Jiu-Jitsu Letter


Earlier this year, I had a father enroll his son after their 10-day trial. He bought the kid a gi with cash, then insisted on paying for the membership with cash. I already knew his motive: he wanted an easy way to cancel his membership.1

We said we no longer accept cash for memberships, and then he said he’d be back the next week with a credit card.

The following week, he came back with a Visa gift card (haha). The card failed twice before finally going through. I suspected it had the exact amount for one month’s tuition.

A month later, I was proven correct. The card failed for insufficient funds. I canceled the membership and emailed him, but never got a response.2

If I was going to trust someone to teach my kids anything, it wouldn’t be someone that I didn’t trust to cancel a recurring membership.

The thing is, I’m pretty cool when people want to cancel. I’ve never enforced our cancellation policy, and instead have let people cancel within days of their billing date. (This may change.)

Just this week, a parent called and canceled his kid’s membership. I’m not happy about it, but I’m happy he didn’t just ghost us like some others. And an adult couple canceled tonight. Again, I’m not happy about it, but I’m glad they communicated like adults and not like they thought I was a scumbag scammer.

As much as I discourage it, I spend time on r/bjj, and I read about students at schools, describing their experience. I can’t understand why someone would stay at a school and then write negatively about it. Why stay?

Do you trust your teacher? They are teaching you or your child something pretty serious. If you don’t trust the instructors or administration, or have anything bad to say about your school, you should just leave.

  1. I already make it easy: Call, text, email, or see me.

    So I should actually say, he wanted a spineless or cowardly way to cancel. ↩︎

  2. I was actually relieved because the kid wasn’t a good fit for our school. He was reckless, disrespectful, and responsible for some minor injuries in the few nights he attended class.

    The only annoying thing is the dad probably thought he outsmarted me, as if I didn’t know what he was doing, and as if I was a scam artist. ↩︎

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