• Report: #340522

Complaint Review: Arizona Kung-Fu, LLC / Brian Donovan

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  • Submitted: Sun, June 15, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, July 09, 2012

  • Reported By:Glendale Arizona
Arizona Kung-Fu, LLC / Brian Donovan
9132 West Cactus Peoria, Arizona U.S.A.

Arizona Kung-Fu, LLC / Brian Donovan Karate kick to ripping children off. Peoria Arizona

*General Comment: Not the Bryan I know.....

*Consumer Comment: I'd like to provide an update speaking as a parent...

*Consumer Comment: Rebuttal to this nonsense of a report.

*Consumer Comment: BS Complaint

*Consumer Comment: Is the Kung Fu guy wrong?

*Consumer Comment: My experience with Arizona Kung-FU LLC

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Official Response

*Author of original report: UPDATE:07/08/2008

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I decided to find a place that my son could do karate again as he enjoyed it very much. Just up the street from my house was a small Kung-Fu place and stopped to check it out. We checked it out and told Mr. Brian Donovan all the things that we were looking for and all that my son had been through. Mr. Donovan assured me that his studio would be a great fit. We were offered to come back for a class so that my son could see if he even liked it before signing up.

We came in and my son did like the class, so I signed him up for $125. We were told that $25 was for his uniform and that it was $25 a week for his classes. The following week my son had class and rather enjoyed it. Then the following week they had a water balloon party for the kids and at that time I was told that they were going to move and had to close for a little bit. I was very upset but was assured by Mr Donovan that they would be opening up in another place in a month maybe two.

Two months went by and no new place. I emailed and emailed and would get little things here and there saying that it was being worked on. Then nothing. No emails, no updates. I emailed again saying that I wanted a refund as I didnt look like after 5 months that anything was going to happen. Come to find out that the Kung-Fu owner had file bankruptcy. So I was told to enroll my son for this Kung_fu class and all along the owner knew he was closing. So he had my $125 and my son had no classes.

I was told by Mr. Donovan that he would refund my money. That it would be less the uniform of $25 and the one week he was their which broke out to be $25 a week. I agreed with the email that was sent and so did he.(Have the emails to prove it still to this day) Kept emailing him time after time and would keep saying that he was working on it. I even showed up to the new place that finally opened at 9132 W Cactus Rd Peoria, AZ 85381 and spoke with him. He advised me that they had just opened again and he had no money to pay me. I agreed to wait again.

weeks went by and I called and sw Liberty Hernly who advised that she is now the owner and Mr. Donovan works for her. She told me that she is aware of the agreement and that I am not the only one that they are trying to repay from the last school. Couple more weeks went by and I final had, had enough. I consulted my families attorney and was told to take him to court as he had taked my money knowing that he was closing his doors. Complete ripoff.

I was told to send a final email advising that I was filing in small claims court and that I was able to collect interests also. Plus was looking into when he filed BK and if he had started his BK before taking my money, then I could petition his BK and have it dismissed as it is against the BK court to take any new business after starting. So I emailed them and was told that would have it by May 15th and no later. Agrred to wait again but I was told to still save all emails. Which I have and will continue too. May 15th came and went and no refund. Srnt email of court filing and was immediatley emailed back that it was on its way.

I finally recieved a check but only for $45, stating that we had only paid $120 and that my son had 2 weeks of classes.Keep in mind that all of this started in July of 2007 and we are now in June of 2008. This is really sad that a grown man would ripoff a single mother and a child, then wait almost a year before paying then part of the money back. I hae emailed again that their is still a balance of $30 and expect prompt payment.

I will contnue to report this company to everyone who will listen till this is paid. I am still consider small claims but havent decided yet. So please dont be fooled by the poor me story they they give you. This company and man did this to many parents and children. Many people paid dues to his schools and then he closed. I am sure that I am not the only one.

Taking someones money when you know you are closing your company and not telling them before hand, means that you are just plain RIPPING these children off.

Bambi
Glendale, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/15/2008 10:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Arizona-Kung-Fu-LLC-Brian-Donovan/Peoria-Arizona-85381/Arizona-Kung-Fu-LLC-Brian-Donovan-Karate-kick-to-ripping-children-off-Peoria-Arizona-340522. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Not the Bryan I know.....

AUTHOR: Bryan Peters - ()

 When I was 18 years old (I am now 27) I was walking to the Safeway grocery store and noticed a man Installing Mats and painting his new studio. I approached this man and told him my intrest in Mixed Martial Arts. He was very nice and sincere and told me his purpose and love for his community. At this time in my life i had just got released from the Juvenile Detention Center and was Living with a Pastor of my Grandmothers Church that was trying to do his best to be a Father figure to me. I did not share this Information with Bryan. Bryan told me the importance of Discipline and making a good life for your self. He new very little about me. I asked bryan if he would like my help Painting the studio and he said sure that would be cool. After talking awile bryan asked if i would like to try out his school once he got things going and i told bryan that i did not have any source of income. Bryan then asked me to come in on a certain day and i did. When i showed up Bryan had shirtanda pair of pants waiting for me at no cost. I do not know Bryan all that well and my point of this letter was to let those who read all of this negative information about bryan and his name should know that his act of kidness has stuck with me for over 9 years now and i hope that you can take this and understand that someone like Bryan should be thanked not put down. You are a good man Bryan I know all of this happend awile back but i still feel people should know you have a big heart for children and people in general. -Bryan Peters

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#2 Consumer Comment

I'd like to provide an update speaking as a parent...

AUTHOR: khomatos - (United States of America)

My girls have been enrolled at Brian Donovan's new studio since Feb 2012. Since that time I have watched them mature, gain discipline, reinforce positive attitudes and develop themselves both physically and mentally.

I have to say that as a parent I am very impressed with Brian's attitude and patience in class. I don't really care to comment about the original poster's feelings that she was ripped off. I simply want to state that currently, Brian Donovan's studio and his classes under-promise and over-deliver.

I can't think of anywhere in the Peoria or Glendale area that offers 3 sessions a week, 45+ minutes per session, for $120 a month. The testing fees have been no more than $20 for each of my daughters. Even if Brian had made mistakes in the past, his currrent setup is beyond reproach. I cannot offer a single shred of criticism for the way he runs his studio other than two comments:

1) More sessions per week - My girls are dying to spend more time learning. I know that there are logistical limits but I simply want to express my daughters' positive attitude towards these classes.

2) More seating - The parents I see, including myself, are excited to see our kids progress, learn and develop themselves.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Rebuttal to this nonsense of a report.

AUTHOR: Shawn Hoffman - (United States of America)

To all of whom it may concern:

I am a prior student who used to practice under the teachings of Mr. Bryan Donovan. Bryan is now also one of my best friends as well as a mentor.

I must say that what I have seen here by the originator of this report is nothing more than false accusations on Mr. Donovan and his school (as well as his previous school). This "Bambi" individual has displayed much arrogance and a complete lack of intellect as well as respect in her post.

I began practicing under Bryan at his previous school when I was 16 years old, now I am 23. I enjoyed his instruction, because he was especially hard on me and brought even more potential out of me as a martial artist. He taught me lessons that I have been able to take into the real world as an adult. Bryan is not a con artist, nor is he one who would rip off a child. While I was under his instruction, I was kicked out of my home at the age of 16, and he was there to help me out of the kindness of his heart. He is not about money, he is about honor and compassion. While hard, strict, and about discipline; he is a very honorable man that should be recognized as such. I have recently been honorably discharged from the United States Army after 4 years of service, and decided to stop by Bryan's new school and was very pleased to see the large population of students from all ages, shapes and sizes. I sat in and watched a few of his classes and saw nothing but consistency. He is a natural leader.He is hard, but his training will help you in the regards of what it's designed for. He teaches values, morals, and how to defend yourself by avoiding a bad situation first, then using violence as a last resort. If Mr. Donovan was a con artist and if this ripoff report deserved to hold up, then he would only be teaching how to "Karate kick someone in the face" (pun intended) and would certainly not be any of these things and I would not be here taking my time today to be writing these things.

If anything, the originator of this "ripoff report" is attempting to rip off kids from a great teacher, mentor, and friend.

 

Best Regards,

Shawn K. Hoffman

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#4 Consumer Comment

BS Complaint

AUTHOR: A_Curtis - (United States of America)

I would like to start off by saying that my experience with Karate classes for my son prior to meeting Mr. Donovan and finding this school almost ended my willingness to enroll my child into another Karate school anywhere ever again. While that is an entirely different story, I can attest first hand that I have experience with being ripped off, and by thousands of dollars, not just $30 bucks.

My husband saw the sign for this martial arts school and decided to drop in because he knew how much my child enjoyed taking Karate classes. After much convincing, I broke down and decided to give Mr. Donovan and AZ Shaolin Kung Fu a go for my son's sake.

Because of my previous experiences, I was very skeptical. We enrolled my son and took advantage of the free week's trial, (something that not every martial arts school provides by the way), and I was very pleasantly surprised when it was offered.

I spent that week observing the children's class and how both Mr. Donovan and the other instructors handled the children, and again, after that first week I came away impressed. The instructors were firm, but fun, never overbearing or heavy handed. They have a core set of rules and your child is expected to behave appropriately and follow the rules accordingly. As a fairly old-fashined parent, I am firmly in agreement with this. Each child in that class was treated to one on one instruction, motivational talks, group instruction and infinite patience.

After the trial week I decided that I would enroll my son on a regular basis. The next pleasant surprise came when Mr. Donovan explained the pricing to me. $120 per month, on a non-contract basis, for three classes per week. I challenge anyone to find a better offer within a 25 mile radius. I was paying twice as much for half the time at prior Karate schools. That is a lot of class time for a child, and the ability to cancel at any time without exorbitant fees and endless paperwork is nothing short of inspired. This fee included the pants, shirt, and belt (which over time, and at least two washings per week for several months, have proven to be of high quality).

I have watched my video-gaming, overweight son improve both mentally and physically over the last few months. He is stronger, more flexible, and more confident in his demeanor. Is he the next Bruce Lee? Of course not! Don't be stupid! But the education and physical training my son has received has been worth every single penny.

After about 2 months I was further impressed when it came time for my son to test for his yellow sash. The testing fee was only $35, less than half of what I had previously paid at the other school, and clearly stated on the invitation that it was non-refundable. My son had a pretty bad cold that day, but begged and pleaded to go take the test. I was not sure of what to expect , but I broke down and allowed my son to go. After about 40 minutes (the tests are about 2 hours long), Mr. Donovan brought my son outside to me and explained that he did not want my son to continue testing that day, as the testing was an intense process and it was not fair to my son to continue when he wasn't feeling his best. He explained that it was not to be considered a failure, and that another opportunity to test would come again soon. My son was disappointed, but I chalked it up to $35 lost and was glad that Mr. Donovan did not push my son when he wasn't physically ready for it.

After about 3 more weeks, another testing period was coming around, and my son was once again invited to test for his yellow sash. I was all ready to pay another $35 testing fee, only to be told by Mr. Donovan that the test was already covered by my first payment. Neither I, nor my son, were to be financially penalized because of my son's illness on the day of his first test. I don't know about you, but nothing about that says "ripoff" to me. After two hours, my son came out with his new sash, a nice certificate, and most importantly, his head held high with a huge smile on his face.

I have to say that I am completely taken aback by the original poster's comments and complaints. Mr. Donovan's commitment to his students and the community is evident to anyone that takes more than 5 minutes to look, comprehend, and more importantly, listen. This school's accounting is meticulous, to the point where I once overpaid an invoice by .01c and that .01c was credited to me on my next invoice! Every charge has been thorougly explained to me and I have never questioned the integrity of the instructors or Ms. Hernley's accounting (and I myself do accounting for a living).

I have been so thorougly impressed by this school, its students, the instructors, and Mr. Donovan that I decided to sign up for classes myself (and I now have an entirely new appreciation for my son's accomplishments). I feel blessed that my family has found Mr. Donovan and his new school. My experiences have been 180 degrees from what this report has claimed, I felt the need to share and offer a different perspective from someone who had been burned before. I could not recommend this school, the instructors, or Mr. Donovan more highly.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Is the Kung Fu guy wrong?

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

First and foremost, look at the source. Google Bambi from Glendale, AZ and you get all kinds of good stuff. This is the same woman who agreed to be in a bondage video for $5000. She finished half the video then backed out. She was taken to court by the producer and the presiding judge was actually discusted with both sides. I have been to the studio in question, the owner was a little shady, but I think this story has more than her side to it.
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#6 Consumer Comment

My experience with Arizona Kung-FU LLC

AUTHOR: Mr. Wood - (U.S.A.)

As part of my general due diligence, I ran across this website and was surprised to see some of the comments levied by the originator. To preface, I certify that my comments are factual and can be proven as such. To offer some background, I enrolled my son at Arizona Kung-FU LLC roughly the 1st half of July this year (2008). I had received a flier at my home and coincidentally my son had been expressing interest in martial arts. I went to the website and filled out the contract information and was eventually contacted by the head instructor, Mr. Donovan. Mr. Donovan told me all that I wanted to hear relative to the school, their beliefs, and their general practices. I personally don't have any prior martial arts experience myself, but Mr. Donovan's vision and principles relative to the school seemed responsible and reasonable to me.

The school offers a one week free trial for the purpose of parent/student evaluation. We took advantage of this free week (Mr. Donovan called me the day of our first class to confirm our attendance that evening). At that time, my son enjoyed the program and indicated to me that he wanted to continue with the school. We paid Arizona Kung-FU LLC $129 ($99 for the month and $30 for his uniform and sash). Over the course of the next month, my son became disinterested and lazy, likely driven in part due to his lack of maturity given his age (5 year-old). It is my opinion that more attention could/should be paid to the beginning students, but again, with no prior experience I'm not one to judge the decision(s) of the head instructor, Mr. Donovan. For a variety of different reasons, in addition to my son and I frequently leaving the school frustrated (I was frustrated with him for not giving a full effort and he was frustrated with me for scolding him for it), I made the decision to withdrawal my son from the school.

The timing was such that we were invoiced by Arizona Kung-FU LLC for the next month's payment of $99 on 08/15/08, with a due date of 08/18/08. As of the evening of 08/17/08, I was going to have my son continue with the school thus I paid them the $99 invoice via Paypal. We went to class as normal on 08/18/08 (Monday) at which time I saw all that I needed to see (see second paragraph). My son was clearly not engaged and had shown minimal improvement over his month at the school (in my opinion). I spoke with him again (we've had many such discussions over the previous couple of weeks) and he firmly told me he didn't want to attend the school any longer. As a result, I sent an email to Arizona Kung-FU LLC that same evening (08/18/08) informing them of our decision and formally asked for a refund of our pre-paid month. Given my son attended class the evening of 08/18/08, I indicated I'd happily compensate the school for the one session he attended.

I received no response as of the evening of 08/20/08 and as such sent a follow-up email soliciting a response. Ms. Liberty did in fact respond to this second email at roughly 10pm MST time and indicated their bookkeeper had been out ill and that everything would be processed tomorrow (Thursday the 21st). Sure enough, I received a notification from Paypal that a full refund had been processed the morning of the 21st.

Admittedly, I found this website before I sent the school my 2nd email and naturally I was feeling very nervous about my refund request. The purpose of this note on this website is to 1) share my honest, objective experience with the school without implying any of the previous comments being true or false and 2) share that I'm one person that wasn't scammed by this school which is contrary to the originator's implication. A lot of the originator's comments were certainly news to me and in my opinion, paint a very specific picture of Mr. Donovan and the history of the school. Fortunately for me, I didn't have this same experience and I'm sorry for the originator and the school for their shared experience previously discussed.

I had spoken to Mr. Donovan on a few separate occasions (over the phone and in person) and he seems like a nice enough guy based on my experience. The same holds true for Ms. Liberty and the other instructor who helps out from time to time. As Mr. Donovan referenced, I know the school has accepted a social responsibility to help out charities in the area and have created a great community at the school. I know my son has made some friends at this school and should he mature/express interest again in martial arts we'll certainly consider Arizona Kung-FU LLC at that time.

In conclusion, I wanted to share with readers my experience with this school and respectfully disagree with the originator that Mr. Donovan is a crook, rips off kids, etc. I didn't find that to be true at all and there is clear evidence to suggest otherwise, my refund story aside. I trust that all involved have received closure on this experience, and I would recommend the school to any parent who has a young child who has expressed interest in martial arts. It was simply not for my son, at least at this time.
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#7 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Official Response

AUTHOR: Liberty - (U.S.A.)

Official response to:
Bambi Lee Delfino

Ms. Delfino enrolled her son at my school on Monday 16July2007 for $120 (tax included). $30 accounts for uniform (non-refundable if worn) and $90 for one month of youth group classes ($22.50 per week). The studio closed its doors on Saturday 28July2007 giving Ms. Delfino's son an opportunity to attend two full weeks of group classes. Keep in mind if the student fails to attend the classes no credit for missed classes is given unless there is advanced notice or extenuating circumstances. The decision to close the doors wasn't made until Wednesday 25July2007 and announced to the students that evening. If $90 was paid for services and only1/2 was used that leaves $45 remaining.
After closing the doors a number of students stepped forward and donated their time and personal finances to re-open because they felt the studio and the teachings were valuable to their children's development. After scouting an affordable location, lease negotiations and build-out the studio re-opened on Monday 29Oct2007. During the time off the students were given weekly updates of the new location's progress including photographs on my MySpace account which Ms. Delfino was a member of. Upon re-opening all returning students were given any time that was owed to them from the previous location including an additional month of classes free as a thank you for being loyal and patient. All of my former students happily accepted except for Ms. Delfino who decided not to return. Ms. Delfino was informed that a refund would take some time due to the fact that resources were depleted re-opening the new location.
The investors and I decided to turn over all financial bookkeeping to a professional accountant to guarantee the survival and success of the new school. Our accountant tract every incoming penny and dictated every outgoing penny. When our accountant informed us that the studio was no longer in the red a check for the remaining balance of $45 was immediately sent to Ms. Delfino which was cashed on 9May2008. Six days later a complaint by Ms. Delfino was posted on this website.
It's not the complaint by Ms. Delfino itself that so offensive, it's the title. At no time was there any intension to ignore this debt. I understand Ms. Delfino was frustrated with the time frame in which the refund was settled. The details of the story and the amount of the refund are debatable by all sides. But my name and the name of our school is now linked to abusing our roll and taking advantage children. The title of this article goes to show the lack of truth and intelligence used in writing it. Nowhere in the 9 paragraphs of ranting by Ms. Delfino is there any evidence that has to do with me or my affiliates ripping off children. The title makes us out to be scam artists which is far from the truth. At Arizona Kung Fu our mission is to provide the highest quality of training to our students in developing their mental, physical and emotional strengths. Our endless work with the West Valley Child's Crisis Center, Toys for Tots and the Child Obesity Center goes to show where our hearts are when it comes to children and our community. In 12 years of my martial arts teaching career I have never been subject to question and am appalled that a woman (who is not above reproach herself) with almost zero personal experience with me and my school could pass such a critical and potentially detrimental judgment on myself and my business. Ms. Delfino wrote in her last response, I never thought anything would happen. I never thought. Therein lies the problem.

Bryan Donovan and Arizona Kung Fu LLC


I have been teaching martial arts in the valley for over a decade and have the pleasure of training several thousand students over that time. In that time I have never had someone speak against me in such an offensive manner as to have my family's name carelessly plastered on the world wide web. Stating that me of all individuals rips off children is absurd. The extensive work I have done with not only building up the mental, emotional and physical strength with the children who come through my schools; but also the charitable work I do with the Children's Obesity Center, West Valley Child's Crisis Center, Toy for Tots, and Packages From Home to name a few. My life's work is helping others, and the entire purpose and existence of the school is to benefit others. Our schools motto is Self Improvement for Everyone and anyone who has stayed for more a week or two knows this to be true.

The bottom line is Ms. Delfino doesn't feel she had a positive experience with my school and I'm sorry for that but to publically slam me and my school on the internet is uncalled for. It goes to show ego and emotion were placed in front of thought and logic. What sense does it make that I would put up $30k to open a martial arts studio so I could walk away one year later with Ms. Delfino's $45?
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#8 Author of original report

UPDATE:07/08/2008

AUTHOR: I know where he is - (U.S.A.)

Well I do have an update to this story. After writing this information I did receive a check for the balance of $30.00. I also received and interesting letter. This is what it said:

Dear Mrs. Delfino,

I am so hurt right now. I was just notified that you have been writing nasty things about me and my studio on the internet. I understand that you have issues with Bryan but for you to slander me and my studio for something I have no responsibility of is uncalled for. I have never done anything but try to help you out, by paying a debt that doesnt even belong to me or my studio. I am going to pay you the $30 that I dont feel that I owe, if you could please remove all the nasty things you have written about my studio. You make me look bad and I have never even met you.

You had a deal with Bryan and Shaolin Kung Fu on 83rd Ave and Cactus. When we spoke over the phone I advised you that Bryan works for me at my studio. I never did own Shaolin Kung Fu, my family only took classes their. When it closed I decided to open my own studio and have Bryan teach at it. I, out of the goodness of my heart, decided to give the students that followed Bryan over from Shaolin Kung Fu a free month of classes and those who paid him before the studio closed those weeks with my studio. I did not have to do that, nor was I responsible for any of his debts. I was trying to be nice to you and this is what I get in return.

I feel very hurt and betrayed. Please remove all the bad and nasty things you have written about me and my studio. It looks bad for my company and we have built up a reputation for doing good for the community and our students. Whatever happened in the past between you and Bryan has absolutely nothing to do with me or my studio.

I can only hope you have a good heart and remove everything bad you have written about Arizona Kung-Fu, LLC or myself.

Regards,

Liberty Hernly


I do appreciate this site, because I never thought anything would happen. Now for my reply to this letter. I do have respect for the owner of this company but there are a few things wrong with this letter. This owner knew of Mr. Donovans debts and advised me that I was not the only one. We had met before at the studio and had spoken twice on the phone. Knowing of all of these debts, she did state that she is trying to settle them all. Making this statement would imply that you have taken on his debts. If you had not then why would arrangements be made? Also, per the letter it was admitted that I was not the only one with this issue and as I do understand that Mr. Donovan is now an employee, the company and I quote decided to give the students that followed Bryan over from Shaolin Kung Fu a FREE MONTH of classes and those who paid him before the studio closed THOSE WEEKS with my studio. Now the time frame from one studio to another was almost a year. Also, when you are trying to be nice to someone, you return phone calls and emails. I have no ill will to this new studio and owner, but she knew what was going on and what needed to be done. My issue has been resolved with this company and I do wish them the best, but this site will NEVER REMOVE this posting, as it is used for people in the future also who might have issues with them as well.
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