Not only is your money not safe here..neither are YOU! If you have any ounce of self respect-DO NOT JOIN! It may sound like an easy 30 day trial with 175$ at stake,but dont come expecting to use their equipment! Ask to see the list of equipment they expect every student to purchase to train there.(About 600$ to begin with). They dont take kindly to even the NEW students using their own school equipment.
Mateo Academy is financially struggling and behind on their rent. They got an eviction notice Jan 2012; and the students bailed them out !! If you want to waste your time on stupid drama ,this is THE place to be! Teacher is mentally and verbally abusive to everyone-including the parents!! When I joined, I was told by senior students "Never disagree or question ANYTHING the teacher says-it'll be worse! Even if you disagree- dont say anything! "-which pretty much sums up the dark atmosphere this school really is.
When the parents of children are present-the teacher keeps his ranting to a bare minimum-but when they leave-watch out! Dont be fooled by the "Christian" masquerade they use as their marketing tool. I never once saw anything that even remotely comes close! As a student, you are expected to memorize Bible scriptures and display a FULLY SUBMISSIVE (I mean absolutely no rights as a human submissive ) attitude-while at the same time, the staff is accountable to NO ONE. The teacher (Sifu youre supposed to call him) , constantly challenges his students to fight saying he "will demolish them",speaks of killing people,(yes) and "cutting off their heads"... (especially the students that dont stay--they are referred to as "disloyal").
Obvious this guy is completely out of his mind- and its no wonder they lost half of their students last summer 2011. They profess a comfortable training environment and a family atmosphere, but I saw NOTHING that would make me feel remotely safe about bringing my kids here to learn self defense!! Not only is the teacher a psycho,but the advanced students or those that have been there for some time- refer to themselves as his disciples. If thats not weird , I dont know wth is!! LOOK ELSEWHERE!!!