cost more than group rates.

    Hope you find a way around your dilemma.
    David Harrison and Monkey_Magic like this.
  14. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Simon, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your kids. Some things put life in perspective.
    aikiMac likes this.
  15. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    How would you be able to make that assumption? I have known instructor's who have had surgeries to continue martial arts. You don't know the sacrifices instructors make to teach. You shouldn't assume this.

    Add to that that for some instructors, being healthy enough to teach IS part or some of their income and not a hobby. So they have an added stress of their health affecting their livelihood.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That's great, and I would do the same. I never turn away an enthusiastic student because of a lack of money. However, this isn't my living, and I would never expect or feel entitled to reduced cost because of my financial position.

    I can see how some posts have rubbed people the wrong way, but I think that's more about the delivery than the message.

    Yes, it isn't fair, but we're talking about businesses, not charities.
    aaradia likes this.
  17. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Anyway, the good news is that plenty of people have said that £30-40 is normal, so don't bother with anyone quoting a higher price! :)
    Monkey_Magic likes this.
  18. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Your right and I’ve edited my post accordingly. I was just cross, for the reasons Latikos highlighted:

  19. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Just for another reference, at my current BJJ school, 1 hour privates are $60 (US) with a purple belt, $80 with a brown belt, or $100 with a black belt.
    Hannibal likes this.
  20. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I'm sat here giggling like an idiot because people keep talking about their "privates" :D :D

    But, seriously;
    If you're hungry, you can buy a McDonald's for less than £5, or you can go to a fancy restaurant and pay upward of £60 for a meal.
    If you can only afford a Maccy D's, you don't consider the posh nosh.

    The same with martial arts - if you want a private session, look around and see what is available, maybe even outside of the current art you train. See what is in your price range and go from there.

    Instructors can value their theory + skill + time + costs however they like.
    If it's out of your price range, either save up and take private sessions occasionally when the bank manager allows it, or find a cheaper option.

    Even if you only go to a new teacher once, you may learn something that you didn't know before.
    axelb, Thomas, aaradia and 1 other person like this.

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