1/01/2010 10:31pm, #1
Lionheart Gym removes Ryan Gruhn's CPAMMA program on New Years' Eve
NOTE: This may belong in the business section, I put it in YMAS so more people could read it. If a moderator believes it should be moved, feel free.
On Dec. 31, 2009, all members of the Central PA Mixed Martial Arts program (CPAMMA), which is based in Lionheart Gym in State College, PA, received the following email:
Effective immediately, LionHeart Fitness is pleased to announce our professional association with Titan Fitness, who will, immediately, provide all MMA related programs and instruction. The addition of Titan Fitness, and its vastly experienced instructors, guarantees an even higher quality of instruction and an enhanced learning process for our MMA participants. Paul Zelinka and Bruce Lombard were, in fact, instructors to Ryan Gruhn before CPMMA evolved.
Information about Titan Fitness and its many programs and instructors can be found at www.titanfitness.com or by telephone at 814.235.1015.
Also, your membership dues may, quite possibly, become less expensive due to the economies that can be experienced by the association of LionHeart and Titan Fitness. This move was made to increase the value of your membership to Lionheart and to improve your experience, be it in MMA or general fitness. Any questions can be directed to Karl G Zimmerman.
All presently scheduled MMA classes will proceed as scheduled without change or interruption with the exception of the instructors and the instructors' assistants.
Have a Happy New Year and we look forward to continuing to meet your fitness and MMA needs.
Karl G Zimmerman
This move is more than just "business as usual" for several reasons.
First, a minor concern as it applies to the business side of the decision, Lionheart/North Club management has been rude and disrespectful to CPAMMA head instructor Ryan Gruhn and CPAMMA students in making this move.
1. Neither Titan Fitness' Paul or Bruce ever had an instructor relationship to Ryan Gruhn.
2. In light of #1, Mr. Zimmerman insinuating that this move will allow for higher-quality instruction at a lower price is not only disrespectful, but very nearly fraudulent, since his claim of higher or equal quality is based on these two new instructors having been Ryan Gruhn's former instructors.
3. After being contacted by a CPAMMA member complaining of the move, and being informed that the particular customer was, in part, basing his future career after college graduation in State College in order to train at CPAMMA, Lionheart management responded as such:
I look forward to further correspondence from you, (NAME REMOVED). We are determined to please as many folks as possible. Best of luck with your career at McDonald's
1. The management gave neither Mr. Gruhn nor his students ANY advance notice of this move. In fact, Mr. Gruhn learned of his firing in the same manner his students did: the mass e-mail informing CPAMMA students of the change. This is especially wrong, given that Mr. Gruhn depends on martial arts teaching (at CPAMMA) for his primary source of income. Though this move clearly took planning to execute, the gym management chose to inform the person being fired and their own customers at the very moment they made this switch.
2. The gym made this move on December 31, 2009. Firstly, this is on the eve of a major holiday, meaning the gym has restricted hours (12-4 pm). Secondly, being in a college town on semester break until Jan. 11th, most of the gym's (and CPAMMA's) customers are out of town, and home with their families. Thirdly, Lionheart does not allow membership cancellations over the phone, and requires 31-day notice for cancellation to take effect. Fourthly, payments are billed to customers on the first of each month. These factors together imply a plan to create maximum difficulty in CPAMMA students canceling their Lionheart memberships, forcing into them at least 1 month of membership in a program they did not sign up for.
It's my opinion that this move was premeditated for some period of time, and timed for effect with regard to membership cancellation. I'm extremely disappointed in Lionheart's decision to go to a lower quality of instruction, and to, without warning, fire a top-notch martial artist and instructor who depends on his teaching for income. I'd like to hear the opinions of others.
Last edited by G-Off; 1/01/2010 10:38pm at .
1/02/2010 12:09am, #2
This sucks, but as a former business owner I also realize business is business.
After my own instructor for over twenty years screwed me over for money, nothing suprises me anymore.
After looking into the situation a little bit more, I'm sure things will work out just fine. Things like things have a way of bringing people closer together.
Ryan Gruhn appears to have many loyal students and I'm sure you can train in a garage for a few months if you have to.
Not giving people any notice about the change was a dick move, but according to the contract I read the most anyone will be out is a $49 early cancellation fee, which as far as McDojo business practices goes is not all that bad.
All in all Mr. Gruhn and his students will be better off without Lionheart Fitness.
1/02/2010 12:38am, #3
I agree, it's mostly business as usual, though an especially dickish one. I am sure Ryan will be ok financially given the number of loyal students he has.
Thanks for your support, I posted this thread in the hopes of informing people about the decline in quality at Lionheart, and to let people know that CPAMMA and Ryan will be moving elsewhere.
1/02/2010 1:59am, #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
- Sacramento, CA
- Clinchology: Judo & MT
Doesn't Ryan post here? I'd love to get his side of the story.
Rudy Reyes > Bear Grylls
1/02/2010 12:22pm, #5
I don't know much about gym management but doing something like that without notifying all interested parties in advance is surely very unprofessional. How does the new instructor know he won't be dicked over in the same way when the honeymoon is over?Best Vietnam War music video I've ever seen put together by a vet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDY8raKsdfg
1/02/2010 1:36pm, #6
1/02/2010 6:19pm, #7
Even if Titan approached Lionheart and convinced them they could run a better/cheaper/whatever program, that's just business.
Blindsiding Ryan and his students was Lionhearts call. Even the claim that Ryan trained under Titan's instructors at one point seems to come from Lionheart.
1/02/2010 6:26pm, #8
Dick move by Lionheart no matter what the situation is. The students/customers should have been informed of the impending change with plenty of time to choose to cancel their memberships if they wanted to and if any organization I was a member of pulled this kind of **** I would cancel and go elsewhere and I would refuse to pay for either the month of lessons under the new instructors or the early cancellation fee. Just stop payment those bitches.
1/02/2010 6:43pm, #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
- Karate-knockdown, BJJ
This must be the thing to do these days. I had my former place of employment go behind my back to one of my assistant instructors and got them to teach in my place once they fired me. They did not tell the students until they showed up for class.
This is a load of crap and it will work out better for the ones being crapped on in the long run.
1/02/2010 10:25pm, #10
Thanks for the support. I'll post a link to this thread on the CPAMMA facebook page so Ryan can see.