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    Default Instructors Paying for Classes

    This is something I've seen recently and I'm curious about others' experiences and take on the situation.

    When you are an instructor at a school, do you feel you should also pay for lessons?

    I don't think you should. Privates maybe, if there isn't an appropriate group class available, but it seems to me that if you are an instructor, the school owner would want you to give the best instruction possible and should provide you that.

    Thoughts?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    In general...if the instructor is a full-time, employee that is legally and properly on payroll, then I don't think the instructor should pay for group classes, but I do think the instructor should be financially responsible for private lessons.

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    My thoughts...

    If I have enough confidence in an individual to ask them to be a regular, qualified, scheduled instructor in my school then I think their willingness to instruct is enough payment for me. In essence, free tuition is payment for their time.

    Having said that, I do believe that there is a difference between "teaching someone to teach" and making them an instructor. If I have a green or blue belt work with a lower belt on something I do not feel that this is recognizing them as one of my instuctors. What they are doing is learning to teach by doing. Strict supervision is necessary in these situations. It's my responsibiity to make sure what is being taught is up to snuff. If there is one thing that I think has contributed to the inconsistencies of what we know as Kenpo today is the practice of having unqualified and unsupervised colored belts teaching even lower belts. This was a practice consistently practiced by Mr. Parker and something that is preached hard by the Tracy franchise system. My opinion is that Kenpo in America has survived in spite of this practice, not because of it. Sorry for the rant.

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    This is something I've seen recently and I'm curious about others' experiences and take on the situation.

    When you are an instructor at a school, do you feel you should also pay for lessons?

    I don't think you should. Privates maybe, if there isn't an appropriate group class available, but it seems to me that if you are an instructor, the school owner would want you to give the best instruction possible and should provide you that.

    Thoughts?

    --Amy
    The way I see it if you teach there and you personally are not paid for helping teach. Like you are trying to get your 2nd/3rd and maybe at some schools even 4th Dan before you yourself are considered a true Sensei yourself. Then you should still pay because technically the only reason you are teaching is to get experience at teaching. But once your system considers you a full fledged Sensei then really your instruction is more like mandatory credits you have to accumulate in order to stay "certified". The dan level that you must be to be at this level differs from one system to another, but once you reach that point the Hanshi/Master/Senior Sensei should recognize that at this point you could have your own dojo that you teach at instead of theirs (even if you are getting paid by the one you are teaching at).

    Which brings me to my next point. If you are teaching at your own school and the Hanshi/Master/Senior Sensei is not seeing any income from YOUR school then I would say that it is feasible that they would still require you to pay for your lessons. That is until you yourself are considered a Hanshi/Master. Then it should be acknowledged that you have reached a certain level and no longer need the active "instruction" that classes provide but rather to stay active in the system.

    I think for the most part the majority of senior sensei do not charge black belts that they themselves have taught the system from inception to the system, but rather just "testing fees" for the next rank. Which usually are steep enough. But that they do charge black belts that they themselves did not teach the system but want to do "refresher" sessions. It has largely to do with what kind of "master - student" relations they have. Also, if a black belt from one system wants to get a black belt in another system I can see them being charged even if they do "share" part of their primary system with the school. It can really tricky as to who is charged and who is not once they have gained black belt and/or help teach at the school.

    But yes, IMO as a whole I tend to agree to the concept that if you are a black belt and you teach at the school then your lessons should be considered an "investment" in the school's instruction level and they should not be charged.
    Devil Dog Mark
    Hawaiian Kempo & Okinawan Kubudo

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    I guess I should clarify too that I mean black belts teaching, not the lower belts who are still learning about teaching.

    And I don't mean black belts who are assisting. I'm talking about the ones who run their own class and are responsible for being there.

    It just seemed like a rip-off to me that someone is going to get paid to teach, then have to turn around and essentially give the money back for getting lessons. If that's the case, then just do a trade.

    I know someone who is a brown belt that this came up for. He didn't get his brown belt at the school, but it's the same style. He was going to get paid per class to teach, but then was going to be charged for lessons. So it would've worked out to teach a couple of classes, several times a week in exchange for one class once a week and maybe $50 a month. That's how it would've worked out. That didn't seem like a very good deal.

    I do agree though that if you are running your own school, then you should still pay your instructor for lessons unless your instructor is getting a percentage or something of your school. Like a franchise fee or something.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    My instructor is a great martial artist, rotten business man. Once you achieve black belt in our school, you no longer pay for classes. You also don't get paid for teaching either (except for 1 or 2 exceptions).

    Amy, I would agree with you. I find insturctor's that have to pay a bit odd. If they do have to pay for classes, then, at the least, they should have a decent discount. Besides that, what are they paying for? Are these black belt classes? If they are, then I guess it's okay. Still, instructor's should pay less or nothing if they teach on a regular basis.
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Z-Rex View Post
    My instructor is a great martial artist, rotten business man. Once you achieve black belt in our school, you no longer pay for classes.
    Sounds like my instructor, black belts don't pay, assuming they are helping teach.
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    I dont pay for lessons, My dues are paid by teaching the lower belts, and coffee runs. rofl

    We like to think of ourselves as coaches, we all help each other get better.
    Getting my blue and green belt was a great help for my instructor to review and perfect his black belt extension and rediscover some forgetton techniques. I train with the purple and down and I found that my understanding and basics improved 10 fold. I don't plan on opening my own school,but some day become partners!

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Hi guys,

    EW... a sore spot for me. I think it's important for a school owner to remember that his students pay for an hour of instruction each class and so many classes a week. When that time gets shortened the student needs to be compensated.

    Amy, I agree that a black running the class shouldn't pay. Matter of fact when students’ contributions to the school regardless of their rank become significant they should be compensated fairly.

    don (el paso)
    Daffy, fighting with his $1.25 quarter staff : "Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!" (quarter staff bounces off log, bending his beak. He straightens it back to normal, and starts speaking to himself) "Something's amiss here... hmm, let me run through it. Ho, haha, guard, turn, parry, dodge, spin, ha, thrust." (beak bends again) "Got it." (straightens beak, and starts his fighting moves again.) "Ho! Haha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin!"

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    This is something I've seen recently and I'm curious about others' experiences and take on the situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post

    When you are an instructor at a school, do you feel you should also pay for lessons?

    I don't think you should. Privates maybe, if there isn't an appropriate group class available, but it seems to me that if you are an instructor, the school owner would want you to give the best instruction possible and should provide you that.-Amy


    Well my first thought is, “you don’t PAY YOUR INSTRUCTORS!”

    Am I correct?

    It is actually against IRS regulations to “trade” tit for tat and NOT pay the IRS their percentage.

    Everyone pays.

    Even instructors pay. They pay me for training them. And they are on contract for those lessons.

    I pay them $15 bucks an hour for training my clients. And we have a employment contract for keeping me honest also.

    My reasons?

    Because I’ve done it both ways. It they don’t pay, they soon feel that their lessons are NOT worth anything thing.

    When they pay, you as the instructor, make damn sure that you do a great job with them.

    Now, “instructors” do get “instructor’s training” for FREE, after they’ve signed their non-disclosure agreement and their non-compete clause.

    My “instructors training” is worth quite a lot of money, especially if they have an idea about starting their own studio sometimes in the future.

    And I do give my instructors extra benefits that the normal client does not get. Many of them in fact.


    ©Dr. John M. La Tourrette



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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Actually, throughout most of my years in the martial arts, I have paid for very few lessons. My last school I paid probably the most.

    Many of the instructors I've had over the years have, for whatever reason, have just given me lessons.

    And I have never once taken it for granted. I have highly valued the lessons and have given back, in turn, by assisting in any way that I can.

    Once I reached black belt, I was immediately given my own class to instruct.

    I didn't take whatever lessons I got for granted at all, regardless of the fact that they were 'traded' for instructing. I think the reverse was true in my case, but I don't think it was personal in any way.

    I've always valued all of my instruction (well, I've been to a few stinker schools along the way, so sometimes I'm sure I didn't place as much value on it.)

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Doctor John is 100% correct. If you are running a commercial school and doing the tit-for-tat to get extra instructors, etc... Making it part of their promotion requirements, and so on ... You are ok unless the IRS comes a-calling. Then you may find yourself in more trouble than you can afford.

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86 View Post
    Doctor John is 100% correct. If you are running a commercial school and doing the tit-for-tat to get extra instructors, etc... Making it part of their promotion requirements, and so on ... You are ok unless the IRS comes a-calling. Then you may find yourself in more trouble than you can afford.
    There are ways to work it so it's within the rules. It's the principle of the thing I'm talking about.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    I agree with you Amy, I don't always pay my mother for babysitting. I hope the taxman doesn't take her or I to jail.

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    There are ways to work it so it's within the rules.
    --Amy
    How would we do that Amy?
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    I agree with you Amy, I don't always pay my mother for babysitting. I hope the taxman doesn't take her or I to jail.
    You analogy is not isomorphic.
    Therefore it is invalid for the interesting case in point that Amy brought up.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Ps. and I did babysit my brother-in-laws children while my wife went and visited her mother in the hospital. And, because what we do contribute to her welfare is done legally, we can deduct certain aspects.;-)

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86 View Post
    Doctor John is 100% correct. If you are running a commercial school and doing the tit-for-tat to get extra instructors, etc... Making it part of their promotion requirements, and so on ... You are ok unless the IRS comes a-calling. Then you may find yourself in more trouble than you can afford.
    Yep.
    Commercial Karate studios do get looked at.
    Now in Amy's case that might not be the case because she is teaching out of someone else's facility.
    I'm not sure what the legal particulars are there.
    When I gave "MY" particulars they were for a money making commercial Kenpo Karate studio.
    I do know that Ed Parker was knee deep in IRS audits because he did that "good-old-boy" type of payments.
    Sometimes some one would build his an addition to his house for training, he didn't claim it and when he was audited, he did have many problems.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    Actually, throughout most of my years in the martial arts, I have paid for very few lessons. My last school I paid probably the most.

    Many of the instructors I've had over the years have, for whatever reason, have just given me lessons.

    --Amy
    And I, on the other hand have always paid (in one way or the other) for my lessons, and I was glad to do so.

    Except of course when I was the head trainer, which has been the case for many a year.

    Interesting concepts.
    Thank you Amy.
    Doc John

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Kaur View Post
    In general...if the instructor is a full-time, employee that is legally and properly on payroll, then I don't think the instructor should pay for group classes, but I do think the instructor should be financially responsible for private lessons.
    Yep,
    In my studios we charge for privates for EVERYONE.

    And we give away the Mastery Classes, and the Sparring classes to EVERYONE!

    All MC's and SC's are TOTALLY FREE!

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    ps. Does anyone have a clue to what our retention of clients is?

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    Default Re: Instructors Paying for Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    I do know that Ed Parker was knee deep in IRS audits because he did that "good-old-boy" type of payments.
    Sometimes some one would build his an addition to his house for training, he didn't claim it and when he was audited, he did have many problems.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    I am far from a tax attorney, and such questions are best left to the experts. But applying some common sense (if one can apply such to tax laws), having someone building an addition to your house or other such obvious red flags can get you in deep with the gestapo, I mean the irs. But just giving free training, I don't see how the irs can find a problem with this. Same if the black belt wants to teach as a hobby.

    But what do I know about how the irs will take anything. I'm sure some smart tax attorney could set something up on the books that makes an instructor a sub-contractor and school tuition as a business expense for that instuctor where it all zeros out on both ends. Lots of paper work on both ends just to make it above board.
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