• Many universities offer classes for free or at a relatively low cost to students. But what you gain in affordability may be at the cost of convenient class times, contact with instructors, and the ability to advance in rank; check with the class's organizers to find out what the details are. If such a program doesn't appeal to you, or if you're a productive member of society (i.e., a non-student), you'll have to add cost considerations to your decision.

  • A private school's introductory course may run from $20 to $100. The white cotton uniform used in karate or tae kwon do, also called a gi, will probably run you around $40, but may be as much as $100. The heavier uniform used in judo, jiu-jitsu, or aikido will have a higher price, upwards of $50, while the cotton or satin uniform required by your kung fu program may range anywhere from $40-$300.

  • For lessons or classes, you may pay $40 to $100 a month, and more if a regular individual lesson is included in your training (a great advantage if you can find such a program and can afford it.) Some schools will include fees for belt testing with the tuition, while others may charge between $20 and $40 per belt test.

  • Participation in tournaments may command an additional fee. As you advance in rank, you can expect to spend another few hundred dollars on protective gear for sparring, and more for traditional weapons, if your program includes these activities.

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