Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
There are many factors that come into play when considering what you should expect to pay for karate lessons in general. The key question to ask is what is the difference between real value and perceived value. For example, perceived value might be enrolling your child in a program taught by a very high ranking instructor who uses his extensive tournament successes as a reason you should train with him/her. However, real value may show up in the way that a martial arts school promotes positive experiences and authentic character growth in it’s students.
Are the lessons for yourself, or a child?
Some martial arts schools will price their programs differently for children and adults. If classes are shorter in the children’s programs, you may encounter a lower price point. However, often times the energy and time investment in teaching children is higher, and this may serve to justify a higher price. Some dojo will have suplimental services attached to a program. For example, if a dojo has a weight room for adults, they may charge a higher fee for the adult program. Many martial arts schools will charge the same rate for both adults and children, and on top of that will offer family level discounts to make access to training more affordable and realistic for the whole family.
What are the services offered?
Not all services are created equal. The core services you can expect in a martial arts school will be access to regular group training classes. In addition, added services could include upgrade programs, sublimental curriculum, and rank evaluations for student progress. Some programs will offer unlimited training times and charge more, only for new students to find out that they can only realistically attend twice per week. Other services, usually for additional fees, could include tournaments, and seminars.
Convenience of class times and availability
The professionalism of martial arts schools is influenced by many things, but mainly it will depend on the attitude of the owner/chief instructor and the staff of instructors. Availability of class options in any given week will help determine the value you should expect to get from that school, but won’t be the only deciding factor. Some martial arts schools will only make 2 class time options available per week, and this is necessary for them as they may be operating out of a local church hall or rec center. This fact does not automatically suggest that the value and service you would receive would be substandard. There are other martial arts schools that employ full time staff and operate in a secured facility with all the overhead associated with that facility. These schools will be able to offer a large selection of class times, and don’t necessarily guarantee that the value and service would be a higher rate.
Onboarding process and support from admin staff
As a new student in a martial arts school, there will be a learning curve as you experience attending group classes first time. In the industry of martial arts, there are varying levels of service for onboarding new students. Some schools will simply throw a new student in a class to figure it out for themselves. While others will provide a consistent and scheduled follow-up system of meetings, private lessons, and direct individual interaction that will help students and parents become more comfortable.
Digital access and remote training opportunities
In this uncertain time of the Covid-19 pandemic, access to virtual training is essential. This shows the commitment and caring that a martial arts school and it’s instructors have for their students. A combination of live classes and pre-recorded curriculum, accessible by student proficiency level, will provide a higher level of service and value in any program. It also eliminates any excuses for not training.
Cleanliness of facility
Going the extra mile when it comes to organization and cleanliness says a lot about the attitude of that martial arts school. Especially now after the global awareness around cleanliness as it relates to viruses, a martial arts school that does not maintain a regular cleaning schedule should not even be a school you are considering.
Professionalism of instructors
There are many martial arts schools who believe a professional instructor is simply someone who’s earned their black belt. This is a falsehood, as in my experience there is no relationship between being proficient in a martial art and being able to instruct and inspire a student. If you are considering attending a martial arts school that is committed to the growth and development of it’s instructors you should expect to pay more.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Most martial arts schools will offer you at least a free class trial. It is important that you experience what training in the martial arts is like before you make any kind of a commitment. But then after that, many schools will enroll you in a longer term commitment with no option to cancel or stop before the end of the committed term. Making it a challenge for you to withdraw is important in supporting you in your goals, as many people experience the urge to quit something that is challenging. But when it comes to value in a martial arts school, it’s impressive to see a school that promotes a money back guarantee. You won’t find many martial arts schools that do.
Extended time guarantee
Martial Arts schools, in general, are not like gyms. Although, some operate like gyms in that they charge a monthly ‘membership’ fee in exchange for attending their classes. Upon enrolment, you may be required to fulfil payment of the entire membership, pay-in-full upfront, or be given the option to quit with 30 days notice. However, a martial arts school that sells you a prescribed program instead of a membership, with an allotted number of classes, and a clear cut description of the services you will receive, will be able to offer you an enhanced service called the ‘Extended Time Guarantee’. This allows students to continue to make finance payments against their programs, and have the option to take a few months off for whatever reason, knowing they will have an extension on their time when they return to training. You can expect to pay more for a service like this.
We Offer A Trial Program
Most of our new students begin training on a trial program. Depending on the time of year or the offer currently being provided, this term could be from 2 weeks up to 30 days in length. This is a good way to experience scheduling and attending group classes without worrying about an extended commitment. We’re confident that after experiencing our classes students will be excited to enroll in a regular training program. In fact, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee.
Usually at the half-way mark of a trial program, we’ll invite you to attend a progress check appointment so we can discuss how things are going and what enrolling in a basic program looks like. The progress check appointment is all about getting your questions answered and helping you to see how training at Barrie Karate can help you achieve your martial arts goals.
Our Basic Program Term Enrollment
Enrolling in a basic program looks a little different depending on the age group. At Barrie Karate we offer programs for ages 4 to 7 (Lil’ Dragons), ages 8 to 12 (Junior Karate), or ages 13 and up (Teen-Adult Karate). We’re not like a gym or fitness center. We don’t enroll students into ‘Memberships’, but rather we sell students a set ‘Program’. These programs include a set period of time and a set amount of classes. One of the best benefits of this system is that students can take advantage of our extended time guarantee, which allows you to take a month or more of absent time and add it to the end of the program term without needing to renew. This means you won’t miss out on classes you pay for due to illness or vacation time.
Keeping Children Motivated
As with anything in life, challenges will arise. This is especially true when we’re talking about children. When you enroll in a program at Barrie Karate we take the time to help you understand that we’re in this together. A partnership between our instructors and the parent is the glue that helps a student reach their highest potential. If ever your child expresses a desire to discontinue their training, we’d simply ask you to share that with us so we can work together to coach that student through whatever barrier or challenge they are facing. This could include personal one-on-one coaching in a private lesson to help re-ignite their own motivation for training that they started with. We always say that it’s not the child that quits, it’s ultimately the parents. So if you feel that your child is still getting value from their training, it’s worth the effort to work with them together to get them back on the path.
Flexible Group Class Schedule
At Barrie Karate we’re known for our flexible group class schedule. We offer multiple weekly class options for your to chose from, and never lock you into one set selection.
Depending on the age group or program, you can find from 4 to 6 or more options every week. Our class booking system allows you to see in advance which classes are available for your age group and program, and how many spots are still available. We also have a waiting list for those classes that fill up. If you enroll in the waiting list, you’ll be notified for a first come, first served basis to book the available slot when one becomes available.
Class Offering By Program
In the Lil’ Dragons program (ages 4 to 7) our classes are based on life skill themes. There are 4 physical and 4 mental skills that we rotate through from week to week. Each of our classes in any given week include basic karate training as a tool to help them develop the themed skill.
In the Junior Karate program (ages 8 to 12) our classes are split into 3 categories. There are required curriculum classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, Themed classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Specialty classes on Fridays and Saturdays. We also offer required curriculum make up class times on Fridays and Saturdays for those that can’t make the Monday and Tuesday classes in a given week.
We follow a similar system in the Teen-Adult program (ages 13 & up).
Full Class Schedule
Once enrolled in a trial program, we’ll send you a copy of our dojo class schedule along with instructions on how to book your classes.