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20 Jan, 2011 01:00 AM
EXPERIENCED martial arts expert Robert Holiday has spoken out, warning Wagga residents to be wary of “unqualified” trainers around the city.

Having lived in Wagga for a number of years and hosted martial arts training classes himself, Holiday is becoming increasingly concerned people are being ripped off when they go in search of lessons.

With 24 years of martial arts experience under his Second Dan black belt, Holiday is no stranger to the ins-and-outs of his discipline.

He says while there is no official law to determine who qualifies to teach various martial arts, he believes under-qualified trainers could be damaging the future of the sport in Wagga.

“My main aim is to raise people’s awareness that they might be giving money away for nothing to these unqualified trainers,” Holiday said yesterday.

“There are quite a few clubs in Wagga that are utilising people with blue belts or lower to hold these classes.

“There is not really such a thing as an accredited trainer, but the minimum industry-accepted standard is black belt.

“There are some clubs around Wagga, and even some personal trainers, who are advertising as accredited trainers but there is no such thing.”

One of Holiday’s main concerns is the money people are forking out to get lessons from these trainers, and says he has seen lessons advertised for up to $40 per hour, when he believes the average price should be closer to $10 an hour