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Sample ripoff contract


Many martial arts organizations/schools will have a contract/agreement that a student must sign. The contract is supposed to protect the school and the student, but most agreements mainly protect the school, and some rip-off the student. The following is an agreement contract once used by a major martial arts rip-off organization that has gone through various name changes but continues to rip-off students, instructors, and owners. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. I was once threatened with legal action by the organization for even posting the names of the patterns in their pattern set, which was mostly the traditional changhon pattern set.

Red emphasis has been added to important sections.


Agreement made this day of ___________ , 20___, between the Rip-off Yu Association (hereinafter referred to as ROYA) and _________  (hereinafter referred to as Member).

As a condition to Member's training in the martial art of Rip-off Yu, and with ROYA complying with the agreements set forth below, Member agrees as follows:

1. Instruction in martial arts

  • Member hereby promises to ROYA that Member will not teach, instruct, advise or give any form of lesson in any form of martial art, under any name (real or fictitious) without first obtaining the necessary written permission, credentials, certifications and authorizations from the ROYA to do so. Documents include but are not limited to a valid Degree Certificate, a valid Instructor certificate and written authorizations from ROYA to instruct.
  • When Member obtains the necessary documents and authorizations to teach the martial art of Rip-off Yu, Member shall at all times present himself/herself as an instructor of Rip-off Yu and not any other type of martial art, regardless of any previous training or ranking in another martial art.
  • Member agrees to prominently display his/her certifications and authorizations at Member's teaching premises.
  • Prior to attaining an Instructor's Degree, Member agrees to train and test at ROYA Headquarters.
  • ROYA reserves the right to retract Member's authorizations and certifications to instruct at any time, although this retraction shall in no way alter or affect any other portion of this agreement.
  • If Member operates under any circumstances as an instructor, advisor, consultant or serves in any other capacity as an authority in any martial art (real or fictitious) without current and validated written authorization from ROYA , Member agrees to forfeit all profits from said instruction and/or operations to ROYA and shall cease all such instruction and operation upon demand of ROYA. Furthermore, if ROYA deems it necessary to procure the services of an attorney (s) to obtain compliance with a demand to cease instruction and/or operations and/or an accounting of finances involved, Member agrees to be liable hereunder for all attorney's fees and other legal costs incurred by ROYA.
  • Member shall not engage in any instructional services to any organized group, such as governmental, military, law enforcement, corporations, companies or other organizations. Such services shall be done only by agreements or contracts directly between the group in question and ROYA, with the Member working as an authorized agent of ROYA. In order to serve as an authorized agent, Member agrees to obtain written permission to serve in such capacity from ROYA, with any monetary disbursement to be arranged in that contract or agreement granting such permission.
  • Member agrees to continue his/her personal training to upgrade his/her abilities on a regular basis with a minimum of 50 hours of increased instruction per year. This training is to be completed at ROYA Headquarters (or at an approved location authorized in writing by ROYA).
  • ROYA agrees to assist Member in his/her training to further enhance and update Member's abilities in the form of periodic seminars, classes and information dissemination. ROYA also agrees to assist Member in their quest to instruct others in Rip-off Yu by supplying Member with periodic instruction in methods of instruction that the Member is encouraged to participate in.

2. Opening schools (or other teaching premises)

  • Member will open a (school, club, branch, institute, clinic, seminar, studio, or course of instruction; hereinafter referred to as School) only after receiving all the necessary current and validated written credentials and authorizations to serve as an instructor and after obtaining all necessary current and validated written credentials and authorizations to open a School.
  • Member agrees to have the name of said School prominently displayed as the World Rip-off Yu Association (location) School with the location name designated by ROYA.
  • Member will have all official certificates, credentials and authorizations prominently displayed in the office of said School.
  • Member agrees to train and to test at ROYA Headquarters prior to opening a School.
  • Member agrees to enroll in and successfully complete a course in business management approved by ROYA prior to opening a School (this requirement may be waived in certain instances; written permission from ROYA is necessary) .
  • Member agrees to assume sole and total responsibility for meeting all maintenance fees, rents, loans, insurance, and all financial and legal obligations concerning the opening and operation of any School and hereby agrees not to hold ROYA responsible for any such matters, including any subsequent actions, claims or suits.
  • Member agrees to allow ROYA to examine, through its appointed agent, Member's financial records, School records, and any other records relating to the operation of the School, at any time. Member further agrees to submit monthly financial records, School records as supplied by ROYA by the 5th of every month.
  • Member agrees to maintain regular correspondence with ROYA
  • Member may test his/her students for color belt advancement through a first degree black belt, (with written authorization from ROYA), although for the student to achieve Degree Certification, Member's student must train and test at ROYA Headquarters. Color Belt Certification must be processed through ROYA in the manner set forth by ROYA .
  • If Member opens a School under any name (real or fictitious) without full written authorization from ROYA, Member shall forfeit all profits from said instruction and operation to ROYA and shall cease all such Schools and operation upon demand of ROYA. Furthermore, if ROYA deems it necessary to procure the services of an attorney(s) to obtain compliance with a demand to cease instruction and/or operation and/or an accounting of profits, Member shall be held liable hereunder for all attorney's fees and other legal costs incurred by ROYA.
  • ROYA agrees to assist Member in their quest to actively teach Rip-off Yu by helping to promote Member's School through its periodic newsletters, published articles and/or through advice in operating said School, though ROYA in no way will be held financially responsible for success or failure of Member's school.

3. Demonstrations

  • Member will demonstrate, show or display himself/herself as a practitioner of Rip-off Yu only after written authorization from ROYA and will not demonstrate, show or display himself/herself as a practitioner of any other martial art.

4. Publications

  • Hereinafter any publications, books, manuals, magazines, news articles, newsletters, periodicals, photographs, videos, recordings, films, movies, audio recordings, training films, records, cassettes, CD's, tapes, illustrations, artwork and any printed matter concerning the martial arts and Oriental healing arts shall be referred to as Media.
  • Member agrees that prior to writing, creating, producing, or fabrication of any such Media, Member will receive advance written consent and authorization from the ROYA to do so.
  • Member agrees to present these Media in rough draft form and again in the finalized form to ROYA for their written approval prior to any release of such works.
  • Member consents to willingly and without reservation alter or change any aspect of said Media as requested by ROYA.
  • In the event that Member authors, creates, produces, publishes, acts in, or receives any financial compensations from the above mentioned Media, Member agrees to pay twenty-five percent (25%) of all Member's net receipts from initial and subsequent sales, advancements and royalties to the ROYA.
  • All copyrights and patents of such Media shall be held in the name of the ROYA. Member and ROYA agree that they will cooperate in all respects necessary to the protection and maintenance of copyrights and patents.
  • ROYA will receive a reasonable number of copies of all such works at Member's costs and retains the right to deal with the publishing firm, film company, recording studio, or similar firms in conjunction with or on behalf of Member.
  • ROYA agrees to assist Member in arriving at story ideas, editing, giving technical advice, historical; accuracy, choreographing projects, and in any manner at its disposal to assist Member in Members' undertaking of any Media. ROYA will also advertise said works to its members.

5. Finances

  • All monies shall be payable in U.S. Currency, Money Order or Cashier’s Check.
  • Member will pay ROYA the annual membership fee.
  • If Member opens a School, Member will pay to ROYA the annual School fee as set forth below:
  • Member will pay ten percent (10%) of net profits realized to ROYA by the 5th of each month.
  • Member will have Member's students send their annual membership dues to ROYA.
  • If Member locates his or her school within a 250-mile radius of ROYA Headquarters, Member will send all testing fees (as set forth below) to ROYA
  • Those schools located outside a 250-mile radius will send fifty percent (50%) of testing fees to ROYA.
  • All Black Belt testing shall be conducted at ROYA Headquarters and testing and processing fees paid at that time.  
  • Twenty-five percent (25%) of all net profits from demonstrations, expositions, television broadcasts, movie rights, and any other function in which Member receives funds directly or indirectly as a result of Member's knowledge in Rip-off Yu shall be paid to ROYA. ROYA agrees to assist Member in negotiating terms with these outside agencies or companies and agrees to assist Member in their pursuit thereof of such endeavors.

6. Indemnity

  • Member shall indemnify and hold harmless ROYA from any claim, suit, or action and any expense or damage in consequence thereof, asserted by reason of ROYA's exercise or enjoyment of any of its rights hereunder or by reason of any warranty or promise made by ROYA in connection with the exercise of any such rights.
  • ROYA shall have the right at its option, but without any obligation to do so, to defend any such claim, suit, or action by counsel of its selection and with the consent of Member to settle the same on such terms as it deems advisable.
  • In the event a final judgment is entered against ROYA, or settlement is reached pursuant to the aforesaid claim, suit, or action, Member shall be liable for and shall pay to ROYA the full amount of said judgment or settlement and shall reimburse ROYA for any and all expenses incurred, including attorney fees.

7. Accidents or injuries

  • Member and ROYA acknowledge that the services, instruction, and use of equipment as provided for under this; agreement entail some unavoidable risk of personal injury and harm, which is inherent to physical contact training, particularly those involving the martial arts.
  • It is further expressly agreed that all instruction, services, consultation and use of equipment and facilities shall be undertaken by Member at Member's sole risk, and Member assumes the risk for any such injuries or damages arising out of or in any way connected with his/her use of any of the services or facilities. 
  • ROYA shall not be held liable for any claim, demand, injury, expense, damage, action or cause of action arising out of or connected with the use of any of the services or facilities of ROYA, including those arising from negligence on the part of ROYA, its servants, founders, instructors, agents, employees, or members. 
  • Member for himself/herself and on behalf of himself/herself, executors, administrators, and assigns does hereby expressly forever release and discharge ROYA, its successors or assigns, as well as the officers, directors, founders, instructors, agents, employees, and members from all such claims, demands, injuries, expenses, damage, action or cause of action. 
  • Furthermore, ROYA is not responsible for any loss or injury to personal property of Member while on, about, or as a result of being at the School.

8. Interpretations

Regardless of its place of execution, this agreement shall - be interpreted and performance thereof construed under the laws of the State of _________, United States of America.

9. Breach of agreement

Member hereby agrees that if Member violates any portion of this agreement, Member shall cease and close down any business or operations accrued, will pay to ROYA for all damages incurred and sustained by ROYA, and, in the case of Media, will print at Member's expense written retractions of any actions by Member which give an incorrect or negative image of the martial art of Rip-off Yu, at the sole option of ROYA.

10. Severability

In the event that any of the provisions of this agreement, in whole or in part, (or the application of any provision to a specific situation), is held to be invalid or unenforceable by the judgment of the court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall be limited to such specific provision or portion thereof (or to such a situation) ,and this agreement shall be construed and applied in such manner as minimizes such unenforceability. This agreement shall otherwise remain in full force and effect.

11. Whole agreement

This agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties. Any modifications, changes or discharges of this; agreement must be in writing and signed by an authorized agent of ROYA. Member agrees to adhere to and abide by all rules, regulations and conditions of Membership concerning ROYA as set forth above.

By his/her signature hereunder, Member acknowledges that he/she has read and does fully understand all the covenants, conditions, and promises contained in this agreement and has received a copy thereof. In Witness whereof, the parties hereto have duly executed this agreement the day and year first written above.

Consequences of this agreement

Some ROYA students who later became school owners had to fight ROYA in civil court for years before they were able to gain release from this contact they had signed as beginning students.

Be careful what you sign, you may be signing away your future in the martial arts.

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