Review: All Star Martial Arts
Posted in the Cypress Forum
#1 Jun 25, 2011
After our first week, my husband went in and talked to the owner and requested a refund of our money (minus uniform and 2-week trial fees). They did not refund any money, but made a lot of excuses.
Our son was attending the daytime classes for students with no prior experience, plus some kids with higher rank. Here’s what we observed:
1. The kids are not warmed up properly, risking injury during more strenuous moves.
2. The instructors did not demonstrate or teach. There were two
very young instructors with a class of about 50 kids. The instructors walked around telling the children to "practice their forms". When my son asked what to do, the teacher said, "well, just watch the other kids and copy them." That might have worked except it was clear that the other kids had no idea what they were doing either. The teachers did not demonstrate the proper way to do any punches or blocks. No attempt was made to correct any of the kids' technique.
3. Many of the kids could not hear the instructor due to extremely loud music from the next room. I told the woman at the front desk that the kids in the class could not hear the instructor because of the music. She said "well it's never been a problem before." The music did not get turned down and many kids went through class without hearing much from the instructor.
4. There was zero discussion of the responsibility that comes with
learning a martial art. Martial arts are dangerous. You learn how to disable and kill people. This comes with a lot of responsibility to use the art in an ethical, responsible way. One of the precepts we recited during every karate class I attended was "there is no first strike," meaning that you are NEVER to use your karate aggressively to hurt or intimidate others. It is to be used defensively ONLY. There was nothing about this during my son's lessons at All Star. Respect and self-discipline are essential to responsible martial arts and this was sadly lacking.
5. When my husband spoke to the dojo owner about our concerns, he was told that the day-time classes are not really serious classes, that they don't really teach much, that we could come to an evening class to actually learn the basics (the morning class was full of beginning students who should be learning the basics), and that we had not been there sufficient time to make an accurate judgment. My husband and I and our older children spent 5 years studying karate at a dojo in Oregon. We are perfectly competent to make a judgment about the quality of teaching in a martial arts dojo. It really does not take long to observe that students are not being taught anything. If no one is requiring the students to pay attention, no one is demonstrating anything, and no one is correcting anything, then obviously no learning is taking place.
I'm appalled at what we observed and experienced at All Star. I will not take my son back. Not only is this a waste of my time and money, but it's irresponsible and dangerous. This has been a very expensive learning experience and I'm hoping to help some others avoid a similar experience.
#2 Jun 26, 2011
We have been going to All Star Martial Arts for almost 2 years now, and my 3 teenagers love it. They have always done well in their tournaments with students from other schools due to the training they have received at this facility (this is the only place they have ever gone to for TKD). Master Lieder and his wife are energetic, Christian, community-service oriented people. They are very involved with and donate a lot of their time to special needs children.
They work together with 4 of their grown children as well as other staff members to make this a very special, happy place. They constantly demonstrate a high level of respect, concern, and love for each other and for their students, and most of the instructors and staff have really cute senses of humor. I would highly recommend All Star Martial Arts to anyone interested in the various forms of martial art instruction they provide.
#3 Jun 27, 2011
We've been attending All-Star Martial Arts for over 4 years and it has been an incredible experience for our son. We wanted it to be his Homeschool P.E. program, but it's been so much more than that to him and our family. He's gained confidence, strength, good self-esteem, maturity, discipline, friends and a knowing that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. He attends both the homeschooling classes during the day and the regular evening classes. Most classes I've seen have no more than 25-30 students.
Each class begins with the students stating the Tenants of TKD, they do warm-ups for 10 minutes, if not longer. They work on forms, kicking drills, punches, stances, etc., with instruction from their instructors. They break out into groups by belt level so they can work on their forms together. More advanced students will sometimes work with the newer students (as training for them to teach) or an instructor will work with the new students. Some days they do games to work on techniques. The instructors usually talk to the kids at the end of their session about life lessons and values. And, they end each session with the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the regular class is the black belt class for higher level belts where they work on their weapons and forms.
Our son earned his black belt last June and has competed in numerous competitions with other dojo’s around the area. He has received 1st or 2nd in every event he has entered, so I know he's been taught the correct way to perform and compete in TKD. He is now working towards his 2nd degree, and training, testing and outside requirements are tuff.
Master Lieder and his wife and 4 of their 7 children teach at the dojo and another is a student teacher. They are all Black Belts (1st-5th degree). In addition, there are several other instructors who have been trained at All-Star Martial Arts. They're a wonderful Christian family and do a lot for our community and with special needs children and adults. As well as teaching martial arts, they work hard to instill good values in their students. Master Lieder and his wife have always been good people to work with and listen to us if we have any issues or concerns.
All-Star Martial Arts has been a very positive experience for our family and well worth our money and time.
#4 Jun 27, 2011
We've been at All Star fir 1.5 yrs. We love it! Quality instructors, excellent training, positive atmosphere. My kids have learned top-notch TKD, as well as committment, self-control, and confidence. The owners are well-respected in the community and truly care about their students. Would recommend to anyone!
#5 Jul 6, 2011
Our 5 children, ranging in age from 5 to 19 yrs old, have been at All-Star Martial Arts for almost a year now. They have been participating in the daytime classes, and have not only learned a lot, but have been enjoying the experience! When I was looking for a martial arts dojo, one of my big concerns was that it would focus on each student being helped to accomplish their personal best, rather than following an overly competition-focused or rigid, boot camp mentality that I have seen & heard about in some - particularly since my 3rd child, 13 yrs old, has high functioning autism - but also because I knew my kids would never stick with it if it only felt like work.
This school has been everything we wanted - and then some! The owners have consistently been attentive to our questions & any requests we have made. The instructors have taught my children all the appropriate forms, patterns, sparring & self-defense skills (every one of which includes teaching them to say "Back off - I don't want to fight!") for each belt rank level, in an age-appropriate way, to a degree that I have no concerns about them being able to hold their own in competition. Even my 13 yr old, who has some challenges in speech & movement, is doing fine without my ever needing to inform them that he is on the autistic spectrum.
But what matters even more to me as a parent is that it is helping with their character development. My children have discovered that self-discipline and fun are not mutually exclusive things. Master Lieder has also gone to great lengths to instill in his students that Tae Kwon Do is more than just a physical sport, but is a way of life. In addition to mastering all the physical skills, the students are taught to live lives of virtue and service to others. The Lieders teach not only by word, but also by action, and have been great role models for our kids. It is a 30 minute drive for us to their school, and we pass by multiple other dojos on the way, but we would not dream of going anywhere else!
#7 Jul 18, 2012
Can we say all of these reviews are from people who work there....
#8 Jul 18, 2012
You can and you probably would, but you would be completely wrong. No, we are all parents whose kids have attended All-Star for years with great satisfaction & success, & who didn't think it was right that one disgruntled parent who came in at a time when the owners had been away attending a conference, an instructor was out, & so things were unusually chaotic, who apparently didn't let them know that her child had issues (according to her posts slamming them on a local homeschool loop), demanded her money back before her trial period was even half over even though the agreement she signed was for 2 weeks, & refused to allow the owner to work things out with her - and then posted twisted reviews all over the internet, ironically about how he wouldn't cooperate with her.
So why should we parents sit by idly while someone maliciously slanders the reputation of a good family & a good dojang that, in addition to teaching our kids, do so much good for the local community with the many charities they support & the special needs kids they are helping? Life's too short - find something good & meaningful to do with it instead!
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