Indeed. I know of one operator who has a way to work around this problem. He has small premises in a prime location, so he can’t fit as many people in as he needs to meet his rent. So what he does is offer slightly inflated rates compared to other centres, but on a six month training deal (most others are monthly, or per lesson). Then he makes classes so boring that students leave before the expiry of their membership, making room for the next vacancy. I heard one story from a former student that one of his go-to exercises was to require newbies to meditate by imagining that they were oranges. Who’s going to fall for that?
That crap only applies to his kids’ class, since kids are often seen as a rental solution (and high turnover is expected), whereas adults are more of a medium term prospect. I completely disagree with that business model, especially since it is damaging all MA centres in that postcode. The public see one centre not offering a service they expected to receive and assume that it applies to everyone.
I had another prospective student approach me one time and ask how long it took to get a black belt. How long is a piece of string? We talked for a bit, and they told me of another style that handed out that rank after just six months of training. I was appalled and said, “We’ve got those black belts too, except ours are green.” FFS, since when has earning your stripes become secondary to skiting to your mates about how quickly you learned nothing?
And don’t even start me on the ones who do destruction techniques on pieces of gyprock and think that has some kind of merit. Although… at least they aren’t breaking hands on roof tiles and blaming their students for poor execution (some things require proven competency before you risk injury, rather than proving your competency by successfully navigating an unfamiliar hazard).
I’d much rather discuss the positive side of MA, but it would be misleading to ignore the shonky aspects of the industry. So many crooks!
That's terrible that he would con people out of money like that. As you said there are lots of crooks in MA. I remember hearing a local instructor say that they try to get the students, especially kids, up to green belt in the first three months because the research showed that if kids get to green belt then both them and their parents are like 60% more likely to stick around to black belt. So they were admitting they rushed kids to get a green belt to keep the parents paying.
Six months to a black belt is just absurd. Holding rank is like getting a drivers license. It doesn't mean you are a great driver it just means you met the minimum requirements to get a license in that state. Holding rank is the same thing. It just means you have met the minimum requirements to hold that rank at that school.
Going back to the six month membership in your example, that is why so many people advise students not to sign contracts. Once you are locked into the contract now you owe them the money if they teach you anything or not. I'm looking for an instructor who has enough confidence in his ability that he doesn't need students to be under contract.