I called Kwanjangnim back in September and told him I wouldn’t be able to attend for a while because my new job and my grad schedule were too much for me. (Which was true.) I asked him to freeze my account and told him I hoped to come back in January or May. He said he would.
Much to my surprise, considering he’s practiced some Creative Bookkeeping more than once in past, he did freeze the account. (I could only cancel it; he had to be the one to freeze it.)
And then, a few days ago, I checked my banking account and discovered that he’d drafted my account in January. He hadn’t called, texted, emailed, sent a letter, or talked to me in person to see if I’d be back.
I was livid.
I emailed him immediately telling him that I wasn’t coming back and he needed to fix the problem. When I hadn’t heard from him by the end of the day, I called the company and canceled my account. (You need to give 30-day notice and if I’d waited even one more day, it would’ve been drafted again next month.)
That was the nail in the coffin that proved to me that this “kwanjangnim” was far more interested in my money than in having me as a student. I’d let the creative bookkeeping slide in the past (surprising for me, I know) but this solidified my opinion entirely.
Of course, 15 minutes after I canceled the account, I got an email from him saying he’d fix it. Which made me feel guilty. (He drafted my account hoping I wouldn’t notice. Why do I feel guilty?)
I am disappointed and pissed, primarily because I believe I gave this school—and myself—more than enough time. I thought my original problems were because he wasn’t Master and I wasn’t in Korea. I thought my original thoughts about him were tainted by my own reverse culture shock.
But it’s been over two years, and the fact that he drafted my account without even talking to me first was final proof that the school owner was only interested in my money. (Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, well, I’m not that much of a damn fool.)
I ended up in tears, I was so upset about it.
In Korea, Master really did care about mind, body, and spirit. He cared about his students, and that’s why so many of his students were so loyal to him. He taught us all. He’d scold the boys over their schoolwork, he taught me Korean. He soothed broken hearts, and threatened to beat up bad hogwon owners. He encouraged us to do and be our best inside and outside of the studio.
I feel like I had an extremely honorable Master in Korea and I was hoping I would find that in America. I didn’t.
Two years ago, when I saw his Creative Bookkeeping for the first time, I checked out other schools around here. All of them wanted accounts, all of them had high fees. I don’t know that I can find the kind of taekwondo studio I want to find around here.
And that makes me extremely disappointed and sad—for myself, of course. But it also makes me pissed off because a whole slew of people are being brought up to believe that this is martial arts, and this is taekwondo. I know full well that it’s not.