For many, school is either about to begin or has already begun. This also normally marks the start of many Martial Arts classes.
Getting your kids involved in Martial Arts is opening the pathways to many great benefits. Training in Martial Arts helps children focus, learn discipline and respect, and improve their overall self-esteem. Getting your kids involved in physical activities in general is setting them up for a positive lifestyle for the rest of their lives.
Starting Martial Arts at this time of the year is particularly beneficial:
- many Martial Arts schools are kicking off new classes at this time so your child will be more likely to find others at their skill level to practice with
- many Martial Arts schools launch new programs during this time to allow students the chance to try out the different styles
- children are already under the mindset of "setting a new schedule" because of school and thus are more likely to integrate it into their overall routine
- workloads tend to be less during the start of the school year, thus giving your child the opportunity to get used to Martial Arts and into some higher level (and potentially more exciting) work before they get overly busy
- there is a nice long period between the start of school and Thanksgiving (one of the first major breaks they will have) for them to train consistently
- nicer weather during this time means there are still opportunities to practice outside and enjoy the last remnants of summer
Making the commitment to Martial Arts can be costly and in these times of economic hardships, it can be a burden that many families arenít able to afford. Aside from the classes themselves, a student will have many other expenses:
- uniforms, patches, etc
- testing and requirement manuals
- sparring equipment, weapons, etc
- special seminars and events
- Ö just to name a few
On average, you can take the probably take the total yearly tuition cost and double it for a good estimate of what your expenses may look like for the year.
Ex: $75/month * 12 months * 2 = $1800/year
Before you panic over the total expense, here are some tips that may help to cut down on the cost
Cost Saving Ideas for Martial Arts Training
Participate in Used Uniform Sales/Exchanges
Children grow out of clothes so quickly that often time uniforms are still in fairly good condition when they no longer fit. If your school doesnít offer it, consider starting up a used uniform sale program. Accept only gently used uniforms and charge only a portion of what the original uniform cost. The parents will then both spend less and receive some money back for their investment.
Buy in bulk
As with everything else, when you can purchase things in bulk you can often get a better price. The same is true with most Martial Arts schools. If you can make the commitment, look to see if they can offer you reduced pricing if you pay for several months at a time. If your child is new to Martial Arts, I would caution you against going for a full year right away; but try to look into a quarterly or bi-annual payment structure for reduced expenses.
Practice at Home
Some students excel because they can afford the time and expense to be in the school every day. Not all of us are that lucky. To get the most for your money, make sure to establish a space and time for your child to practice what they learned at home. This will strengthen their abilities and help keep them motivated in between classes.
Layaway for the future
Most of the major events and purchases that you will have to make are known entities, in that a teacher can often give you an estimate as to when they will need certain items and the approximate cost. You can work with your child and develop a savings plan to get them (and you) on track to saving enough money for that upcoming expense. Then it will be less of an immediate burden and your child will have learned a valuable lesson in how to save money for things they want.
There are so many fundraising opportunities these days, you need only look around and you can find something that is suitable for you and your school. If thereís a major event coming up and several parents are struggling with paying for the event, consider banning together and holding some sort of fundraiser to help pay for the expenses. Thereís a variety of different ways to do this and a variety of different organizations out there to help as well.
Buy when you need it, not when you want it
One of the biggest mistakes I see parents do is they rush out to buy their children equipment only to realize they may have bought the wrong item or their child loses interest before they use the equipment. This becomes the biggest waste of money when it comes to Martial Arts. Using a bit of self-restraint and honest conversation with your teacher is the best approach when buying items for your childís Martial Arts training. If you canít have that level of honest conversation, then maybe you are with the wrong school.
Good luck everyone with the new school year and train hard!