• Report: #603280

Complaint Review: Tiger Rock Taekwondo

  • Submitted: Fri, May 14, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, April 25, 2014

  • Reported By: Mike — Overland Park Kansas United States of America
Tiger Rock Taekwondo
14024 West 119th Street Olathe, Kansas United States of America

Tiger Rock Taekwondo Greedy, raises prices mid contract. Unfair rank advancement practices. Olathe, Kansas

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: olathe tiger rock

*General Comment: Mis-Characterization of Tiger Rock

*Consumer Comment: Ranking

*General Comment: Tiger Rock Martial Arts

*Consumer Comment: Tiger Rock Martial Arts classes

*Consumer Comment: Tiger Rock is Worth it Tuition and Fees

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My son spent close to a year at Tiger Rock. During that time it became very apparent that the instructor was unable to handle parents who demand rank advancement when it is not warranted. It was very difficult watching the children of the parents who literally yelled at the instructor about advancement get promoted ahead of those who played by the rules.

There is also the problem with fees. Because the contract spelled out the fees Tiger Rock could not increase their fees, so they instead invented additional belt ranks which both slowed down the students progress, but also doubled the amount of testing fees charged.

When we signed up there was rank testing every 60 days which carried a fee of $60. They have now changed the system so that a student will take 4-6 months to make the same rank advancement paying the monthly fees all along. Under the old scenario it would take two months of dues and a $60 fee to advance one level in rank. Now under the new plan it would take 4-6 months of dues and $120 in testing fees.

A clever way to raise prices on everyone regardless of the contract. Instead of charging more, they are slowing everyone down to make it more costly to move through the system.

A couple of other things to be aware of.

1. Accessories are mandatory and ridiculously overpriced. What they don't tell you when you sign up is that they will constantly have mandatory purchases. For example: A very cheaply made student manual. Black & white, spiral bound, $40. Uniform patches, $10-$20 per. Sparring Gear, $230.

2. The academy routinely closes for close to a week at a time for various testings, and road trips for competitions. Yet they charge you the full month. This seems especially strange in the event of testing, where they close the academy for 3-4 days to allow for testing and processing the results, while charging extra. So testing weeks you pay more than usual and have less access.

Bottom line is that you need to be prepared to spend constantly on extras, and have to keep on them about rank advancement, or else you will fall behind the students who have parents that "advocate" for them.





This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/14/2010 08:49 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Tiger-Rock-Taekwondo/Olathe-Kansas-/Tiger-Rock-Taekwondo-Greedy-raises-prices-mid-contract-Unfair-rank-advancement-practice-603280. 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.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

olathe tiger rock

AUTHOR: richard - ()

My doughter has been with Olathe Tiger Rock Taekwondo for two and a half years.  The belt advancement has not changed. Every 8 to ten weeks they test to see if the can advance to the higher level if they don't do the correct routines they dont pass. I dont see how they say it changed to four months that is incorrect for this academy.


Yes certain gear is mandatory as at all specialty schools but prices are not outrageous. It is a business after all and it is no different than going to a football game, baseball game, or any other place for that matter and paying those prices.  


yes they may charge you the whole month when they close for certain events , but what he doesn't say is that you have the opportunity to attend a class either monday thru thursday and saturday when they are open. Where some other academies charge by the month but only let you attend two to three classes a week.

All That said I don't see how this business is any different than say gymnastics or dance.  The price is pretty even across the board. if you do the research 

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#2 General Comment

Mis-Characterization of Tiger Rock

AUTHOR: Jason - ()

I am a Tiger Rock black belt and instructor as well as the parent of a Tiger Rock student(not from this school), and find your characterization of the program to be misleading.

First, no one can earn a black belt in Tiger Rock in 18 months.  Currently, the typical journey from white to black belt takes about 32 months (just under three years).  The change in rank structure in 2010 was a reflection of the fact that student attendance patterns were far different than they were 30 years earlier when the original rank system was created.  The idea that it creates additional revenue is absurd - it was a move designed to make sure the black belts earned through the program were adequately trained without having to penalize students who only trained twice per week.

Regarding fees and added expenses, it is standard practice at Tiger Rock schools to review all program prices with prospective students and parents before they become members, including sparring gear and test fees.  Even if this didn't happen, Common sense would dictate that at some point you would need protective equipment.  

The bottom line is that you should ask several questions before enrolling your child in any activity.  Tiger Rock has an outstanding program and record (as evidenced by the 200+ locationa and only two complaints on here. It is, however,not a cheap program.  I'm sure if you stop by the school you'll find a couple hundred parents who consider it a worthwhile investment.

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#3 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: gwtkd - ()

If some one can go into a Tiger Rock School and get their Black Blet in 18 months.....that is plain silly. It take at least 5 years..at least that. They are a money pit. Shoot is you want a black belt ...order one...they are like 25 bucks with all the writing on them. My daughter is 12 and has been doing TKD for 5 years now.....she is not a Black belt.....she has at least 2 more years.

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#4 General Comment

Tiger Rock Martial Arts

AUTHOR: Kawaii_henry - ()

Speaking from over 15 years of experience training in traditional Tae Kwon Do, I would strongly encourage anyone wanting to join a Tiger Rock school to take a good long look at this franchise, its history and it's practices. Investigate the school and pay very close attention the martial arts history and training of the instructors. Anyone with a 4th Dan black belt or above should have a at least 9 years of experience. Beware of any franchise that allows owners to start a Martial arts School with " No martial arts experience required". Beware of any instructor that cannot provide a detailed and documented training history under a qualified instructor that you can verify. Dan certificates are nice and very cheap off the internet, and a photo with someone is not evidence of training. Although most Tiger Rock Schools are McDojo's, I am not suggesting that all are. I simply suggest that you investigate the history and career of whom ever you decide to train under, ask questions and compare them with other schools. Best of luck to all of you. Sincerely, A 4th Dan.

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#5 Consumer Comment

Tiger Rock Martial Arts classes

AUTHOR: Tina - (United States of America)

I totally agree with the report that was filed here. We live in Tennessee and experienced almost the exact same problems. We did not experience any parents bullying to increase their child's rank but I felt that the students were passed to the next rank whether they earned it or not.

It was totally a money pit. What the previous person said was true, there are constantly more "required" equipment needed and testing fees quickly increased.  Testing came every six weeks and like the previous person said, they close and do not have classes for 4-5 days (or more when they have tournaments...)We spent close to $1000.00 and my son had just begun in the month of June and stopped going in December of last year.

I really do not see how families can afford to keep their child in this program especially when they have more than one child involved. I just didn't feel like the honor in the martial arts aspect of it takes ANY presidence over the money focus. I felt it was less focus on honor and skill as it was hurry, hurry, hurry to take the next test to get the next belt so they could charge another fee.

Very frustrated and now have all of the gear, and paraphernalia (some never even used) for nothing. A total waste of money.

I would definely recommend that NO ONE join Tiger Rock.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Tiger Rock is Worth it Tuition and Fees

AUTHOR: Kirk - (United States of America)

My family and I are students at Tiger Rock.  We have been very happy with the level of instruction, availability of classes and genuine bonds we have formed with the other students and parents. I perceive three general themes in this review: Speed of rank advancement, competition with other students, and   cost.

An academy should not be judged on how quickly a student advances through ranks.  I know it can be frustrating for a student to to repeat a belt level, but it must be viewed as an opportunity to focus on a specific area of improvement (and to practice the TaeKwonDo tenet of perseverance!). If a student DOES have to repeat a rank, he gets free private instruction and the testing fees are waived at the next testing cycle.  

Rank advancement comes through individual effort (with the support and encouragement of the other students).  Rank advancement sn NEVER presented as a   competition because each student has unique challenges.  The students and families are encouraged to be supportive.  Anyone wishing to evaluate this academy should come observe a testing session to see the family atmosphere and encouragement shared among the group.  

I'm surprised  you feel that unqualified students can bully their way to rank advancement.  In my experience observance, the instructor has been firm in dealing with the occasional difficult parent.

It's true  there are cheaper ways to get a black-belt;  however, the purpose of TaeKwonDo is to learn, not to get a black belt as quickly and cheaply as possible. Adding more ranks does not make TaeKwonDo more expensive; everyone still gets the same number of classes for the same price. I would also encourage you to compare the cost of participating in a quality martial arts school to that of participating in dance or music lessons taught by professionals, or to a soccer league other than recreational.

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