Prime example of what NOT to sign when looking into a MA School
Many of you have had a chance to read through the article I wrote on the adhesive provisions typically found in long term martial arts instruction contracts. If you haven't here...
During my research, interviews, and writing of the article I was not able to get my hands on a good example of an awful MA Contract from the consumer's perspective. As fate would have it, I was recently sent a great example of an oppressively adhesive MA Contract that I have appropriately edited to remove reference to the school name and address as well as any reference that may link the contract to the student who provided it to me.
Here is a link to the .pdf which shows the contract in its entirety for the edification of MA consumers who care enough to learn more for the protection of there hard earned money.
Now, I know there are tons of these type of Martial Arts contracts circulating throughout the nation. Many of the members of this forum may have one in their possession now.
I would like to have this thread evolve into a stockpile of bad MA Contracts to be used as a reference board of sorts for those who want to know what to look for.
If you have a MA contract that you would be willing to post on this thread Please send it via PM to me so that it can be reviewed by Bullshido legal and hopefully posted in this thread.
People submitting the contracts can remain completely anonymous should they wish to do so which is why the contract should be sent via PM.
Please do not trash up this thread with any armchair lawyering concerning your "opinion" of a particular contract or example. However, personal experiences in dealing with your particular contract may be informative to others who are in a similar situation.
IMPORTANT: Neither myself, Sam Browning, or Mr_Mantis will be providing legal advice TO ANYONE regarding the particulars of your, or anyone else's, dispute or disagreement with a particular MA Contract or School. If you have a contract issue, I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney who is a member of the Bar in the State in which you live.
Last edited by GoldenJonas; 4/19/2007 5:41pm at .
Huh, guess they never heard of HIPAA.
I'm sticking this. We can also make this the 'museum of bad contracts' if anyone has a blank one or a copy of one they'd care to post up - I'd also be interested to see any examples people would care to post of contracts they use at their school that they feel are fair or 'good' as well.
I dont like the idea of ANY contract. every school ive gone to has been month to month, and you fill out a form when you want to quit.
You folks may find this interesting, too. Similar contract issue, with a scan in (edited) of the contract in question, a few pages back:
That's a good example of a bad contract.
Did everyone also see where the contract stated that personal injury would not result in contract termination? And that the state civil code regarding general release, "shall have no effect".
All I can say is "Wow!"
Excellent work Jonas.
Wow. Now I feel that my release form for my seminars is lacking depth compared to that legelese monstrosity. Here's my Registration/release form from a women's self-defense class I did last year.
Originally Posted by NeverMan
its alomost impossible to find any service being offered without a contract. Hell cell phones, tv, etc , etc,...its all business. Guarantees that the guy gets paid whether you learn or not.
Not saying its a good thing but it is smart business. Lucky for me though I found an instructor that doesn't have us do contracts. When you reach shodan he doesn't even charge you for lessons anymore.
As long as your there helping out no charge for classes.
I do use contracts. We do have a payment plan for those who cannot pay a lump sum. In that there is a clause that says that they agree to pay X amount of dollars for X amount of time. However, they pay their payments up front. So I never hold them to paying if they decide to quit. I've had a few call me and tell me they understood that they did agree to a payment and would hold to that. I just tell them to forget about it and spend that money on themselves or their children for something else.
There are a few reasons why some sort of contract is necessary.
1. Information such as any meds, illnesses and who to contact in case of an emergency when a parent cannot be reached.
2. They sign a waiver that if any media is doing a story on me (which does happen often) and any photos or video is taken with their child in it, that I have the permission to let the story air just as it is.
3. That we are not liable for any injuries that result from a student doing an activity not allowed in the school. However I also tell them that that is a wavering line. In other words I tell them that even though they sign the form that if anything was to happen to them or their children while in class they could and I would expect them to sue me. That is why I have insurance. For the most part it is there so that they and their children understand that the dojang is not a funhouse. (This is one part I want my wife to take out of the contract)
4. I have my adult students or the parents of the kids sign a waiver that they understand that their child may enter weapons training after the rank of red belt. While weapons is not a part of TKD I still allow it under very guarded leadership. I make them all learn basic blocks and strikes with the escrima sticks (because I believe they are the easiest to learn) before I let them choose a weapon they wish to learn. What I can't teach them other instructors that are in my sister school network teaches them.
There is another dojang nearby, I have no need to name them, that requires students to pay for an entire course up front. Typical training at that school to reach blackbelt is about one year. (at mine the norm is 4, much longer if the child is very young). They also proudly showed their 5 year old black belt on the news. This kid was jumping around like....well like a 5 year old. They only teach the kicks with the right leg. They only compete within their own schools, for obvious reasons. But the grandmaster is an (old) Korean. He advertises that "No one can teach TKD as well as a Korean." I find this absurd. It is equal to saying no one can learn TKD like a Korean. Funny how Steve Lopez, a Hispanic US citizen from Sugarland Texas, took the gold away from them.
So there are contracts and there are contracts. I see a need (waivers and permissions) for contracts, but I am absolutely against any contracts that make you pay for an entire course up front as well as contracts that do make a person who quits continue to pay.
Last edited by Bill Auvenshine; 5/22/2007 12:56pm at .
I'm curious. Why fill out a form when you quit? And you say this is with EVERY school you have ever gone to? I don't see any sense to it. What am I missing?
Originally Posted by spiff2022
So far as month to month, most of my friends bill that way. But if you were paying say $50 a month to train but had the opportunity to pay for say three months at a time and receive a $30 discount on it wouldn't you rather pay that way? I don't mean as a begining student. I mean once you have established that that is where you want to train?
Also were all those schools you went to the same art?
Last edited by Bill Auvenshine; 5/22/2007 12:55pm at .