Don't Join "All Japan Karate" in San Diego
Update by user Mar 15, 2013
I wrote thi article 5 years ago.I'm sure Niether Sensei Dal nor myself are the same people we were back then.
With time comes wisdom, and a complaint from 5 years ago, should not and cannot apply today.Knowing Sensei Dal, he and his dojo has improved every year since this was published, as I know my attitude about All Japan Karate has changed also.
Original review posted by user Jul 11, 2008
I recommend to anyone thinking of joining a karate school, to not join All Japan Karate. I went to the school three and a half years and quit twice because of his questionable business practices. He announced a black belt test was going to be conducted in May of 08 and announced it two months ahead of time. He asked me if I were going to take the test this time and I said, Sure, I guess. He asked me almost every week for until the week of the test and I said yes I'm ready. I had a friend of mine, a former student who quit two months earlier, help me with the Bunki portion of the test and rearranged his schedule with his family to commit to being at the test on test day. I also was given two days of vacation time off the weekend of the test to prepare. 6 days before the test I paid him the $150.00 testing fee, and as he handed me the receipt, said he was going to move the test to next month because he didn't think I wasn't ready.
I asked for my money back and he said there are no refunds on the testing fees. I was so upset and asked him why he didn't tell me earlier, he claimed he doesn't tell anyone because he never knows until the test. I said I had no choice but to take the test in May because the wheels were already in motion. The vacation is set, my friend has already committed to being there, and I had been training almost every day for two months in preparation. He then made me sign a contract stating that he warned me to wait and train more because I may not pass the test. I had no choice, and I took it. I demonstrated everything he taught me over the course of 3.5 years; wrote a 4.5 page essay on the history of karate that corresponded to his questions. (one of the question asked about the qualifying katas for each style and just before he gave me the test sheet, he gave me a slip of paper with the answers to memorize then and there because he never told us in class what they were when I attended.); I did all the kata without error, all the basics, I beat his two best black-belts at sparring, and he still didn't pass me because he said it wasn't, Black Belt Quality. I told him, when a man does his best, what else is there? He told me as I was driving home from the test that I didn't pass. This is the kind of behavior you can expect from Paul Dal. Now he is taking me to small claims court after being 10 days late on a payment of my one year contract, even though I don't attend his school any longer because of his unfriendly behavior and questionable business ethics. He is not a very nice instructor, according to several children who has attended his classes and quit. More than 6 children and two adults had quit attending his classes around the 3 months that I left. They say he is mean. He calls some of his students "***", in Japanese when they make a mistake. He down talks his own students in the national city school district, saying the children's karate kata is such poor quality they don't perform kata during the national city boys and girls club tournaments.
It's also quite suspicious to me that he discontinues his support for certain tournaments after his students don't do well in them.
My experience at this place was very dissatisfying, but I kept going because my goal was to get a black belt, not to be friends with this ***. But that didn't matter, he didn't give me my belt anyway so I had to join another school to get my belt.