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Karate AmericaTOTAL SCAM

Va Jacksonville, FL Review updated:

COMPLETE RIP-OFF AND TOTAL SCAM!

Stay far away from Karate America. They are a McDojo more interested in putting the ninja moves on your wallet than anything else.See the Top 10 Worst Companies in Jacksonville, FL

It is impossible to cancel their membership and it is a complete rip-off. Go to /link removed/ and search for Karate America. Or just google "Karate America Complaints" and you'll see 100's more...

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Comments

  • Sh
      Jun 13, 2010

    All I know is that this corporate dojo is VERY afraid of competition:

    The company (I do not know any individual's names) arranged for a promotional appearance at the Regal 20 Theaters at The Avenues in Jacksonville on Saturday June 12 in conjunction with the new version of the movie "The Karate Kid". The theater management had seen a demonstration from another school, Kenjin Ryu Martial Arts Center, at a fast food restaurant the week before and invited them to appear at the theater on Friday and Sunday, June 11 and 13, when the Karate America people would not be attending.

    Somehow, the KA corporate tight-[censor] are very afraid of letting the Jacksonville public be aware that there are any other schools and demanded that theater management not allow Kenjin Ryu to be on the premises on Sunday. If the Regal Theater had a contract where payment of some sort was exchanged, then it might be understandable, but it does not appear there is any logic or finance involved, only loud intimidation.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jun 28, 2010

    To answer your above question, yes there was a contract with the movie theatre's promotional company. Money was paid to the promotional company which is in turn paid to the movie theatre to be the exclusive martial arts school on the above mentioned dates. Karate America hopes the public knows there are other schools out there, but we had to pay a decent amount of money to be the exclusive school. Also we had the movie theatre booked two weeks prior. I hope this helps to clear the air.


    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jun 28, 2010

    In reply to vasili: Can you give specifics??? You can also look at our google ratings and see plenty of positive comments.


    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jun 29, 2010

    In response to the comment that Karate America is afraid to let the public know of any other dojo's in the area is misguided. The theater in question, not only had a paid and signed contract with Karate America but they were guarenteed certain items in said contract regarding promotions.

    When Karate America Corporate was informed of the miscommuniations between the promotions company and the theater they did whatever they could to try and work things out for everyone involved. This included letting the school on Friday finish their demonstrations before setting up their promotions inside the theater. However, due to contractaul obligations the theater agreed to cancel their demonstration on Sunday. All considered I believe they tried to be as fair as possible with everyone involved.

    0 Votes
  • Na
      Jul 15, 2010

    I agree that Karate America its been a ripoff for me. My kids have start Extreme Karate 1 year ago and almost every month there something new they want me to pay for.
    If is not extra gear is new belts or more and more useless gear for almost 400 dollar when I could buy from Ebay for maybe 100 dollar .
    But they told me I am not allow to buy my kids gear from somewhere else. So basically they have license to robe you blind and you are lucked in 3 year contract.
    Now you all can imagine I have 2 kids to pay for gear and uniforms every other month. So much for support our troops. After coming back from Afghanistan this is the kind stress he have to endure from Karate America of Jacksonville fl.
    and that don't include the fact that my kids already have done karate for 2 years at Karate arts and I change place to be close to my house, Karate America did not allow my kids to use their older uniform instead I had to buy new even tough they looked the same.
    I need new gear for both of my girls and I don't have $400 dollar to pay so, karate America will not allow my kids to fully use their classes because they need to buy their gear.
    I refuse to pay that much I am going to buy ATA gear on eBay if they don't like it I am going to sue.
    They can't force me to use only their product and I bet there will be a pro-bono Lawyer who would love to help a soldier.

    I should never changed my kids from Karate Arts to Karate America, they charge you insane fees for everything and the poor kids don't even have a decent AC at class. The place feels like Oven. karate America of Jacksonville Florida from Monument road. Avoid if you can.
    A angry soldier wife.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Aug 16, 2010

    In response to “a angry soldier wife”:

    Karate America does require the students to wear one of our uniforms. We believe in structure and organization—that it encourages discipline. It would not be a uniform if they did not match. Ours has specific wording on the back in support of our style, Florida, and our parent organization; which is unique to our schools. Upon enrollment, all new students receive a free uniform. The student need only buy additional if they want more than one or if theirs becomes too worn or does not fit any longer.
    Our insurance company requires that all students wear safety gear and that the gear must be bought with us so that we can provide proof that they are using the proper gear and that it is in good condition. Also, it is unhygienic to use gear that has already been used and sweated in by a stranger. It is unfortunate that good quality safety gear can be expensive, but we (and our insurance company) believe it is worth it for the safety of our students. We offer the best prices possible and are constantly requesting discounts from our vendors so that we may pass along the savings to our students. We also offer payment programs to help split up costs as well as promotional programs where the student may be able to earn pro-shop credit.
    This Florida summer has been extremely hot. With up to 40 students in class at a time, the air conditioning may have difficulty keeping up as well as we would like. The units are serviced monthly, and we have recently sent an additional serviceman out to the Monument location to make sure everything is working at its optimum level. We have installed fans in the parent area and industrial fans on the workout floor. The water fountain has also been replaced.
    It is unfortunate that we cannot please everyone at all times, and we very much regret when a student is unhappy. We will continue to work hard to make each student’s training experience as enjoyable as possible. Our goal is to see smiling, sweating students in our classes who are earning ranks, gaining a sense of accomplishment, and having fun.

    Karate America

    -1 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 14, 2010

    Navy vet,

    The Krav Maga and Warrior X-fit courses at my school are lacking professionalism as well.

    I pay $150/month for 2 Krav Maga and 2 Warrior X-fit classes a week. It is roughly $10/class.

    I have no problem paying, that's why I signed a contract. I have plenty of time because my wife is deployed to Afghanistan for a year. I HAVE NO REASON NOT TO BE HONEST.

    The classes start 10 minutes late 90% of the time. Tonight the warrior x-fit started so late we only did a half class.

    The instructor/owner misses Krav Maga class 25% of the time, because he is doing office work such as signing up new students. He is the only one trained to teach the course, so we're left to train ourselves.

    The 15 year old kid who teaches warrior x-fit doesn't know a third of the exercises, so he makes them up. Then the owner wants you to log in your repititions online, even though the exercises we do are not correct.(you move up in rank after you do so many exercises)

    I still have fun there, that is why I do not wish to list my school. I will say it is in Jacksonville Florida. I like the people and have fun, but sometimes I get very aggrevated when I don't get a full workout in.

    THE SCHOOL IS VERY UNPROFESSIONAL, I CAN'T SEE MY SCHOOL LASTING MUCH LONGER. PEOPLE HAVING BEEN DROPPING OUT RAPIDLY.

    A couple good places to look into that I have seen are:

    Pak's Karate in Jacksonville is a good school for around $100, and they don't have as many extras that you have to buy(Karate America is probably the most expensive school I have seen). I had a year contract with them and got to busy and quit after 6 months. They didn't give me a hard time about quiting. They work 95% on kicks, but do a good job with the proper technique.

    Also the YMCA is very nice in Jacksonville and costs around $40/month. That is a lot better then the warrior x-fit.

    The kids at Karate America that have tried Pak's Karate do not seem to like Pak's Karate. Karate America is good for kids, but very expensive.

    But any adults out there, I would recommend Pak's Karate, a lot more professional.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 14, 2010

    ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CANCEL THEIR CONTRACT MAY BE ABLE TO CLAIM FALSE ADVERTISEMENT.

    Karate America is not "karate" at all. They are part of the american taekwondo association. They say their oath before each class starts.

    Taekwondo is basically Korean kick boxing.

    Karate comes from the island of Okinawa near Japan. The technique is completely different. More flipping people and other stuff.

    That may be a legal way to get out of your contract. Hope that helps.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Sep 15, 2010

    Dear Navy Vet,


    One of the things Karate America / Krav Maga prides itself on is of course it's professionalism and punctuality. All classes should start and end on time. Krav Maga is just as important as the Taekwondo program and your class should not be getting cut in half. Each class is taught by a qualified instructor. And every instructor should know the class plan for the day. Equipment should be discussed before joining our school. I see you do understand why it has to be our product do to our insurance company.

    As far as false advertising Karate America is just the name of our company. Whichever program you choose to join Krav Maga, Warrior XFit, Taekwondo each have their individual names.


    Since you did not name the location our office can not fix these issues.


    If you would please email me at [protected]@karateamerica.info I can have all of these issues addressed.


    Sincerely,
    Mr. Kosciuszko
    Karate America HQ

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 16, 2010

    I have talked with the instructor about my complaints and they are in the process of fixing the problem.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 24, 2010

    My son has been in Karate America since Kindergarten. This is not a cheap activity, in addiiton to the monthly fee in excess of $100, there is equipment and uniforms to buy - so budget for another $50ish a month.

    For that fee you dont always have a professional instructor, 14 year olds and older male students have also been left to teach my son on a regular basis.

    He is now in 6th Grade and wants to try somehting new, with a 30 lesson minimum to graduate and 13 graduations prior to being considered for the next belt he has had enough - and so have I, three nights a week with a heavy homework load is too much.

    So having paid my dues for 5 and a half years I wanted to cancel my membership - NO I am unable to do this I will have to pay for another 18 months. - Nearly $2000 for something we will not use.

    Be very very caustious before you sign anything with this company - it is all about the money and the kids come 2nd.

    +2 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 26, 2010

    This is one reason I LOVE Kenjin Ryu Martial Arts Center!! (Baymeadows) FIRST--NO contracts!! Second, for $75 a month which includes testing fees, you can not beat the price. Third--you will see the owner and all professional instructors on the floor at all times. They only enlist upper ranks to help lead warm-ups and this is to just help teach leadership abilities, and on a volunteer basis. VERY professional and fun!

    You can tell they are there because they love the art and truly care about the students. You will not find them asking you to pay for all sorts of things, and thrive on parent and adult feedback to help this become a place you love to come to...They are very much a "LOVE to learn here" not a "HAVE to learn here" type place. They teach with care, understanding, and compassion--you will never find an instructor upset with a child, but you will find an instructor taking a child or adult aside to work with them when they see they are having difficulty.

    They are even offering Tai Chi for the adult classes now. It's a very relaxing night and worth every penny! Students love to go to class and are motivated to keep trying and to succeed at their own pace. Now, it will take years to achieve a black belt, but that is how it should be. They do award small steps to help motivate the students and to mark just how successful the student is. They make students feel proud of the work they have done and I am very happy I have gotten to know them.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
      Sep 28, 2010

    First in reply to jaxparent: All instructors are either certified or going through internships to become certified instructors. We would not just let anyone teach your child. If this is not the case please contact me at [protected]@karateamerica.info so I can bring this to the main office's attention.

    And true just like any other activities there is additional equipment. After 5 years of training I can't imagine that there is any equipment that you don't already have so you should not be purchasing additional monthly equipment. So your budget then would not add the additional $50 per month.

    Since you've been with Karate America for 5 and 1/2 years I'm sure your son has accomplished many goals. I'm sure you've seen changes in him not just at the martial arts academy, but at home and school. I'm sure you helped to encourage him and coach him all the way. Since you do have some time left on your membership my recommendation is to come in and sit down with your instructor, address your concerns, and see what else your son can accomplish in the year and a half left.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Sep 28, 2010

    In reply to home school mom: All of your instructors are certified or working to become certified. Each class is taught by professional instructors.

    I can not say what prices others schools charge or why I can only say that we base our prices on what we are worth. The Owner Chief Master Clark has over 40 years experience in the martial arts industry. While he can not be at each location since he has over 30 schools in Florida he does teach the instructors who teach the other students weekly in North Florida and Monthly in South Florida who in turn teach you.

    You can search out our google reviews and find plenty of satisfied students.

    0 Votes
  • Br
      Mar 26, 2011

    If you based your prices on what you are worth, you would owe us money!!! We have over $9000.00 invested in Karate America!

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Apr 18, 2011

    Contact Ken Amaro at First Coast News if you have a complaint

    +1 Votes
  • Ka
      Apr 20, 2011

    In response to Broke Granny:

    It is unfortunate that you feel that way. We value our instructors and know they are worth the payment the school receives for their teaching expertise. Our instructors are certified, or on the long, hard road toward certification. Our certification process is overseen by the American Taekwondo Association to ensure the continued quality for which they have been known since 1969. Our chief instructors are career martial artists, having dedicated their lives to helping their students achieve their goals. This kind of dedication is not common to find. We are proud of our instructors and of our programs that teach students how to stand up for themselves, stand up for others, and stand up to life’s challenges.

    Of course, if price is your main concern, we understand, and there are schools out there which I am sure will be able to meet your budget needs. We strongly believe the martial arts is the best tool out there to help develop confident children who will benefit our society as adults. We hope everyone who wants to train will find a school that fits them, their family, and their needs.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Se
      Jun 26, 2011

    I'm glad I came across this before enrolling my son in this school. Doesn't sound very military friendly with very few ways to get out of the contract, if at all.

    0 Votes
  • Kr
      Jun 28, 2011

    I agree with the TOTAL SCAM assessment. As someone who spent a year with this organization I can tell you that most of the stuff you hear is true and that the people who work there will just lie to keep there business afloat. They are sinking in debt and will do anything to get your money. The equipment they sell you they just get off of RevGear and then sell it to you at a higher price. They make you buy there equipment to participate and tell you it is because of insurance, but really it is because they are drowning in debt. And the instructors, not certified. I was at the Krav Maga school and our instructor abandoned us. Karate America did nothing about this for over 3 months. They had students who were just as experienced as I was teaching the class. I was paying $150 a month to come to a facility and work out with my peers. I was getting no new instruction and rarely would I even get a good workout. My complaints at the time fell on deaf ears and when it was time to renew my contract of coarse they wanted my business but were not will to do anything about the months I was paying for nothing. This place is a disgrace to the Martial Arts industry. They lack integrity and they will rob you blind if they can. Parents take your kids to a small privately owned school, they will receive better instruction by teachers who love the art first, adults go anywhere but here. Any BJJ gym will have multiple diciplines, World Martials Arts is good, Ludus is okay, for God's sake, I would even go to Chameleon MMA before I go to this place again.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Jun 30, 2011

    In response to Krav Master:

    Our company strives to uphold the life skills we teach in our classes, including honesty. I personally handle all insurance for the company (liability, property, and health) and I can assure that our insurance REQUIRES that all equipment used in classes be purchased with us, so that we can guarantee the level of quality, and therefore, safety. Yes, you can buy used gear online for much cheaper. However, the reason the insurance company will not allow that gear in the school, is that it could be of any quality, and being used, it will most likely not offer the same level of safety. Also, used gear is not sanitary.

    We do buy our gear from martial arts supply vendors, such as the one mentioned in the prior comment, just like martial arts schools across the country. Just like any retail store, we buy at cost and sell at retail price. This is standard practice.

    Unfortunately, we were all let down by the instructor who was employed at that location. We trusted him, as a long time employee, and he disappointed us by not being at the school as promised. Obviously, this is not something we wanted to happen. We do not wish to pay wages to someone who is not doing the work. The instructor is no longer part of the company, and he has been replaced by someone with an even stronger fighting background. The school is now able to offer Muay Thai and Jui Jitsu, in addition to Krav Maga.

    We would like to offer to Krav Master a free 6 month membership in order to regain his/her trust. We are very excited about our new instructor and are confident you will be impressed with his skill, experience, and instructional aptitude.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Ka
      Aug 26, 2011

    We are sorry anyone could feel that way about Karate America. If you have a specific issue you would like to discuss, please contact the Karate America headquarters, and we will do everything possible to earn you back.

    Karate America has thousands of happy and loyal students. I urge anyone who reads this to visit one of our Black Belt Testings to see what I’m talking about. We are proud of our students and of everything that they accomplish.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    +1 Votes
  • Sa
      Aug 27, 2011

    This week I visited a Karate America for my 2 kids. I was quoted a little over $130 (base) each month for each. Since the classes are 30 minutes twice a week, that equals over $30 an hour for a class, which I thought sounded pricey when up to 40 kids can be in a class. My reason for Googling this: to see if that was a normal price and class ratio. I am so, so, happy I came across this website. Seeing how Karate America has worked (against) other families, I will stay clear. I will take my kids to the Y class, which is about $30 per month. I would gladly pay $230 per month for Karate America if they were a good school that treated its members right. Thank you so much reviewers!

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
      Aug 30, 2011

    In response to Sally1234:

    Surely, you can find martial arts training for less, but we believe our instructors are worth the price. Our instructors are career martial artists who have dedicated their lives to helping people reach their goals through the benefits of the martial arts. They are certified through the American Taekwondo Association or on the long, hard road toward certification, which includes physical requirements, knowledge of the art and history, written tests, a minimum of 300 teaching hours, CPR and first aid training, and instructor approval.

    We understand not everyone will come to Karate America to train, and we wish everyone luck in their training, wherever they go. We believe the martial arts is the best tool for helping people gain confidence and self-discipline, and learn self-defense. We hope whatever school you find fits well with your family’s needs, goals, and lifestyle.

    Please also remember that this and other sites like this are geared toward advertising people’s complaints, and we urge people also to look at review sites which list both positive and negative feedback. We are confident if you speak to our current students you will hear great enthusiasm for our schools and instructors.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    +1 Votes
  • Up
      Oct 21, 2011

    Signing my child up for this was a huge mistake on my part. My child tried it and at first was very excited, after a few months he got bored with it. I had to force him to go causing a huge problem in my family effecting everyone in the family. After consulting the instructor, following his guidance, and giving it a few more months, there was no change in my childs interest in this program. Once again, consulting the instructor, he gave us direction to start the process of dropping out. It is almost impossible to do this, and cost more money. I now know for a fact thier interest is in the money, not the child or the family. They could care less about there clients. When I stated the fact that "My child has no intersest in the program and I am paying for something I have to force him to do", her reply to my face was, " your child didn't sign the contract". Keep in mind he is 9 years old. I felt a total lack of concern from Karate America and I plan on passing that along through all my contacts through out the Jacksonville Navy comunity. One last note. My wife did sign the contract, but it was a " sign this here" moment and the terms were never discussed. We didn't even get a copy of it. I learned about the three year deal through other friends that are in the program and are stuck. Note to self and you, do not trust anyone and read EVERYTHING, including the back page before you sign anything.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
      Oct 24, 2011

    In response to Upset Navy Vet:

    Though legally we are not required to cancel this membership, we agreed to the cancellation. We thought we were being nice to help this family out. We only asked for the cancellation fee and wished him luck in the future.

    I personally met this member a few days ago, and a conversation that I thought would be relatively pleasant, given that Karate America is not legally required to cancel the membership, was far from it. The gentleman cursed at me several times, and when I asked him not to use such language, he said he didn’t give a sh** what I wanted. I showed him on the membership where exactly the cancellation fee is discussed and did my best to listen to his concerns. Unfortunately, he was not happy with the information I provided and obviously did not want to pay the cancellation fee. He abruptly stood from his chair and stormed out. When I wished him a nice day, he retorted with “ah, [censored] you.”

    I’m not sure what else we can do for this member. Our agreement to cancel still stands, and if the member has any further questions, we will assist the best we can.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    +1 Votes
  • Up
      Oct 25, 2011

    I did try to have " a pleasant conversation" with you, but it was very clear that your company does not care about it's clients and your comment about my child not signing the contract completely ticked me off. I said your policy wash Bull Sh!!, not that I didn't "give a sh!!". You said you would preferr for me not use that language and I don't I don't care what you want becuase you dont care what I want. I did tell you to F off as I was leaving in responce to your very snide"have a nice day" comment. If your going to respond, at least get it correct.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
      Nov 07, 2011

    In response to Upset Navy Vet:
    I apologize if I misquoted. To be honest, I was thrown off and flustered by how upset you were. I am not accustomed to being sworn at, especially by men, and I was starting to wonder if I should handle the situation by myself. Also, you have my word I was not trying to be snide in wishing you a nice day. I wasn’t sure what to say after you stormed out of the room. Perhaps my tone of voice was off being that I was so flustered. So, if I sounded snide, I apologize.
    Again, our agreement to cancel still stands, and if you have any further questions, please let us know.

    Sincerely,
    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Ga
      Mar 14, 2012

    I'm a bit weary of hearing Karate America say there is anything wrong with used gear. When you buy new gear and use it, it is then used. So, the used gear on eBay (for instance) is no different than the new gear purchased from the school after it is used. An elementary inspection tells you if it is in good condition. Additionally, all used gear that is not cleaned is unsanitary, but a gym is not a restaruant kitchen so that argument is rather ridiculous. That should not be a concern for the school, since everyone's gear in use is equally unsanitary. Doesn't matter if it's my kid wearing it, or the kid who wore it last.

    Either way, you can't avoid sweat and bacteria with sports equipment. Footballs aren't sanitary either, but that doesn't stop 40 guys from touching one. Every quarterback lickes his fingers before the snap, but kissing him would be no different than handling the same ball. It seems like KA is grasping at reasons why you can't buy the equipment they require elsewhere and blaming it on their insurance company. I'd wager the insurance company only requires "approved" gear and if you bought it from a former student, then it should still be "approved" gear. It's as though if my kid and yours goes in the locker room, switches uniforms and gear and for some strange reason they would all of a sudden be deathly unsanitary and at bodily risk of injury for wearing used gear. Makes no sense other than to force you to buy from them.

    I have bought used sneakers on eBay and my feet haven't fallen off yet.

    0 Votes
  • No
      Feb 15, 2013

    I have Karate America on my credit report from 5 years ago. I decided to stop sending my children to the school because i couldn't afford it anymore. I was paying around $350 a month for the unlimited classes. When I started going through my financial issues, I talked to the rep from the school & he said that they could suspend my contract for 6 months. That wasn't good enough for me. Suspending it wouldn't have helped the financial issue that I was going through. So, I changed account information so they could no longer take the money out of my account & my kids no longer went to the school. I run my credit report & Karate America is on it saying that I owe $16, 000 for the contract...I call them to see if we could settle the situation & they tell me that they won't settle for anything less than $13, 000. They want me to pay $13, 000 for something that I didn't use! They are out of their minds. They said that I didn't go through proper protocol to cancel the contract. Maybe I didn't. But they want me to pay $13, 000 for something that I did not use for my kids? Karate America would rather get nothing out of me than work on an agreement to settle this? Fine with me. I'll wait a couple more years until it is off my credit report or I'll file bankruptcy & either way they won't get a dime out of me!

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Jul 20, 2013

    There are good schools and bad schools, regardless of what organization you belong to. Don't let the bad schools make you feel left out. Before you sign up for martial arts, find out what the fees are and read what you are signing. Many people don't "really" read the agreement, then complain about it when they want out. I agree that there is and should be a cancellation fee if you no longer wish to train. There is a chain to follow to get the results you are looking for.
    Each ATA school is independantly owned and operated. It is up to that specific school owner how they handle each membership. I encourage you to do your research before you sign up.
    On a note regarding gear: get new gear that is yours alone and dont share it...that IS how germs spread. New gear assures the school you have the best safety gear to start with. Used gear is not garaunteed for your safe sparring practice. We are speaking of martial arts gear, not football!
    Do your research, check out the school, look for positive reviews and READ your agreement before signing it. You are signing a contract.

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      Nov 13, 2013

    Wow! I was actually looking at locations to sign up both of my boys as my older one is begging me to put him in karate when I ran across not just this website, but yet another one with several additional pages of complaints. I acknowledge there would not be so many locations if there were not some customers happy with the service. However, if I wanted to gamble, it would do it in Vegas with money, not here in Jacksonville at the welfare of my children. Thank you to everyone who has posted their experiences for those of us.

    0 Votes
  • No
      Apr 04, 2014

    My sister and I took lessons from Karate America for a year and some months. Recently, we found out we've been stationed (by the military) to Japan, and we paid in advance for our 3 year contract. We became concerned that we'd just wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars in that contract, so we requested a refund and cancellation. KA could keep the money for the services we did use for the year and few months, we just wanted the other 2 years we weren't going to get. We discussed the idea with the head instructor of the school, and he was the one that suggested we ask for a refund. We called the headquarters and they demanded proof of the orders and of residency in Japan, and offered to give us a transfer to a school in Japan. However, where we're going, there are no Karate Americas in the area so the transfer would be no different from just donating the money to them. After fighting and fighting to even get in contact with anyone helpful, our instructor came up from behind and tried to pass it off as though he misunderstood what we wanted, that we wanted a time credit and not a refund, despite him being the one to have suggested it in the first place. The fight is still ongoing but it seems Karate America is not military, family, child, or money friendly.

    Not to mention the treatment we received as a school from the head instructor. I have severe depression, and one of my triggers to a "spell" is disappointment of other people. I'd never had a serious problem with self harm or crying spells so violent until I joined KA. After climbing the ranks to a mid-low belt, I began to take notice on the way our instructor would treat his students. He often took to hitting us (not in a demonstration, just to do it), degrading us (and his employees), and belittling our abilities and intelligence. There's a fine line between keeping your students modest and keeping your students down. Multiple students and instructors have left our school to escape the terrible treatment of this instructor. Old teachers, who happen to be close friends of mine, happen to tell me on the pass that he would often hurt them if they didn't do what he wanted exactly how he wanted it.

    All around, my Karate America experience was one of the most emotionally damaging experiences I've ever had. I will not continue the service, nor will I advise others to take it up. I have close friends who are interested in martial arts, and I'm going to do my best to ward them away from Karate America as a whole.

    0 Votes
  • I too have been considering Karate America for my twin boys aged 8. I am going to look to America Top Team, they have a better assortment of trainings, and the research I have done has revealed more pros than cons, not even close to these series of complaints.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
      Feb 03, 2015

    Karate America is a cut throat buisness. they offer ENTRY level classes in belt collecting by teachers whos best quality is in sales not self defence or martial arts. the real teachers are students who have learned the repetition of the moves found in any 19.99 self defence book. if you want your child to learn karate only go month by month ...which karate America does not offer. my childs sales person / instructor went back to driving a truck. the new overwieght female who took over was rude. this place in jacksonville Atlantic blvd is run down smells bad and is only intrested in the money. you cant cancel the contract even if you want to and if you stop attending, they keep charging you as if your child was attending. (attended for 6 months and we now owe 5k and counting.)they tried to bully me around when I said I wasnt coming back after they said my child was ready for another belt 3rd one in 6 months not stripes, I did not feel he was ready its not about the money... I invested $500 in gear (no problem its for my child) that I am willing to gift to anyone silly enough to join. I wanted my son to get a few pointers on how not to get bullied now I have a bully of my own Karate America unethical tactics towards their constumers.

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  • So
      Apr 27, 2015

    I signed my 6-year-old up to attend Karate America after school for $100/week. I purchased the equipment that he would need and paid for 2 weeks of classes. After doing this, I received an email stating that I would receive 100% of my money back if my child did not like the activity. I also received a letter via postal mail that stated that I needed to take advantage of the prices before they increased. I went to the facility and paid, in full, for the remaining sessions for the the rest of the school year. My child attended these classes for about a month before he stated that he didn't like it and was being bullied. I informed the facility of the problem and requested a refund. She then provided me a number to call ASF Payment Solutions. I called them on March 27th and they told me to send the email and they would look into and contact me with a decision in 10 days. I sent the email 8 times, to 3 different email addresses, before they "received it" on April 14th. I received a phone call a week later stating that they reviewed my email but I would not be receiving a refund because the email was not referring to the after school program. I advised that the email does not specify that it's referring to anything. They then told me that I could only cancel if we moved over 25 miles away or if my child had a note from the MD staying that he is disabled. I asked if I submitted the paperwork showing that we reside over 25 miles away would I receive a refund. She said no, it would cancel my contact but I would not receive any money back. I asked again why would they not honor the email that I was sent, she stated that I could not receive my money back because the email was not included in the contact. We then went over the contract together. I stated that at no time does it state that I could not receive a refund. She stated that it doesn't state that I could either. Now I am without $1600, my child does not attend their facility and they refuse to honor what they stated and just give my money back!

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  • Wi
      Dec 23, 2015

    I charge ASF, and its enforcement of "child contracts" as indifferent, negligent, reckless child endangerment.


    ASF utilizes bullying tactics, through binding "contracts" that force children to remain connected with programs even when the programs demonstrate a negative impact on the child's well being.


    Case in point deals with karate "schools". ASF collaborates with such schools to implement such contracts with students, minors, and their parents. While even the smallest bit of research on your part will bring this to light, I can use my own young child as an example.


    I enrolled my six year old boy into a karate program while he was in kindergarten, at the age of six. I did fill out paperwork dealing with payment for my son's participation. I admit, I was naive, I did not recognize the tenacious money grabbing contractual obligations involved with my son's participation. I had no idea that such binding contracts could, or would, exist in relation to minors...especially small children.


    Karate schools, and the relationship held with instructors, are an intimate form of education for children. Bad schools and bad instructors may not be obvious at first - but can have a significant detrimental impact on the health and well being of a developing child. Even good schools and instructors, if the program is not a good fit for the child, can have equally negative impact on the child's development.


    In the case of my little boy, it took a few months before the negative impact the karate school was having on him. I had enrolled my little boy into a program that I had hoped would build self-esteem, self-confidence, strength, and the ability to defend himself if the need were ever to arise later in life. I hoped these positive impacts would be with my son both in school academics and within his social life as he grew.


    However, a few months into the program it finally became clear. This program was having the reverse impact on my son. My son demonstrated...


    -exhaustion with school and academics

    -anxiety

    -sadness/depression

    -bouts of anger

    -general distress and a decline in self-esteem


    Once it became clear that these social, academic and emotional issues were connected with karate I wanted to cancel participation. Initially, this would be temporarily, so that we could gage what was going on with my boy, and perhaps (reluctantly) permanently if necessary. I spoke with the karate instructor. He insisted a "freeze" on the account. In my nativity, I thought this was simply the instructor hoping to keep us connected, so I agreed.


    Apparently there was a technical glitch (at least that's what I'm told), and the freeze did not go into effect. ASF tried to bill me. Fortunately, I had had a problem with my debit card and had just had it replaced...so the charge didn't go through.


    I called ASF, thinking it would be a cordial conversation where this charge would be corrected and everyone would be happy. Turns out, the representative was quite condescending. She insisted the instructor would never have done such a thing. I insisted she contact the instructor and she replied "they don't contact the instructors". Further, she insisted that we were bound to this contract for TWO YEARS!


    From there, I continued communication with ASF arguing that contracts involving minors were unethical and immoral and, should be, illegal. Every step of the way, ASF insisted that this contract was binding and, unless I moved, the contract would not be terminated.


    Finally, after extensive arguing and standoff, another representative (Chris Peterson), suggested a one month freeze. Later, the karate instructor contacted me and stated that there had been a technical glitch and that ASF had contacted him, and the two month freeze was now in effect. I still demanded that ASF end this contract on the grounds that contracts involving small children was immoral and ethical. Of course, they refused my demands.


    Now, a few months later, my standoff with ASF continues. I want to stress, again, my little boy demonstrated...


    -exhaustion with school and academics

    -anxiety

    -sadness/depression

    -bouts of anger

    -general distress and a decline in self-esteem


    I can't believe my little boy is not the only one to demonstrate such things. I know there are others out there like him, some younger - some older.


    Parental concerns, and the health and well being of the child, are not the first, and foremost concern of ASF and the karate schools...er "businesses" they connect themselves with. In fact, as ASF has proven, there is a total apathy and disregard for the health and well being of children.


    On another thread, one poster argued that he was upholding a contract that a mom was objecting to, related to her boy (in another state, with another school). This person argued that the contract was for the betterment of the child. That such contracts place motivation (or should we call it bullying and pressure?), prevent a quitter attitude among their participants (that, he states, is prevalent in this day and age). Read that again, please and consider the meaning. This karate instructor is making it clear that the expensive contracts are meant to essentially pressure the poor kid into continued participation. Essentially, that he is saving the child from the poor parental decisions made by this mom who wants to withdraw her child from the program. Talk about arrogance.


    I thought that statement was made by Chris Peterson (because the guy did not identify himself as an instructor, but did appear to identify himself by the name of "Chris"). When I brought this up to Mr. Peterson, he made clear he was not the one to make that post, but that the instructor of that school did.


    However, the point it made - and cannot be denied. These contracts place pressure on families for the continued participation of a child with a karate program, even if the parent has determined that the program hurts the child's well being. And, at least in some cases, are meant to place pressure for the child to continue to participate. I know I feel pressured...forking out $150 per month for two years will influence many parents to continue to have their child participate and receive these damaging services that are being paid for. And, lets face it, not all parents will recognize that they have the option of paying without their child participating. Forget the parent for just a moment...what about children's rights? These contracts violate the rights of children! Children are left unprotected while ASF squabbles to milk the parents for all they can.


    Follow me here for a moment. I want to repeat the symptoms my son demonstrated a third time...


    -exhaustion with school and academics

    -anxiety

    -sadness/depression

    -bouts of anger that had not been seen before (or since, after he stopped attending). This one was quite a surprise. He was always a boy who sought out friendships with others, but now was in frequent conflict with others children...even strangers (i.e. at McDonald's play centers).

    -general distress


    Take this little boy (and also apply this to any child - we know there's others out there), and follow these symptoms down the road as the child continues to develop at such an impressionable point in his or her life. What do you imagine? How do you see things turning out for this child? At best, a dysfunctional life - a child who someday never lives up to the potential he could have. But...that's at best. I stress again, karate schools and instructors are a very intimate form of education for a child. These symptoms my son demonstrated from his experiences are real...and very concerning. Step back and imagine these very real symptoms a second time. Other than dysfunction, how else do you see this turning out for a child as he grows and matures under the intimate influence of a damaging karate program? It's a bit scary. I have a hard time saying the word. Suicide.


    It's speculation of course. But, you follow those symptoms...those kind of things can lead a child in that direction. All because of an intimate, and very damaging, program the child was pressured to continue. Now, I will stand up for my son. I will watch out for him. That's why this contract dispute is occurring in the process. Let's face it. Not all parents will do that. Many will feel defeated from the very first moment they are told they cannot cancel the contract. And, many parents, especially those who do not connect with their child well, will simply bow to the pressure they feel from the contract and require their child to continue participating...due to the pressure of high payments they are forced to continue for these services.


    Now, I will stress, Chris Peterson and ASF do not comment one way or another on whether these contracts are fair for the children. Whether these contracts are good, or immoral and evil...violating children's rights (children, those which are most helpless and need such protection). Chris Peterson, and ASF simply state that the parent is obligated to continue the payments that "they agreed to". (If other parents are like me, they were naive, not realizing that these "contracts" were so binding - especially due to the fact that they involved young children - that one could not cancel).


    What ASF has essentially demonstrated is indifference. Indifference to the health and well being of children. Indifference to children as a whole - as long as they can siphon money over an extended period. But, is it even simply indifference we are talking about here? Is this blatant negligence? Negligence is likely the better word choice here.


    I argue that contracts involving children are methods of entrapment, indenture and enslavement of a child and should absolutely never be allowed. They should be illegal in our nation - especially here in the 21st century. I never would have imagined that, here in our country - a nation that protects the rights of children - would see a situation where children's rights are ignored. Are we in the United States, or are we in a third world country here? Binding, long term contracts such as this, are things I would have imagined in a third world nation. A nation that cannot, or will not, protect children's rights.


    These contracts should never be. Not with my son, or with anyone's child. Children are unpredictable and their growth and development can go in many directions. Their needs change. Whether a program is recognized to be detrimental to a child within a day, within a few months (as it took my child), or within a year, there should NEVER be a binding contract on a child with such an intimate educational program. Once a parent recognizes that such a program is detrimental to a child's well being, ASF and that karate program should immediately, when requested, cease all relations with that child and that family...that INCLUDES payment. As I have already demonstrated, the continued enforcement of a "contract" keeps the connection alive. All relations should cease for the betterment and rights of children.


    But, again, I stress. ASF (and Chris Peterson - who's defense of ASF are all over these boards), makes very clear - they are only concerned about the money. Never, ever - when ASF is defended on these boards - do they express concern for the child. In all cases, they seek to enforce the contracts and collect the $$$$


    I will state this. After a significant standoff on this issue, Chris Peterson (months later), has finally offered an alternative. He has blessed me with option B: a buyout of the contract. There is no such buyout option stated in the contract. So, this has been created out of "nothing". So, this buyout has been artificially inserted only after extensive arguing. The buyout is $450. Honestly, I don't have the money for the buyout - I'm still trying to figure out how I will do it while still feeding my children. But, that's beside the point. It should not have taken months as I demanded a cancellation of the contract for this buyout to finally be offered as an option. Further, a buyout option should not even be necessary to begin with - when a parent recognizes that a karate program is having a significant negative impact on his/her child's health and well being and development, ASF should be ready to immediately cease relations with that child and family and simply end the "contract". How many other parents have tried, and felt despair at ASF's obsession to enforce long term payments they felt they had to fold? These aren't cell phone contracts or a direct tv contract we are talking about here. These are living, breathing, impressionable, developing young people...who are at critical points in their lives as they grow and mature.


    I love my son. My little boy. I'm sure you love your children. When I send my son to school I feel that his teachers love and care for him. I feel like the school administrators watch out for his well being. When dealing with ASF and my son's karate program I recognize that one thing has been demonstrated here. To them children = $$$$$$. Nothing more. If they cared about children, these contractual agreements they enforce would cease. That's a shame. Business is one thing. But, one should never go into business involving children without also having a love and care for...children, and children first. This is America.


    This is indifference. This is negligence. This is reckless child endangerment. ASF, end all ties to my child. Now. End all child contracts. This is America. We love our children here. We believe in children's rights here.

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  • Ta
      Aug 29, 2016
    Karate America - Happy Student
    Karate America
    Jacksonville
    United States

    The June graduation was great. My ring the adults did an outstanding job and as always I enjoy having the opportunity to help support the testing. I also wanted to share with you that I felt the demo team was terrific. I enjoyed Master Moore and the rest of the instructors perform their form, the board breaks and weapons were awesome and Master candidate Gimmenez and his son were just adorable. It was a very positive event and I believe the parents, family and friends had a great time as well.

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