RIP Starbucks?

As my training is progressing, Grandmaster has routinely put me in more and more situations where I am helping teach or train newer students.  I always suspected he was grooming me to be an instructor, but now I know for sure.  I have been officially invited to join their instructorship program.

While this is a huge honor, and 8 months after that original post, I finally feel as though I want to be an instructor, and I think I would be a good one, I’m not sure we can swing it.   It costs money and that is in increasingly short supply lately.   It’s not a huge amount in the scheme of things, but still a possible hardship.  Quitting my daily Starbucks would probably free up some of the cost for the year.  My husband and I are going to go through our finances and see if there is anything we can give up to make it work.  I’m thinking subscriptions, both print and online, and I’m sure there are a few other things we could find as well.

The timing couldn’t be worse as we just had to buy another car because my husbands 15 year old car finally decided it had enough.  Even though we bought used, we still financed.  After the down payment on that and signing up for the local pool (for my kids, especially my 10 yo, the swimmer), our tax return has already been spent.  TKD seems to have a detrimental effect on the credit limit on our credit cards.  It seems like there is always something to pay for (tests, seminars, equipment the kids have outgrown, uniforms they have outgrown).  When talking to Grandmaster about the cost and what the time committment would be, my husband was ready (as always) with the automatic “Thanks, but no thanks”.  Whereas it is something I am interested enough in to think “Wait a minute, I can make some sacrifices”.  Hell, I already gave up the acrylic nails and my pedicures, I can give up some of my other non-essentials for this opportunity.

We need to give an answer in about a week, so I better get crackin’ on those finances.



  1. I’m so happy that your TKD experience is turning out to be a lot better than mine has!!

    Maybe if you think of being a TKD instructor as a “going back to college,” it might be easier to justify it in the long run?

  2. I don’t get it. Why should you pay for the privilege of working for them as an instructor? It seems to me that you’re doing them a favor by helping them teach. Aren’t you already paying tuition to attend the school?

    Maybe it’s a different culture but in BJJ I don’t know of schools that charge for belt testings and the privilege of volunteering to help the school run.

  3. It’s a small fee for every belt test (which is fairly standard in TKD) and I wouldn’t be paying to teach per se, but paying for the training to become an instructor. It isn’t straight up teaching TKD either. We have leadership classes and he does life coaching as well. Along with being a GM, he is also a hypnotherapist and has a Ph.D in psychology. He has developed a system of training that is more than the physical, it is also mental and emotional training above and beyond what martial arts give you.

  4. Our dojo does not charge for kyu rank belt testings but there is a Federation fee at Dan rank testings. There is no charge for instructor training. There is a Federation fee for the instructors certificate at the 4th Dan testing.

    As far as teaching, there are certain people who you just know would make a good instructor. I am sure your Grandmaster can see that in you.

    Perhaps the fee could be waived or reduced?

  5. When I was invited to instructor training, my first question was, “This is a huge investment. I need to know if it’s going to pay off.” It seems pretty likely they want you as an instructor, but are they going to pay you? All of my tests and equipment, I’ve been paying for with my salary from the dojo (until recently). That’s been a huge bonus and gave me the opportunity to learn all sorts of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s not a bad gig, but you can’t let “honor” get in the way of reality. Volunteering is nice but if you’re paying for tests and whatnot, you’re paying into a business that needs to pay you back for your time and service.

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