Report: #753979

Complaint Review: ATA Karate America

  • Submitted: Sat, July 16, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, September 08, 2011
  • Reported By: Kelly — Jacksonville Florida United States of America
  • ATA Karate America
    4792 Windsor Commons
    Jacksonville, Florida
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My son is 6 years old. We signed up for karate lessons this past April.  As most children, lately he has decided that he doesn't want to continue the lessons as most 6 year olds won't have their attention held for very long. I've also come into some financial hardship I'm a single mom and can't afford the $150 payments each month. i called ATA corporate and they said the only way I can get out of this contract is if I move or if my son gets hurt and can no longer attend.  When i went to the first day, this charming sales person made everything sound so great. The only thing he told me about was the up front fee of $150 and the monthly amount. He didn't tell me about what the cost would be every time my son got a new belt after his first 30 classes which is an extra $60. He also didn't tell me that it would be $279 to $400 for my sons equipment and he certainly didn't tell me that I was signing a 3 year commitment. When I asked him about it, he would give me the brush off. So I called corporate and they said that there is no way to let me out of the contract unless I wanted to take karate lessons, i moved or my son got hurt.  How can this be legal? The day I signed the contract, I got into a huge fight with my x and I trusted Master M so when he said sign this, I did.  I also didn't get a copy of my contract for a week and a half so I didn't know that I could have cancelled it three days later.  I honestly thought I was only signing a one year commitment like you would at a gym or something.  That's what these places do. They get someone to make everything seem wonderful then blind side you.  It's a complete scam and now I'll have to take out a loan just to pay them off.  I wouldn't do this again if it was the last thing to do on this earth. These companies should never make someone sign that long of a commitment for a child. Some of these parents bring in children 3 years old.  Obviously they are just in it for the money because are they even that stupid to think a 3 year old or 6 year old would want to do this for 3 years?  Ridiculous. Complete Scam and disappointed that compannies like this would take adavantage of families when we're all having a rough time with the economy. Total Scam......
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/16/2011 10:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Muay Thai Is Better

AUTHOR: This Is The Truth - (USA)

What a Joke Karate is....Muay Thai is better because I have known practitioners who weren't even black belts beat those practitioners of Karate who were black belts.  What Karate practitioners practice is an absolute joke compared to what serious training in other artforms can produce.  Besides I am a practitioner of both Okinawan Karate-do and other martial arts forms and can tell you that the others are always one-up when it comes to defeating the watered down Karate system we have here in the West.

...Besides a real attack on the street Karate is no match at times....

P.S.  Mr. rik (our troll regular who has a tragedy called trolling that he actually thinks is a life) I have found my "her" already-I'm not as you claim I am-I'm a winner!

Trolls lose and I WIN!
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Here's what others are saying...

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)

Here is a recent letter that we received from a grandparent of one of our students.....

Sir, I would like to pass on my appreciation for a remarkable and a class act by your professionals at the June Graduation ceremony.  I was amazed at all the variety of flawless exhibitions displayed by all the martial arts professionals.  I can only imagine how much training, self discipline, and guidance went into putting an event of this caliber together.  It sets the bar for a more intense exhibition next time.

As for my personal experience with Karate America, I have seen a great deal of improvement in my grandson's behavior to date.  His instructor and his highly experienced team have been instrumental in indoctrinating self control to my grandson.  In turn setting the foundation fro him to inspire becoming a black belt someday.  More importantly yet, instilling respect and courtesy for all that will carry through for his entire life.

Once again, I look forward to more graduations in the future and see martial arts experts do what they do best.

Thank you sir for taking the time to write us and look forward to your grandson reaching his goals.
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#3 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

are YOU doing here? Still no date? LOSER.
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#4 Consumer Comment

What you should do!

AUTHOR: This Is The Truth - (USA)

I see Mrrik our ROR troll has found you all who does not have a life of his own of course.  Its a shame and a disgrace isn't it but it requires much more than an apology but restitution.

Perhaps you need to change over to Muay Thai Classes besides Karate is a joke when it comes to Muay Thai!

Learn another system of martial arts because any system that is American that takes from the East and desecrates such a system with poor ethics has brought shame to the East!  You all are indeed a disgrace and should apologize to the East for what they entrusted you all with in the first place!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Who needs

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

this monkeybusiness?
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Response To Suzie

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)

We are saddened anyone could feel this way about Karate America.  Hopefully, I can help to clarify any misunderstandings.

 As far as graduation fees, it is stated in the membership that they are required to move up in rank.  They cover the national fees, the belt, the certificate, and any other expenses, such as venue rental, etc.

 We do make additional merchandise available, such as clothing, if students wish to buy it.  Certain classes/teams may require special uniforms or equipment.  It is the students/parents choice as to whether they will join these additional programs.

 If a student is unable to attend classes for any reason, as a courtesy to our students, Karate Americas policy is that the training time will be offered at a later date, essentially extending the expiration date of the membership.  Unfortunately, due to the volume of students enrolled (in the thousands), it is impossible for us to track each individual students attendance, calculate missed time, and adjust payments accordingly.  If a student would like to request a freeze of payment, they may submit their request in writing to the main office (fax number and mailing address are on the membership).

We are confident we can work through any concerns a student may have. We only ask that the student talk to us so that we may offer assistance wherever possible.

Thank you!

Karate America Employee

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#7 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Karate America is ripoff

AUTHOR: suzie - (United States of America)

Karate america is a big joke. They just want your money. When you join, they hide things from you. They don't tell about belt promo fees and other expenses beforehand. Once you sign the contract, you face the shocking surprises. Also, they keep telling you to buy stuff (clothes) from them. Once you are in their basic program, then they literally compel you to go to leadership program which costs hell lot of money. If you do not register in that program, then they don't take interest in your kids. My son got sick and he did not attend classes for some time. But they still kept charging me. I can't wait for the year to be over and get rid of them.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Karate America empathizes with families

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)

Karate America empathizes with families having financial hardship. We understand it is a difficult economy right now, as it is for businesses as well.  We are willing to offer several methods to assist our students.  We offer to freeze a payment to allow the student to catch up on bills, the possibility of lowering the program and therefore the monthly payment, or transferring the membership to another family member.  It is unfortunate that none of these options will work for this student.

As far as the membership is concerned, our memberships clearly state the time commitment.  Both the expiration date and number of months of commitment are written in two different places.  This is to ensure that everyone is clear as to what the agreement is.

Within the membership, written in plain English, not legal jargon, it states the purchase of safety equipment will be necessary for certain activities in the classes.  This is for safety, and also required
by our insurance company.  Also, it is written in the membership that promotional rank examination fees are not included in the membership fees. This information is clearly written in order to ensure the student knows the terms and conditions up front.  We do not wish to trick anyone, but we also cannot force people to read that which they are signing.

We are not in this business just for the money.  There are many much less strenuous jobs that could earn our instructors a living, but they have chosen to dedicate their lives to the study of martial arts and to passing on that information to studentsin order to better those students lives.  We disagree that young children cannot make a commitment for achieving their black belts.  They may, however, need the help of their families to reach that goal.  This is why the membership is signed by the parent, not the child. 
Children learn commitment and follow through at a young age.  I would encourage anyone who reads this
to attend one of our Black Belt testings in June or December, and watch the ring with the youngest students, as young as 6.  These children have been training since 3 years old and now understand the concepts of commitment, goal setting, and perseverance.  If they learn to be successful at a young age, they will be successful their entire lives.

We are still willing to offer our assistance as noted above.  Please call, and we will do all that we can to help.


Karate America Employee

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