Author Topic: United Studios of Self-Defense  (Read 19993 times)

M.Rose

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2003, 01:24:04 PM »
Greetings Kempo-Sensei,

I went and checked out the American Fork studio

Karazenpo

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2003, 01:37:25 PM »
Imho, in a franchise-business operation of any schools monetary consideration is the predominant factor in the day to day operations of the studios rather than a deep concern for putting out a quality student. I know, it happened to me. When the chain of schools were small, quality control of training was more in line in how it should be. There were a percentage of instructors who ran classes as they saw fit and these are the instructors today who have grown and prospered in the arts and are respected by their peers. They found a way to make a few bucks but not at the sacrifice of quality instruction. Others became excellent businessmen but there has to be a compromise and unfortunately the compromise is in the training and the ranking system. Over two decades ago when I was still involved in a chain, I was putting out high quality students. They excelled at tournaments in fighting and forms and won recognition for self defense demonstration events. The management would approach me at meetings and kept 'harping' about getting my figures up. I would respectfully retort with what I just said above which obviously they knew to be true. Basically what I was told is that didn't matter. I was asked if I wanted a Cadillac and a Corvette parked in my driveway. I was told to 'tone down' the training and be, let's say, more forgiving in giving rank, up to at least brown belt. I was told it doesn't matter if they fall down throwing a kick, give them yellow belt in two weeks. Needless to say, I left for these political differences and I was told by the above mentioned that I would be closed up in three months without their........... 'guidance', I guess you could say. Well, this was in February of 1981 and its now June of 2003 and I not only have that school but I open up another. I don't make a lot of money at all but I have no problem looking at myself in the mirror when I shave.  ;) Do I regret hooking up with this franchise? Absolutely not. Believe it or not it was  one of the best things that ever happened to me. I met a great instructor, Craig Seavey, who is now Hanshi, 9th dan and co-head of the Nick Cerio Kenpo organization. We still train with each other and are close friends. He was my introduction to Kempo and gave me my identity.......my foundation and then some. I later met George Pesare & Nick Cerio, all because I was introduced to kempo by that chain. Go figure!  I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. :)

Respectfully submitted, Shihan Joe Shuras
« Last Edit: June 02, 2003, 02:06:41 PM by Shihan Joe Shuras »

Offline cirillo

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2003, 02:05:51 PM »
Michael, just because I say that I didn't understand one aspect of Badsifu's reaction, doesn't mean that I don't understand his general perspective.  Most of his points were accurate and understandable.

Remember, I am just suggesting that you two try to keep it civil and look at it from each other's perspective rather than wasting time (and text) flaming each other.  I am NOT suggesting that one of you is right.
Sifu Jeffrey D. Cirillo,  7th Degree Black belt in Wun Hop Kuen Do under GM Al Dacascos and 3rd Degree in FaChuan (Blossom Fist) under Sifu Bill Owens with over 35 years experience in the martial arts.
College Station, TX

M.Rose

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opinion on USSD restated
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2003, 02:47:54 PM »
Again, I must state that it was not my intention to start a flame war but like you said, you had a difficult time understanding why he would want to flame me. That is all I intended to sympathize with because I did not understand that as well. Like I said to him earlier, he could have simply asked for more details in regards to the school and then formulated his own opinion about what they charge. Furthermore, this is just an opinion issue and no one can really be 'right'. Honestly this has all gotten out of hand beyond what I intended and I apologize to everyone for inducing such a bandwith wasting thread.

So, I will restate my opinion in regards to USSD.

Based upon my own personal needs, finances, and schedule I find that the USSD chain (particularly the American Fork studio) charges too much for what I'm looking for. This is my opinion and my opinion alone. Others might be inclined to pay what they charge or even more but I myself am not.

I do not enjoy seeing flamewars on threads and I dislike being in them even more. I just simply wanted to share my thoughts because I thought that surely someone else here has encountered USSD and thought the same about them. I was correct in thinking this and I simply wanted someone else more knowledgeable in Martial Arts to verify for me that USSD was what one might call a Mcdojo. I felt that this forum would be a good place to see who else had been involved with USSD. That is all I really wanted.

No hard feelings to anyone I'm just a newbie trying to understand the various facets of the Martial Arts, particularly the business end and how it seems to be taking the place of quality instruction these days.

M.Rose

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2003, 06:12:27 PM »
Thank you Chuan'fa Sifu, I'm glad that you agree with me that the prices I mentioned are ridiculous. I could understand an instructor living in an area where the cost of living was higher consequently charging higher rates..but anything over $150 a month just seems to be too much, IMHO

I was told that when I look for a place to train, I look for instructors like yourself who simply want to pass on the knowledge of the martial arts to as many people as possible. I feel this should be the foremost concern on all instructors minds. Making money should not overwhelm their desire to simply provide students with practical knowledge of their martial arts system.

Thank you again Chuan'fa Sifu

Offline Brandi Ross

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2003, 07:19:56 PM »
Aloha,

     We have had this discussion in our dojo before.  We are located in South Kona where money is an issue for most.  As such, Sigung Alex Cadang and Sifus Alika and Ian are very understanding toward payments.  We normally charge $30 per month for two days a week at 2-2.5 hours of training each time.  To prevent students from dropping out, we give "scholarships" to some and they pay what they can, if and when they can.  We had a couple that could only afford $5-10 per month.  They paid that and trained.  I agree with Sifu Gerry Scott.  We are here to perpetuate the spirit of the art.  I'm glad we do this for others.  I hope that when I go off-island and head to Oahu that I might be able to meet some of the Kajukenbo instructors and train with them during my short trips.  This association is like an Ohana.

Aloha
Brandi Ross
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Kingi's Kajukenbo
GM Rick Kingi
formerly under Sigung Alex Cadang

Offline badsifu

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2003, 12:42:33 AM »
:):):):):):)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 11:53:07 AM by badsifu »
Dan Tyrrell

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2003, 01:43:12 AM »
I can understand how some martial arts schools can be a little expensive.  I just so happen to be a cash strapped college student.  I was taking classes but now had to stop because of unexpected expenses.  I was only going to pay $40 a month.  But school expenses, gas, and car insurance kept me down.   :(  I was just really getting into it.  Right now I am looking for a job in a saturated job market and competing with snot nosed highschoolers for a job at mcdonalds or something.  I have to say that if you have the cash and think that you are getting top of the line instruction then go for it.  If not then tuff noogie.  I would pay $250 for instruction if I got 24/7 access to training resources and top notch instruction.  I would also pay $40 dollars to train in someones backyard twice a week.  It's all about what you are getting.  I wouldn't go bashing other schools because they charged more.  Maybe the teacher isn't credited enough.  Fine, but that doesn't mean he is a bad teacher.  In highschool I have seen students that knew the material better than the teachers in things like math and such.  They obvioulsy are not credited teachers but they sure were able to make us understand the material easier.  Here I had a choice.  I could pay $60 and learn from a 2nd degree blackbelt or pay $40 and learn from a first degree both in backyards.  I have seen them both in action and both were great fighters and so I felt I got a good deal with the first degree blackbelt.  That's just my 2.5 cents.
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Kempo-Sensei

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2003, 08:37:17 AM »
So I did a little investigator work and talked with the chief instructor at the school in question.  I asked him what it would cost to have my 9 year old boy attend classes there.  And what he would get out of the program.

The instructor was very professional.  He first stated that it would be best to talk in person and we could go over the whole program.  But seeing as that was not possible becuase I live on the east coast, I told him that I lived in NH and was just looking at the schools in his area.  I did lie and say that I might be moving there.   :-[  But I did say that I might not be.

Anyway, he said his school is open 6 days per week and that they have classes for my son everyday.  And at different times.  He also stated that my son would get a private lesson with him each week.  He didn't say how long.

He did make a bold statement by saying that he could give my son the best martial arts instruction possible.  But I won't hold that against him!   ;D  

So for what seemed like one private each week, and unlimited group lessons, the cost was about $225 (maybe more, maybe less)  <-- his words.

Personally I believe this is a lot of money to invest in a karate program for your 9 year old.  But again, I will always state that it is up to the consumer to make that judgement.  Perhaps the people in Utah make a lot more money than the people in New Hampshire?

I should also state that I did say that I would be willing to sign a contract.  This was the price he set knowing that.

So in closing I will say this.  If he can get parents to pay $225 per month so little Johnny can study karate, good for him!  I haven't been able to get parents to pay that much at my school.  But why?  Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.   :-\





Karazenpo

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2003, 09:51:50 PM »
Agreed, Professor Scott ;) , so would I!

Offline badsifu

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2003, 12:20:38 AM »
Time to raise my rates to $225 a month then!
Dan Tyrrell

Raymond Ma\'ae

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2003, 02:22:28 AM »
Bad Sifu
So we can all put this issue to rest,raise your tuition to $225.00 a month and get signed contracts.Then report back next month on your progress.If not I wish you continued success with your class and to each his own.

Offline badsifu

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2003, 10:51:47 AM »
done :)
Dan Tyrrell

M.Rose

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2003, 10:58:49 AM »
Challenge accepted! I would only start a school upon reaching 4th or 5th degree Blackbelt and it would never be equal to USSD in size, location, or student size. It would only be superior in services offered  :)

However I must digress, making assumptions about schools based solely on what they charge was indeed folly on my part. There are of course other factors that make a 'McDojo'. Its just that technically, since USSD are so large I would think they have the sales volume to charge lower prices for their services. Sort of like Wal-mart I suppose  ;D

Based on that I still think they are over-charging a bit, but thats just IMHO. I could definately imagine a school which charged the same thing, offering far-from-McDojo services with high-quality instruction among other things.


Karazenpo

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Re:United Studios of Self-Defense
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2003, 01:19:10 PM »
   I've personally never heard of anyone charging those inflated tuition fees, to put it mildy. Before it is brought up about Bruce Lee again, I am aware of that but that's a different scenerio. Lee was an instructor to the stars. They had big bucks to spend, he knew it, they knew it and it was acceptable to both parties. On this post we're talking about the martial arts available to John Q. Public, blue collar workers as well as white collar. Imho, I think its prostituting the art. Teenagers working part-time at the local supermarket, single parents, students trying to work their way through college, etc., etc., I just don't think it's right regardless of what your talent is, its a matter of ethics.  A diminishing virtue in today's martial arts world. Again, don't shoot me, just my opinion!  ;)    Shihan Joe Shuras
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 01:20:54 PM by Shihan Joe Shuras »