Updated: Mar 4, 2019
We talk about members and memberships a lot, and we'd like to take a moment to show off some of the many benefits for members.
1. The first, and foremost, is that memberships = unlimited training. Any and all classes (with the exception of some separate-pay equipment costs like cutting classes and shield-building workshops) that we offer here are included in this membership. If you attend training more than once a week this is a total deal for you. No worrying about having $10 in your pocket, or whether you show up late or early to class. You show up when you can, train when you want, leave when you need.
2. The ability to earn patches. Paid members get increasing badges of honor through our patch system. From the time-stamped patch of when you started training with us to the ever-sought-after "Back Patch" (you may have seen this -- the large tree-logo hand-carved leather patch awarded to members of extraordinary talent) we award students these patches as they progress in their training. It takes time, resources, and a lot of hand-carved and stamped time and care for each of these stamps, and we only award them to paying members.
3. The ability to participate in representations of us in outside events. We do demonstrations and events out in our local community, and we only allow our paying members that train with us regularly to participate in these. It's a great opportunity to show off your skill, represent the school, and be a person of knowledge.
4. Our mentor program. Our instructors at no extra cost to the student may decide to provide extra time and training to a member through our mentor program. You are awarded their unique patch as you become their Ward, and the instructors give customized classes and materials to the student in exchange for focused training.
5. Veteran's discount. We offer each membership 10% off for Veterans for prior service. Just message an instructor for the coupon code. (At this time, we do not offer a veteran discount for drop-in classes.)
6. Ability to use to the school for gear storage and its fridge. Members can store their gear at the school vs taking it home with them each and every practice, and we offer our fridge to keep beverages cold.
7. Access to workshops. We do classes that are not purely training as well--we do monthly Armor Building Workshops and pop-up classes for extra training prior to tournaments. While we do ask for a small donation to help with tools for the building workshops, these are all included in your membership as well.
8. A voice in how to shape our school. We take all suggestions seriously, but when members approach us wanting specific material or classes, we integrate them as we can. Members shape our school, and their desire to train is what shapes our class schedules entirely.
9. A roof over your head while training. Our school has a physical presence thanks to our members. As a result, even when it's raining or snowing we can show up to class and train out of the elements. We provide some heat and fans for the weather, but having the rain off of our gear for impromptu showers is a nice luxury that a few of us remember not existing in our early days.
10. Participation in a non-profit organization and supporting a local business. WoA is a bonafide non-profit that is a local, veteran-owned business. None of our instructors, nor our founder, make a dime off of the money the school earns. 100% of our profits go into keeping a roof over our heads, maintaining adequate insurance, improving the website and keeping our school easy to find, improving the school, acquiring more group gear to lend and use, and paying for creature comforts such as heaters. We're always improving our school, and your membership means direct and noticeable benefits for your own atmosphere and training.
Those are our top 10 reasons it pays off to be a member of WoA, and we hope you can appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into those monthly dues. Please remember if you run into financial trouble we do offer limited work-exchange slots for memberships, so if hard times befall you, please come speak to one of our instructors and let them know as soon as you can. We are always trying to ensure our training is accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation.