When contacting a dojo, you should be abe to find their monthly cost immediately either on their website (less common) or by email. Being told you have to try a class or come to the dojo to find out how much they charge is unacceptable. Just the same, if you are told to sign a long term contract or encouraged to buy a “belt program”, we advise people to run away. We realize a lot of dojos have contracts to “keep” students and make money but if a dojo is really in it for the benefit of the students, a contract isn’t needed. Paying month to month or even purchasing several months at a time is totally acceptable. But, signing on the dotted line for years is never necessary. Remember, belt programs are not a thing in traditional Japanese karate. There should never be a time limit or set amount of time on progressing from one belt to the next. In addition, students should never be told that they can become a black belt in 3 years or by the time they’re 8 or even 12 years old. All belt progression should be based on the student’s ability to know and understand techniques, vocabulary, the responsibility of their belt level and time spent. Teaching respect, discipline, and appreciation for diversity should also be something you find right away, either verbally or in the online or printed dojo information. If the dojo isn’t teaching their kids that bullying is wrong, walk (no run) away. You are paying for the principles of true karate not some ridiculous made up version. Outside of some of these red flags, choose a dojo that is reasonably priced and offers classes that are good for your schedule.