My Taekwondo charges $69 testing fee for every belt under Black, is that expensive?

I got to a WTF school. I've done some research and it seems like it's quite expensive compared to my friends' Dojang. My year's tuition alone is about a little more than $1200. (Includes Sparring Gear, Uniform, and WTF membership) However, we do practice 5 times a week for an hour, a little shorter on Sparring days because of how exhausting it can get. One-Step Sparring on Tuesday and Free Sparring on Friday.

On other days of the week we do: Poomsaes, Kicking, Self-Defense, Stretching, Falling Motion, Breaking Technique, and Self-Defense.

My Master's son was National Taekwondo Champion in 2011, which proves he must be a good teacher for his son to excel at that level.

However, with that said, do you guys think that a $69 Testing Fee is quite expensive or is it reasonable for the amount of training I'm getting?


Black Belt Testing is $79 for each degree, I believe.

9 Answers

  • possum
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    $100/mo isn't outrageous. Being able to train 5 days a week is great, some places limit you to 2 or 3 days, and then only on specific days.

    As long as you aren't being nickel-and-dimed on everything, and the training is age-appropriate, you should be fine.

    But you mentioned two things that I don't like: one is that your instructor's son is a national winner. Who cares? That does not mean you will be a winner, and it doesn't even mean you'll compete there - even if you are that good.

    The other thing is the WTF black belt test costs and WTF membership. You need to know that WTF and Kukkiwon are two different, but related organizations. WTF is concerned only with competition (and by extension, Olympics). Kukkiwon concerns only with black belt and instructor certification. IOC bylaws stipulate that the Olympic liaison (WTF, and similarly for other sports) not be affiliated with a particular country. So WTF (the Olympic liaison) is not a Korean entity, and Kukkiwon is a Korean government organization charged with certifying instructors and dan certs, which have nothing to do with the Olympics.

    I don't know what the fees are to be part of WTF. But there are no direct fees to be part of Kukkiwon, though instructors do need to be certified with Kukkiwon in order to be able to award Kukkiwon dan certifications. I don't know what it costs to certify an instructor, but a 1st dan black belt is usually around $150. It is typical to charge a person applying for black belt for that charge, rather than amortize that rate over their membership fees, because that would make their membership fees appear higher compared to other schools - so it is purely a marketing concept to delay charging this fee. Most people in our world expect the black belt test to incur fees of several hundred dollars - another common marketing trick, which is designed to get you to train there for several years, put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and then have a huge fanfare at the end: a self-fulfilling cycle.

    As a result, I highly doubt your black belt tests are $80. Minimum would be $150 just to cover Kukkiwon. I've seen rates vary from $200 all the way up to $1000, as someone here on Y!A recently reported. Is it a scam? That depends. A place that produces top fighters that win national tournaments or gets their competitors into the Olympics will charge the higher end of that spectrum - and their monthly fees will also be higher. But, their facilities and trainers will be much higher quality as well.

    Just because a place charges high rates and has a lot of trophies in the window doesn't mean you're gonna get those trophies or even compete with the top fighters. More details need to be considered.

    Having said that, $100/month is reasonable, $70/belt is a bit high. And $80/black belt means either that the remaining $70 for that belt is amortized in your regular fees, or you are mistaken about the rates, or, you aren't certified through Kukkiwon (another common tactic instructors use to keep their rates low).

    EDIT: whether you like it or not, places where you train do have expenses. The place needs water and heat, rent must be paid, taxes must be paid, and - usually - the instructor needs to buy liability insurance. Other expenses include instructor training (would you want to train with an instructor who stopped training?), and this can include his/her own memberships, testing fees, and travel. Also, some places like to host seminars and tournaments, and your membership contributes towards financing that.

    Now, another aspect of your instructor's business is the competition down the block. For your instructor to attract and keep students, monthly fees need to be kept as low as possible because that's what people use to compare between schools. The incidentals like testing fees, uniforms, etc are often forgotten about until several months into training. Other schools bilk their younger students by creating weapons classes (taekwondo does not have weapons), leadership corps, and black belt clubs. These are money vacuums some schools use to offset the low monthly fees (and some are not really that low anyway - the biggest mcdojos are often the most expensive!)

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  • 5 years ago

    I charge $25 for the first four colors, then $40 for the higher ones, because they are further apart. I also, however, have a box they can check that says it would be a financial difficulty, in which case they pay $10 to cover the cost of the belt, certificates and boards. Anything over $10 is basically a donation that they give to support the school. My black belt test are $100, then $150, etc. but if they want certification from the national or international organizations, which is optional for them, It is $20 over the actual price I pay the groups to cover my paperwork and mailing expenses. I am lucky enough to live in a small town with cheap rates for things, including my rent, so I don't need to hit my students for every little thing. We also supply hogos for everyone to share and buying your own is optional. If you have a certified instructor and a nice place to work out, $100 per month is fair. mine is about $86, but it includes unlimited classes, 6 days per week in 8 different martial arts.

    Source(s): I am 8th dan with 46 years taekwondo training.
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  • 6 years ago

    I've always been against testing fees. Basically your paying $69 for a $10 belt which your instructor even gets cheaper because he buys them in bulk. Everything should be included in your monthly charge. Of course though many instructors have found by charging testing fees they can get a cash boost every few months. I know I'll get a lot of thumbs down from instructors on here that rip off their students with these fees, but I would like just one instructor just one to give me a good reason of why they charge such a high fee. The belt doesn't certainly cost that much. Your time? Well, since your at your school anyway and do testing during normal class times then how can it cost you time? Boards? possibly the only excuse I could see depending on how many boards you actually purchase per student.

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  • Artist
    Lv 5
    6 years ago

    The prices for things like that are different from school to school.

    $1200 per year = $100 which is an average price. Plus with that you get the other things you mentioned so that's pretty good.

    The testing fee is not too bad. It all depends on what you want to pay and how you define 'expensive'. All in all though I don't think it's that expensive.

    Source(s): 11 years martial arts
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  • Kokoro
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Testing fee's vary depending upon the organization and instructor. It also various upon rank as well.

    That is an oddball number. Usually I use to charge between 30 to 75 below black belt.

    As for the training cost a 100 a mount his about average. Cost vary depending upon the area usually from 50 to 190


    Brian in some cases it's the association that requires the fee not the instructor and that fee can vary depending upon the association

    Source(s): 30yrs ma
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  • 6 years ago

    Kokoro gave a very good answer. My instructors fees are base regulated by the foundation itself. These fees are supposed to cover student record processing, certification documentation, and organization rank registration. It takes people and time to do that stuff, and no "company" can stay in business by doing things for free. My instructor adds his cost for belts, stripes, patches, etc. so it doesn't become an additional expense, but he has no profit margin on those items.

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  • 6 years ago

    It doesn't cost anything for your instructor to test the students.

    In all of my testings, including black belt, there was no additional cost above the regular monthly rate for training.

    . .

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    That's not really a lot but I'm in a itf tkd school it's 45$ every mouth and every there mouths is testing fee

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  • 6 years ago

    I sure wouldn't pay for it. They can KEEP those belts.

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