1st Dan Testing Fee

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Twin Fist

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Terry,
i dont think this kid is trying to buy rank, that chaps my butt too, but this kid is trying to do right, but is getting FLEECED.

Makes me want to do an attitude adjustment on the scab that is trying to get 11K for a 2nd dan cert.
 

terryl965

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Terry,
i dont think this kid is trying to buy rank, that chaps my butt too, but this kid is trying to do right, but is getting FLEECED.

Makes me want to do an attitude adjustment on the scab that is trying to get 11K for a 2nd dan cert.


True very true
 

Senjojutsu

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After reading these posts about costs here's where we stand: he was told by the GM that he needed to be a 1st dan to be a TKD instructor. He has studied kung fu for 6 years, and when he started talking to the GM about a studio she told him he needed to be a TKD instuctor also, because he would have more students to help pay the bills. I agree, more kids are interested in TKD than kung fu. She charged him $7,000 for his 1st dan belt and instructor's certification from kukkiwon. 6 months later, she informed that the kkw has now said he has to be a 2nd dan to be a studio owner. Another $4,000. When I questioned these costs, her answer is always, "It's the federation, not me, and you don't understand how martial arts business works. You have to just trust me." Maybe I don't know how martial arts business works, but I know how general business works, and this is outrageous. Now she is saying he won't receive his kkw certification for the studio for up to 5 years, because "that's how they do business." Am I being ripped off (as I feel I am) and what can I do at this point? Thanks for any input on this!
I dont know whether to laugh at you or to cry for you

But PLEASE call a lawyer to discuss and contact your local regulatory authorities i.e., State Attorney General Consumer affairs branch, local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau.
:mad:

Also if you are talking business models what commercial schools have been shown to be successful with an eighteen year-old head instructor? You may use similar entities such as gymnastics schools etc.

$4,000... $7,000 !!!

Those fees are worthy of Oom Yung Doe/ Chung Moo Doe infamy of one John C Kim (and convicted tax felon btw).
 

Brad Dunne

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she informed that the kkw has now said he has to be a 2nd dan to be a studio owner.

Now she is saying he won't receive his kkw certification for the studio for up to 5 years, because "that's how they do business."

Before you attempt to do anything, you need to get, if at all possible, those two statements in writting. The KKW only deals with rank and training procedures, it has nothing to do with granting permission to anyone to start a school. If you do get them, then you should have sufficient grounds (check with a lawyer to be sure), to seek legal action against this person.

In the "for what it's worth" segment, you are not the first and most likely, will not be the last, who has placed trust in an instructor, only to be taken advantage of. The martial arts is one of the leading canidates for such actions. On behalf of the legit instructors in the arts, we are sorry to find you in this position. This gives all of us a black eye, from the general public's viewpoint. :asian:
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Sad, very, very, very sad! Do not pay anymore money to this person as they are fleecing you.
icon13.gif


Also make sure your son is on the right path. Rank is not what is really important but quality training!
 

rchurch

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First, Thanks to everyone for their input and support. I knew in my heart this was happening, but wanted to confirm. I'd like to answer a few points made here if I may:

My son's first love is kung fu. He has studied it diligently since he was 12. He is very good, but will always be learning more. The TKD was something the GM came up with strictly as a business decision. He did some TKD training for a few years along with the kung fu, and studied TKD extensively for over a year to get his 1st Dan. Probably averaged 6 or 7 hours per day, 3 - 6 days a week study. He is very serious about his martial arts. I do have to say she (the GM) is a good, knowlegable instructor and appreciate what she has taught him in both TKD and kung fu. He definately does not believe in or want to "buy" belts. As a matter of fact, he could really care less about belts, but when we discussed having a studio we knew he needed the belts.

As far as getting anything in writing, I'm going to try, but she is very adamant about not even giving out any information, much less in writing. Most everything I have learned, or am learning I've done on my own. That is why I am so very glad to have found this forum. If I get enough information I will contact the appropriate authorities to keep this from happening to anyone else.

Right now, my plan is to first, get into a position where I do not have to deal with this GM anymore. I can't afford it. We have some really good students and I want to continue offering them a martial arts studio they can be proud of and learn in, not only martial arts, but other life lessons. Even though my son is only 18, he is actually very mature and has lived his life trying to learn the whole realm of being a martial artist, mind, body, and spirit. We promote this at the studio.

I'm not interested in making a lot of money, and neither is he. He starts college this fall and plans to become a pharmacist. Teaching kung fu is what he wants to do for people who are serious about learning it. He wants a studio where people can come in and have a place to hang out, learn martial arts, and associate with other martial artists. Like I said in the earlier post, TKD is taught to increase the number of students to make enough money to pay the bills. And, please don't get me wrong, TKD is a respectable martial art, and I greatly admire people who are good at it, it's just that his preference is kung fu.

If anyone has any suggestions or more information I can use, I would more than appreciate it. I want our students to learn, earn their ranks, and do so at a reasonable and legitimate price. I don't want my lack of information and knowledge to have a negative impact on them or martial arts in general.

I apologize for this long post, but hopefully you can see, I'm searching for the best, most accurate information I can find.

Thanks!
 

terryl965

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First off your GM or Instructor is a joke plan and simple no one can learn TKD and be proficant in a year sorry cannnot be done. I have been in the Martial Art for over Forty years and believe me it is impossible especially if she is rea;;y any good at Kung Fu way to many differences, one is a soft style while the other is hard the footwork alone would take someone a couple of years to get it down right. As far as your son he is too young to be the sole owner of a quality dojaang, my sons have been training since they where two and they are not able yet to run a successful school, they need someone with a background to build that school and that is me. What has yours son won on any circuit what international competition has he done in TKD, what has your sifu done to be so great at TKD nothing except claim to be something they are not. Please give me the name of the school and a website I would love to see who this is. Kukkiwon does not govern school owners they only produce certificates for those that want them. They have an instructor course but you have to go to Korea and take it not stay here and recieve one.

Last thing here with your son having limited knowledge of what TKD is maybe your best choice would be find a quality school and learn what TKD is. You are leading your son down a path of fraud and criminal behavior if you let him fleece students into believing they are really learning something. So please do it the right way take time to train and learn and teach material that will benefit everybody involved and get away from that instructor she is a bad influence on your son and her students.
 

rchurch

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I forgot one thing: Twin Fists, I see you're from Nachodoches. We are located in Bridge City, Texas, between Orange and Port Arthur. Nice to know someone is that close. I've enjoyed your input on this.
 

terryl965

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I forgot one thing: Twin Fists, I see you're from Nachodoches. We are located in Bridge City, Texas, between Orange and Port Arthur. Nice to know someone is that close. I've enjoyed your input on this.

Well fellow Texan I am located in Arlington, please consider my above post and look into the Kukkiwon link I put in my other post on the back page. It will help explane alot.
 

dortiz

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I dont want to beat you up here but I have an issue with TKD being taught just to bring in the cash.
If he is a Kung Fu guy and loves Kung Fu then he should teach Kung Fu.
 

terryl965

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I dont want to beat you up here but I have an issue with TKD being taught just to bring in the cash.
If he is a Kung Fu guy and loves Kung Fu then he should teach Kung Fu.

I beleive everyone would agree.
 

IcemanSK

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Another issue I'll bring up is the TKD question. As one that has been in TKD for more than 25 years, I can see that the GM treats TKD as a $$ making thing for herself. And if you pay her $$, she's telling you that you can too. That is a big red flag right there.:bs:

It makes me question her main art.
RUN, do not walk away from this school!!!!!

I've seen a lot in martial arts in my time. This is among the worst!
 

rchurch

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terryl - thanks for your input. I can tell you that neither my son or myself are trying to "fleese" anyone and hope that's not the impression anyone here is getting from these posts. Like I said in the previous post, neither of us are trying to get rich off of this. It's not how I make my living and never will be, and it won't be for my son either. I look at it as a labor of love he has for martial arts. I'll be happy to maybe make a few dollars to put back into the studio and improve it for our students.

I'd like to clarify a few points if I may: The Grandmaster I am dealing with is legit, as far as I have found. She holds an 8th degree rank. I would guess she is in her late 50's, early 60's, is Asian, from Mongolia she says, and claims to have been studying martial arts since she was 6. In fact, last week she brought Grandmaster Han Man Park to our studio. It's my understanding he has been involved with TKD since the 50's and is a legitimate member of the TKD community. I think if he knows her and deals with her, she must be known and legit. I have no reason to doubt this, she actually is very good at martial arts and seems very knowlegable. That is not my concern, my concern is her business practices.

She is at the studio 3 and 4 days a week helping instruct. We hired a 4th dan instructor for TKD when we opened. My son only helps instruct TKD and is not the lead instructor. He instructs the kung fu class, with help from the GM. So, it's not just some 18 year old kid with limited experience and knowledge by himself trying to pass himself off as the end all-be all of martial arts. We really are trying to offer quality, legitimate instruction.

As stated earlier, my son has studied kung fu, mostly soft style for 6 years. Because he was homeschooled, he had more time to study martial arts than other kids his age and most of his instructions were one on one with the Grandmaster. I really feel he has learned quite a bit in only six years. I agree he has a long way to go, but he will get there. I know you, and everyone else, had to start somewhere. You should feel blessed that your son's have your knowledge and experience to help them get their start, and that is what I'm trying to offer my son, a start in something he truly loves.
 

rchurch

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I'm sorry for the number of posts, it seems I've brought up a subject that is near and dear to everyones heart. That makes me feel better about this whole situation, that there are artists out there who have a true love for what they do.

As far as teaching TKD just for the money, that may have been a poor choice of words on my part. I hope in my past couple of posts I made it clear we are trying to be a upstanding, quality school. All I meant was there are not enough people (in this area at least) interested in kung fu to have enough students to support a school. Therefore, in order to increase the number of our students, we also offer TKD. I hired someone to teach TKD who I feel is qualified so the students get what they are paying for. My son teaches kung fu, it is his passion, but we have to pay the bills.

If we were only looking to have the most students and make the most money, from what I've seen we should offer MMA, brazilizn jujitsu, etc. It has surprised me the number of people who come in a say, "I want to learn MMA so I can beat people up" or something to that effect. We politely turn those people away.
 

tshadowchaser

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Actually , we are happy when a thread gets many posts, so dont worry about that.

I think, from reading most of the thread, that most people feel the testing fees where to high and that if your son wants to teach Kung Fu then that is what he should teach.
Having a 2nd art to teach a few days a week, or having a instructor in a different style teach at different time periods of the day, are both good ways to supplement the income of the school.
 

Twin Fist

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Mr Church,
Sounds like both you and your son have the right idea. Here is the thing. If he wants to teach, he can teach Kung Fu. He has his instructors cert to teach that right?

Now, TKD is an easier sell, if he wants to open a school. That much is true.

But here are the things you need to know for sure about TKD.

You do not need KKW certification.

No one needs it. the biggest advantage to it is that you get an extra sheepskin for your wall. Thats about it. yes, it does lend you some credibility, but ONLY among other TKD stylists that go through the KKW. No one outside TKD gives a rats butt for the KKW. Sorry if that offends anyone , but it is the truth.

No one in my lineage has a KKW cert and it hasnt hurt them one bit.

If he WANTS to learn TKD and teach it, fine, have him get his BB from someone legit, and he can teach it, Though i would recomend that he not event think about being a head instructor till he is at LEAST a 2nd Dan. If he really wants to learn TKD, either me or Terry can hook you up with someone close to you that is legit, hell, for that matter, I'll teach him.

Like i said, i really hope you havnt paid out this money yet. If you have, sue to get it back. DO NOT just write it off. Worse case, his GM revokes his teaching cert. Thats no great loss tho since she cant take back what he knows. And he can always get re-certified through someone else.

edited to add, you cannot afford to continue your association with this woman. Reputations are worth gold, and an instructor is known by whom he associates with. You need to sever ALL ties to this person
 

IcemanSK

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terryl - thanks for your input. I can tell you that neither my son or myself are trying to "fleese" anyone and hope that's not the impression anyone here is getting from these posts. Like I said in the previous post, neither of us are trying to get rich off of this. It's not how I make my living and never will be, and it won't be for my son either. I look at it as a labor of love he has for martial arts. I'll be happy to maybe make a few dollars to put back into the studio and improve it for our students.

I'd like to clarify a few points if I may: The Grandmaster I am dealing with is legit, as far as I have found. She holds an 8th degree rank. I would guess she is in her late 50's, early 60's, is Asian, from Mongolia she says, and claims to have been studying martial arts since she was 6. In fact, last week she brought Grandmaster Han Man Park to our studio. It's my understanding he has been involved with TKD since the 50's and is a legitimate member of the TKD community. I think if he knows her and deals with her, she must be known and legit. I have no reason to doubt this, she actually is very good at martial arts and seems very knowlegable. That is not my concern, my concern is her business practices.

She is at the studio 3 and 4 days a week helping instruct. We hired a 4th dan instructor for TKD when we opened. My son only helps instruct TKD and is not the lead instructor. He instructs the kung fu class, with help from the GM. So, it's not just some 18 year old kid with limited experience and knowledge by himself trying to pass himself off as the end all-be all of martial arts. We really are trying to offer quality, legitimate instruction.

As stated earlier, my son has studied kung fu, mostly soft style for 6 years. Because he was homeschooled, he had more time to study martial arts than other kids his age and most of his instructions were one on one with the Grandmaster. I really feel he has learned quite a bit in only six years. I agree he has a long way to go, but he will get there. I know you, and everyone else, had to start somewhere. You should feel blessed that your son's have your knowledge and experience to help them get their start, and that is what I'm trying to offer my son, a start in something he truly loves.

I don't question your sincerity, nor your son's. But there is nothing in what you've told us that makes me think for a second that your son's GM is offering anything legitimate or worthwhile for the obscene amount of money she is asking!

If this article is from your school: http://therecordlive.com/article.cfm?articleID=36842 I'm embarrassed for your son. The gentlemen's name is not Han Man Park, it's GM Hae Man Park. He is a very big deal in TKD. The fact that your son's instructor invited him to hold a seminar & called him by a wrong name is terrible! Your son's quote in the article about following the strict guidelines of the KKW is sad because what he is being told is, in fact NOT the guidelines of the KKW. Having GM Park at your son's test was a huge honor. It would explain in part why his test cost so much. But only if he were the only one testing.

The best way I can describe what happened, based on what you've written & that article is this: You invited Mick Jagger to perform at your son's birthday party. Now you're being told that the only birthday party he can have in the future will cost nearly as much as this one. There are many other ways to get a KKW cert for A LOT less.
 

rchurch

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Twin Fists - That's kind of the path it looks like we should take. We already have the school, and I really don't want to close it and tell the students, "too bad, see ya!" They are good students and they deserve the best we can offer them. I really think I can salvage this mess.

My son has his 2nd Dan and kkw certification. He really just wants to teach kung fu. Right now, the TKD and kung fu are seperate classes, not mixed together. I plan on keeping it this way.

When I break it off with this GM, I'll lose my TKD instructor. That's a given. So, my thoughts at this point is to find someone legit who either has a school already and wants to expand, or someone who is interested in being affiliated with a school, and who has the training, knowledge, certification, etc. to be an instructor and bascially run the training end of the school. We'll do whatever is necessary to be legit. My son will continue teaching kung fu, and I'll continue running the business side and we'll go from there. As you can see, I have a lot ahead of me. Any suggestions and guidance will of course be greatly appreciated.
 

Twin Fist

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Not to mention that if this lady was legit, she would pop up more hits on google than JUST the article already listed. there are not that many female 8th dan BB's in the world
 
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