Seriously? This place is a joke. They want $20 just to "see" if your kid is good enough to enroll...and then you look around to see 100 little 4 & 5 yr old kids who already attend. Yep. Sure. It must be VERY hard to qualify for enrollment here. And I almost fell asleep myself listening to Cho read his own book about himself to us for 20 minutes. A fancy new two story dojang doesn't make up for lack of quality. Thank you.
Egregious costs and hidden fees. For my 4 year old they want $169.00 a month, $45 testing/belt/board fees every few months, for equipment that likely costs them less than $60, they want $200, $40 for a $2 book, $100 registration, $10 board breaking fees, etc., etc., etc., etc. There is no way I can rationalize the cost of all this and certainly not under a locked in contract for 3 years, for a 4 year old. I get it... they are the best around (for children)... but it seems to me that they've crossed the "greed" line. I also don't like all the hidden fees, the fact that there are all these fees, and that they market like car salesmen and won't put it all upfront and possibly force you into a situation where your kid is heartbroken and you're the bad guy.
It is almost shocking whenever I see a bad review of Master Cho's - but then I realize how many jealous people are out there. Undoubtedly, they are the best around, yet the instructors are humble and caring. I don't think that a single person is truly disappointed, it is all cheap shots from their competitors. I have asked the instructors about how they are treated and not only are they treated well but they are given amazing opportunities. They actually know the exact person who wrote bad things about being an instructor, and feel bad that Master Cho's has to deal with that kind of stuff because they truly care.
As far as fees and all are concerned - get a life people. Everything costs money, "all my friends", and in fact, it IS written in the contract that you have to pay for things like safety gear an other things, just like you need to buy shin pads for soccer and a helmet when you get a bike. Tell me one activity where that is not the case. And I moved to the Short Pump school because it actually costs only $20 more per month - you get a lot with that - free wi-fi, more seating and viewing options, more amenities, etc. Get over yourself - the reason why I hate Short Pump is the catty women and uptight men that are always trying to trump the next. You don't belong in a place where they teach integrity when you have NO IDEA what it is.
I want to thank the Cho's for having the vision and gall to do what they did - build a state of the art place to service more people - all while we are in serious economic times. Does no one want to stop and thank them? Isn't building small business the exact stimulus we need nowadays? Keep doing what you are doing, guys - Richmond needs you more now than ever before! Thank you, sincerely. Disregard the idiots. They will always be around.
CAUTION: watch for surprise fees and new location costs.
We have been going to Master Cho's for many months, and have referred many friends. However, the time has come to let the cat out of the bag. All my friends, as well as myself were surprised with testing fees and mandatory equipment purchases, that were not mentioned at the time of contract signing. So if you want to be informed of some of the fees that will come your way, do read on: Testing fee about every two months: $45. Equipment bag to buy at yellow belt level: $150. Board breaking fee for testing: $10 (sometimes). If you want to attend their "awesome new location": $50 extra per month. Yes, the people who signed a contract at their old Brook Rd location are not allowed to go to their new location UNLESS they re-sign a new contract for the above higher fee. Why? Because the building is more expensive, as they will tell you themselves.
Also note future fees: Their brand new location has a prospect for a fitness room for the parents to enjoy during their children's class, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Very convenient (If I didn't have AFF next door).You might think that the extra $50 per month over the other location would account for this benefit... guess again. There will be an added fee to be able to use this as well.
I belong to American Family Fitness, and I have never been barred from attending different locations to enjoy a variety of their offerings. Being able to go from one location to another is an added value to belonging to a place with multiple locations. The same goes for the YMCA. I don't have to pay more to use the fluffy towels at the luxurious James Center YMCA. So why is this different at Master Cho's?
So if after watching your child's blissful experience during his/her trial lesson you do decide to sign one of their 1-year or 3-year contracts, you will serve yourself well if you ask lots of questions. Do not limit yourself to the information that they give you. Ask them point blank how much, besides your monthly payment, are you expected to shell out over the course of the months, years, etc. Surprise them, ask them how much is it to attend their Brook Rd location vs. their Short Pump location. If you live in Short Pump, chances are that you will want to be close to home, but don't fall victim to what most of us Short Pump dwellers endure as we are asked to pay 20% more for any good, just because we live here.
Best of luck to the Cho's in their new endeavor. But please, show some respect for your patrons, and be upfront.
Best Birthday Party!.
We recently celebrated my son's 6th birthday party at Master Cho's and it was a complete success. The staff did everything--entertain the children, food, cake, drinks, decorations, etc. They even had someone record the notes of who gave what and had neat little way for the children to present gifts. The only thing I had to do was send the invitations and show up.
They did a fantastic job, and at the end, my son broke a board for the grand finale. His little friends were so excited and had a fantastic time as well. The money was well worth it and it is actually a much better deal than a lot of other out of home parties in the Richmond area. My son does not take martial arts lessons anywhere, so I am not reviewing the actual school. However, I highly recommend having your child's birthday party there and we may even throw his 7th birthday party there again next year!
Stay away. Owner is more concerned about money than "doing the right thing" and "helping others", which are two of the core values they teach to the children.
Approached owner with financial struggles, requested her assistance to get out of the contract, so that I could get back on my feet. They would not offer any help at all.
Come to find out.....they SELL YOUR CONTRACT to a financial company for a fraction of what you pay. They get paid up front, and the financial institution collects the money and make their money too.
Abused Instructors, Overpriced, and Poor Contract.
After completing a year with Master Cho, I found that the instructors were poorly taken care of and there was high turnover because of it. As a business, Master Cho squeezes the pocket books of his instructors and students. I felt very sorry for the instructors when they left (some voluntarily and some involuntarily). This hurt the morale of the instructors and the students.
The instruction opportunities were also somewhat inflexible for a 1-year contract also. There were limited opportunities to do make up lessons in the lower belts and students are limited on how many sessions they can attend per week.
The contract is iron clad and cannot be broken out of even if there is loss of employment. Sadly, the money intake and distribution is very evident by a simple examination of the vehicles that the Chos drive vs. their instructors.
Finally, Master Cho himself is a very rude man. There were many occasions where he belittled students and even insulted student families who brought in gifts for his family. I would recommend other family oriented martial arts centers in the vicinity as an alternative.
this school is the real deal.
This school is the real deal when it comes to martial arts. The attitude of the masters at this school is positive, energetic, and strong. The expertise of the masters at this school is exceptional. The masters of this school are skilled in transfering that expertise to the students of this school. The details of martial arts training are taught at this school because the instructors repeatedly demonstrate their commitment to excellence in teaching the details of tae kwon do as it is taught in the motherland of Korea.
These masters are respectful, and that respect permeates the classroom atmosphere.
They relate to the students as if they were your next door neighbor, and yet they each compel you to respect them because of the mastery they each have obtained.
I have shecked out the other schools in this area, and no other school comes close to this one.
In my training experience at other schools and in my observation of other schools I have never witnessed a degree of instruction and results as high as that of this school anywhere before.
When I move away from this area as I anticipate that I must at some time in the near future it will be important for me to connect with another korean master of this caliber at my next location who is of the Tiger Team quality I have enjoyeed at this school.
No other option comes close. It is not possible to have a better environment for children, adults, families, teens. The maturity of the staff is beyond compare. By the way, this is a real review - not one that they designed for themselves, which is visible in the other, "competitors" reviews. I have been to all involved, and you may benefit from seeing what is factual, and what is not. Buyer beware - there is a marked difference.
Quality education for ALL!. If you want a great experience, you need not look further. Master Cho's has the best qualified instructors with the most amazing class structure - I've shopped around for a while. If you are interested in learning quality martial arts in a great facility, this is the place. The student to teacher ratio is so desirable, and the teachers actually have credentials that can be tracked. I know that alot of other places like to make their credentials up, but these guys are the real deal!
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