Thursday, September 29, 2011

Closing Martial Arts Schools

When martial arts businesses are closing down with little or no warning, it puts a bad name on the martial arts community as a whole and students and parents alike are left in the dust.

What is even worse is that some of these closed schools is down to criminal activities of the operators, or quarrels and disagreements among instructors and owners - often times "political" issues over power, control or money.

The following two cases are recent examples:

South Dakota -- A Sioux Falls martial arts school abruptly closed its doors Monday morning. Now, the owner of the school and parents of students taking lessons are accusing each other of wrongdoing.

Each side says the other took money and failed to live up to various obligations. And it's the kids who are being caught in the middle of a very different kind of fight.

The first word many parents of those students received about this dispute was notice during the school day that the vehicle that normally picks up their children to take them to classes wouldn't be showing up.

The Elite Martial Arts Academy was officially formed on August 1. Back in April, when it was called the Sioux Falls Martial Arts Academy, owner Tom Werner asked for $35 membership fees for students to join USA Taekwondo.

That membership allows kids to travel to national competitions. But according to former instructors, as well as some parents, those applications haven't been processed more than five months later.


South Carolina -- When a Boiling Springs mom went to drop off her children at a popular martial arts business last Thursday she found a sign on the door that said "no more classes."

The woman (...) says she paid $1,132 to All-American Martial Arts Center in Boiling Springs on August 31. The money was paid as a six-month advance, but she says her children received only two and a half weeks of classes before the place closed.

The woman says another mother at the facility told her, "The owner's been arrested, and they're closing, and I said wait a minute. I just paid for six months! ... I paid in full.

Spartanburg County deputies did arrest (the owner) on August 16 and charged him with 2nd degree burglary, petite larceny and obtaining goods under false pretenses. Deputies say (the owner) stole jewelry from the home of one of his clients and later pawned it.


What's your take on situations like this? Any experiences about martial arts businesses closing down you care to share with the rest of us? Feel free to comment below!

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