Sounds like Ashida Kim to me.
I am laughing to myself as I appreciate the sarcasm and large bit of truth in your reply!!! What you express is exactly the way things have been done in the past, and is precisely what we will avoid at all costs in the future.
We are just now in the process of getting things off the ground, but we have established strict policies that should regulate the operations of the International Association of Martial Arts (IAMA) in a way that avoids this sort of thing in the future. Please take a look:
Again, I appreciate any constructive input and welcome your comments. Contact me directly at:
or (314) 838-0869
(I have taken the time to write a serious essay in reply to your serious comment so consider this as a respectful response)
Originally Posted by donn schucker
I congratulate you on your new business venture. I hope it is profitable. God bless capitalism.
That being said, the rank of “black belt” is no different from a religious ordination in many ways. It only demonstrates that one has achieved a certain level of mastery in a martial arts style in some COMMUNITY. The black belt rank itself can be no greater than the community.
If I hang out my shingle for Rex Quan Do (hope that’s not trademarked) and start ranking people, I am responsible for their ranks. There can be no universal standards in a world where each style is utterly separated by function, theory, principles application and purpose, as well as history, anthropology, culture and ethnicity.
All of these “Black Belt Associations” are no more, will never BE more than a way to circumvent traditional ranking, which takes place *student to teacher* and in a community.
While “buyer beware” rules the day, yours and similar businesses will just serve to deteriorate the public’s perception of what a black belt really stands for.
California law recognizes “self ordination” for ministers, in other words someone doesn’t even really need to be ordained by another person or group to perform weddings. In more ancient times of course real priests were expected to do more than just marry people. Black Belt is really the same thing. Anyone can purchase a black belt and proclaim their own system, open a school and hang a shingle. The only thing that makes “black belt” more special is the standards upheld by the martial arts community, school by school. Every one more of these cheasy freakin’ black belt associations that opens it’s paypal account just diminishes that perception even further.
Do what you want, it’s a free Country. A black belt federation is no more than a bunch of guys who don’t want to go through what they see as meaningless motions to earn an honored rank under a teacher and in a martial arts community. It's no different than a bunch of mafioso banding together calling themselves a "Union" in order to do business.
It’s important to remember in the Sengaku Era of Japan there were no ranks, no Ryuha and no kata. You lived or died. Now, when we rarely live by our martial skills, everyone wants to walk around with a BLACK BELT - chest pumped up - trying to back it up with some fancy sounding bogus association acronym.
You may fool the public, but the community largely knows the truth. I suppose it’s natural evolution that something like MMA comps are eclipsing traditional martial arts in the public eye. At least the viewing public can see competitors backing up their **** - on TV - instead of just acting like a badass fool wearing fancy uniforms with colorful patches - with your BLACK BELT.
One thing I'm wondering about is, every summer the USMA had a weeklong seminar in July organized by Sensei Schucker. This summer the USMA seminar is canceled and Sensei Schucker's new IAMA has a weeklong seminar in July. Hmmm....
Thank you for your responses. I (and the IAMA) do not wish to fool the public or anyone else. I (and the leaders of the IAMA) only wish to offer whatever I can do to help legitimate and genuine martial artists along the martial path. This is why we have vowed to deal only with those who are actually evaluated before being ranked or certified.
Additionally, I am not interested in advancing or increasing my own personal ranks (which I have relinquished after more than 40 years of training), recognition, etc. or that of the IAMA.
Our long term goal (maybe five years hence) is to build a facility that is complete with dorms and dojo. This would afford all interested parties the chance to come and train for as long as they like for little or no money.
The past training camps that I have hosted have been a financial disaster for myself...I paid all expenses (training hall rent, insurance, hotel, shuttle buses, drivers, guest instructors, etc.) out of my own pocket and all revenue went to the founder of my previous affiliation. I was never compensated for my cash output, and never asked to be.
Our 2008 event is being held as usual because many dedicated martial artists look forward to the event every year. It is always great to meet new people and get together with old friends for training and brotherhood in budo.
As hard as it may be to believe, this is not about money...it is about doing what is right to help people reach the highest level of skill and ability they are capable of in the martial arts. I certainly do understand the skepticism I am hearing, because what I propose is VASTLY different than what has been done of late in the martial arts. That said, I see no need to further explain or defend the actions of myself or the IAMA, as this has been done at length on our website and to a lesser degree right here on this forum. Time is always the best judge of any individual or venture, so I say let history make the final determination on the worth (or lack thereof) of myself and the IAMA.
I appreciate your input. Thank you for providing me with this venue to speak out.
Last edited by donn schucker; 6/10/2008 12:49am at .