When doing these reviews, I try to be impartial and give an unbiased review of facility, staff & students… Although I must admit my journalistic integrity is severely challenged by the concept of providing any positive sides to this school after what I have witnessed. Martial artists are supposed to help their students and their art evolve – not crush their spirits entirely.
The head instructor & so-called “gold belt founder”, repeatedly called his students and staff “stupid”, and, while very good at breaking techniques down into their core components (thanks for the spinning hook kick variations Farhad), my impression of him was callous and cold.
His second-in-command Son, Arash (alias Arleo Dordar) provided me with more journalistic gold than could possibly fit into one horrific review, so I will simply tell the story of my first impression of him. In our first meeting, he was teaching class when a concerned woman came in and approached him about a clearly traumatized, crying dog that had been chained up and left outside for hours. I too, had noticed this dog when I’d entered their dojo, and had been concerned (but also had assumed that the dog had been out there minutes while their owner purchased an item etc)
His approach of yelling and swearing at her and telling her to F-off and “die of cancer” was not exactly the response I would expect from such an accomplished martial artist. It turned out he was “caring” for the dog as a favor for a friend.
His movements are fluid, and, I can only assume, his training impeccable. But martial arts is supposed to be about more than being able to kick butt. Its supposed to be about building character, learning humility, increasing self confidence and making the world a better place.
Discouraged that such a dojo could even exist, I decided to check out another franchise outlet (as they have many due to their financial backing) – In their Surrey dojo, I saw a head instructor bullying a mentally challenged student!
Determined to prove that such a successful school simply must just be having “bad days” when I went to review them, I finally went to their White Rock school, and met their instructor, Ben. This gentlemen was very good with the kids, kind, and intelligent.
Its my understanding that he no longer works for them.
(I tried to give less stars than 1, but the program does not seem able.)