“I Can’t Train. It’s Too Expensive!”

“I Can’t Train. It’s Too Expensive!”

Where is Your Money Going?

I was on the phone with one of my representatives in Texas, who told me that he was having a hard time recruiting people for the upcoming Bayani Warrior Training Group Session in Dallas, Texas because a lot of the people he was recruiting felt that the session was too expensive. In today’s economy, I can totally understand why the average person would think my rates are too expensive. However, when it comes to what I teach, I feel it’s important to charge a high amount, and the reason for doing so goes way beyond mere financial gain. 

I began teaching Filipino martial arts full-time through my organization, Bayani Warrior (www.bayaniwarrior.com) about 2 years ago. When I started, my mentor and teacher Tuhon Carl Atienza of Atienza Kali told me, “When you teach, make your teaching expensive. Don’t charge a little. Charge a lot.” When I first heard this, I was reluctant to do so. However, 2 years later, I now realize the value of what he told me. 

It’s no secret that our economy is in a huge jam. As a result, people here in the United States are reluctant to do anything that would put a strain on their wallets. The average martial arts school charges $150.00 per month, often with unlimited training throughout the week. However, my rates are different. When it comes to teaching the public, my public class rate is $100.00 per month for 2 sessions a week and $150.00 for four classes per week. My private training rate is $125.00 per hour, and when my Officers (instructors for Bayani Warrior) train, they can pay upwards of $200.00 to $300.00 for a DAY of training. The average person looks at this and says, “That’s insane! Why would anyone pay that much money to train in stick and knife fighting?” In all honesty, I don’t blame the average person for thinking this. Again, today’s economy is tough, and most people wouldn’t shell out a lot of money for training.

However, I feel it’s important to realize the nature of what I am teaching. Filipino martial arts, at least the way we view it in Bayani Warrior, is not just a hobby. As a Filipino-American, I emphasize the fact that our ancestors in the Philippines didn’t train in this art for free. While they may not have paid in monetary goods, they paid a even higher currency for training and learning the art: blood. In Sayoc Kali, there is a saying: “When you draw your blade, a million hands draw it with you.”  As a result, I feel it’s important to charge what you feel the art is worth. People paid a higher price to train in this art than money. I hold these arts in such high regard that I am not going to charge a meager amount. After all, people gave up their lives for this. My ancestors fought and used this art to protect the motherland. Why would I charge a small amount for something so rare, combat-effective, and valuable as this? 

When I was a personal trainer, we were taught that there is a difference between “It’s too expensive.” and “I cannot afford it.” When someone says that they can’t afford something, they are often saying that they see the value of the training, but due to their financial situation, they feel they need time to work hard to get the money together. However, those who say it’s too expensive are saying that they don’t feel it’s worth spending all that money on. 

The fact is that we all have our priorities. My priority, as well as the priority of the people I train, is to budget and put money aside for training. However, other people are different. I know a lot of people who would rather put their money towards a new car, or towards buying a round of drinks for them and their buddies at the local bar or club that weekend, or towards buying a nice pair of shoes. I don’t judge them for that. It’s simply what they want to spend money on, and more power to them. However, I feel that if one wants to train, they will find the means to do. They will budget and organize their funds as necessary. This type of focus and organization is part of the Bayani Warrior lifestyle, and it’s something Tuhon Carl taught me from day one: If you really want to learn something, go out and do what’s right to make it happen.

In conclusion, I charge what I feel the training is worth. Everyone who has trained with me has always walked away from a session satisfied and eager for the next training session. I am one of the best Filipino martial arts instructors in the world and I guarantee that every cent you spend on training with me will be worth it. In fact, I tell people that if they are not satisfied with a session, they can get their money back, no questions asked. However, in two years, NO ONE has ever asked for their money back.  

Just something to think about…


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