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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:15 am    Post subject: Achievements: display or stowed away? Reply with quote

This may or may not belong here but it is something that could make an interesting discussion.

Everyone with a shodan or above usually has a certain number certificates, or other objects and documents officially recognizing their achievements. Usually instructors will have these framed and hanging somewhere in their teaching space or office. Others still are much more low key and keep everything stowed away at home somewhere personal.

Why do you or choose to display or stow away your martial arts achievement certificates?
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ninjanurse
KF Sensei
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6153
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question! I choose to display them at my dojo so that people can see what I have done over the years- as a form of marketing only. I don't display them all-just the ones that are pertinent (dan certificates).

I realize it is a double edged sword but I teach for a living and in this day and age people want to see it.


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Spartacus Maximus
Member of the Month
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1239

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly is a terrific marketing tool to have many achievement certificates in beautiful frames hanging in the dojo. The downside is that the technology to produce quality fakes is cheap and widely available for anyone to access. This means that frauds have exploited it to the point that the authenticity of any certificate can be doubted and questioned.

The public at large may or my not know this, but there are much more savvy prospective students than ever who are aware that the martial arts world is rife with frauds, charlatans and crooks who would no be beneath forging certificates.

Both types have their reasons for the way they treat their achievement related documents. Even when one is not an instructor, the question of what to do with them will come up.

Personally, the certificates are of immeasurable sentimental value. Framed written recognition for years of effort by sensei. Seeing them on the walls each time I am home serve to remind me how far I have come and how much work sensei put into teaching. They are the greatest personal training motivators.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 1332
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My certificates are in a folder somewhere. My old belts are on a shelf because that's where they ended up. My daughters picked out one of those wall mount belt display racks for me for the Christmas before last. I keep meaning to put it up, but so I don't look like that guy who didn't appreciate their gift, not me.

If I ran a dojo, I'd hang up my most current certificate. Not really for marketing purposes per se, but for verification purposes I guess. I would probably be wired if I claimed a dan rank and didn't have a certificate somewhere visible. Every dojo I've been in has one up, most usually aren't highlighted by spotlights nor anything else. Our organization lists all branch dojos and the CI's title, so if a student felt the need, they could verify that way. They could also inquire through our honbu. Our honbu hasn't updated CI's titles (which correlates with a specific dan rank) in some time. My CI and his wife are listed as a dan rank behind their current rank; they both promoted about 4 years ago. I don't think they've noticed, and quite truthfully I don't think they're bothered by it. Someone using it as a recruitment tool would, not that there's anything wrong with that; they did earn the rank/title after all.

My CI and his wife have various achievement plaques on the walls recognizing them for things like branch chief of the year, etc. Their mentality is probably "what else are we going to do with them?" rather than "look at me!"
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12235
Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a time, quite a very, very long time ago, I'd display everything, and I mean everything. Certificates and awards and trophies, alike. However, and forgive me, but the reason(s) why they were not always for marketing and/or verification, but for vain reasons as well.

I didn't stop all after the vanity until one day my Dai-Soke came to visit, and unceremoniously chewed me out. Normally, I would've ignored him because it was my dojo and not his and as the owner of my dojo, I can do whatever I want to without his blessing and/or approval. However, after he explained why my actions weren't agreeable to him, I gave it some serious consideration, and took them all down. Ever since that day, I only display current/latest certificates [Rank and Shogo]. Everything else, stowed away, and that's where they'll remain!!

In short, how one displays or doesn't display, imho, is up to the individual, and in that, I'd never pass judgement on those that do elaborately display anything in their school of MA; I respect them and their school!!



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MatsuShinshii
Blue Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 337
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Sensei8. I display only my current grade certificate and teaching license.

There comes a time in which, as Sensei8 stated, it becomes vanity. It you are now a Godan, everyone knows that you had to pass your Yondan, Sandan, Nidan and Shodan test to obtain your Godan. So there is no reason to display these unless you are trying to create a shrine to yourself.

The same is true for licenses or titles, if your organization gives documents or certificates for these. If you hold a Kyoshi teaching license there is no reason to hang a Renshi next to it. Common sense tells others that you have obtain this in order to get to Kyoshi.

This can go much farther and become as stated earlier, a Shine to you.

Humility is one of the many tenants of Karate. Showing off every award you have received since you started could be perceived to your students that you are strictly in this for your own personal gratification and not for the betterment of your students.
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MatsuShinshii
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
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Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Personally, the certificates are of immeasurable sentimental value. Framed written recognition for years of effort by sensei. Seeing them on the walls each time I am home serve to remind me how far I have come and how much work sensei put into teaching. They are the greatest personal training motivators.


Absolutely agree with your statement. All of my old cert's and licenses are in my file cabinet in my study but if I were to display them all it would be at home.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX and/or Van Nuys, CA
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Personally, the certificates are of immeasurable sentimental value. Framed written recognition for years of effort by sensei. Seeing them on the walls each time I am home serve to remind me how far I have come and how much work sensei put into teaching. They are the greatest personal training motivators.


Absolutely agree with your statement. All of my old cert's and licenses are in my file cabinet in my study but if I were to display them all it would be at home.

I don't even display these things at home; that would be very weird as well as an ill begotten ego trip. My wife would lose respect for me, but not before I lost respect for myself.



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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 5627
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As other's have already said, it can be a good idea to hang up your current license or certification for current or prospective students so they know you're legit. I also see it as something for the students to aspire to and train towards and to be proud to be associated with.

How do you all feel about displaying competition achievements of the school, instructor or students?

I suppose medals and trophies will largely depend on whether you market yourselves as a competition school and want to promote that. But for my instructor's school for instance, has had very good success on national level and have many students selected for the national squad winning international medals. It makes sense to promote that by displaying awards.
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sensei8
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
As other's have already said, it can be a good idea to hang up your current license or certification for current or prospective students so they know you're legit. I also see it as something for the students to aspire to and train towards and to be proud to be associated with.

How do you all feel about displaying competition achievements of the school, instructor or students?

I suppose medals and trophies will largely depend on whether you market yourselves as a competition school and want to promote that. But for my instructor's school for instance, has had very good success on national level and have many students selected for the national squad winning international medals. It makes sense to promote that by displaying awards.

To the bold type above...

For me, I use to do that as well, in my youth, both at home and at the dojo I owned and operated; ego is the worse evil. Yet, once Dai-Soke saw those as well, I was taught a lesson on humbleness, quite sharply, I might add.

Again, it's up to the individual, and in my opinion, it's the given right of the individual to decide one way or another...I will always respect the rights of the individual, and will never pass judgement, even if I disagree with it. And if I disagree with it, it's none of my business, and I won't say a darn thing...not even shaking my head as to demonstrate disapproval.
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