A Columbia martial arts school has been ordered to stop signing up new members or taking payments from old ones until it complies with state regulations governing Maryland health clubs, according to the state attorney general's office.
Get Your Kicks LLC, also known as the Jhoon Rhee Institute, did not register with the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division as required under the health club law or post a bond that would ensure customers of a refund should the school close, according to a news release issued by the office Tuesday.
The school, in the 9500 block of Gerwig Lane, is open, but it will not enroll new students until it straightens out the problem, owner Farrukh Anwar said.
Anwar said he only recently learned about the registration and bond issue; he thought the school was covered under a merger agreement with another martial arts school. He said he expects the problem to be resolved within the next 10 days.
Officials with the attorney general's office confirmed yesterday that they have been talking with Anwar. The office learned about the problem while looking into the status of another business that was leasing space from Get Your Kicks, Assistant Attorney General Ellen Kuhn said.
Health clubs that ask members to pay more than three months' membership in advance or an initiation fee of more than $200 are required to post a security bond.