• Report: #434935
Complaint Review:

Steve LaVallee's Karate

  • Submitted: Mon, March 16, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, June 11, 2012

  • Reported By:Lighthouse Point Florida
Steve LaVallee's Karate
1425 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park, Florida U.S.A.

Steve Lavallee's Karate, Steve LaVallee's Karate LaVallee's billing company just bled my bank account of almost $400.00 2 months after we took our child out of the program! Oakland Park Florida

*Consumer Comment: re:LaVallee

*Consumer Comment: contract

*Consumer Comment: Former student

*Consumer Comment: LaVallee's Student response


*UPDATE Employee: Belt Factory? - Dont Believe it!!

*UPDATE Employee: LaVallee Management Responds To Report

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After careful consideration, and 6 months of monitoring the program at Lavallee's, my 11 year old daughters' mother and I decided to pull her out of the program, mostly due to the fact that the School is a "Belt Factory" and NOTHING MORE!!! Also, because my daughter and her mother were moving out of the area, so I decided to be nice and just tell them that we were leaving, and simply end the contract. That wasn't good enough for them, they demanded a power bill, school registration, and proof we were moving, etc...etc...Anything to prolong and avoid terminating the contract.

I was really trying to avoid having to confront them on a contractual basis, and also trying to save them (Lavallee's) the absolute embarrassment of being dragged into judicial system and paraded before the court as a school that is ill preparing children for real life self defense situations, giving parents a false since of security that their children can defend themselves, and that they're generally a big fat belt factory and marketing scheme driving by getting these unsuspecting parents to fork out lots of $$$ so little Johny and Susie can protect themselves.

Well, I have to tell you, when I went to use my debit card today to fill my gas tank, so I could get to my new job this morning, it said INSUFFICIENT FUNDS!!! To my shock and amazement I call my bank a little freaked out because I was absolutely certain that my money was there! Little did I know, that EFC, That's "Educational Funding Co", LaVallee's Karate Schools billing company, had removed (2) two separate withdraws from my account. 1) for $237.00 and 2) for 159.00...neither of which was authorized!!! They (EFC) only left $3.83 in my checking account...BEWARE THESE PEOPLE WILL LITERALLY TAKE YOU LAST DOLLAR!!!


I'm telling you this because I'm a 5th Degree Black Belt in Goshin Ryu JuJistsu/Ninjistu I'm am former Special Forces, and I think what these people are doing is a dishonor and disgrace to Martial Arts and flat out fraud/theft!

Respectfully Submitted.

Lighthouse Point, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/16/2009 08:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/steve-lavallees-karate/oakland-park-florida-33334/steve-lavallees-karate-steve-lavallees-karate-lavallees-billing-company-just-bled-my-b-434935. 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 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ian - (United States of America)

I disagree with what was written here based on personal experience with the Boca Raton dojo, but I cannot comment on any of the others as I have never visited them.  My daughter has been in the Boca Raton school for almost a year, and it has been awesome.  The instructors at the Boca school are excellent, and they are good people.  We put a lot into the training at the dojo, and at home, and as a result we get a lot out of it.  From basics, to weapons training, to sparring, to calisthenics, and to life lessons, I find the program to be well rounded and professional.  I am sorry your experience wasn't a good one, but a contract is a contract.  I almost let your report convince me not to bring my daughter there when I was doing my initial research, and I am very glad I ignored it.

Ian M.
Boca Raton, FL
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: ANONYMOUSNOW - (United States of America)

why does the school make you sign a contract 2 months before the contract date  actually starts.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Former student

AUTHOR: Mike K - (United States of America)

I was a student at Lavallees in NY for a couple of years, no longer training due to medical condition. I had no problem cancelling my contract, but I upheld my end of the deal. They were aboveboard, cordial and concerned, as they were throughout my relationship with them. Yes, they are fairly expensive, but no one forced you to go to them and you knew the price when you signed the contract.

The fact is that they are a business and you made a binding contract with them. If you really meet the terms of the contract you will be released from it. If not, go to small claims court.

As far as being a "belt factory", I can tell you that at fight nights all around NY the lion's share of the trophys at all levels are carried out of the ring by Lavallee's fighters. Barring all out street brawling, I don't know of a better testament to their training.  

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#4 Consumer Comment

LaVallee's Student response

AUTHOR: Samurai J - (United States of America)

To Whom It May Concern:

Sub-par?  I am sorry that you feel that way.  But it's like anything else in life, you get what you put into it. 



2nd Degree Black Belt

LaVallee's USA Black Belt Champions

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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: JusticeForAll - (United States of America)

My friend,

I absolutely agree with you. They sign up as many children as they can, then they advise you that upgrading your membership to the BBC level will bring your child more instruction, which is all nonsense. if you compare the martial arts being performed by their students (and with all due respect to the students working hard under their systems) it is sub par to real martial arts. They don't really care about your child learning traditional martial arts, they run this as a simple business, that's it!!!!
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Belt Factory? - Dont Believe it!!

AUTHOR: Kohai For Life - (U.S.A.)

Hello , my name is Mr. Vince, 42 years young.

I am a part time employee for USA Black Belt Champions. I have been a part time employee for just under a year. I have been a student for almost 10 years. My wife, son and stepson are students with this school. I can tell you this, This school is not a belt factory, like Mr. Patterson claims. I have had to work very very hard to earn my 1st Degree, 2nd Degree, and 3rd Degree Black Belts. I have had surgery on both knees, The most recent surgery was 1 month before I was to earn my 3rd degree, I had trained very hard for 10 Months to get there, and then I had to have 2 bone chips in my knee removed. After the surgery, I had rehab, and then I had to start over again, I recieved no credit for my past training, I knew what I needed to do, and I did it because of what the belt meant to me. All requirements needed to be met and all requirements had to have passing marks, They did not let me slide due to my knee problems.

I can tell you that my 16 year old son, a 1st degree black belt, he can take care of himself if anything were to happen. I dont have any doubt. I can also tell you that my 8 year old step son who is a red belt now can also handle himself if he needed to. As a matter of fact, last summer my wife and I wanted to test him, so she signed him up for a Tae Kwon Do, tournement in Miami. He was put in to the circle with children his own age and size, but had exclusively trained in Tae Kwon Do. When it was announced that he was from our school and not a Tae Kwon Do school, other parents were overheard saying that this poor boy is going to get his butt kicked. My stepson came home with the GOLD medal........enough said about belt factory

Now to comment on the EFC, I have 3 family members with contracts, I know what the contract states and I know what it means. I am sorry that this issue happenend with Don, but a contract is a contract, I dont know the details of his situation. But if his situation is true, why would there be any problem with supplying the information that was requested?

If you want to find out more about our school please dont take Don's report as truth. Do what all knowledegable parents do, come visit, check out the school for yourself, talk with the program director and Master KC the Chief Instructor. The make you own educated decision.

Thank you.

Mr. Vince
3rd Degree Black Belt
Kohai for Life
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#7 UPDATE Employee

LaVallee Management Responds To Report

AUTHOR: L Llewellyn - (U.S.A.)

The LaVallee's USA Black Belt Champions responded to Mr. Patterson within 24 hours of his report. The matter has been resolved. We understand Mr. Patterson has retracted his original report.
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