I remember watching a short video promoting a taekwon-do club in the US. The chief instructor was talking in an over-confident, even cocky manner. He claimed his school was the best because … it gave best rates. He also boasted his students could earn a black belt in three years.
Well, the cost of attending a dojo can be a factor in choosing a club to practice with. Yet that’s not the most crucial factor for sure.
More than that, instructors who claim they are best since they help to save money don’t cost much themselves.
In that particular case that I watched I would take away all the grades and dans from the “entrepreneurial sensei”. As there is a really big issue here that comes from the not uncommon Western approach to treat everything as a commodity that can be sold.
Even if it ought not to be sold by definition.
How can you say you are best because you charge less?
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, said that knowledge can’t be bought. The training fee simply serves as the right to attend a dojo.
What is observed in many cases though is totally the opposite. ‘Masters’ and ‘instructors’ are using marketing and promotion tools to attract students.
This seems to be especially true for the United States.
I am not saying there are no good martial arts instructors there. There are plenty of, I am sure. I m just saying that in the societies where advertising plays a crucial role things are not quite right.
I don’t know if I’ll ever would have an honor to teach someone. What I do know is I’d mention self-development, self-defense, health and spiritual growth, character forging, the wisdom of oriental philosophy embedded in the marital arts – anything except money!
I feel privileged to learn from Masters who are not only masters in their martial arts, but masters in life as well. None of them has ever mentioned money as a factor to consider their school.
In business focusing on cost cutting is totally fine.
In the world of martial arts that is totally unacceptable.