There was much excitement when Premier Martial Arts Marysville South announced its opening in Marysville, Washington, during the summer of 2022. Locals were enthusiastic about the opportunities this new establishment would bring. Parents saw it as a potential avenue to introduce discipline, physical activity, and self-defense techniques to their children. However, just a year later, the school closed its doors amid a swirl of controversy and disappointed families.
Signing a lease before even having a dedicated team of instructors was the first sign of trouble. Such a decision indicated a rush to open, possibly at the expense of ensuring the quality and commitment of instructors. This rush may have been a symptom of the franchise model, where rapid expansion oftentimes overshadows the need for thorough preparation.
Then came the shocking news during the summer of 2023: Premier Martial Arts Marysville South was closing down. What exacerbated the situation was the sudden departure of the last instructor just three days before students were to be tested for their next belts. This abrupt exit left many children and parents in a state of disbelief, with emotions ranging from anger to sadness.
For children, trust is paramount. When they commit to a discipline such as martial arts, they are not just learning techniques; they are building bonds of trust with their instructors and peers. They look up to these figures as mentors who will guide them in their journey. Imagine the emotional turmoil a child feels when this trust is betrayed. Suddenly, the safe space where they learned, grew, and thrived is gone, leading to feelings of abandonment and confusion.
This unfortunate incident underscores the potential pitfalls of enrolling children in a franchise martial arts school. While not all franchises suffer from these issues, there’s an inherent risk. Franchises often focus on business growth, sometimes at the expense of maintaining the ethos and dedication required for a genuine martial arts experience. The individuality and tradition that can be found in independent schools may be replaced with standardized, business-centric models in franchises.
While the excitement and promise of new martial arts schools can be enticing, parents must be discerning. The closing of Premier Martial Arts Marysville South serves as a lesson in the importance of stability, commitment, and genuine passion in any educational endeavor. Before enrolling their children, parents should do thorough research, ask questions, and ensure that any institution — franchise or independent — prioritizes the well-being and growth of its students over rapid business expansion.