Legal Issues..

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:34 pm

Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I'm honestly quite surprised that it's that much of a pain in the arse. It's a bit of a problem because I'm totally broke and the problem will be exacerbated when I return to living in a Western country and have to start over from scratch, plus with school loans etc.. After all of the years that I've sacrificed to learn this stuff in China, living in slums and slumming it, I really need to charge some money for my lessons..

I wonder if these two points will change your opinions:
1) For the first several years (I imagine) I am planning to teach in public spaces and won't take on too many students and will have them sign waivers.
2) The training swords we use are made of a moulded plastic/rubber handle and a PVC plastic pipe that runs through the handle, covered by hard foam. With a fencing mask in place, there should be no serious injuries possible. Wearing gloves and a chest protector (for the thrusts), and possibly a cup, should mitigate any other injuries, save tripping and falling.

I will not be able to afford liability insurance for quite some time. I really hope that I won't need to resort to teaching for free. I wasn't planning to get rich off of it, but it would help to pay for itself and perhaps some travel money or something.

If I just charge for equipment rental to cover my costs would I still need the insurance. At the very least I don't want to lose money on it..
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:39 pm

I will absolutely have a certificate from my Master, so, yes, that will help legitimise it. I still need to finish my swordsmanship video. I'm waiting to get closer to the end of my training. I think I'll do it in a month or so. Then I'll create a separate page on my website for it.

The idea of "guest-teaching" at another school may be a good one. If they have the insurance already and students sign waivers, it may be good enough??

I can't believe that you need that much insurance for Pilates... :o

Being picky about who I teach is definitely a good idea. I hate lazy students and those that care a lot about face or those that are overly violent. Now I have another reason not to teach them.. 8-)
Last edited by MaartenSFS on Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby Iskendar on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:17 am

I'd say check out a local HEMA or kendo club, and ask how they do it?
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby northern_mantis on Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 am

MaartenSFS wrote:Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I'm honestly quite surprised that it's that much of a pain in the arse. It's a bit of a problem because I'm totally broke and the problem will be exacerbated when I return to living in a Western country and have to start over from scratch, plus with school loans etc.. After all of the years that I've sacrificed to learn this stuff in China, living in slums and slumming it, I really need to charge some money for my lessons..

I wonder if these two points will change your opinions:
1) For the first several years (I imagine) I am planning to teach in public spaces and won't take on too many students and will have them sign waivers.
2) The training swords we use are made of a moulded plastic/rubber handle and a PVC plastic pipe that runs through the handle, covered by hard foam. With a fencing mask in place, there should be no serious injuries possible. Wearing gloves and a chest protector (for the thrusts), and possibly a cup, should mitigate any other injuries, save tripping and falling.

I will not be able to afford liability insurance for quite some time. I really hope that I won't need to resort to teaching for free. I wasn't planning to get rich off of it, but it would help to pay for itself and perhaps some travel money or something.

If I just charge for equipment rental to cover my costs would I still need the insurance. At the very least I don't want to lose money on it..


That's pretty much my business model. Not using metal weapons and teaching anywhere - parks, home for 1 to 1 training. Insurance is £60 a year for millions of pounds worth of cover and first aid was £25 last time I done a refresher (I shopped around a lot for that, you can pay a lot). That's only £85 a year in outgoings, a pretty good business model. Might be some variation for the US of course.

Only flaw is that a lot of people think when you teach informally it's not a 'proper' school. No problem though, that's a good idiot filter. I've found it makes commercial sense to be picky about your students as well as keeps you sane.

Just my thoughts, I'm a rookie teacher so no doubt there's some more experience around here.
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby Trick on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I'm honestly quite surprised that it's that much of a pain in the arse. It's a bit of a problem because I'm totally broke and the problem will be exacerbated when I return to living in a Western country and have to start over from scratch, plus with school loans etc.. After all of the years that I've sacrificed to learn this stuff in China, living in slums and slumming it, I really need to charge some money for my lessons..

I wonder if these two points will change your opinions:
1) For the first several years (I imagine) I am planning to teach in public spaces and won't take on too many students and will have them sign waivers.
2) The training swords we use are made of a moulded plastic/rubber handle and a PVC plastic pipe that runs through the handle, covered by hard foam. With a fencing mask in place, there should be no serious injuries possible. Wearing gloves and a chest protector (for the thrusts), and possibly a cup, should mitigate any other injuries, save tripping and falling.

I will not be able to afford liability insurance for quite some time. I really hope that I won't need to resort to teaching for free. I wasn't planning to get rich off of it, but it would help to pay for itself and perhaps some travel money or something.

If I just charge for equipment rental to cover my costs would I still need the insurance. At the very least I don't want to lose money on it..

being able to make a living teaching CMA is probably a dream for many here, but it sound not an easy task, I hope you succeed. As we have seen here you are a quite good photographer and you stayed a long time in China so are probably quite fluent in the language and know your way around here I think these are the skills that seem more likely as a base for a future "stable" income.....Ok I know this is a martial art forum, so we should certainly mainly talk martial arts related issues,but as many here advocate "reality" in CMA so should we also see reality in life, but I do hope making a living teaching CMA will be the reality for you.
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby JoeWood on Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:14 pm

Don't sell yourself short. Responsible adults will pay $10-15 per one hour group class & $75-100 for private lessons. Give them an incentive to pay by the month or even 3 months in advance. Those price points help weed out the flakes. Try to get in renting space at an already established martial arts business (karate, tkd, bjj, etc) where you can potentially recruit new students from their classes & start generating word of mouth exposure within the community.
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby Dave T on Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:56 am

Hey Maarten,
Good question, liability insurance is definitely important teaching in the States. Waivers also, unfortunately, don't do much. When you come back and start setting up, consider a few things - having taught at a large commercial school, and now running a much smaller operation, I wish someone would have told me some of these beforehand.
1) Get a normal job and use it to fund your martial arts teaching and start up. Making a living off of martial arts is HARD, it can also really kill your passion for it and cause you to water down what you teach or add classes you don't want to teach just to get more students to make ends meet.
2) If you are looking to rent space, definitely find a building that is used for other things. Rent on a space that you own is incredibly expensive and, seeing as you may only use it 10 or so hours a week for teaching, you are paying a lot of money for space you aren't using. Senior Centers, Church social halls, and school gymnasiums are great places to start and already have a consistent flow of people coming in and out to recruit students from.
3) Make sure your price point matches the area you are living in/teaching. Low income areas demand low income pricing, high income areas you can charge more but also expect to pay more for good location where you are teaching.

Good luck with getting set up
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:10 am

northern_mantis wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I'm honestly quite surprised that it's that much of a pain in the arse. It's a bit of a problem because I'm totally broke and the problem will be exacerbated when I return to living in a Western country and have to start over from scratch, plus with school loans etc.. After all of the years that I've sacrificed to learn this stuff in China, living in slums and slumming it, I really need to charge some money for my lessons..

I wonder if these two points will change your opinions:
1) For the first several years (I imagine) I am planning to teach in public spaces and won't take on too many students and will have them sign waivers.
2) The training swords we use are made of a moulded plastic/rubber handle and a PVC plastic pipe that runs through the handle, covered by hard foam. With a fencing mask in place, there should be no serious injuries possible. Wearing gloves and a chest protector (for the thrusts), and possibly a cup, should mitigate any other injuries, save tripping and falling.

I will not be able to afford liability insurance for quite some time. I really hope that I won't need to resort to teaching for free. I wasn't planning to get rich off of it, but it would help to pay for itself and perhaps some travel money or something.

If I just charge for equipment rental to cover my costs would I still need the insurance. At the very least I don't want to lose money on it..


That's pretty much my business model. Not using metal weapons and teaching anywhere - parks, home for 1 to 1 training. Insurance is £60 a year for millions of pounds worth of cover and first aid was £25 last time I done a refresher (I shopped around a lot for that, you can pay a lot). That's only £85 a year in outgoings, a pretty good business model. Might be some variation for the US of course.

Only flaw is that a lot of people think when you teach informally it's not a 'proper' school. No problem though, that's a good idiot filter. I've found it makes commercial sense to be picky about your students as well as keeps you sane.

Just my thoughts, I'm a rookie teacher so no doubt there's some more experience around here.

I think that we are of the same mind.. I need good idiot filters.. :P

I think that I'll need to shop around, as you say and look for some good deals. About eight years ago I received first aid training for a job, so getting a refresher course is not a bad idea, either!
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:15 am

Trick wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:Thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. I'm honestly quite surprised that it's that much of a pain in the arse. It's a bit of a problem because I'm totally broke and the problem will be exacerbated when I return to living in a Western country and have to start over from scratch, plus with school loans etc.. After all of the years that I've sacrificed to learn this stuff in China, living in slums and slumming it, I really need to charge some money for my lessons..

I wonder if these two points will change your opinions:
1) For the first several years (I imagine) I am planning to teach in public spaces and won't take on too many students and will have them sign waivers.
2) The training swords we use are made of a moulded plastic/rubber handle and a PVC plastic pipe that runs through the handle, covered by hard foam. With a fencing mask in place, there should be no serious injuries possible. Wearing gloves and a chest protector (for the thrusts), and possibly a cup, should mitigate any other injuries, save tripping and falling.

I will not be able to afford liability insurance for quite some time. I really hope that I won't need to resort to teaching for free. I wasn't planning to get rich off of it, but it would help to pay for itself and perhaps some travel money or something.

If I just charge for equipment rental to cover my costs would I still need the insurance. At the very least I don't want to lose money on it..

being able to make a living teaching CMA is probably a dream for many here, but it sound not an easy task, I hope you succeed. As we have seen here you are a quite good photographer and you stayed a long time in China so are probably quite fluent in the language and know your way around here I think these are the skills that seem more likely as a base for a future "stable" income.....Ok I know this is a martial art forum, so we should certainly mainly talk martial arts related issues,but as many here advocate "reality" in CMA so should we also see reality in life, but I do hope making a living teaching CMA will be the reality for you.

You make some valid points.. Once upon a time I hoped to make a living from it, but reality has firmly grasped hold of me.. I hope to find a job using my fluent Chinese. If I can manage that I'll be happy. ;D

Photography is another endeavor unlikely to yield a lot of profit, but I have more photos coming soon and do hope to finish writing my book before I grow old and die.. :P
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:17 am

JoeWood wrote:Don't sell yourself short. Responsible adults will pay $10-15 per one hour group class & $75-100 for private lessons. Give them an incentive to pay by the month or even 3 months in advance. Those price points help weed out the flakes. Try to get in renting space at an already established martial arts business (karate, tkd, bjj, etc) where you can potentially recruit new students from their classes & start generating word of mouth exposure within the community.

Thanks for your advice. I won't sell myself short. I just need to find a job to pay the bills and then get things up and running.. :)
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:31 am

Dave T wrote:Hey Maarten,
Good question, liability insurance is definitely important teaching in the States. Waivers also, unfortunately, don't do much. When you come back and start setting up, consider a few things - having taught at a large commercial school, and now running a much smaller operation, I wish someone would have told me some of these beforehand.
1) Get a normal job and use it to fund your martial arts teaching and start up. Making a living off of martial arts is HARD, it can also really kill your passion for it and cause you to water down what you teach or add classes you don't want to teach just to get more students to make ends meet.
2) If you are looking to rent space, definitely find a building that is used for other things. Rent on a space that you own is incredibly expensive and, seeing as you may only use it 10 or so hours a week for teaching, you are paying a lot of money for space you aren't using. Senior Centers, Church social halls, and school gymnasiums are great places to start and already have a consistent flow of people coming in and out to recruit students from.
3) Make sure your price point matches the area you are living in/teaching. Low income areas demand low income pricing, high income areas you can charge more but also expect to pay more for good location where you are teaching.

Good luck with getting set up

That's some really good advice and I'll take it to heart. I need to find out if I need to rent a space or if people are willing and able to train outdoors in the Michigan climate. I suppose I'll sort it all out after I arrive.. :)
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby Brian L. Kennedy on Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:50 pm

The law on this varies from state to state; for example California is a far different animal than Texas is when it comes to exercise and sport liability. A good resource, if you do not want to or can't afford to hire an attorney is to ask your business insurance broker. Oftentimes they can be a good source of information and sometimes they have sample waivers that are used in the state where you will be teaching.
take care,
Brian
(to add some weight to this advice I should mention I have been a California attorney since 1986)
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Re: Legal Issues..

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:13 am

Wow, that is great advice, from ever since I was born (in 1986). Thank you. :)
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