How much do you charge?
As you might imagine, it's a bit frustrating when someone calls the school and those are the very first words out of their mouth. While we certainly understand that the cost of training is an important consideration, it's not the only thing to be weighed in deciding where and with whom you will train. So when that cut-to-the-chase question is asked first and often without any additional inquiry or even apparent interest in what might distinguish us from any other school, it's difficult to feel that being straightforward about our fee structure is in any way beneficial to either us or the prospective student.
Hence, while we will be happy to explain our fees to you when you come by to visit the school – we no longer do so over the phone or via any other form of electronic communication. We feel that, if you're serious (and quite frankly, we're not interested in anyone who isn't), you'll make the trek to see our school, meet Guro Mark and perhaps audit a class, to get a sense of how he teaches and the kind of people who train here, the men and women you'll be training with if you join.
We don't think of prospective students looking for information about our school as 'leads' to be 'generated' and 'closed.' This is not a gym and we are not in the business of selling memberships. In fact, if you do come by to watch or try out a class, you may never be asked if you are interested in joining and you can rest assured that no one will ever 'pitch' you.
After all, the last thing we want are students who had to be persuaded to join. However, since no one will be cuing off of a market-tested selling script to aggressively convince you to join in spite of your predicted objections, you should not presume we aren't interested in having you join if we don't ask.
If Mark invites you to either observe or participate in a class and you find that the way he teaches speaks to you, it is his feeling that the proverbial door has already been opened to you to become a student and it is up to you to take the next step on your own, without being pushed.
During that visit, Mark will be evaluating you as a potential student as much if not more than you'll be assessing if what we have to offer is what you are looking for. Part of his responsibility is creating and maintaining an environment that is most conducive to learning, and the composition of the group is of great importance in that endeavor.
As he sees it, fundamentally, there are two kinds of students – those whose nature it is to contribute and those whose nature it is to take. When the student body of a school is made up of enthusiastic 'contributors,' everyone benefits, but allowing just one self-serving 'taker' in can drag the entire group down. With that in mind, Mark is very particular as to whom he will accept as a student.
If you make a positive impression and he sees potential in you as a student, he may be inclined to offer you a lower rate to make it possible for you to join if the regular monthly membership fee is not affordable. However, unless you want to be perceived as a 'taker' and immediately eliminated from consideration, please don't make the mistake of asking for a discount 'just because' or, worse yet, misrepresenting your financial situation to finagle one, as the truth will come out.
Our membership fees are reasonable and competitive but – with all due respect – if you came to our website and clicked on this page straight away because you're making your decision about which school to join based entirely on the costs involved, we recommend you look elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you're actually serious about finding a good teacher, we ask that you click over to our testimonials page and read through a couple, paying particular attention to those written by students who've been training with Mark for over a decade. We challenge you to find a single one who chose to study with him because he was the cheapest.