Registration, Rates and Rules

Registration, Rates, and Rules

  • 12 months $109/month with $109 quarterly belt tests. See other options below!


New students can join at any class time. We do not offer trial classes, although students can sign up for one month, and consider that “a trial month” before registering for longer. All prospective new students or parents should call Sensei Nathan Ligo at 919-923-6915 to arrange first class. Sensei Ligo would like to hear about the new student, and will likely ask basic questions to determine eligibility. Above all, the primary requirements for eligibility are 1. can the student attend classes regularly, 2. does the student WANT to learn these martial arts, and 3. can the student follow a structured class. Sensei Ligo is also available to answer questions at any time about the program. Feel free to SMS this number as well.

On the first day of class, students should arrange to arrive at least 15 minutes early to be fitted for a uniform and to complete registration paperwork. A credit card is required. Women/girls wear t-shirts under the uniform since it opens in the front. Men/boys should not.


Neither Sensei Ligo, nor Sensei Amy who teaches the kids classes, receive any compensation for teaching. They receive no salary from Ligo Dojo. All of your dues go towards dojo expenses, especially rent and utilities. Sensei Ligo routinely points out to students that they pay HIM for his teaching by demonstrating their strong commitment to learning what he teaches, and by bringing powerful energy into his classes. Our Team Training art-first mentality means that we are a smaller group than area for-profit martial arts schools. Yet we operate in a commercial space that comes at a premium cost. Since Sensei Ligo supplements dojo expenses at times, it is, in effect, like him teaching AND ALSO SPONSORING his students, so haggling over dues is not appreciated. 

Membership agreements (for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months) are for membership; not participation, they are not transferable, and can only be canceled if you opt for the pay-by-the-month option, and that only with a cancellation fee of half the remaining dues payments. All memberships auto-renew automatically, without prior notice, so if you plan to make a plan change, be sure to keep track of your membership dates.

Annual rates are $109/month with $109 quarterly belt tests, which can be distributed to monthly, meaning $145/month, but belt test fee is a required part of the dues structure. In pay-by-the-month options the following rates apply:

Pay-By-the-Month Memberships:

  • 12 months $109/month with $109 quarterly belt tests (or $145/month)
  • 6 months $129/month with $129 quarterly belt tests (or $172/month)
  • 3 months $139/month with $139 quarterly belt tests (or $185/month)
  • 1 months $149/month with $149 quarterly belt tests

Pay-up-front options also exist and save quite a lot per membership, but these memberships are not refundable, even with a cancellation fee. Students’ memberships remain good, however, so a discontinued student could always regroup and start again during the membership period. Pay-up-front rates are:

  • 12 months paid up front is $1584, saving $160
  • 6 months paid up front is $952, saving $80
  • 3 months paid up front is $516, saving $40

Will your rates ever increase?

In the adult/teen Team Training program, there is an additional $50/month charge once the student is invited to join the Iaido and Jo-do sections (see Class Schedule page). which generally corresponds with a moment of additional excitement. By this time most students are on annual plans, so the rates have decreased for students who started on shorter plans. Adding the Iaido and Jo-do sections is essentially increasing teaching hours from 2 classes per week, to 3 classes per week. Many students handle the regular dues up front to save money, but pay the $50 by the month, so the upfront charge is not such a large amount. There is no parallel increase in the kids class, age 6-11.

All membership rates increase by 5% per year as does our rent, but will never increase otherwise, unless we add additional services which will always be optional. We charge a 3% credit card fee (students can always opt to bring checks to save this 3%). Ligo Dojo retains the right to change the class schedule but remember we only do so to benefit the group, so doing so to your detriment is very unlikely.

Private Classes

Sensei Ligo will teach private classes for donations (starting at $50) for registered Team members. However, the intention of private lessons would ideally be to propel the student forward, not to do remedial work, because the student missed it in class. Do you imagine a time when you know you’re going to be away, and imagine this as a way to keep up? Well, yes, it could work like that as long as that wasn’t your regular solution for keeping up. 

The time when Sensei Ligo loves to teach extra is when the student is excelling in the Team Training program, and he sees an opportunity for the student to achieve even more if he/she just had a little additional instruction. 

Other students in the dojo may work with you privately as well as long as it’s arranged through Sensei Ligo. This might be an opportunity to get some remedial help if the student is feeling lost. One critical point to stress however, is that students must adapt to learning in the Team Training environment, and private training cannot be allowed to become a crutch that allows the student to not fight to learn with the Team in the class. 

Team members would tell you that Sensei Ligo teaches A LOT more than just 3 classes per week because he sees opportunities to move the team forward and he loves teaching, and this, without compensation. Remember, Sensei Ligo does not get paid to teach, and your dues don’t pay HIM; only your energy does. You dues just support the facility, and other learning experiences. 


We use lots of equipment, but have loaners for a lot of it. The following items are required to be purchased: 

  • Replacement karate uniform $30. We give one free with membership plans. There are also much higher quality karate uniforms available for the serious student.
  • Hakama $45. This is the black pleated pants seen throughout the site we wear during Kobudo, Jo-do, and Iaido practice.
  • Shin pads, and gloves $30/set for sparring. There are loaners in the dojo but they get sweaty, so you’ll want your own at some point. 
  • Iaido Obi (sash) $50 required once the student begins Iaido.

The weapons that we practice with are sai, tonfa, bo, jo, boken and iaito. We have loaners for all of these, but will encourage students to purchase if our supplies run low, or if they want their own. The Iai-TO is the “practice sword” used for Iai-DO. Although we have loaners, your Iaido training will be much more complete if you have a real Iaito (practice sword). While they do not have sharp blades (and are made of an aluminum alloy that can’t be sharpened), they are weighted like a real sword, so we strongly encourage our serious students to have one eventually. The Iaito we use come from Japan and we can usually get them for less than $300 including shipping. 

A Kyokushin Kata called Gekisai-sho. Here, our adult and teen class works as a team, all working to lend success-energy to the group, fighting to make sure one’s own performance doesn’t lower the team average. 

Beginning training with a Sai entails learning how how hold the defensive weapon properly. Here we use striking targets to hone this ability.