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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 1407
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Hannibal from the A-Team would say, "I love it when a plan comes together."
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The Pred
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 300

Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats !
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
Wow, and wow again!! As I've stated more than once, you and I have so much in common, that it's quite scary!! Reading your post, I had more than my share of unnerving memories that resurfaced.

As you, and most here at KF know, my experience in this and these type of things are well known, as well as accepted; I've been there...way there!! Our own SKKA has had quite a tumultuous history with our San Dai-Soke's closing of the SKKA/Hombu, and with us reestablishing ourselves away from his influences.

Your Legal Team is your key to surviving this ordeal unscathed!! Listen to their advice, vote upon that advice, and proceed from there.

I believe that I can help you see through this, and it might behoove me if you'd ask me specific and direct questions, and therefore, I can address them from what I've experienced, and believe you me, I've experienced quite a lot in this situation.

Anything and everything that I provide you, can be brought to your Legal Team to see if they're a possibility within your current situation. Remember this, Laws will differ from state to state in all areas of city and state, however, federal is nationwide, and federal trumps everything. I might be able to present to you and/or your Legal Team with ideas that they've/you've thought about. Fresh eyes, so to say!!

Starting your organization/governing body is far much easier than one might expect and/or guess, even with established proprietary. Many governing bodies don't safeguard themselves from quite a lot of threats because they've assumed that by whom they are, is all that they need to defend themselves from outside sources.


I would very much appreciate any and all help from you Sensei8.

As issues come up I will post them to get your feed back.

The only issue we have right now is the name and branding. If Shinshii names a successor this issue is a mute point. However neither myself or Kosei want to step into this role at this point in our journey. I have turned it down once before and truthfully my mindset has not changed on the matter. Having said this I personally think that by changing the name we avoid any confusion with our old association and any legal recourse they would levy against us even if they have nothing to stand on.

To me the change is minor and in keeping with the intent of our lineage. It certainly drives the point of old school home. The original name was Matsumura Shorin Ryu. Pretty common except some utilize the Seito or Kempo with in the name. It was changed to Matsumura Suide (Shuri-Te).
We are tossing around Matsumura Suide To-Di Jutsu and Matsumura Shuri-Te Karate Jutsu. I personally have always preferred the Uchina Guchi (Hogan) pronunciation rather than the Japanese pronunciation.

As far as the branding I will leave that up to our lawyer and whether Shinshii feels like getting involved from a legal perspective since the design is his and unique to his schools.

I will ask if there is a way to make sure that a board of equally powered individuals can be made permanent in Bylaws so that no one person can call the shots. We thought our previous bylaws covered these issues sufficiently but as I found out they did not. I guess I'm asking how you build in a prevention so that, say a Soke, can not be elected by the board.

Myself, Kosei and the 4 other instructors I mentioned all have agreed that there was one Shinshii (in this context I am using the term Shinshii as an honorary role denoting founder/leader/ family head. All teachers are refered to as Shinshii just like Sensei. Shinshii just never liked other titles or accolades so we all used this term to mean more than just teacher when refering to him) and none of us want to be in that role. For one thing none of us feel worthy of that role not to mention that none of us have the grade or teaching license consistent with this position. We all understand that once awarded/granted this position an automatic grade of Kudan and license of Hanshi would follow but to be honest we all feel this would be little more than a paper tiger (meaningless if not earned).

The only really good thing that has come out of this is Shinshii agreed to grade us to Hachidan when he feels we are ready and we feel ready. He is also going to award Kosei with the Hanshi teaching license which gives him the ability to grade higher than two grades below his.

From a training and grading stand point I feel we have all that we need to succeed. From a protective/political/operations stand point we are lacking as neither of us have done anything except follow the bylaws and rules set in place by Shinshii. We know there are loop holes but just don't know how to fix them. I am sure that our legal council will cover most but as you said if you have not ran across something before you may not know what to look for.

One thing we have discussed and are going to administer is the appointing of our legal counsel to the board as an honorary member without voting rights. This way he gets all issues first hand and can advise us how to navigate the issues in keeping with the intent of our bylaws. The mistake we all made was there was a few with good intentions that voted against the intent of our bylaws thus inadvertently changing the bylaws by precedent.

I'm sure I sound like I know what I'm talking about but I assure you I am merely parroting what we have been told by legal counsel.

One more issue I fear is the fact that now more than half of the student body has told us that they will be leaving our old association and following/joining us. This in itself worries me as this will, if nothing else, anger our previous association and possibly bring us into a legal battle even if there is no way for them to win. My fear is all of the money going into this at this point is mine and Kosei's. We definitely do not have the money or the time to fight a legal battle even if we are right.

Can you tell me how this could effect us and what recourse, if any, our old association would have if almost 3/4 of their student body jumps ship and joins us? Actually this number may be a little light but I am being conservative thinking that not all will jump ship even though their instructors have already committed. As I said, I think it's more like a little more than half.

Even so this is a huge set back and will not make a very egocentric president, bent on increased numbers, a happy camper to say the least.

Any guidance is appreciated.

First off, I truly do believe that you've grabbed the bull by its horns! However, instead of not controlling the bull, you're controlling it by the steps you've made thus far. Great intro in your post because there's a lot of history as well as the corrective measurements that were taken. Great start to reaching a final solution!!

Secondly, our Soke set aside one department from all of the rest, and for a purpose; it's made all of the differences in the long run. That department is not a part of the SKKA/Hombu; it's independent through and through. The department that's been separated from the rest, and for a great reason, is our Legal Team!! Our Legal Team is so separate, Soke forbid their entire Law Firm, past, present, and future, from ever joining the SKKA/Hombu in any shape, way, and/or form; not even as a student. Soke demanded that biased mindset far and away from the SKKA. Hugh Beckworth, and his Law Firm have no direct and/or indirect involvement as a student would have. In short, our Legal Team advises and represents us as a Law Firm would for a client; we're the client, and nothing more. Yes, they are "in the room" at all times!! Nothing is withheld from our Legal Team, and we mean NOTHING!! That trust has to be there for that relationship to be credible, validity, and trustfully!!

Thirdly, I'm quite apprehensive about offering any type of Legal advice and/or suggestions to you because you've a Lawyer, and anything I might do, might undermine what advice/suggestions your Lawyer has offered/given to you. And of course, anything that I might advise and/or suggest on the Legal front, should be consulted with your Lawyer. Your Lawyer is way and above anything or anyone, no matter what. Proprietary things are crucial, and divulging anything outside of your inner most circle might violate confidentiality between you and your Lawyer. We must be careful across the board!! Our Legal Team has NO VOTING AUTHORITY; they're our advisors, therefore, they're our Legal Advisors/Lawyers...no more, and certainly, no less. A very important part of the SKKA, and from time to time, their Legal advice moves us in uncharted territory, however, his directness comes through loud and clear. Hugh plays no favorites, and he's a get-in-your-face type of Lawyer, who has no problem telling us that we're stupid, if need be!!

Fourthly, your old Governing Body has no recourse, whatsoever!! Why? Students, human beings, can't be sold and bought. No Governing Body OWNS any student. Sure, the Governing Body can dismiss every awarded rank certificate and so on and so forth. But, so what?? Let the baby have its temper tantrum; it'll happen, or it won't. Don't let that threat change the course that's already been plotted in. Your Lawyer will instruct you across the board legally should this ever become an issue with the old Governing Body. I would express my concerns about this with your Lawyer, then forget about it, TEACH...that' what CI's and the like are there for!! Btw, if this should happen, it's a good thing for you, and bad for them!! Be cautious as to how you acquire said Student Body, because of the manner of which you attract said Student Body, can have some negative repercussions if ones not careful. In that, consult with your Lawyer.

Fifthly, let me very briefly talk about Branding. Most, if not all, schools of the MA understand much, if anything, about Branding; they've only mild assumptions...we know what that can lead to.

1> Not all Brands can be protected!!!!
2> Brands are NOT built overnight
3> Brands know no borders
4> Use the TM superscript right away
5> No Brand lives forever
6> Brands are not companies, and companies are not Brands
7> Brand names that are generic kill the Brand
8> Itís a race to use the Brand, not to register the brand
9> Trademark law is about consumer confusion
10> Easiest way to destroy the Brand is to put it on everything

Branding is a cautious tale that must be told quite carefully, and often!! Many businesses ignore the pitfalls of Branding, and oftentimes, schools of the MA don't have the most minimum of an idea what Branding consists of. This is where your/our/theirs Legal Team/Lawyers are the most invaluable asset in their continuous survival.

Change is inevitable across the board, and changes to the Brand can happen. However, any change to the Brand should be rare, as well as, very fastidiously!!



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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Well we had our first official meeting on Monday to vote for our new board of instructors and to vote on the bylaws and the new amendments.

For what was supposed to be a two hour meeting, four and a half hours later, we finally had a consensus and our new bylaws were approved for our legal counsel to make official, minus a few new rules that I was not made privy too.

I spoke with Kosei this morning and asked if the final votes had been tallied for the new board. He said he had the results and that I was not given a seat on the board. He seemed very pleased with this but I was actually very happy with this as well and told him as much. He laughed at my comment and explained that the majority of our student body had voted me into a new position instead that was not on the ballot.

I asked him what this meant. He explained that he and others had spoken about how to maintain the integrity of Shinshii's teachings and make it unchangeable. He put forth the idea of me taking on this responsibility as no one was more stanch in his beliefs when it came to protecting Shinshii's teachings. He said that I would maintain the title of Soshi in our new organization and be in charge of our history, curriculum, traditions, oversee our instructors and oversee all promotions and teaching licensing to insure that our standards would not diminish.

I asked how this was possible as the bylaws clearly state that all titles other than Shinshii were to be removed in honor of our past teachers and to insure than no one person has power over the rest or is put into a position such as Soke unless a 100% vote was cast. He explained that they had all agreed to this prior to me joining the meeting. Apparently I was told the meeting was a different time than the rest. He said that our legal counsel had already made note of it before the voting started.

This position basically insures that Shinshii's legacy will remain in tact because I am the only one that can make changes to it. He explained that this basically means I will have nothing to do with the politics or finances or legal mumbo jumbo or any other day to day running of the organization. My sole responsibility will be to maintain the integrity of the art itself and of it's instructors. Essentially if the board wants to allow kids or wants to change the requirements or add a rainbow of belts or anything that effects the original teachings and structure of the art, I would have to agree to it and I would have to amend those bylaws. He said that to insure that the art stays the same I have the only position within our organization that is not voted on nor does it have term limits. If an issue was locked in a stale mate I would be the tie breaker but would not have a vote unless this happened. He joked that I was kind of like the new Soke but just without any power over the board and their responsibilities.

I asked him how he and the other senior instructors felt about this and he said it was unanimous among all of the senior instructors and a large majority of the rest were in favor of it. He went on to explain that he was voted in as the new president, and three of my senior students were voted onto the board and one of our youngest instructors (age wise/ he holds the grade of Yondan) was voted in as the new VP. All 8 positions were filled and all bylaws and amendments were passed. We now have an organization to call our own. Of course there is still a lot of issues to iron out and the structure of the board and their responsibilities are still at the center of discussion.

The best news is Shinshii agreed to promote our senior instructors when they are ready to test and will sit on the promotions board (separate from the instructors board) with me and Kosei. He agreed to visit once a year and all senior Dan promotions will fall on this time line.

The absolute best part of this position is I am out of the political gobly goop. I have no role within the board of instructors and do not have a say on the comings and goings of the day to day business side of things. I'm pretty much back to teaching and overseeing our other instructors. Pretty sweat gig if I do say so myself.

An interesting point was brought up during the end of the meeting that was not included within the bylaws. One of our senior instructors asked why we do not have a website and what was the position of our newly formed organization on having a website.

Most said that it was not needed but to be honest I feel with today's technologically driven world your really missing the boat without one. I do not have a say other than to cast my individual vote to my overseeing board member but I agree with this man and think we should entertain building a website. We have a few students that work in IT so I doubt it would take that much to do it.
What do you think? Is this essential to an organization?
We really are not interested in growing like our previous organization was but I think at the very least it would bring us into the public view and give us some cheap advertisement at the very least.

Oh and I forgot to mention that they also voted to change the name and actually unanimously voted for it in all of about 3 minutes. Four of us offered up suggestions. We are now officially under the Matsumura Suide Todi Jutsu name. Our lawyer is in the process of filing it and getting it registered.

One of our talented instructors actually came up with several examples of new patches. These will be sent out to all instructors to get the student bodies vote and will be announced next month after the board meeting.

Things are moving on their own and I don't have to worry about any of it. This could not have turned out better. Life is good.

Well, well, well...what a meeting can accomplish!! Well done!!

As to the bold type above...

It's a nice sentiment, and I hope that this is true, however, as long as one possess a position of assumed authority, and from what your duties are, you've authentic authority within the scope of your position. Politics will rear its ugly head more often than you might want and/or desire; it comes with the territory!!

As far as a website, it's yours' decision. I don't believe that it's necessary, but that's just me. Will having a website for your Governing Body make your style more credible...or does your CI/Instructors make your style more credible??!!??



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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Well, well, well...what a meeting can accomplish!! Well done!!

As to the bold type above...

It's a nice sentiment, and I hope that this is true, however, as long as one possess a position of assumed authority, and from what your duties are, you've authentic authority within the scope of your position. Politics will rear its ugly head more often than you might want and/or desire; it comes with the territory!!

As far as a website, it's yours' decision. I don't believe that it's necessary, but that's just me. Will having a website for your Governing Body make your style more credible...or does your CI/Instructors make your style more credible??!!??


Agreed. However the politics of proper instruction, passing on history and curriculum based on strict adherence to Shinshii's teachings and testing are politics I can handle. The endless trivial gripes and squabbles over finances, legal issues and the such I can most certainly do without.

The nice thing is they have been working out details of the organization, it's set up and branding, and besides Kosei calling me to tell me how things are going, I have not been invited to any meetings, have not been called, e-mailed, skyped or received any texts what-so-ever concerning the governing of the organization.

The only emails I have received where concerning whether I had considered working in a testing cycle for those that were scheduled to test with the other organization before we all left.

I have set up a weekend the first week of March in which to conduct testing. Shinshii can not get into the states with this little of a notice so he empowered me to make my judgement's on the senior Dan grades. He said that as long as I feel they are ready he is comfortable since I am 10 times harder on myself than he ever was and that translates to 2 times harder on students and instructors. He figures if I give them the green light he would have as well. Not sure I agree with his premise but appreciate the vote of confidence.

So if I agree with the advancement of rank I will sign their grade certifications and send them to Shinshii for his signature. This will all take two weeks to get the certifications back to the instructors but they will be told the day of testing if they have advanced.

This is the type of politics I can handle. Other than that my time is now free to just teach and oversee the other instructors. Ten times easier than what I was doing with the other association. Life is good. Knock on wood.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12467
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Well... we had our instructors board meeting last night and it did not turn out as I expected.

I was ready to cast my vote to push a few votes forward after getting feed back from some of you when we were all told that they had enough votes to pass all issues without "wasting our time".

Our VP cut in and asked what this meant and how this transpired since we were dead locked on more than 90% of the issues. To this he was told, quite rudely I might add, that two of the board members came to their senses and sided with the him and told him that they would be voting yes across the board and that the days of old traditionalists were at an end.

I was quite taken back by the attitude and expressed that there was no need for mud slinging. I was told that the old ways were not the future for our organization and I could either get on board with progress or get left behind.

Our VP said that he was not going to sit back and let one person dictate to the rest of us. He said that we all have equal votes and no one has been appointed Soke, therefore no one has the right to over set our bylaws.

He was "somehow" disconnected from the on-line meeting. He never returned to the meeting. I got off line and let what had transpired sink in. I realized that with ALL of the issues being approved, I now teach for and belong to a McDojo.

I spoke with Kosei (our VP) today and told him that I was not comfortable with the way things are going and that I can not figure out how the president was able to convince two of our board members to vote for his changes. He told me that he too was not happy about the direction the president is leading us and said that he had a long conversation with him after the meeting. He said that he regrets to inform me of the fact that he is no longer the VP and in fact he is no longer a member of the association. He would not tell me what transpired during the conversation or what was said but told me that it was his decision to leave due to what the president told him.

He said that he is either going to take his students and just teach or he will start from scratch with new students if they wanted to stay with the association.

This came as a pretty big bomb shell to me. I begged him to reconsider but he said he could not stay knowing what he knows and not being able to stop it.

Sooooooooo... I guess I am a member of a Mcdojo now. Yep, we have the whole rainbow of belts, less time and requirements for Shodan, no testing for Rokudan and up, more fees, and yep, we now have kids.

Oh I forgot to mention that unbeknownst to myself and the VP the issue was changed to kids will be required. That's right, it's not the instructors choice it's a requirement, and here is the best part... there is a quota that we have to meet.
Oh and this just tickled me pink, the student and instructor manual that I wrote under Shinshii's request and direction will be replaced because, "it fosters the wrong message and is not conducive to growth within the organization". Isn't that great? Just makes me want to do some cart wheels!

I called our President and told him that I would not be teaching kids nor would I adhere to these changes within my Dojo, that I had more than enough students to literally teach to the day I die without needing to add kids. I was told that I did not have that option and that if I wanted to remain as a member of the board and of the association I would lead by example and adhere to these changes or I could choose to leave.

So needless to say I am at a point where I have to make a decision of whether I want to belong to something that goes against everything I have ever known or quit. McDojo or stick to Shinshii's standards. Gee thats a really hard decision.

Sorry for the sarcasm. I think I need some time to think about the positive and negative points of leaving the association before making a decision that effects not just me but my students as well.

I don't have the grade or teaching license to start my own thing so I would just teach as an independent. I need to figure out how this would effect my students. I also need to see if I can get in touch with our insurance company to see if I can get the same rates as the association. If not it doesn't look good for me to continue to teach. My students journey with me may be at an end if I decide I can't go along with these GREAT CHANGES!

I hate airing dirty laundry and normally would keep my off handed comments to myself but this just takes the cake and has broken the camels back. Hopefully you understand and do not hold my disdain for this situation against me.

I actually never saw this coming in a million years. I guess Shinshii's students were not as loyal as I thought. I can not tell you how disheartened I am by this and how utterly sad I feel that what Shinshii left in our hands has been destroyed in mere years. I really don't know what the next step is. Maybe I am a dinosaur. I have no respect for things like trophies, quick promotions for literally nothing, flashy kata that represent nothing, quantity over quality. I don't think I could go along with this. I have already made my decision but the only thing holding me back is that I am also making it for my family (students) that have not had the opportunity to express their feelings about it. I guess I fear that this will appeal to them and I know I just can not pass on this legacy of nothingness where money and numbers mean more than teaching the art. Maybe my beliefs are obsolete and stuck in a different time.

Well I guess I'll find out in tomorrows class when I pose the question to them. It's a lot to process and I kinda fear what they might say.

This is TERRIBLE!!

This is one of the reasons why we have a No Vote of Confidence. Just ONE vote is enough to table a vote in the hopes of removing said board member!! I'm speaking about the member that was rude and demanding and dictating; I would've done the NVC so fast that heads would spin.

Imho, NO GOVERNING BODY should dictate ANYTHING at a dojo that's not theirs!! That, for me, is enough to separate myself from the terror that lays before me!! Our SKKA/Hombu has NO AUTHORITY of any shape, way, and/or form over any dojo within the SKKA network...NONE!! I do as I please in MY DOJO, whether they like it or not!! And because our By-Laws were specifically written the way they were, NO VOTES ARE ALLOWED TO AMEND THAT RULE...NONE!!

I don't even have to allow someone from the SKKA/Hombu in my dojo if I don't want to, and there's not a thing that they can do, except whine about it to a deafened ear. The SKKA can't just pull the Shindokan Shield off my door/window/etc. just because. The reasons are few, and there has to be a unanimous vote; this is one of the most difficult votes to pass, almost unheard of!!

The Governing Body better know their role, and they better know it better than the Student Body, but the Governing Body IS NOT AN ELECTED KING; there are unquestionable By-Laws, backed up by the scrolls and the like, plus one heck of a Legal Team!!

You're not a McDojo UNLESS you want to be one!! They threaten you by pulling your seal off your dojo, and the like, LET THEM!! I'd not succumb to threats and/or orders that involve my dojo because that's MINE, AND MINE ALONE!! Besides, I don't need the SKKA/Hombu because I'm complete in my totality across the board; can't strip that which they don't control...not now...not ever!!




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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
MatsuShinshii wrote:
Well... we had our instructors board meeting last night and it did not turn out as I expected.

I was ready to cast my vote to push a few votes forward after getting feed back from some of you when we were all told that they had enough votes to pass all issues without "wasting our time".

Our VP cut in and asked what this meant and how this transpired since we were dead locked on more than 90% of the issues. To this he was told, quite rudely I might add, that two of the board members came to their senses and sided with the him and told him that they would be voting yes across the board and that the days of old traditionalists were at an end.

I was quite taken back by the attitude and expressed that there was no need for mud slinging. I was told that the old ways were not the future for our organization and I could either get on board with progress or get left behind.

Our VP said that he was not going to sit back and let one person dictate to the rest of us. He said that we all have equal votes and no one has been appointed Soke, therefore no one has the right to over set our bylaws.

He was "somehow" disconnected from the on-line meeting. He never returned to the meeting. I got off line and let what had transpired sink in. I realized that with ALL of the issues being approved, I now teach for and belong to a McDojo.

I spoke with Kosei (our VP) today and told him that I was not comfortable with the way things are going and that I can not figure out how the president was able to convince two of our board members to vote for his changes. He told me that he too was not happy about the direction the president is leading us and said that he had a long conversation with him after the meeting. He said that he regrets to inform me of the fact that he is no longer the VP and in fact he is no longer a member of the association. He would not tell me what transpired during the conversation or what was said but told me that it was his decision to leave due to what the president told him.

He said that he is either going to take his students and just teach or he will start from scratch with new students if they wanted to stay with the association.

This came as a pretty big bomb shell to me. I begged him to reconsider but he said he could not stay knowing what he knows and not being able to stop it.

Sooooooooo... I guess I am a member of a Mcdojo now. Yep, we have the whole rainbow of belts, less time and requirements for Shodan, no testing for Rokudan and up, more fees, and yep, we now have kids.

Oh I forgot to mention that unbeknownst to myself and the VP the issue was changed to kids will be required. That's right, it's not the instructors choice it's a requirement, and here is the best part... there is a quota that we have to meet.
Oh and this just tickled me pink, the student and instructor manual that I wrote under Shinshii's request and direction will be replaced because, "it fosters the wrong message and is not conducive to growth within the organization". Isn't that great? Just makes me want to do some cart wheels!

I called our President and told him that I would not be teaching kids nor would I adhere to these changes within my Dojo, that I had more than enough students to literally teach to the day I die without needing to add kids. I was told that I did not have that option and that if I wanted to remain as a member of the board and of the association I would lead by example and adhere to these changes or I could choose to leave.

So needless to say I am at a point where I have to make a decision of whether I want to belong to something that goes against everything I have ever known or quit. McDojo or stick to Shinshii's standards. Gee thats a really hard decision.

Sorry for the sarcasm. I think I need some time to think about the positive and negative points of leaving the association before making a decision that effects not just me but my students as well.

I don't have the grade or teaching license to start my own thing so I would just teach as an independent. I need to figure out how this would effect my students. I also need to see if I can get in touch with our insurance company to see if I can get the same rates as the association. If not it doesn't look good for me to continue to teach. My students journey with me may be at an end if I decide I can't go along with these GREAT CHANGES!

I hate airing dirty laundry and normally would keep my off handed comments to myself but this just takes the cake and has broken the camels back. Hopefully you understand and do not hold my disdain for this situation against me.

I actually never saw this coming in a million years. I guess Shinshii's students were not as loyal as I thought. I can not tell you how disheartened I am by this and how utterly sad I feel that what Shinshii left in our hands has been destroyed in mere years. I really don't know what the next step is. Maybe I am a dinosaur. I have no respect for things like trophies, quick promotions for literally nothing, flashy kata that represent nothing, quantity over quality. I don't think I could go along with this. I have already made my decision but the only thing holding me back is that I am also making it for my family (students) that have not had the opportunity to express their feelings about it. I guess I fear that this will appeal to them and I know I just can not pass on this legacy of nothingness where money and numbers mean more than teaching the art. Maybe my beliefs are obsolete and stuck in a different time.

Well I guess I'll find out in tomorrows class when I pose the question to them. It's a lot to process and I kinda fear what they might say.

This is TERRIBLE!!

This is one of the reasons why we have a No Vote of Confidence. Just ONE vote is enough to table a vote in the hopes of removing said board member!! I'm speaking about the member that was rude and demanding and dictating; I would've done the NVC so fast that heads would spin.

Imho, NO GOVERNING BODY should dictate ANYTHING at a dojo that's not theirs!! That, for me, is enough to separate myself from the terror that lays before me!! Our SKKA/Hombu has NO AUTHORITY of any shape, way, and/or form over any dojo within the SKKA network...NONE!! I do as I please in MY DOJO, whether they like it or not!! And because our By-Laws were specifically written the way they were, NO VOTES ARE ALLOWED TO AMEND THAT RULE...NONE!!

I don't even have to allow someone from the SKKA/Hombu in my dojo if I don't want to, and there's not a thing that they can do, except whine about it to a deafened ear. The SKKA can't just pull the Shindokan Shield off my door/window/etc. just because. The reasons are few, and there has to be a unanimous vote; this is one of the most difficult votes to pass, almost unheard of!!

The Governing Body better know their role, and they better know it better than the Student Body, but the Governing Body IS NOT AN ELECTED KING; there are unquestionable By-Laws, backed up by the scrolls and the like, plus one heck of a Legal Team!!

You're not a McDojo UNLESS you want to be one!! They threaten you by pulling your seal off your dojo, and the like, LET THEM!! I'd not succumb to threats and/or orders that involve my dojo because that's MINE, AND MINE ALONE!! Besides, I don't need the SKKA/Hombu because I'm complete in my totality across the board; can't strip that which they don't control...not now...not ever!!


This is exactly why I left and helped Kosei start our new organization. The funny thing is as I had mentioned earlier, my old association has no right to the branding since it is owned and registered through and by Shinshii.
However we decided to change the branding due to the name change which all parties agreed was long over due. For one taking the old name would evoke a response, most likely legally, from our old association especially since more than 60% of their student body followed us. Yes it would be a futile endeavor on their part but considering that the two of us pulled together for the start up costs and it will take months if not a year to recoup those costs, we didn't want to chance getting locked into a court battle that would deplete more of our time and money. Two the old name was and is generic in every aspect and to easily mistaken for one of our sister arts within the same lineage line. By changing the name and the branding this essentially protected us from even needing to deal with our old association even though they had no rightful claim to either. It was for all intensive purposes a calculated decision on our parts.

Our new bylaws are being written so that no one person can dictate to the students or the board. Further more as you pointed out, each instructor that owns his/her school or is renting his/her school without assistance from the organization has complete control of their Dojo and what happens in their Dojo. There is however one exception to that rule. The curriculum taught must meet the standards of our art and must follow Shinshii's teachings. Requirements are set and all instructors must abide by them in order to teach under our name.

This of course does not mean that and instructor can not, lets say, teach another art within their Dojo. It only means that the requirements set forth by Shinshii must be adhered to in order for their students to grade to the Yudansha level and above. Mudansha level grading's are strictly overssen by the CI and of no concern of the organization until they test for Shodan. This is when complete control over gradings are overseen directly by and must be signed off by the organization. This is strictly to maintain the integrity of our art and uphold the standards set forth by Shinshii.

Side Bar: We adhere to the old ways of testing and require signatures of senior members plus the students instructor on all certifications Shodan and higher. In my role I oversee all Yudansha and Kodansha testing personally and sit in on all testing cycles. For Yudansha testing, myself and the CI oversee the testing of said student. I sign for the grading along with the students instructor and it is then sent to the Hombu (board) where it is signed by our president/most senior instructor to maintain the three signatures we have always required and the copy is filed and the register is entered and all three are stamped before sending the original back to the CI to be presented to the student. For Kodansha, myself and Shinshii directly oversee all testing. Again this is also sent to the Hombu for Kosei's signature and dealt with the same as Yudansha certifications before being sent back to the CI.
If, God forbid, Shinshii were to pass this would be amended to just myself and Kosei for Kodansha certifications. Teaching licenses and teaching titles (Shinshii) are direct through myself and Kosei and the CI has no part in this process. Only our signatures appear on the certification/document.

Other than that you are absolutely right that the individual CI has complete control over what happens in their Dojo. They can teach kids, they can teach other arts, they can rent it out for parties, etc.

Well I may have misspoke. There is one way the organization can control the instructor and his Dojo. Our old association would assist new instructors by means of a loan to open a Dojo. This came with protections for the association in the way of overseeing all aspects of the Dojo until the loan was paid back. Obviously we no longer have the means to do this for our instructors because neither myself or Kosei are rich nor is anyone else that sits on the board. I am not for certain, as I have not had any direct interaction with formulating the Bylaws, but I believe this ruling still exists. But to be blunt I doubt this would ever come into play as Kosei is of the same mind set as I am in that neither of us would be looking to be a bank and neither really agreed with this bylaw to begin with. It may have been removed but again I can not be certain until the Bylaws are published and released to all of the Dojo instructors/owners.

We do not presently have any instructors that do not either own their Dojo or do enough business to maintain their rent.
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to amend my previous post by adding that there is some control over the CI's and their Dojo's on the insurance side of things.

Basically we can not have students trying to catch bullets in their teeth or other overtly dangerous acts not covered within our policy.

So yes the CI's have control but there are common sense aspects that the organization enforces and if broken, the CI/Dojo can be removed from the organization for serious infractions. I believe this constitutes a certain amount of control. Didn't want to make myself a liar.
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MatsuShinshii
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 406
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I guess I'll give a few updates... Shinshii was pretty upset with our previous associations President and board and decided to evict them from the Hombu. He still owns the building and was renting it to us.
The way I heard it was he gave them until the end of the month to leave. In the mean time he offered it to Kosei, our new president, for the same price.

In another post I mentioned that we had Yudansha testing in the Hombu. This was were that testing took place.

Our organization finished our bylaws. It's half the size of our old association bylaws and pretty much puts all of the important issues in stone unless a vote of 100% of the student body is caste.

My life is much less politically aggravating now and I'm thoroughly enjoying my duties as Soshi. I have gotten to meet and train with our student body and our instructors and do not see myself getting bored of it any time soon. Basically I'm doing what I have always wanted to do which is teach.
If I have any complaint it would be the traveling and losing my weekends but this too will get better as I am just making rounds to every school. In the future I will only do this once a year unless there is a necessity for it.

Our new patch designs were sent to the student body for a vote and was chosen. Our student and instructors manuals have remained the same except for the cover which was changed to the new name and logo and was sent out to the student body last week.

Other than that, I have not been bothered with board meetings, trivial disputes or for that matter even heard from the board members except during the testing cycle.

Life is good.

Our old president is however threatening to sue us for brand infringements and steeling his student body. However our lawyer tells us that these are just idol threats and has no basis to bring these accusations as he did not own the branding, Shinshii does and we changed our branding so there is nothing to sue over. As far as the student body leaving him, he would have to prove that we somehow forced them to leave with us which is impossible to do since they came freely.

I doubt I will have much more to contribute to this or to report on unless he actually takes us to court. I doubt this will happen as his lawyer will most likely advise against it so this chapter in my MA life is over and I'm moving into the next.

The grass IS much greener on this side.
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Bulltahr
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 359
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news!! And great outcome, decent human beings rise to the top!
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