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RW
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:44 pm    Post subject: Martial Arts Regulation Reply with quote

This is a complex topic, I am not quite sure how to put it into words, but I'll do my best.

1) If you belong to a mainstream branch of a traditional martial art, say, Kyokushin Karate, theoretically all schools that are legit kyokushin are connected to a main regulating body, correct? (not sure, that's my question).

Would "kyokushin karate of Fayettesville, CA" (totally made up name, and if it exists it's accidental, I just made up the name) be regulated or somehow supervised, controlled or influence by the "main" kyokushin association, which I assume is in Japan, how does it work?

2) How does it work for less mainstream branches of some arts? For example I had a friend in high school who practiced "karate". What karate? He'd proudly tell me "karate-do". I was curious about the stuff he was learning, and he had weird katas I had never heard about such as "yoso no kata", and then he had katas with familiar names, such as pinan nidan, but when looking at them I was surprised to see they had little resemblance to the "real" pinan nidan practiced at real (mainstream) schools such as shotokan or shito ryu.

My friend's dojo was affiliated to the "american karate black belt association" and the "national black belt league", whatever that's worth for.

My friend's dojo closed last month and.... there are no other dojos of the same "style", no one acknowledges his black belt, and it's like he studied a made up style... it's disturbing. Was it a made up style? Does it mean he is not really a black belt, or even worse, a real karate practioner?

3) Some entire martial arts seem a bit... unregulated? Take shaolin kempo karate.... I don't think there is a regulating body for it! I don't think two schools have the same curriculum: that's right, "joe's 3 tigers academy" (made up name) has a different set of kata to "mike's rising dragon kempo karate studio" (again, made up name). Maybe joe's "system" has 3 (or 6) dojos, and mike's school has 2 dojos, but that's it. Both are supposed to be the same art but the katas are TOTALLY different.

Adding insult to injury, some of these schools change their curriculum very often. That's right, "kata dragon fist of fury" and "drunken monkey set 2" may be radically different for a guy who learned it from Joe himself directly in 2009 to someone who learned it in 2010.

Are these even real schools? When inevitably joe's or mike's closes, will all of these practitioners will stop being kempo practitioners and will they no longer be black belts, or they're "fake" black belts?

4) So, regarding points # 2 and # 3 above, what keeps John Doe from opening "his own karate/kung fu/kempo/whatever school" and just make up stuff as he goes? could anyone get away with this?


This is all a stark contrast to BJJ. Walk into any BJJ dojo and pretend to be a black belt and you're in for a world of fear and pain for daring to do that, no matter the school, system or geography
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Capella
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Joined: 06 Nov 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since you chose Kyokushin as an example:

Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin, died in 1994 without naming a successor. As a result, a bit of an inheritance-war broke out and there are now at least 7 world-wide Kyokushin organization (plus an uncountable number of smaller, national or regional ones). Each organization has it's own curriculum and ranking/belt system. Even the belt colors can vary for tthe kyu ranks. Still, most Kyokushin competitions are open to participants from other organizations and the belt rank is usually accepted when you change schools/organizations. For example my school changed organizations a few years back, but all the belt ranks stayed legit, despite some changes in the curriculum.

In other traditional arts/styles like Judo, Goju Ryu karate, Shotokan karate etc. this is normally handled similarly. It is a bit different, if you change styles completely, though. Like if I decided to visit a Shotokan dojo, I would not wear my Kyokushin belt. I would start as a white belt again. But it would probably possible for me to progress through the rankings faster or to test for a higher belt in my first Shotokan belt test without having to start at the 10th kyu again.

So if your belt does come from a school which is associated with an international organization, then other schools of the same or a closely related organization should accept that belt. If your belt comes from a self-proclaimed master of combat skills, then it does not matter how fantastic or legit the system your sensei invented is, nobody outside of your school will give a lollipop about the color of your belt.

I am not very familiar with the world of American Kempo, except that I know that it is about as split up as the Kyokushin world, and for similar reasons (succession issues after Ed Parker's death). But I do not know how they handle the belt thing between different schools or sub-styles.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the belt rankings, though. You've learned what you've learned, and if that has any value, it will stay with you, no matter what color your belt has.
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RW
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capella wrote:
Well, since you chose Kyokushin as an example:

Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin, died in 1994 without naming a successor. As a result, a bit of an inheritance-war broke out and there are now at least 7 world-wide Kyokushin organization (plus an uncountable number of smaller, national or regional ones). Each organization has it's own curriculum and ranking/belt system. Even the belt colors can vary for tthe kyu ranks. Still, most Kyokushin competitions are open to participants from other organizations and the belt rank is usually accepted when you change schools/organizations. For example my school changed organizations a few years back, but all the belt ranks stayed legit, despite some changes in the curriculum.

In other traditional arts/styles like Judo, Goju Ryu karate, Shotokan karate etc. this is normally handled similarly. It is a bit different, if you change styles completely, though. Like if I decided to visit a Shotokan dojo, I would not wear my Kyokushin belt. I would start as a white belt again. But it would probably possible for me to progress through the rankings faster or to test for a higher belt in my first Shotokan belt test without having to start at the 10th kyu again.

So if your belt does come from a school which is associated with an international organization, then other schools of the same or a closely related organization should accept that belt. If your belt comes from a self-proclaimed master of combat skills, then it does not matter how fantastic or legit the system your sensei invented is, nobody outside of your school will give a lollipop about the color of your belt.

I am not very familiar with the world of American Kempo, except that I know that it is about as split up as the Kyokushin world, and for similar reasons (succession issues after Ed Parker's death). But I do not know how they handle the belt thing between different schools or sub-styles.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the belt rankings, though. You've learned what you've learned, and if that has any value, it will stay with you, no matter what color your belt has.


ah, kempo is a mess. The "original" hawaiian kempo got brought to the states by different students of William "Thunderbolt" Chow. Each one modified the art and made it "their art". Their students also modified the art and made it "a new art". Ed Parker made "American Kempo Karate", Adriano Emperado made "Kajukenbo", Nick Cerio made "Nick Cerio's Kempo", Bruce Juchnik carried the torch of Kosho Ryu and Fred Villari made Shaolin Kempo.

Each of these guys had dojos that later splintered off, like, Villari's school splintered into 3 or 4 different school systems that all claim to teach "shaolin kempo karate" but none of them share most of their katas.
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capella wrote:
Well, since you chose Kyokushin as an example:

Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin, died in 1994 without naming a successor. As a result, a bit of an inheritance-war broke out and there are now at least 7 world-wide Kyokushin organization (plus an uncountable number of smaller, national or regional ones). Each organization has it's own curriculum and ranking/belt system. Even the belt colors can vary for tthe kyu ranks. Still, most Kyokushin competitions are open to participants from other organizations and the belt rank is usually accepted when you change schools/organizations. For example my school changed organizations a few years back, but all the belt ranks stayed legit, despite some changes in the curriculum.

In other traditional arts/styles like Judo, Goju Ryu karate, Shotokan karate etc. this is normally handled similarly. It is a bit different, if you change styles completely, though. Like if I decided to visit a Shotokan dojo, I would not wear my Kyokushin belt. I would start as a white belt again. But it would probably possible for me to progress through the rankings faster or to test for a higher belt in my first Shotokan belt test without having to start at the 10th kyu again.

So if your belt does come from a school which is associated with an international organization, then other schools of the same or a closely related organization should accept that belt. If your belt comes from a self-proclaimed master of combat skills, then it does not matter how fantastic or legit the system your sensei invented is, nobody outside of your school will give a lollipop about the color of your belt.

I am not very familiar with the world of American Kempo, except that I know that it is about as split up as the Kyokushin world, and for similar reasons (succession issues after Ed Parker's death). But I do not know how they handle the belt thing between different schools or sub-styles.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the belt rankings, though. You've learned what you've learned, and if that has any value, it will stay with you, no matter what color your belt has.

Solid post!!

I've a ton of experience of having gone through the politics of a Governing Body, but because it being a very sore subject with me, I'll refrain from commenting on this topic, for the moment. Sorry.



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RW
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capella wrote:
Well, since you chose Kyokushin as an example:



If your belt comes from a self-proclaimed master of combat skills, then it does not matter how fantastic or legit the system your sensei invented is, nobody outside of your school will give a lollipop about the color of your belt.



I was thinking about this, and this was exactly my point but I didn't articulate it well in my original post - can some random dude really just open a dojo and claim to be a "new martial art" or "a karate school" or "a kempo school" or a "taekwondo school" when in reality it has no affiliation to any club or organization out there and/or its kata/forms are all made up?
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
Capella wrote:
Well, since you chose Kyokushin as an example:



If your belt comes from a self-proclaimed master of combat skills, then it does not matter how fantastic or legit the system your sensei invented is, nobody outside of your school will give a lollipop about the color of your belt.



I was thinking about this, and this was exactly my point but I didn't articulate it well in my original post - can some random dude really just open a dojo and claim to be a "new martial art" or "a karate school" or "a kempo school" or a "taekwondo school" when in reality it has no affiliation to any club or organization out there and/or its kata/forms are all made up?

Sure, there's no reason why not; that's the beauty of Business 101 and "Who Moved My Cheese?". Business and the inevitable change allow this to happen, even at the most unexpected times.



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Capella
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Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:

I was thinking about this, and this was exactly my point but I didn't articulate it well in my original post - can some random dude really just open a dojo and claim to be a "new martial art" or "a karate school" or "a kempo school" or a "taekwondo school" when in reality it has no affiliation to any club or organization out there and/or its kata/forms are all made up?


Yes, pretty much. Unelss there is a trademark on the name of the style, there is nothing to legally stop someone from declaring himself an expert in a martial art, traditional or otherwise. Sure, he might get called out by people with legit experience in that art, but they can't do much more than pointing a finger.

And sadly, there is a market for that stuff as well. Because, let's face it, earning a black belt in a legit traditional martial art takes a lot of time, effort and devotion. It is not something that happens in a year or two by showing up for training once a week. Most people want to eat the cake, but they don't want to bake it. So McDojos who promise fast and easy success are in high demand.

The starkest example I found so far is a German online karate course with some weekend seminars (I think six of them), that promises you a black belt in karate in a year. And it even is backed by an official organization, and it takes some digging and research to unravel how phony the 7th dan "master" who gives his name for this actually is. And there are schools out there that mostly offer children's karate in Germany, run by instructors who got their black belt from that same guy and organization (maybe not the one year online variety, but who knows?). For a parent without any experience in martial arts, who just wants to sign their child up for a karate program, it is next to impossible to spot this.
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RW
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Sure, there's no reason why not; that's the beauty of Business 101 and "Who Moved My Cheese?". Business and the inevitable change allow this to happen, even at the most unexpected times.





Capella wrote:

Yes, pretty much. Unelss there is a trademark on the name of the style, there is nothing to legally stop someone from declaring himself an expert in a martial art, traditional or otherwise. Sure, he might get called out by people with legit experience in that art, but they can't do much more than pointing a finger.

And sadly, there is a market for that stuff as well. Because, let's face it, earning a black belt in a legit traditional martial art takes a lot of time, effort and devotion. It is not something that happens in a year or two by showing up for training once a week. Most people want to eat the cake, but they don't want to bake it. So McDojos who promise fast and easy success are in high demand.

The starkest example I found so far is a German online karate course with some weekend seminars (I think six of them), that promises you a black belt in karate in a year. And it even is backed by an official organization, and it takes some digging and research to unravel how phony the 7th dan "master" who gives his name for this actually is. And there are schools out there that mostly offer children's karate in Germany, run by instructors who got their black belt from that same guy and organization (maybe not the one year online variety, but who knows?). For a parent without any experience in martial arts, who just wants to sign their child up for a karate program, it is next to impossible to spot this.


Thought so. I guess in the old times, back in ancient Japan a fake sensei would be receiving a visit from a number of real senseis in the area and he would be forced to show that he actually knows a martial art.

For some reason this bothers me a lot. It is one thing to learn Heian Nidan, knowing that it's a "real" kata that has a long tradition, and that karateka around the world know what it is (even though individual schools may have different ways to perform it), it's another thing to learn a kata called "the stripe of the firey tiger of the himalaya" made up by some grifter who fancies himself "9th Dan in Hadoken Ryu Karate".

It just feels... dishonest. Plus, imagine learning self defense from a dude or old man who has never thrown a punch in a realistic situation and his biggest fight was him vs a bag of nachos.... someone will get hurt because he trusted what this guy taught him.
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DWx
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit late to the party but on the whole my style is very regulated. I do ITF Taekwon-Do and we are well governed from the International level right down. We have to pay an annual fee to own a plaque which gives us the right to say we are ITF. Then we have to affiliate or be a member of an NGB in my country which also govern our activities. Colour belts are mostly unregulated but blackbelts each have a certificate number which is registered at headquarters and then every course you do, international event you attend etc. gets tied to you.

Though.... there are 3 ITF's now (debate over which is the "real" ITF) and many groups which practice ITF-style which aren't as well governed. There's nothing stopping someone from buying the dobok and using all the logos and badges even though they shouldn't
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Bit late to the party but on the whole my style is very regulated. I do ITF Taekwon-Do and we are well governed from the International level right down. We have to pay an annual fee to own a plaque which gives us the right to say we are ITF. Then we have to affiliate or be a member of an NGB in my country which also govern our activities. Colour belts are mostly unregulated but blackbelts each have a certificate number which is registered at headquarters and then every course you do, international event you attend etc. gets tied to you.

Though.... there are 3 ITF's now (debate over which is the "real" ITF) and many groups which practice ITF-style which aren't as well governed. There's nothing stopping someone from buying the dobok and using all the logos and badges even though they shouldn't


One thing that I thought the American Taekwondo Association did right, regardless of how other stylists feel about the organization as a whole, is copyright their materials.
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