Friday, December 03, 2010

More on cost and value

So, what got that Mokuren Dojo guy talking all that nonsense yesterday about martial arts classes not being worth $90/month.  That guy is nuts.  He doesn't know what he's talking about.
Thanks for all the great comments on my previous article on the cost of martial arts classes.  Most of your objections I had anticipated, but some of you brought up interesting points I hadn't thought of or added a local perspective that rendered the discussion fresh and interesting.  Blogging is a lot more fun when y'all interact and comment and discuss and repost, than when you read a post and either say, "That guy's a moron," or "Yep, he's thought of it all."
Regarding yesterday's topic of the value and cost of martial arts classes.  That's a tough issue for me to work through in my mind.  On one hand, I think martial arts are some of the greatest activities in the world and I wish nearly everyone would participate.  On the other hand, I think there are a lot of things that you could be doing with $100/month that would make you a better person and the world around you a better place.
If it is self-defense that you are doing martial arts for, then you are putting a lot of effort (and money) into a methodology that might help you if you happen to get assaulted, when you could be spending that money on living a lifestyle that reduces your risk for assault.
If you are participating for exercise or health reasons, those are certainly good reasons to be doing martial arts, but you could be spending that money on your blood pressure and cholesterol pills, which have a greater effect on your health and survival.
If you are participating to build confidence and reduce your fear of being victimized, does it make sense let your sensei soak you for twice the going rate of the best instructors in the world?
But then, when you go down this path of trying to get your money's worth, how do you quantify the value that you receive from martial arts classes?
Some commentators have told me that people tend to assign greater value to services that they have to pay a premium for.  I've heard and seen that phenomenon before and it still makes no sense.  If, for instance, throughout my martial arts career I had consistently paid my teachers twice what they asked for, would I now be a better martial artist?  If I had paid them 10x what they asked would I now be a demigod?
This whole line of discussion makes little sense to me and it frustrates me to try to wrap my head around it when I could be spending that time and effort and mental power on trying to figure out how to beat people up better.  But I figure there is still some good conversation surrounding this topic of value and cost of martial arts, so... lay on!  Have at me!

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