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$4,480 worth of Bullshido.

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    $4,480 worth of Bullshido.

    Martial-arts lessons deliver painful blow to wallet


    Dear Greg: Back in December, my 5-year-old daughter attended a free martial arts class at Victory Martial Arts in Oviedo. She loved it! I loved watching her! I signed a ridiculously long contract -- three years at $160 a month. I don't know what I was thinking. My daughter no longer "loves" tae kwon do. She "loves" horseback riding. Next year, I'm sure she'll "love" another activity. I wrote to Master Von Schmeling and asked him to please cancel the contract. I received a rather curt letter from customer-service manager Sandra Velasquez saying I should have canceled within three days of signing. My daughter has no interest in going back, and I have little hope of getting a refund for two years and four months of classes she will never attend -- $4,480, which I paid in advance on a credit card. That's a high price to pay for a 5-year-old changing her mind.

    SAMANTHA HAYDEN

    OVIEDO

    Dear Samantha: You don't understand -- Master Von Schmeling is doing this for your daughter's own good. "We are not going to cancel the agreement," Sandra Velasquez told me rather curtly. "That defeats the whole purpose of the program, which is to make a commitment and stick with it. We teach life skills." Consider this a pricey lesson in Life Skill No. 1: Never sign a long-term contract for martial-arts lessons for a whimsical 5-year-old. The motto at Victory Martial Arts is, "We are building a stronger America one black belt at a time." To which I would add, "And teaching hard lessons at $4,480 a pop."


    Von Schmeling's Victory Martial Arts is where Danny Abaddi from The Ulitmate Fighter 3 teaches in Orlando, or rather at one of the many locations. Oviedo is across town from where Danny teaches near Universal. There is a location up near me, where they teach "Krav Maga" along with TKD. I see their black belts walking from their camaros across the parking lot when I go to the grocery store by there. Some ninjas need to pop out of the sky and gong sau the parents going in and signing these contracts.

    Ouch. I burned my parents for 3 months of TKD lessons when I was 11 or so, but not to the tune of $4,480.

    $160 a month? Really? In Orlando? Damn, I need to start a martial arts, err, daycare.

    #2
    I would check out the legality of that contract. Not sure about the US, but in the UK contracts like that can't bind you for more than a year, you have to agree to renew them at the end of each year.

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      #3
      Originally posted by RunningDog
      I would check out the legality of that contract. Not sure about the US, but in the UK contracts like that can't bind you for more than a year, you have to agree to renew them at the end of each year.
      Greg Dawson, of the Orlando Sentinel, runs a column where he usually gets either service rendered or payment refunded. Looks like he hit a brick wall with Von Schmeling, but hopefully a little bit of bad press in the local rag will deter some potential customers...

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        #4
        ripping people off like that? CUNTS

        someone should burn their places to the ground wish good riddance to bad rubbish. Con Artists come in many shapes and sizes, and it's a real problem that the MA(P) world seems to be almost entirely peopled by them. But then, what do you expect from a group of people who spend most of their lives making up stories about fights that never happened?

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          #5
          Technically that probably makes it a McDojo, not necissarly bullshido

          Don't want to come across as perdantic but if u look at Wikipedia esp the talk pages u'll get the differance. Basicly a McDojo can still teach legit stuff (you mentioned TUF) but just is unethical business wise bullshiso implies the training its self is substandard.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Nate1481
            Technically that probably makes it a McDojo, not necissarly bullshido

            Don't want to come across as perdantic but if u look at Wikipedia esp the talk pages u'll get the differance. Basicly a McDojo can still teach legit stuff (you mentioned TUF) but just is unethical business wise bullshiso implies the training its self is substandard.
            If, as mentioned, this place is associated with Danny Abaddi and considering how well he did on TUFF and the TUFF final it could potentially be put in the catagory of bullshido, or just simply bullsh*t!

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              #7
              Three year contract? Thats fucked up? Why would that parent be so stupid? I doubt that they would sign a three year contract for anything for themselves, let alone their 5 year old child. I bet after three years they would award her a black belt....so you would have a 8yr old black belt. Myabe its a good thing the child now likes horses....I doubt the world needs another 8 year old BB...

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                #8
                As a former Victory Martial Art student from Orlando, I have to say that the contracts with 'Master' Von Schmeling (who incidentally has a gold star on his black belt signifying his 'master' status:bssign: ) are notoriously hard to get out of. I tried and, unfortunately, failed. However, I know people who have gotten out of it. You need the following ingredients after you breach your contract:

                1. A contract lawyer
                2. A very public lawsuit
                3. Enough bad publicity in the Orlando area to make the plantiff drop the lawsuit.

                It's unfortunate, but Victory Martial Arts is a McDojo of the highest caliber. But I did learn how to kill people with a flying spinny 570 vertical kick to the head. (Though I guess it only works if the person is drunk, blind, and in a wheelchair)

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                  #9
                  What kind of Idiot pays that amount in advance?

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                    #10
                    ATA strikes again. Von schmeling has a chain of ATA schools and is the poster child for their business model.

                    "You too can make big $$$ teaching martial arts!"

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                      #11
                      I have little pity for the parents. What were they thinking?

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                        #12
                        Whatever happened to making the kid suck it up and go for 3 years? Parents these days are so wussy. Mine made me go to church every Sunday for my entire childhood (much longer than 3 years!) and that was FREE, the very least this parent could do is require the kid to stick with it. It's parents who run off and buy their kids every new thing the kid points at that are the reason this happens-- how would the 5-year-old know she prefers horseback riding otherwise? :P

                        Oh yeah, and 3 year contracts are definately McDojo. But hey, if you're dumb enough to sign it? You're legally obliged to pay it. That's why it's a f*cking CONTRACT, and not a "pinky-swear-but-I-was-crossing-my-fingers-behind-my-back!" agreement. D*mn, stupid whiney people with lawyers annoy me! Seriously, the parent should see if he/she can trade the kiddie hours for adult ones, take the classes him/herself, and learn to stick to something for 3 years themselves, because they could probably benefit from the lesson!

                        -Ean

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                          #13
                          Von "Smellings", aka, Victory MA, is on just about every friggen corner in central Florida. The contracts are your typical adhesive craptastic screw-jobs. BUT, depending on the individual circumstances of a particular case, it is generally hard to get these contracts recinded....."Caveat Emptor" has a particularly sharp bite in the state of Florida.

                          These schools are cookie cutter McDojo's and the embarassing smearing of Abaddi on TUF goes to the apparent Bullshido of the TKD they teach.

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                            #14
                            It is her fault. She is stupid for signing a long term contract with no out.

                            A fool and her money are soon parted.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by datdamnmachine
                              If, as mentioned, this place is associated with Danny Abaddi and considering how well he did on TUFF and the TUFF final it could potentially be put in the catagory of bullshido, or just simply bullsh*t!
                              Not seen any of that series so will take your word on it.
                              One guy isn't definitive of a school but can give you an idea of what to expect.

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