STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! This is a review for Krav Maga Academy based in NYC. I had a horrible experience with this company, so I wanted to write a Krav Maga Academy review warning others of this scam.
Krav Maga Academy Review
This is my story of how I fell victim to this type of scam myself. I saw a Facebook ad about this “free fitness challenge”, looking for people who want to transform their body for free. I click through on it and see a very sales-like page. I make an appointment and it turns out to be at a local martial arts gym in New York City (where I am based) called “Krav Maga Academy”.
Krav Maga Academy Scam
Krav Maga Academy have been advertising a scam fitness challenge on a separate website, joinkma.com
Their marketing page, which they changed recently in response to articles about them being a scam, says it’s the last day to register for their free challenge but doesn’t really say much about who they are. They want your contact info to progressively lure you in so they can pressure you to sign up for their fitness challenge. Which by the way, isn’t free. They ask for a $600 deposit, which you only get back if you meet their arbitrary fitness goals).
They claim that the deposit is just to keep you motivated, that it really is free. Well, if that’s the case, why do they set a weight loss or body fat loss target instead of just a “come to the gym X times a week” target?
I saw a Facebook ad about this “free fitness challenge”, looking for people who want to transform their body for free. I click through on it and see a very sales-like page. I make an appointment and it turns out to be at a local martial arts gym in New York City (where I am based) called “Krav Maga Academy”.
When I show up, there are many participants there as well. We get weighed and after quite a bit of waiting, we are led on a brief tour. We then get shuffled into a small room where they run us through a Powerpoint sales pitch.
The pitch consists of telling stories of past participants who changed their life and how their system is the only one that works. Something about 3 pillar system and how they’re the only ones to do it. Then the sales woman does a lot of hyping up where you’re supposed to raise your hand to show enthusiasm and she questioned why I didn’t look excited.
Near the end of the presentation, she brings up that she wants a “deposit” of $600 that will be returned to you if you hit your goals. Then she goes around the group and makes arbitrary goals for each person. I was told to gain 10 lbs (I’m currently 130 lbs and my body type stays relatively around that weight for years… I’ve never been 140 lbs ever!). We were also told that she needs a yes or not “today”.
I think it was weird how she wanted me to gain 10 lbs but another participant to gain only 5 lbs, so I negotiate her down to 7 lbs gain. Right as I’m about to sign the contract, she adds in an extra condition! 7 lbs weight gain AND body fat under 7%. I negotiate her up to 8% but that’s still crazy since there’s no way I’m 7% body fat. Then she says she can’t answer any more questions since she has another appointment but we need to let her know today. Talk about high pressure sales tactics!
I ended up signing at the last minute, but then realized my mistake! I asked some fitness friends and they informed me why that goal was unfair and impossible. Firstly, gaining 7 lbs in a short time without gaining any fat is near impossible. Secondly, inaccuracy of the scale to measure bodyfat makes it very risky since it could fluctuate and there’s no margin for error. In fact, I “gained” 0.2% body fat in 20 minutes between the first measure and when I asked for a re-measure… a fluctuation that would’ve made me lose the challenge (and $600). Therefore I got scammed!
They were also supposed to by law let me know there is a cooling off period but they didn’t… they finally refunded me after I found out about that law and sent them a certified letter. Their contract also says no refunds 😐
They Try to Drum Up Reviews
From Yelp, it looks like they require participants in their challenge to post reviews while they’re still holding on to the $600 deposit. Which may bias the reviews towards being positive since people don’t want tension with the people they have to keep seeing several times a week and who’s holding their $600 deposit. So beware the biased positive reviews you see on Yelp and Google as well. According to a Yelper “J H” who posted in Oct 2018:
biggest off turn was that if you reach your goal and you do get your money back there is a clause in the contract that requires you to write a review on yelp for them to be able to get your money back.
Even their sales pitch site is a scam! When you arrive on their page, it says the offer expires in 5 minutes. Well guess what, it’s not actually an expiration time since everyone sees that message.
It also says only 6 spots left. Also a lie, since coming back to that site after signing up still says 6 spots left!
Google Map Review – Dania S
This place is a scam. I got in through their “6 weeks free trial” offer. The truth is they ask for 500$ and only give it back to you if you meet the challenge they give you. Mine was an impossible challenge. I was asked to lower my body fat percentage from 15.9% to 13% in 6 weeks by following their diet. Which was really hard considering I’m already slim. I barely lost 0.5% and they kept the money. If you want to sign up for their membership, go for it, but their 6 weeks free trial is a lie.
Google Map Review – Chaim S
This place is a scam and a fraud. They claim to offer a free 6 week challenge, but charge you $630. They set goals which are physically impossible to achieve in 6 weeks. Even if you don’t go through with the challenge, as soon as they charge your card, they will not refund you.
Google Map Review – Tariqa R
Clicked the free 6 week program om facebook, got there and was told it’s a 499 deposit tbat you’ll get back if you meet your goal. I left as soon as she mentioned that. Had i was told through text that it would cost me for being free then i wouldnt of walked 50 mins there.
Yelp Review – Wayne N
Hard selling manager was obnoxious and misleading and this place is a racket — beware
Yelp Review – Leslie H
I signed up for the Free 6 weeks challenge advertised on Facebook. There is no mention of a deposit until the moment they have you in a room. There is deposit of $600 but you can get it back if you reach your goal. Great idea but the fact that it wasn’t mentioned left a bad taste in my mouth.
I Fell Victim To Krav Maga Academy – What Now?
Did you come across this page because you already got scammed? Well, there may still be ways to get your money back.
Under New York state law, there is a “cooling off” period where you are legally entitled to request your money back for any reason within 3 days for any wellness center. This includes gyms and martial arts studios, which means Krav Maga Academy also needs to abide by this rule. They are required to let you know this, which they currently don’t!
Under New York law, you have to send in written cancellation by certified mail.
Avoid Krav Maga Academy like the plague. Feel free to share this Krav Maga Academy review so others don’t get scammed by this horrible company.