United Studios of Self Defense, Palo Alto

★★★★☆
  • 2675 Middlefield Rd # Pa

    Palo Alto, CA 94306

    Map & Directions
  • 650-325-4946

About United Studios of Self Defense, Palo Alto

Hours
Mon - Thu, noon - 9:00pm; Fri, noon - 8:00pm; Sat, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Education

Education
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Very commercial approach. They are after your money and have no interest in your child's progress or learning of the art. The instructor is arrogant and rude. They will be very nice when they wan to get you to sign the contract and once you are signed you will be ignored. You will receive no communication unless they want more money from you. If you want your child to learn the martial art there are many better places than this one.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Very commercial approach. They are after your money and have no interest in your child's progress or learning of the art. The instructor is arrogant and rude. They will be very nice when they wan to get you to sign the contract and once you are signed you will be ignored. You will receive no communication unless they want more money from you. If you want your child to learn the martial art there are many better places than this one.

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I love this place. My kids loves it. Very happy with all the instructors. Hope to continue on through black belt stage

4
★★★★☆

I love this place. My kids loves it. Very happy with all the instructors. Hope to continue on through black belt stage

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

This school is big marketing and promotes some great principles but they dont practice them when tested. Effort,Etiquette,Sincerity,and Character were no where to be found when we asked to take our son out of the program. We were told our money could not have any refund....even a partial one after only two classes. Our son was not happy and he was not being shown any attention, he is other activities and is very happy and gets along..this class is not user friendly for young kids. So my advice is audit this school...read the fine print before you sign...avoid buying any more than one class at a time until your sure..bad deal for us...and i dont want to see anyone else get penalized by their anti customer is right contract.

1
★☆☆☆☆

This school is big marketing and promotes some great principles but they dont practice them when tested. Effort,Etiquette,Sincerity,and Character were no where to be found when we asked to take our son out of the program. We were told our money could not have any refund....even a partial one after only two classes. Our son was not happy and he was not being shown any attention, he is other activities and is very happy and gets along..this class is not user friendly for young kids. So my advice is audit this school...read the fine print before you sign...avoid buying any more than one class at a time until your sure..bad deal for us...and i dont want to see anyone else get penalized by their anti customer is right contract.

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0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

My kids have started almost a year ago. The studio seems to be pricey at the first glance, but if your kid attends most of the practices they offer it comes down to a very reasonable price. My boys like to go there, at first they were complaining a bit about going 4 times a week, but once it became the routine and they started to see their effort to pay off then I do not have to drag them there anymore.
I am a pretty liberal mom. Yes, the disciple is pretty strict in the studio, but the kids are allowed to fool around from time to time. Overall the environment is positive. Yes, there are rules, and the coaches handle very good at making sure that everybody is following them. Not a single time I heard from Mr. Flickinger or any of the other staff that my kids need to pay attention (the complain I heard a lot at school and other lessons). They handle it themselves and make sure that the kids are paying attention when needed! Yes, they will ask your child to do pushups or jump up and down the stairs if they are not paying attention, but definitely not excessively (my son said that PE in middle school is more grueling physically). My boys agree that those ??punishments? are always fair. Coaches are paying a very close attention themselves on what is going on in the studio.
So if you want your child learn the discipline, self-control and martial arts then it is the place. If you want your child to just have fun and fool around, try ??Little Gym?, they are very liberal with the kids.

5
★★★★★

My kids have started almost a year ago. The studio seems to be pricey at the first glance, but if your kid attends most of the practices they offer it comes down to a very reasonable price. My boys like to go there, at first they were complaining a bit about going 4 times a week, but once it became the routine and they started to see their effort to pay off then I do not have to drag them there anymore.
I am a pretty liberal mom. Yes, the disciple is pretty strict in the studio, but the kids are allowed to fool around from time to time. Overall the environment is positive. Yes, there are rules, and the coaches handle very good at making sure that everybody is following them. Not a single time I heard from Mr. Flickinger or any of the other staff that my kids need to pay attention (the complain I heard a lot at school and other lessons). They handle it themselves and make sure that the kids are paying attention when needed! Yes, they will ask your child to do pushups or jump up and down the stairs if they are not paying attention, but definitely not excessively (my son said that PE in middle school is more grueling physically). My boys agree that those ??punishments? are always fair. Coaches are paying a very close attention themselves on what is going on in the studio.
So if you want your child learn the discipline, self-control and martial arts then it is the place. If you want your child to just have fun and fool around, try ??Little Gym?, they are very liberal with the kids.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

My children love Mr. Flickinger. I want them learn martial arts, respect and discipline and they have done that. I do not expect him to be a babysitter to them. He has taught them that there is a time and place for fooling around and a time to be serious and respectful. The prior poster should look for a nanny.

4
★★★★☆

My children love Mr. Flickinger. I want them learn martial arts, respect and discipline and they have done that. I do not expect him to be a babysitter to them. He has taught them that there is a time and place for fooling around and a time to be serious and respectful. The prior poster should look for a nanny.

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2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

My 6 year old son started his lessons last year. I have seen how Mr. Flickinger instilled discipline on his students. As a mother, it always hurts when you see your child being disciplined by other people.

But Karate is all about DISCIPLINE!!! It is not a kids hip hop dance class where kids are suppose to just have fun. My son has his ups and downs attending his classes before because he was not used to the kind of discipline he gets from his instructor (not exactly physical but more on mental), but I trusted Mr. Flickinger and explained to my son that he should know how to follow instructions and obey the rules.

IT PAID OFF!!! Last April 27,2008 Tournament, my son won 1st place in Kata and 4th place in Sparring. And to top it all, he gets perfect scores in his tests at school. He has developed self discipline which I have wanted to achieve when I enrolled him to Karate.

I definitely would recommend USSD in Palo Alto.

Juliet
Palo Alto, CA

5
★★★★★

My 6 year old son started his lessons last year. I have seen how Mr. Flickinger instilled discipline on his students. As a mother, it always hurts when you see your child being disciplined by other people.

But Karate is all about DISCIPLINE!!! It is not a kids hip hop dance class where kids are suppose to just have fun. My son has his ups and downs attending his classes before because he was not used to the kind of discipline he gets from his instructor (not exactly physical but more on mental), but I trusted Mr. Flickinger and explained to my son that he should know how to follow instructions and obey the rules.

IT PAID OFF!!! Last April 27,2008 Tournament, my son won 1st place in Kata and 4th place in Sparring. And to top it all, he gets perfect scores in his tests at school. He has developed self discipline which I have wanted to achieve when I enrolled him to Karate.

I definitely would recommend USSD in Palo Alto.

Juliet
Palo Alto, CA

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0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

Our daughter had a terrible experience and we couldn't wait to go elsewhere. Run purely as a business - no concern for the students' well being or self esteem. Very crowded, very expensive, and marginal instruction. So many better options in the area.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Our daughter had a terrible experience and we couldn't wait to go elsewhere. Run purely as a business - no concern for the students' well being or self esteem. Very crowded, very expensive, and marginal instruction. So many better options in the area.

Pros: Nothing

Cons: Crowded, expensive, marginal instruction, poor parking - everything

.

My three kids have all taken lessons at the USSD Palo Alto at various times over the last 9 years, as they are all 5 years apart. Mr. Flickinger, the chief instructor runs a very clean, professional studio and has hand selected an amazing staff to work beside him. The instructors are male and female, all various ages. That really appealed to my kids. Miss Brown is young and spunky but soft spoken and professional. Mr. Lenhof is very technical and precise and has great positive feedback. Mrs. Mahoney is firm but fair. Mr. Mahoney is great with sparring and kata. Mrs. Baker is one of the newer instructors but she is amazing with the little ones,
and always has a positive attitude. Collectively, they all bring important "lessons" of the martial arts to the table. Some may say they are a little tough but this is the true essence of karate. I pay to have my kids be able to defend themselves but also for the lost arts of team work, self discipline and confidence; this is karate class not a "play date." Class Act!

Lizz, Menlo Park CA

5
★★★★★

My three kids have all taken lessons at the USSD Palo Alto at various times over the last 9 years, as they are all 5 years apart. Mr. Flickinger, the chief instructor runs a very clean, professional studio and has hand selected an amazing staff to work beside him. The instructors are male and female, all various ages. That really appealed to my kids. Miss Brown is young and spunky but soft spoken and professional. Mr. Lenhof is very technical and precise and has great positive feedback. Mrs. Mahoney is firm but fair. Mr. Mahoney is great with sparring and kata. Mrs. Baker is one of the newer instructors but she is amazing with the little ones,
and always has a positive attitude. Collectively, they all bring important "lessons" of the martial arts to the table. Some may say they are a little tough but this is the true essence of karate. I pay to have my kids be able to defend themselves but also for the lost arts of team work, self discipline and confidence; this is karate class not a "play date." Class Act!

Lizz, Menlo Park CA

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0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

Gary Flickinger and staff teach myself and my son. We studied martial arts before from a different system. We had instructors that were not professional, late, called in sick, postponed classes, did not care. United Studios and Flickinger are 1st class all the way. I have no problems, its great, the discipline and classes from him and all instructors are outstanding. Also, Flickinger has been there for 13 years. That is unheard of. We appreciate his commitment.
Kelly

5
★★★★★

Gary Flickinger and staff teach myself and my son. We studied martial arts before from a different system. We had instructors that were not professional, late, called in sick, postponed classes, did not care. United Studios and Flickinger are 1st class all the way. I have no problems, its great, the discipline and classes from him and all instructors are outstanding. Also, Flickinger has been there for 13 years. That is unheard of. We appreciate his commitment.
Kelly

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0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

Intense and disciplined instruction. Very focused on semi-annual competitions. May not be right for less dedicated students.
(Additional comment withheld)

3
★★★☆☆

Intense and disciplined instruction. Very focused on semi-annual competitions. May not be right for less dedicated students.
(Additional comment withheld)

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.

My son has loved learning from Mr. Flickenger and his instructors. He has learned discipline and respect.I wish I could keep him enrolled, but I am a single, disabled mother who works only 13 hours a week and I cannot afford the monthly and then the other "incidentals" that keep popping up again and again.There are no scholarships, sliding scales. There is a sign that tells you that you cannot put a price on superior instruction.We only live in Palo Alto because we live with my mother.I have held on as long as I can, but I cannot afford this anymore and my heart is broken. My son is so talented. What a waste.

4
★★★★☆

My son has loved learning from Mr. Flickenger and his instructors. He has learned discipline and respect.I wish I could keep him enrolled, but I am a single, disabled mother who works only 13 hours a week and I cannot afford the monthly and then the other "incidentals" that keep popping up again and again.There are no scholarships, sliding scales. There is a sign that tells you that you cannot put a price on superior instruction.We only live in Palo Alto because we live with my mother.I have held on as long as I can, but I cannot afford this anymore and my heart is broken. My son is so talented. What a waste.

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.

My kids started karate at the Palo Alto studio over a year ago, and they were having so much fun that after a couple of months I joined too. Six months later my husband also joined, so now it's the whole family. I've also started helping out with classes on Saturdays. This is a very welcoming studio that will find a way for anyone to get a workout, learn self-defense techniques and improve their marital arts skills, regardless of whether you're already an athlete or whether you're totally out of shape. You'll find kids, adults and grandparents among the students of this studio, and also among the instructors. I'm in much better shape than I was a year ago, and the quality of instruction is very high -- the studio just won its 4th Northern California tournament in a row!

5
★★★★★

My kids started karate at the Palo Alto studio over a year ago, and they were having so much fun that after a couple of months I joined too. Six months later my husband also joined, so now it's the whole family. I've also started helping out with classes on Saturdays. This is a very welcoming studio that will find a way for anyone to get a workout, learn self-defense techniques and improve their marital arts skills, regardless of whether you're already an athlete or whether you're totally out of shape. You'll find kids, adults and grandparents among the students of this studio, and also among the instructors. I'm in much better shape than I was a year ago, and the quality of instruction is very high -- the studio just won its 4th Northern California tournament in a row!

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

My son has been attending classes at USSD for almost 2 years now. USSD offers a professional, structured, and engaging approach to teaching the kempo style of martial arts. The director of the Palo Alto studio, Gary Flickinger, is wonderful with the kids. He is disciplined yet caring. The kids respect him very much, and so he is able to create an environment where even the most fidgety kid can learn. This studio is more expensive than some others around the area, but you get a half hour private lesson plus 3 45 min group lessons every week. Having tried another studio, I think we are getting a great deal--great instruction and building high self esteem.

PROS: Quality of instruction, quantity of instruction, location
CONS: Cost may be prohibitive to some

5
★★★★★

My son has been attending classes at USSD for almost 2 years now. USSD offers a professional, structured, and engaging approach to teaching the kempo style of martial arts. The director of the Palo Alto studio, Gary Flickinger, is wonderful with the kids. He is disciplined yet caring. The kids respect him very much, and so he is able to create an environment where even the most fidgety kid can learn. This studio is more expensive than some others around the area, but you get a half hour private lesson plus 3 45 min group lessons every week. Having tried another studio, I think we are getting a great deal--great instruction and building high self esteem.

PROS: Quality of instruction, quantity of instruction, location
CONS: Cost may be prohibitive to some

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

 

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