Martial arts: how much is it worth to spend?

The way we use our money describes us

In any context, the money we are willing to spend inevitably reflects how much we are really interested / attached to that field:

  • We can not say we are true painting lovers if we are not willing to give economic recognition to those who produce them
  • We can not say we love a person if we are not willing to offer her / him a dinner

The way we spend our money (the ones we do not need to live) is the mirror of what we really believe in, what we are:

  • Beyond all the empty words
  • Beyond the intentions, the willings
  • Beyond how we want to appear

We spend a lot of money in silly ways

A note by Master Kongling – When I go to fairs, events (etc.) related to the martial arts world and I find myself looking in the eyes with real martial artists, great athletes, incredible acrobats, formidable fighters (etc.), I am not ashamed to say that the emotion I feel is bordering on the commotion. This happens because it is not the present performance that I see but what is behind it: the years of failures, frustrations, fatigue, sacrifice, pain, study, obsessive search for details (read 7 principles to become a better fighter)… I see all the missed opportunities, the feelings put aside and somehow… my throat blocks. Although I am a mediocre practitioner, I know the truth, I know that talent is worth little more than a pat on the back: after all these years I can recognize at a glance the fake tricks to make scene from the real skills (the ones that require an entire life of a man or a woman to be mastered). I get emotional because I know what are the things that require time, infinite attempts, the ones that can expose to real risks (etc.) but, above all, I know that this commitment, this discipline and this determination rarely receives the correct recognition. This is one of the reasons why I have created the real master’s list (although many have advised against it, even if it is about promoting my competitors, even if I know that probably no one of them will reciprocate, it does not matter).

Personally, being able to choose, I prefer that my money is used to support people:

  • Who work sharing their knowledge in a sincere way
  • That somehow are working hard for me
  • That really gave us something useful / interesting
  • That really struggled to achieve their goals
  • Who have invested their lives to reach their level of experience
  • Who live firsthand what they teach

Certainly not to all the others:

  • Scammers (read Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics)
  • Teachers who dilute / hide their poor knowledge
  • Those who do not commit themselves to really understand what they teach
  • Those who do their best to keep their students below their level (read The characteristics of a true master)
  • Those who only teach to put themselves in front of reflectors to be admired
  • Those who use only tricks to amaze
  • Those who vent their personal frustrations on their students
  • Those who think only of their own benefit
  • Those who pretend to have incredible supernatural powers
  • Those who consider all other martial arts garbage

How much spend on martial arts? Where?

Indicatively, a reasonable expense could be 11% of our income: if we really love martial arts this is what we could reasonably invest to obtain a basic preparation.

Where it is worth thinking about spending? It is useful and reasonable to decide to spend on:

  • Private lessons with good teachers (willing to get involved)
  • Thematic courses (that deepen specific areas)
  • Seminars with motivated people (to give the maximum without distractions)
  • Quality weapons (at the right moment, read Learning the use of real weapons)

Not worth thinking instead of spending a lot for:

  • Low-level courses (those that will close in a few months, with amateurs, etc.)
  • Common use training equipment (except for that which could endanger us, read The basic equipment for training in 6DKF)
  • Uniforms (those made by N.A.S.A., who breathe, etc., those are not the ones who will make you a martial artist)
  • Easy titles and diplomas (Krav-Maga-Champion-in-4-hours style, etc.)
  • Participation in contests, competitions, and performances (if you have to pay too much, it could be a scam)

A note by Master Kongling – This is what I have always done, I have invested (time / economic resources) in quality learning and important equipment (up to 90% of my income in certain crazy period of my life), for the rest I have always minimized my spending (reusing what was reusable, adapting what I already had, building by hand what I could not afford, mending what was broken, etc.). On the other side, the fact is that beyond the prices that always seem too high, in 90% of the times with martial arts there is no enrichment (usually, it is hard to get to the end of the month). It is not strange that even famous masters live in old hovels, in modest apartments (as I have seen a lot of times in my life).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What percentage of your income do you spend on martial arts?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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