Tragic End to a beloved Martial Arts Program

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by G50, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. G50

    G50 Night Owl

    This past week during the Thanksgiving Holliday, a deal between Bally Total Fitness and LA Fitness was being finalized. Unfortunately, TMA (Total Martial Arts), which was owned by Bally's had been kept in the dark this whole time during negotiations. Masters just found out on Tuesday/Wednesday without much notice that TMA was not in the deal and that they will be fired on November 30th. Students were told on Tuesday and Wednesday that TMA would no longer continue, and that all Classes and Testings were cancelled.

    This has caused quite a bit of chaos. Many, Many students had to pay for a December Black Belt/Deputy Belt/Low Belt testing plus a Kukkiwon certificate and now are completely confused and have no contacts. Everybody is in much disarray right now. Fortunately I have been one of a few students able to get in touch with a Master to make sure I am able to receive what I achieved during TMA's final test.


    This is definitely a terrible thing to happen to all of us involved. Over 500 people accross the US are being affected. Hopefully this chaos doesn't get worse.

    I wanted to get some non-TMA members' thoughts on this.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  2. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    You're going to want a paper trail... which means receipts from whoever was offering the tests/belts/etc. You need to get in touch not only with your master but file of a quick registered letter to the corporate office of Bally's and LA Fitness so that you make them aware (if they're not) that there is a liability (money/services) still owed and that haven't been sorted out. The instructors who've charged for these tests should be keeping books on who's payed for what and they should be contacting the students. But it wouldn't surprise me if they haven't or don't intend to.

    Why have only some of the students been able to get in touch with the instructor? Do you students keep in touch with one and other as well? If not you need to get together... a collective voice carries more weight than random individuals.
  3. G50

    G50 Night Owl


    With the limited notice, many of the students are finding out through other means (If they missed class on the announcement day). Unfortunately, unless students have a corporate contact number, they have no way of reaching one of the Regional Masters who are the only ones able to explain and help with the situation.

    Students unfortunately don't have other student numbers since they've been kept private away from other students.

    I sincerely hope students are able to find a way to do exactly what you said.
  4. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    You need a martial art that doesn't bother to much about business?
  5. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    lol good one chadderz.

    everyone needs to eat. but some need excess profit
  6. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Truth, and if your martial art system is making "teh seruz biznis venchurs" then walk away.

    Alternately, why not just get one of the Instructors from the club to train you in a backyard or something?
  7. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    This is wrong and written by someone who has never taught a class at any level.

    Sorry Chadderz, but sometimes good business sense is a good idea. People like me hire a hall to train in, this is not really expensive and my only outlay is equipment.
    Don't forget though that the students are paying to train with me rather than someone else. I still have to pay for my training, travel, seminars, private lessons and so on.

    The guy who has a custom built facility has a far greater expense. The cost of the bulding, rates, insurance, heating, lighting and much more besides.
    Good business sense allows him to keep this facility alive, train to the best of his ability, expose students to other instructos (who have to be paid).

    The little Chinese man who trains two students in his back yard is a thing of the past.
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I thought you were training out of your backyard? I remember seeing a picture of it :/
  9. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    That is my own gym for my own training, a 16 X 8 shed with full power and lighting.

    I actually teach my own classes in hired venues.
  10. Done-Gone

    Done-Gone Banned Banned

    My school is right next to one of these Bally fitness centers, with a Total M/A - and I couldn't be happier, they are now out of business. First of all, this Martial Arts program is as fake as a 3 dollar bill. Exactly the kind of school I've so criticized and put down, when referring to TKD. Blackbelt 8 year olds that don't even know how to tie their belt properly. I picked up 5 of their students on Wednesday, alone - and I'm certain more will follow. You may feel bad about it, now, but you should have NEVER signed a contract to begin with... especially not with these Tae Kwon Dorks - some of which are in this country illegally, without a visa or with an expired one. If you or someone you know was a member of the Bally - Total M/A in Kendale Lakes - join us this upcoming Monday at Champion Martial Arts for a FREE trial - and learn some real M/A.
  11. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Do hope your not trying to get a free advert CP.
  12. Done-Gone

    Done-Gone Banned Banned

    Nope! I'm sorry if that's what it sounded like. I have very bad feelings for these folks - because they tried to put me out of business. They had some kind of claus in their contract or some kind of agreement, under the table, that stated - they would take over my space, not if, but when I shut down and went out of business. They consistently took my business cards from my window, outside my dojo and threw them in the trash. They would send their sales people to try and sell their program - to parents of my students, right at my door. They consistenly trash talked and put down my program... as well as our Karate and MMA program, taught by my business partner. These were NOT nice people - and I'm certainly glad and happy to see them go - and even more so, to see their students join the place next door, that they tried so hard to harm with so much negativity and unsportsman like tactics.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  13. monkeywrench

    monkeywrench Valued Member

    They sound like complete scumbags to me.

    Gaylen, you are probably much better off now that you have a chance to find a better place to train. And next time, be sure to hook up with a few people via Facebook! My style does that and communication has gotten a lot better since we have.
  14. Done-Gone

    Done-Gone Banned Banned

    To compare these Tae Kwon Dorks to Scumbags - is to insult the Scumbags. :evil:
  15. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Well to be honest here.. part of the issue of people signing up for MA classes and hoping for the best and not paying attention to the fine print. Training and testing and fellow training mates don't keep in touch with one and other? Come on... if you set yourself up to be used and abused... guess what you will be used and abused.

    Just blindly following some 'master' and hoping that your money doesn't go missing and that you are informed in a timely professional manner is ignorant in the extreme.

    Sorry but reality bites.
  16. G50

    G50 Night Owl


    Basing things on something that happened in Florida?...

    For years a lot of people have felt that TMA should have just stuck to IL and WIS. Schools in those 2 states were run properly, and you wouldn't see any of the "fakeness" you mentioned.

    I would know, I was the longest lasting member and highest ranked student and have seen 1st hand what has happened over the years.

    TMA is not at fault here for this downfall. LA Fitnes and Bally Total Fitness are the ones who decided not to continue the Program any longer.

    Unfortunately they went about this the wrong way giving no notice to Masters and Students, and not even letting TMA know that there was a chance that their program may not go on beforehand.


    To even be thrilled about this closure is completely uncalled for. No person, student or company deserves an ending to happen in such a sudden no-notice way like this.

    Especially since this had nothing to do with anything TMA did wrong.


    Again, Florida isn't a good example at all.


    Finding a new place sounds easy, but not for a newly obtained 4th Dan...

    I have to find a related school that will accept my 4th Dan rank, or else I'm screwed...

    It will be months (usually 6) until my international certificate is sent, so I may have to wait that long just to find a school.

    Starting lower than 4th Dan, would be like never having passed in the 1st place, and I'd be out over $3000 (Testing + Medical cost after I got hurt at the test).
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Anytime your big chain gyms step in their focus is going to be on increasing membership and renewals as well as selling PT packages. They don't care even .001% about martial arts. The money isn't there for them. It's not the type of clientele they're after at all.

    I'd worry less about that though and be worried more about keeping in contact with the people you've trained with and making sure you get your money's worth... especially as seeing how much of it's been paid for according to what you posted earlier.

    You might also want to give some consideration to keeping in touch first hand with the people you train with and less relying on a 'master' to keep track of everyone. Not only is that bad for camaraderie in the gym/dojo... it leaves you in a poor position when things like this happen because you have no collective voice. In this day and age with Facebook and 8 million other forms of social networking and just about everyone under the sun having a mobile phone how on earth can you NOT keep in touch!?!? It's beyond me.

    Food for thought.
  18. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Wait, you are a 4th dan but you can't teach? You know how ridiculous that sounds, right?
  19. G50

    G50 Night Owl


    TMA, originally T-USA went bankrupt in 2000; and unfortunately had no choice but to accept Bally's deal back then. I agree, Bally's didn't really care much about the Martial Arts, and only cared about membership and pricing which resulted in the higher costs.

    Bally Total Fitness may have been that way, but that never changed how great the TMA Program was, which is why it lasted this long. Bally's terrible business practices got them into major financial trouble, and were forced to make a deal with LA Fitness.


    It seems that the Masters are so devestated by this sudden cancellation, that this week they just had to get away for now... Which is why students aren't getting in touch right now. I don't blame them.

    I have one phone number of one of the student's parents because of my medical situation at the test, I may be able to use that to keep in touch.


    By the look of things, many students do understand that nobody with TMA is responsible for what happened, and are not blaming them but are actually really worried about whether the Masters will be ok. Some want to do something to let LA Fitness know that they are making a horrible mistake if they do finalize this on Wednesday, even as far as protesting...


    Chadderz -

    I had not completed my training to be able to teach on my own... 2nd and 3rd Dan was assisting the Master in class.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  20. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    So who were you guys paying fee's directly to? When you signed your check or handed in your cash for testing and monthly fees for class who collected?

    Were you issued receipts?

    Who's name was on those?

    Red flags go off all over the place when all of a sudden 'masters' are so devastated they need to get away for a week at a time when they should be dealing with the situation at hand and discussing it with students.

    Sorry but that sounds like your busy making excuses for them. It's ridiculous.

    Were they being paid by the gyms?

    The whole story sounds fishy.

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