Report: #1282719

Complaint Review: Thurston Academy of Kingston MA

  • Submitted: Wed, January 27, 2016
  • Updated: Wed, January 27, 2016
  • Reported By: Bullied Family — Plymouth Massachusetts USA
  • Thurston Academy of Kingston MA
    55 Main Street
    Kingston, Massachusetts

Thurston Academy of Kingston MA Joe Thurston Bullied, controlled, and blacklisted by Thurston Academy. Poor Business Practices by Joe Thurston Kingston Massachusetts

*Author of original report: All Parties Retract Negative Post in this Report

*Consumer Comment: Get facts right

*Author of original report: Thurston Academy is a cult- not a school. Owner is controlling and dishonest

*Consumer Comment: Great place to learn

*Author of original report: Thurston Academy lacks integrity, and Respect- deceitful and fraudulent business practices at Thurston

*General Comment: A Great Martial Arts School - Period

*Author of original report: Thurston Academy/ NEU BJJ discrimination case

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: You need to re-read the emails

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Thurston Academy want what social media is saying

*Consumer Comment: Change of tone

*Author of original report: Joe Thurston Discrimination Case, intimidates parents and students

*Consumer Comment: Honest student speaking

*Author of original report: Joe's true color is out, it didn't take much.

*UPDATE Employee ..inside information: Put your temper tantrum to rest

*Author of original report: Said Witness and Student is Lying, Read the Email Carefully, Parent's wanted to leave, Request denied and then Granted after blacklisting the children.

*Author of original report: Do your research, Thurston Academy has a reputation for being intimidating, manipulative, and self-serving.

*Consumer Comment: Witness and happy student

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Joe Thurston bullied and blacklisted our family because his ego was hurt when we asked to be released from a contract so that our kids can train Brazillian Jiu Jutsu with an expert Master Dedeco. He called the Master Dedeco himself and asked him not to let our kids train there. Joe Thurston is a self serving, egotistical, controlling bully. He is all about the money, not the future development of children. See the email communicatin below demonstrating his discriminatory business practices.


From: XXX
Date: Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 9:17 AM
Subject: BJJ

I have viewed the emails between XXX and you.  
Your bulling and intimidation of my wife, attempt to fracture the development of our children's JJ  and dragging in a third party into a mess you created are all disturbing behaviors.  You are out of control dude, you need to chill.
I will speak with Master Dedecco again today, we have a mutual friend. 
Email me back once you have terminated the contracts, in review of your last email to my wife, I anticipate that will happen today.  
Both my wife and I work very hard and do not have time for these Napoleon behaviors.

From: ThurstonAcademy .com <>
Date: Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: Hello
To: "mrs. S" 

We do have the right to choose to who we train at all of our locations and affiliations.  Do you seriously need to cause problems everywhere you go?  On the back of your enrollment agreement you have a thirty day cancellation, I have cancelled as you requested.  There will be no further communication.  We wish you and your family the best.


On Wednesday, January 27, 2016 7:36 AM, mrs. S  wrote:

Reflect on your response. As American citizens we have the right to choose. You do not dictate where we choose to put our kids to train. This is not a dictatorship.  Shame on you for taking it personal. You need to toughen up. I will be taking this up with the BBB.
You will need to reimburse us for today and moving forward.
I do not have time for your games.

Sent from my iPhone


From: ThurstonAcademy .com <>
Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:59 PM
Subject: Re: Kids and BJJ
To: "mrs. S" 



From: E.S. 
Date: Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 9:21 PM
Subject: Re: Kids and BJJ
To: "ThurstonAcademy .com" <>


Let me make myself clear. It is a free country, XXX has spoken to the Deco himself. We are taking XXX and XXX out of Thurston. We are their parents and we are going to do what is best for OUR children. XXX was released from his contract early so it is feasible to do. What is the process? 
I would like to have the kids exit in good terms. I will be in meetings until noon tomorrow but I can be available to discuss this with you further. XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 26, 2016, at 7:51 PM, ThurstonAcademy .com <> wrote:

Dedeco and I actually don't allow students to transfer into other schools/locations once signed into the program unless you moved.  We are glad that XXX and XXX are doing so well and agree that they are making great progress in our program.  Feel free to contact me with any further questions and I would be more than happy to have a further conversation.  Thank you for your understanding.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 7:37 PM, E.S. wrote:

Hi Alison.
Both XXX and XXX had a great experience at the NAGA tournament this past Saturday. They really got into it and it was so amazing how much they have developed in this sport. 
XXX and I were talking and we wanted the kids to have the ability to train more so they can hone in their skills. The Decco offers more classes and so the kids can have the flexibility to attend BJJ classes that would allow them to do other extra curricular activities and other sports.
Both XXX and XXX have learned so much at Thurston and have had so much fun. Also want you to know that we think Adam does an exceptional job with the kids.
Wanted to talk to you about transitioning them to the school at Marshfield with the Decco. When would we be able to do this?
Thank you for understanding and providing such a wonderful experience for the kids at such a young age. They have a solid foundation of the sport and have developed exponentially at your school in the last 3 years--- thank you.
Please let us know next steps.
XXX and XXX 

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#1 Author of original report

All Parties Retract Negative Post in this Report

AUTHOR: - ()

All Parties retract negative post in this report.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Get facts right

AUTHOR: rdrer - (USA)

 NO child sits on the sidelines, that comment is completely untrue. ALL students are included in all activities. Your comments are childish, untrue, vindictive, irresponsible, and and slanderous. Thurston Academy welcomes all students, regardless of their disabilities. As an adult who assists teaching the students , father of a son who has disabilities , and is also a student I can say that I have NEVER seen a student excluded in learning activities. Stop the lies and move on. Thank you Sensei Joe, you have my total support.

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#3 Author of original report

Thurston Academy is a cult- not a school. Owner is controlling and dishonest

AUTHOR: - ()

Read the attachments and you will see evidence of discrmination. There are families who he has bullied and without a valid reason terminated from the program. There are also 3 children with special needs whom Joe Thurston failed to accommodate and provide an inclusive environment. Instead of working with the parents to ensure the special needs of the students were addressed and adjust the program instructions, the owner alienated the students, had them sit out in the sidelines, and forced to sit still and watch the other students. Instead of having a conversation with the parents about effective methods to engage the students, the owner blamed the parents, and continued to collect their money. When parents tried to recently post a review and comments on the Thurston website and Facebook, they were unable because the owner took it down So only the "glowing " reviews are displayed. He has also requested not to to post the email where he blatantly bullied and blacklisted innocent students and slandered the parents. What are you hiding Thurston? It is not slander when claims are true: Thurston is a BULLY (blacklisted innocent children because parents didn't "bow" to him). Thurston is DISHONEST (collecting disability while teaching Karate--- shame on you). Thurston LACKS PERSONAL INTEGRITY (lies and deceives parents). Check out dojosinfo.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Great place to learn

AUTHOR: rdrer - (USA)

 My son, who is autistic and has asbergers, has been training at Thurston Academy for 5 years. He has never been discriminated against because of his disabilities. To slander Sensei Joe, his business is completely irresponsible. My son has turned for the better. This is due to the time Sensei Joe has made for my son. I also assist in teaching. I see children there with disabilities that are treated with respect and are encouraged to participate in the classes. This dojo is a family oriented established that helps children with special needs feel part of that family. I would not allow my son to be a student there if it did not. Stop the slander, put on your big boy pants, and just move on. Thank you Sensei Joe for everything you do.

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#5 Author of original report

Thurston Academy lacks integrity, and Respect- deceitful and fraudulent business practices at Thurston

AUTHOR: - ()

Thurston claims honesty and integrity. What happens to the cash only payment for movie night, belt promotion, etc- do you report it to the IRS? What about going on disability, collecting, and teaching karate? Fraud does not equal integrity. It equals dishonest business practices. What are you teaching and "role modeling" to your students? Your actions speak louder than your words Respect- What about the many customers that you have ripped off, yelled at, deceived, manipulated, and intimidated into staying at your school? That is not respectful behavior! In fact it is the opposite. Your perspective on this family feeling entitled is ludicrous. Family is well respected in the community and gives back to the larger community. Family wants to prevent customers from getting ripped off. Wonder why Thurston is not accredited by Better Bussinss Bureau? Because Thurston does not handle conflicts well. Intimidation is used until you back down, and "bow" to him.

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#6 General Comment

A Great Martial Arts School - Period

AUTHOR: Jack - (USA)

Joe Thurston is not a perfect man. Who is? As far as his school goes, it is as close to perfect as you can get.  I have never seen a business sink so much money back into itself as does Thurston Academy of Martial Arts. He is constantly upgrading the facilities.  Joe himself is a dedicated martial artist, always seeking more for his students. I have been a student of 3 other systems in my life - some very well known systems, and none come even close to what Joe Thurston does for his students. His philosophy of mind, body and spirit - ring true in each and every class that he teaches.  The atmosphere is one built on RESPECT. For each other and all.  Some people who don't get what they want just love to cause guess is they feel as though they are "entitled", you know, better than the rest of us - so when things dont go their way - they turn to social media to try and make their case.  Please dont believe what is written by this entitled and pathetic couple. Things just didnt go they way they wanted.......and they feel the need to bring someone down because of it.  If you are truely interested in martial arts and want to learn from the best - Joe Thurston is it.... Give it a try and you wont regret it.  Let the crybaby's go somewhere else.... 

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#7 Author of original report

Thurston Academy/ NEU BJJ discrimination case

AUTHOR: - ()

When my husband and I asked to be released from a contract to join another Martial Arts School. Joe Thurston, the owner of Thurston Academy of Martial Arts told us we could not leave the school and go to another school unless we moved to that town. We said, we had the right to take our kids to where ever we wanted and Joe Thurston did not like this response so he contacted that business and wrote in his email to us, "I am now canceling your student enrollments forthwith.  I have also had a personal conversation with Master Dedeco and we have agreed not to allow you to train with the New England United Family of BJJ.  We always support one another."

See the emails in chronilogical order re-attached for easy viewing.

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#8 REBUTTAL Individual responds

You need to re-read the emails


What you said does not make any sense.  It you re-read the email, you will see THurston snaps.  And please, keep addressing  the points becasue your losing.  

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#9 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Thurston Academy want what social media is saying


...If you were not the "sensei" how would you know about conversations between a master and an attorney?  If your not "sensei" how you know what family it is?  And how do you explain the emails?  How do you explain the other rip-off reports posted on different dates?  You mention the family causing problems in the waiting room, the father is always glued to the computer in his mini-van studding as he is working on his doctorate or doing his legal work.  The non-white wife is beautiful, she is an articulate nurse leader, who works at a large Harvard Teaching hospital in Boston.  I am pretty sure your bad cop intimidation techniques don't work on her because you are a bully, and she is not going to back down from how you are perceived, a racist.


If you want to learn more, go to Thurston Academy’s facebook page (if Joe hasn't taken it down) under reviews, there are many, many, many one star ratings, and they all have the same theme: bully, doesn't care about his students, intimidates, only cares about the money. There is also a facebook post that is being shared that includes the above emails and other folks are commenting about their experiences that include words such as nightmare for their experience at Thurston.  There are a couple of discussions of special needs, one parent points out that sensei was discriminatory towards a child with disabilities.  Sensei's response was: we took care of your child, then in the next sentence it read, you and your child are both crazy. What is it, did you take care of the child or didn't you, at the very least you were discriminatory towards a child with disabilities. It is all very consistent over time from a lot of different people.  I can only imagine how you took advantage of your power when you were on patrol as a cop, before you went on disability.  


Others on social media are talking about their similar experiences, especially being stuck in contracts "sensei" manipulating them.  One posts says they were afraid to post, because they feared retribution from sensei.  Then as I read there are others saying thank you for warning me, I was looking for a place to go for my child, we will not be going there.  In the end, shame on sensei.  In the end, that family is not scared of you or your bad cop mentality, they are decent people, sensei's game is over.  Joe Thurston has barked at the wrong tree, this well known, respected family has raised money for children with special causes for years and have little tolerance for people taking advantage of children, discriminating against children with disabilities, and slandering parents and slandering children, with Thurston mentioning the child’s name on FB.  The bad cop mentality that Joe Thurston poses is no match for well-educated people with strong analytical skills, paired with integrity and roots in the community since 1920. 
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#10 Consumer Comment

Change of tone

AUTHOR: Current student - (USA)

By posting the entire email conversation you incriminated yourself. The conversation started civil and then the parents jumped down his throat. Joe's answer wasn't sadistic or mean, your responses were

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#11 Author of original report

Joe Thurston Discrimination Case, intimidates parents and students

AUTHOR: - ()

Check out the reivews on his facebook. Joe Thurston's response to parents who are brave enough to provide honest feedback is intimidation, slander, and bullying. Shame on you Joe Thurston. Your practices are being exposed and investigated.

See attached pdf of screen shot from hard working conscientious parents intimidated by this former cop with agrresive behavior.


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#12 Consumer Comment

Honest student speaking

AUTHOR: Witness and Happy Student - (USA)

 I am not Sensei. I am a genuinely concerned student about his cause. Those other "reviews" are from disgruntled persons when they know they are in the wrong and can hide behind a computer screen. The academy to me and other students are a safe haven. I would never go somewhere if I felt unwanted or wasn't worthy of praise. I have never heard a negative phrase or word directed towards any student, parent, employee or person who has walked in either building. Both academy's have been only beneficial to my goals, development and confidence. Martial arts is a great path for children and adults of all ages. This dojo is one of the higher ranked schools and it saddens me to see kids in the line of fire when adults can't play nice. Please don't say I'm brainwashed either. It's insulting. Im capable of coming up with my own thoughts and opinions, thank you. Just end this before it turns into something bigger than it should be. Put down your fists and settle.

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#13 Author of original report

Joe's true color is out, it didn't take much.

AUTHOR: - ()

Joe, your true color is out. That was easy. Thank you for that response. I hope you get some help for your illness. Wishing you and your family only the best in the world. Take care of yourself and hope your injuries get better soon.

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#14 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

Put your temper tantrum to rest

AUTHOR: Oakey - (USA)

Time to stop holding your breath and stomping the floor, it won't get you anywhere... but you May pass out.


Guys....Why can't we see the other antagonizing emails in which you call the head insttructor "a joke?" Yes, let's resort to name calling. Very mature. Anyone reading these emails sees the professionalism of the Academy but yet the lacking of any dignity, respect, and professiomalism on the parents side. These emails are a direct representation of who these people are in real life: rude, disrespectful, and toxic.

I have personally seen these parents bully and antagonize staff and other members at Thurston Academy for quite some time... and honestly, the mother is known around town for being a very rude, condescending, and entitled "human being." The school will be better off without her toxic attitude within their premises. Together, the controlling wife and the extremely obedient husband are completely ignorant to the trail of negativity that they leave behind them. Their presence alone can make other people very uncomfortable And want to exit the room.

If it's all about money, why we're you immediately released from your contract? Why are you now yelling at Dedeco and his lawyer? Posting emails of your correspondence because you didn't get your way? Your tactics only injure your own case, but your children's future In both martial arts and life. End your delusion, reflect on your choices in how this matter has been handled. 

Hopefully, one day, people like this will wake up and realize when something smells bad the first place is to check is yourself. No one is blacklisted, but when you consistently cause problems for everyone around you for your own convenience, you're just no longer wanted... anywhere.


Stop pointing the finger elsewhere and look into the mirror. We all must work on ourselves and become better people, but the first step is admitting you've got problems that need fixing. Your children, and people around you,  will one day thank you for it. 

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#15 Author of original report

Said Witness and Student is Lying, Read the Email Carefully, Parent's wanted to leave, Request denied and then Granted after blacklisting the children.

AUTHOR: - ()

Parents beware, do your research, visit the plymouth websites and talk to people in town. The "witness" and "student' is likely Joe or one of Joe's employees or family. Read the email. We were not asked to leave. That comment is false and we have physical evidence to prove it. His email is sarcastic,  not respectful.... it's called oxymoron. Look it up. He is all about the money, not the childeren's development. You sould talk to current parents becasue the reasonalbe ones who have not been brainwashed wil tell you the truth. There are many complaints about him. There is a trend. People, please do the math.


Thank you

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#16 Author of original report

Do your research, Thurston Academy has a reputation for being intimidating, manipulative, and self-serving.

AUTHOR: - ()

FYI-we were not asked to leave. If you read the email again, we asked if we could leave the contract and Joe's answer was no, unless of course you move to another town. You have been obviously brainwashed. His email was sadistic and he is playing a control game. I will not be intimidated by a former police man who is taking disability money while running a Martial Art school. Ummm.

Like many parents in town who have had kids and some who still have kids there will tell you, they are all about the money, not the arat. Give them that 5% every year per child. But when it is time for you to ask if you could have your child be trained by a Master Dedeco in another school, beware of the backlash. Parents and potential students, do your research. We will be getting this out and all the other complaints about Joe Thurston from other reasonable people out in the communitiy and for all to see. The truth will pervail. 

Readers, more to come and stay tuned because this is only the beginning.

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#17 Consumer Comment

Witness and happy student

AUTHOR: Witness and Happy Student - (USA)

 The family posting this report are trying to slander a good academy for their sick benefit. The family was asked to leave due to negative behavior towards other parents and students in the waiting room. I have been training with this dojo for almost 4 years now and I have nothing but good things to say. I'm being motivated and inspired to do my best every time I walk on the mats. This family is trying to put out a bad name for academy. Any right minded person can see, in the emails proved, that Sensei Joe Thurston is professional and polite in all of his responses. Do not trust any thing this review is posting. It's simply not true. As mentioned before, I have been with this dojo for a few years now and I consider them an extended part of my family. If you ask any current student in the academy, they will say only positive things. .

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