Had one of those weeks where I had parallel conversations with a few different people on the same subject.
There's an odd percentage of the population in martial arts and fitness training (it may be in other fields as well, I don't know) that seems to suffer from the idea that they shouldn't really have to pay for training. This belief manifests itself in a variety of ways, from asking for discounts on training at one end of the spectrum, to attempting to sneak into classes without paying at the other end. It's obnoxious as hell.
Look, for a professional martial arts instructor, this is a business. Sure, for most of us, it's a business we love, but it's still a business. I literally pay bills with the money I make from coaching people (and in case you're wondering, I don't make much, so let me disabuse you of the notion that I'm rolling in cash from doing this).
I don't wander into restaurants and say "hey, times are tough, could you give me a free meal?" If I need my car fixed, I don't swing by my mechanic and say "hey, want to look at my car for a bit?" I certainly don't accuse him of being selfish if he asks me for money for his time (and he will, I promise you).
Even if your instructor doesn't make a living from teaching, if they are asking for money, you should pay it.
After all, you pay for meals at a restaurant. You pay for a haircut from your barber or hairdresser. You pay people to do their work, and coaching, whether it is martial arts, strength coaching, or whatever, IS work.
Have I given people discounts before? Sure. Usually, it was people I've a)known for a very long time, and b)had a great deal of trust in. It's one thing if you have a relationship with someone to ask for a bit of help. It's another to presume that you are owed a break because, hey, you're a special snowflake.
I have no real illusions that the kind of people who act like this are likely to read this blog, but on the off chance that they do...please stop. Show a little respect. Or go train somewhere else. I hear YouTube is pretty cheap these days.