To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

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To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby captaintau » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:11 pm | #1

Right: decision time.


Those that read my journal will know what I'm talking about. Those that don't, here's the overview:


13 years ago, aged 18, I reached Shodan Ho in SCI. I have since upgraded all the way to 4th Dan. I have also managed to get Dan graded in three other Martial Arts but in those cases I graded straight in at Dan, skipping the coloured belts.

Four years ago, a Taekwondo club opened in the venue that I teach at. I decided to give it a go and have managed to work my way up to 1st Kup. My 1st Dan grading is next Saturday. Now, aside from all the criticisms of TKD, I do really want to take this grade. I've worked for it. To be honest, I want to prove to myself that I can still do it; that I can put myself through what I demand that my students do. I do have one worry about the grading, that being that a level of fitness is expected and I'm not sure that I can reach this. Fitness has always been a problem that I've never managed to address properly. I don't know why and I have tried hard. You all know how often I've trained and that in the past I've trained myself into exhaustion.

The question is this. The cost of it.
- £27.50 montly fees are due
- Extra pre-grading session this weekend = £10
- Pre-grading seminar (mandatory) = £15
- Grading = £125
- Post-grading meal (expected) = £19.50

That's best part of £200 that I can neither afford and to be completely honest struggle to justify. The actual grading will likely be under half an hour. The two hour seminar beforehand isn't officially part of the grading but we all know that it is really. I'm inclined to tell them where to go with charging like that. But then I can't help but feel that I'll have let myself and my students down by not completing the process. I don't have a lot of time to decide. The deadline is Sunday.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby ToffeeApple » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:45 pm | #2

I know this means a lot to you, otherwise I'd say this was a no-brainer.

Will you feel better for the money in 3 weeks time, or will you feel like you failed yourself and wasted time preparing for a grading you then decided was bullshit?


I suggest grading, crying off the meal if it's possible on the day, ("Sorry master, but I have terrible wind...") dragging your feet on the extra suits you need to buy citing money issues and then quietly blanking your 'master' (or whatever the korean ones are called) every time you see him in the street.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby captaintau » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:13 pm | #3

I appreciate your honesty, TA.

ToffeeApple wrote:I know this means a lot to you

I think it's the process rather than the art that means something. I've already reached the conclusion that TKD is a highly flawed art taught by (mostly) narrow minded MAists and is almost universally money orientated. That doesn't take away the grading process being a huge challenge. That I've struggled at various times makes it more significant to me.


ToffeeApple wrote:I suggest grading, crying off the meal if it's possible on the day, ("Sorry master, but I have terrible wind...") dragging your feet on the extra suits you need to buy citing money issues and then quietly blanking your 'master' (or whatever the korean ones are called) every time you see him in the street.

I need to pay for the meal in advance. I don't have to get the suits immediately (read "at all" in my mind) and the likeliehood of running into any of the instructors is low.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Pocahontas » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:54 pm | #4

I can't quite get over the cost of the grading.  :? The other expenses seem about right, but that's just soooo much money!
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby aiki-jitsoo » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:53 pm | #5

I also think the prices are rediculous Pete. At the end of the day i guess you need to work out how much you want to gain your 1st dan and weigh up whether it's really worth it.

I personally think you should go for it, then you can add it to your long list of MA achievements.  :)
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Genghis » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:24 am | #6

Thoughts:

- From private conversations you and I have had, you have much better uses for £200.

- I can't for the life of me see value in a 30 minute dan grading: by comparison you and I conducted a 5th kyu kempo grading last week in 2 hours, and both felt we needed longer to assess our students properly.  (And we charged them £5 each!).

- To be fair, the cost of the training isn't unreasonable.  The cost of the grading and new suit are ludicrous.  I'd personally only charge students for an extra session if I had to pay for the dojo separately: otherwise this is somebody with utterly the wrong attitude.

- The meal: either you want to spend social time with these people (which is fine), or you don't.  If you don't, why are you training with them?  This looks to me like an all-or-nothing issue.

Having said that, in your position I'd do it, take the grade, say thank you, and leave.  But, you've got this far and paid a lot - find the money from somewhere, then stop throwing £28/month away on opportunities to get frustrated and injured.

G
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby KroSha » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:45 am | #7

I agree with G. I'd see it as the last push and then never darken their door again. You'll soon save back the money from the lack of mat fees.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Nazareth » Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:50 am | #8

If you really want a challenge, why not take up TJF or Aiuchi instead?

Probably as demanding as TKD, with cheaper gradings, and you get to play with advanced breakfalling :)
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby captaintau » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:35 pm | #9

Nazareth wrote:If you really want a challenge, why not take up TJF or Aiuchi instead?

I'd thought of that. There's a uni' TJF club in Worcester. But I'm open about my reservations of TJF.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Genghis » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:35 pm | #10

captaintau wrote:
Nazareth wrote:If you really want a challenge, why not take up TJF or Aiuchi instead?

I'd thought of that. There's a uni' TJF club in Worcester. But I'm open about my reservations of TJF.


It's also possible that you train too widely?

With your gorgeous house not-quite-finished, and talent and passion for music, plus space to train solo perhaps the quality of your existing activities, rather than the spread, might be the way ahead?  For me, that's pretty much reason why I don't canoe anymore (having nearly made international standard in slalom once upon a time) and have cut back on the number of types of flying I do from three classes of aeroplane to two.  To allow me to be really good at what most matters to me.

G
Wrestle well, skillfully wield spear, sword, and dagger in a manly way.  Strike true and hard and rush in - those who understand this will despise the one who defends.  (Sigmund Ringeck, C15)

http://www.buckskempo.org.uk/
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Fluffy_the_happy_lobster » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:46 pm | #11

How much?

That is really taking the piss. Dan gradings in aiuchi are £35. And there is none of that other crap. Talk about taking the piss.

try tjf for this term. You might find your reservations surprise you.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby nz_ROB » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:21 am | #12

Take the grading - if you can afford it - achieve what you set out on the journey to achieve - and then move on to new challenges (not necessarily martial arts challenges). I know you want to achieve your TKD Dan belt but I also know that the training has produced as many questions as it has answers (if not more!!)
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Goober » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:27 am | #13

If you cannot afford to spend the £200 don't do it.

Its a lot of money if it is coming out of your disposable income and is something which really honestly means something to you. If you have already decided that post grading you are never going back it is an insane amount of money, especially if you can't really afford it, or that money could be better used elsewhere.

I can't imagine your students will care that much, and if they do, they will probably respect you enough to understand your decision.

Oh, and I do think you should give TJF a try (you could train for 2 years at loughborough, all in, for the cost of that half hour grading) So if you turn up and don't like it you haven't lost anything, and you might find you're suprised.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby captaintau » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:23 am | #14

Paid the money. I'll cover it from my ISA which my "car" fund - for tax, MOT, insurance, repairs etc. So now I've got to hope for a not-too-expensive MOT in November.

My worry now become my fitness. That's for another day and maybe next week I'll start a thread on it. The short version is that I seem to find a very fine line between training and overtraining. At the moment I wonder if I'm into the latter (again). If I fail on anything it'll be this. I've talked it through with some of my students - one is 2nd Dan TKD. I think I'm putting the pressure on myself, not anyone else. I just want to show that I can endure what I demand of them. I've never been one to put myself on a pedestal or sit on my grade.
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Re: To grade or not to grade... look at those prices

Postby Splinter » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:23 pm | #15

whens the grading CT ?

if its solely a fitness test then Id say youve made the wrong choice in doing it, purely becaiuse its NOT what your looking for.

 if not then Im sure you have the skills.

as for your students youve put the work in and Im sure they know that....they are not going to leacve orr think less of you for not taking it OR for not passing it.  sit back enjoy the ride and kick ass !
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