PDA

View Full Version : University of the United States Martial Arts Association



MarkF
19th July 2000, 11:00
The following is a description of the USMAA's University of Martial Arts.

USMA UNIVERSITY OF MARTIAL ARTS AND SCIENCES
For many years we have been asked, "Why is there not a degree granting program for the Martial Arts whereby our finest leaders may be awarded Masters and Doctors degrees in their fields of expertise the Martial Arts?"

We have previously researched this problem in great detail. The major obstacle has always been accreditation and recognition by the powers that be in the academic world. The process by which this accreditation is achieved takes up to $50,000 in expenses and several years of administrative effort.

For several very good reasons, our USMA Board of Governors has decided to completely bypass this expensive and unnecessary process by simply granting these degrees under our own authority. Let's be completely frank about this matter. Who in academia is qualified to judge whether or not a Martial Arts master is at the top of his or her field and therefore deserves to be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree? No one. Harvard University is not accredited. They do not believe that anyone is qualified to approve or disapprove the degrees granted by America's oldest and perhaps best university. We take the same position. There is no body in the country qualified to examine our procedures and judge the validity of our degrees. We have therefore set up our own accreditation system, our own quality control procedures, and will grant degrees based upon our own standards.

A second very valid reason for creating our own accreditation system is that our degree holders will not rely on these degrees to obtain employment. If you are seeking a corporate position, your degree, and the school which conferred it, are of considerable importance in winning you the position. But in the University of the Martial Arts and Sciences program, our earned degrees will be awarded to experts who seek further Martial Arts education to improve their qualifications, and who have lived the Martial Arts and produced outstanding results in many ways, from champions trained, to books written, to national seminars conducted. We understand fully that we will be questioned in the accreditation area, but we do not desire or intend to seek approval from academia. We consider the question to be closed. Now let's move on to the important features of our University program.

The Article of Empowerment of the University of Martial Arts and Sciences. The following article of empowerment for the University has been approved by the USMA Board of Governors. "The United States Martial Arts Association hereby establishes the University of Martial Arts and Sciences for the purpose of developing academic programs for the award of Masters degrees, Doctors degrees and Fellowships. The University shall be governed by a Board of Regents, a Chancellor, Professors, Adjunct Professors, and such other officials as the Chancellor may from time to time appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board of Regents. There shall be divisions of study, including a Division of Academic Studies, and others such as the Board of Regents may create. All officials of the University shall be required to possess the highest academic and Martial Arts qualifications, and shall specialize in all aspects of the Martial Arts known throughout the world. Each Martial Art in which the University conducts programs and confers degrees will be studied as a way of life including activities and project areas in the psychomotor, cognitive and affective educational domains. The University shall be an equal opportunity institution under federal equal opportunity guidelines. It shall not discriminate among applicants in admission, educational policies, scholarship, and fees on the basis of race, religion, sex or ethnicity. The University shall be certified by the United States Martial Arts Association. The University shall reserve the right to change programs of study, academic requirements, and University policies at any time, in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Regents, without prior notice."

Degrees Conferred By the University of Martial Arts and Sciences Are Earned Degrees. Our USMA University does not award honorary degrees except on very unusual cases. Every degree must be earned under the criteria established by our Board of Regents. Degree requirements will vary considerably. Many of the requirements will be accomplished by the works already created during the careers of the Martial Artists concerned. These include schools and teaching systems established, championships won, champions trained, videos and books produced or written, and original contributions to the Martial Arts in the creation of competition rules, organizations, and new Martial Arts systems.

Dr. Dano R. Meadows, Ph.D. of Cape Coral, Florida has been appointed by unanimous approval of the USMA Board of Governors as Chairman of the University of Martial Arts and Sciences Steering Committee. He will make recommendations for the formation of the Division of Academic Studies of the University, and will recommend leaders for eventual appointment to the Board of Regents. Our USMA Board also appointed Philip S. Porter as Chancellor of the University. Mr. Porter has also appointed Dr. George Hamm and Steven D. Hill as Regents of the UMAS.

We request that all USMA members who hold doctorates in any field or who are interested in assisting in the development of the University program contact me at USMA Headquarters by surface or email.

19th July 2000, 13:14
Oh no, another diploma mill. What is the URL for their site and what state are they located in? I want to contact that state's attorney general and find out if they have received the appropriate authorization from the state's educational department. Accreditation and recognition aside, they still must register and receive permission in most states to confer academic degrees. Arizona is about the only state which allows anyone to confer degrees, thus the number of diploma mills located there.

For all the fancy reasoning they provide, somehow they overlooked the main reason they will confer degrees--Money! What does this say about an organization when they will do anything to make money from their members?

Jeff Cook
19th July 2000, 21:30
Don't worry, folks. It seems that the UMAS project has died of natural causes.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

20th July 2000, 00:53
If it's actually a dead issue, then why is it still posted and advertised on the Internet?

MarkF
20th July 2000, 07:12
The URL for the USMAA is: http://www.mararts.org . For the University: http://www.mararts.org/info/univ_m_a.htm . For the explanation of the University: http://www.mararts.org/info/univ_expl.htm . For the Dean of Administration, Dr. Dan Meadows, Ph.D: http://www.mararts.org/info/umas_info.htm . For the record, the last update was on January 7, 2000.

I didn't actually search the site as to the location, but the USMAA is located in California, I believe.

[Edited by MarkF on 07-20-2000 at 01:15 AM]

MarkF
20th July 2000, 09:03
Don,
I love your part time jer....Job. After this, I may have to take up the same thing;)

Jeff Cook
20th July 2000, 12:51
Don,

That's a good question. I have wondered that myself. The former "chairman" resigned his position when things did not happen the way he wanted them to. The current "chairman," Dano Meadows, is a good friend of mine. Unfortunately nobody can find him; he has not been heard from in a couple of months now (if anybody hears from him please let me know - I would like to at least know that he is still alive). Previous to that (and I don't want to compromise any trust issues), he was not able to accomplish what he thought needed to be done to legitimize the program.
As far as I know, no "degrees" have ever been awarded.

Therefore, I am assuming it is a dead program.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Yojimbo558
27th July 2000, 22:30
Hi there!

Well this article was just plain nuts...it's so ammusing these days to see countless articles or advertising in the different martial art mags...stating how they are "Some Organinzation" that's come together to help various stylists who no longer have teachers...but still want to advance...in short send us money...and we who are not apart of your system will promote you! !!!!!!!!....

The idea of a Martial Art University that takes money but damns accrediting themselves sounds like one of those ideas I mentioned above. Anybody wanting a doctorate or masters that badly may as well just print one up themselves since it will be just as illegitimate. Since these people are located in California perhaps they can include the opportunity to buy some bridges as well.

kenkyusha
28th July 2000, 06:44
Yojimbo,

Welcome to E-budo. All members are required to use our real names (this is easiest to do by configuring it in your signature block). Not sure what the current wisdom is, but I know that my kids read this forum, so please refrain from expletives (sp?).

Be well,
Jigme

Yojimbo558
28th July 2000, 19:07
Sorry for the explatives...you're right, they don't belong.

Eric Bookin

sammycerv
29th July 2000, 03:12
From the USMAA site:
Dr. Milan Pesic - Director and GrandMaster of USMA Washidokan Jujitsu and USMA Kick-jitsu

What's Kick-jitsu?

George Ledyard
1st August 2000, 23:06
There is a discussion on the Aikido Journal site that realtes to this topic. I had asked Stan Pranin about the 8th Dan that a particular Aikido instructor claimed to have. He encouraged me to post some of the aspects of the discussion to the group which I did.

Check out:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000011.html

The otganization that awarded the rank in question is the group being discussed above. I e-mailed their director with some questions about this ranking but have not had a reply.

MarkF
2nd August 2000, 08:28
The director of USMAA, Mr. Phil Porter, is kudan in judo and has at least a dozen more "honorary" judan, as well as other such gradings. Also, he refers to himself as O-sensei because he does the paperwork. These rankings, in which all ranking above godan is honorary, are "awarded" by the USMAA.

George, I hope you do get an answer and if not too personal, share it with us. Explanations for gradings such as these are very hard to comeby. An explanation for this would surely be newsworthy. Thanks for the "tip."

George Ledyard
2nd August 2000, 15:37
Originally posted by MarkF
The director of USMAA, Mr. Phil Porter, is kudan in judo and has at least a dozen more "honorary" judan, as well as other such gradings. Also, he refers to himself as O-sensei because he does the paperwork. These rankings, in which all ranking above godan is honorary, are "awarded" by the USMAA.

George, I hope you do get an answer and if not too personal, share it with us. Explanations for gradings such as these are very hard to comeby. An explanation for this would surely be newsworthy. Thanks for the "tip."
I am not familiar with "O-Sensei" Porter but they do have an Aikido instructor with whom I am familiar.

Check out: David Dye http://www.mararts.org/bio/dye/index.htm

This fellow did the videos for Panther on Aikido for Law Enforcement. He is definitely a legitimate teacher of Aikido. But look at the resume. The first part makes perfect sense in progression and timing of rank promotions. Then all of a sudden he gets hitched up with this association and he starts getting these unbelievable ranks from all over the place.

"In 1993 Sensei Dye was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall Of Fame and received the Life Time Achievement Award. In 1995 he was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt in Aikido Taiho Jutsu by the World Martial Arts Sokeship Council.
Sensei Dye was awarded an 8th Degree Black Belt as a Technical Advisor to the Keisatsu Aikido of America Inc. by Shihan Sam Combes in 1996.
A promotion to 5th Degree Black Belt in Judo and Jujitsu was awarded to Sensei Dye by the United States Martial Arts Association in 1997. Also during this year, Sensei Dye was awarded an Honorary 10th Degree Black Belt as Technical Advisor to the Goshin BudoKan U.S.A. under Founder and Headmaster Edward Wilkes, Doshu.
Shuyokan has been serving the community of Costa Mesa since 1980 and offers group classes, seminars and private lessons for adults, youth and, law enforcement in both the traditional and practical training aspects of such martial arts as Yoshinkan Aikido, Kodokan Judo and Jujutsu and Shotokan Karate Jutsu.
Shuyokan Budo Genjitsu Ryu, founded by Sensei Dye, is registered and recognized by the United States Martial Arts Association and the International Kenpo Karate Institute, under the direction of Master Steve Spry, as an official teaching system of the Shuyokan Martial Arts Center."

Wow! Then take a look at:
http://www.mararts.org/bio/wilkes/index.htm

You can then see that what these guys do is cross-promote. A guy who basically looks as if he has a legitimate Nidan in Judo gets a seventh Dan from a guy who is really a 4th Dan but was promoted to 8th Dan in a system that the 4th Dan has created and which is only known within this organization. Then we sprinkle in a host of “honorary” 10th Dans, which seem to be the way these guys boost each others resumes. It is unbelievable. This is martial arts science fiction.

Jeff Cook
2nd August 2000, 16:15
George,

I do understand the ire many folks feel towards promotion policies in certain organizations, including the USMA. That ire has been directed towards myself, and although I have reacted vocally and pointedly to this issue, I do understand. The important thing to remember here, though, is that little piece of paper is extremely subjective and really only holds meaning within the context of the organization that hands it out. We all make our own judgements, ulitmately, based upon the individual, and NOT the paperwork he may have. The prospective student shopping for a martial arts school really could care less about these certificates, in my experience. The certifications are meaningless to the person looking for a school. They are more interested in location, price, safe and effective training, and the feel they get for what kind of person the instructor is.

I think we can all agree that we have encountered fantastic instructors with low rank. Also, many of us have encountered terrible, egocentric, dangerous instructors of very high "legitimate" rank. So where does that leave us? Trusting our observations when making a judgement about an instructor. Rank certificates, in my opinion, will always be worthless for deciding whether a person will be a good instructor for myself or kids. The process was bastardized from the very beginning.

Getting back to the matter at hand. Regarding the judo rank of the discussed individual in the USMA, you said "A guy who basically looks as if he has a legitimate Nidan in Judo...." On the USMA website URL that you pasted, this is from his credentials: "4th Degree Black Belt Kodokan Judo (U.S.J.A.- U.S.J.I.- U.S.J.F.- I.S.A.F.) 1998." I think these other organizations are considered "reputable." Phil Porter, the highest-ranking judoka in the western hemisphere (I think) promoted him to his 5th dan in judo, from what I have read. I don't think that is very unusual, or should be cause for concern.

But the key thing that you stated, and the most significant, is this: "He is definitely a legitimate teacher of Aikido." I think this situation may compare with Gozo Shioda's - another recognized "legitimate" instructor of aikido with a politically-bestowed rank higher than Ueshiba's.

I guess in the long-run, only time and consistency will tell who is truly "legitimate."

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

George Ledyard
2nd August 2000, 16:55
I am completely unfamiliar with your situation, Jeff. From your postings I can't but think you know what you're doing. I have complete sympathy with those folks who have felt that they needed to get out from under a Japanese (or other) dominated system and establish their own organizations in which they could establish the same kind of credentials and recognition that their foreign peers could get. I was lucky in that my teacher, Saotome Sensei, made a full commitment to be here in America, married an American woman, and has held nothing back in terms of the instruction and support he has offered his American students. But I know plenty of very serious teachers who can not say that about their instructors or organizations.

The idea of this association at first glance seems to be a good one. It just seems to be like a snowball rolling out of control. "O-Sensei" Porter's judo is probably fantastic. He might even deserve an 8th 9th or 10th Dan, he's sure done it long enough.

But I start getting uncomfortable when a bunch of guys start issuing honorary 10th dans to each other, martial arts styles start to appear that no one has ever heard of, etc. and the ranking levels being given out have no match in the community of martial artists outside the organization. By these standards I could go out and join up and get myself a whole string of ranks and titles. I am the person that developed the particular form of Police Defensive tactics that I teach. My company name is Defensive Tactics Options. If I were to give it a Japanese name, call it a Ryu (instead of a company) and call myself the "Founder" I could probably get myself an eighth Dan in Taiho Jutsu, maybe pick up some honorary 10th Dans. That's a lot of BS to float around just to make my Yellow Page ad look better.

If no one challenges this type of thing, someday down the road when the government types decide to regulate the martial arts industry because of poor business practices, the people who have established these tight organizations and built up their inflated resumes will be the folks that the governmanet puts in charge of everything. After all they'll all be tenth Dans and we'll be five and 6th Dans if we're lucky.

Jeff Cook
2nd August 2000, 18:11
Believe me, George, I understand your point of view. There are certainly some issues here worth discussing and challenging; I just don't think anything will be resolved by it unless the government does step in and regulate it. But at the same time, who the heck wants the goverment meddling in martial arts?

Funny thing: Hidenori Ohtsuka, the founder of Wado Ryu Karate, was awarded a 10th dan by the Japanese government (government meddling in martial arts on a grand scale!). Ohtsuka Sensei studied karate under Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan Karate) for a very short time, and had a low dan rank when he went off on his own to start Wado Ryu Karate. Funakoshi and other karate masters had some serious issues with Ohtsuka - yes, he had a menkyo kaiden in Shinto Yoshin jujitsu, but he had a low rank in karate, and he was trying to meld the two arts and call it karate! Funakoshi once commented (and I am paraphrasing) "Some people learn a little bit of jujitsu and a little bit of karate, and combine it into something strange that is unworthy of being called either." Well, as we all know, Wado became immensely popular over time, and it is now one of the five officially recognized (government again) styles of karate in Japan.

Going back a little bit further, the Japan Karate Association (the Shotokan organization) had a serious problem with ranking it's practitioners for years. They had the lowest-ranking leaders of any karate organization in Japan. It seems that Funakoshi Sensei was only ranked Godan when he died (I sometimes wonder if it was because Funakoshi Sensei was an Okinawan...). So what did they do? They did a little bit of political "reorganization" so they could rank their leaders higher than the Founder!

On a lighter note: I live about five miles from Saotome Sensei (Myakka City, FL - I live in Old Myakka). And I still have not met him!! I am hoping to be formally introduced to him one day...

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

George Ledyard
2nd August 2000, 18:42
Originally posted by Jeff Cook
Believe me, George, I understand your point of view. There are certainly some issues here worth discussing and challenging; I just don't think anything will be resolved by it unless the government does step in and regulate it. But at the same time, who the heck wants the goverment meddling in martial arts?


If the government does actually step in , as it is trying to do in places like New Jersey, it will be precisely these guys who wil be running things because of the tight organization they've put together and the inflated qualifications that they'll be able to put forward. Scary.

I am somewhat comforted to know that it's not just us American that do this stuff.

Joseph Svinth
2nd August 2000, 23:55
Actually, there is an easy way to deal with the self-inflated balloons, and that is to introduce sharp objects into their path whenever possible. Simply send your best players out to the middle of the mat, and tell them to attack as if this were the Olympics. If Pop's as good as he says he is, he should have no trouble. And if he's not, well, throw him through the mat half a dozen times, and then send the little kids out to throw him a few more. Be sure to videotape this and then send copies to everyone you know.

Big egos do not withstand public ridicule at all happily.

Jeff Cook
3rd August 2000, 02:27
Outstanding idea, Joe! Performance doesn't lie. Instant feedback. Leave your certificates at the side of the mat, and go for it!

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

George Ledyard
4th August 2000, 18:51
Since variations of this discussion have taken place both here and on the Aikido Journal site I am letting everyone know that I have posted an apology to David Dye Sensei for any offense my postings have given.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/ubb/Forum19/HTML/000011-2.html

It is difficult to have these discussions without things getting personal and that has never been my intention. So if any one else on this forum is in the same boat, the same apolgy applies.

Jeff Cook
4th August 2000, 21:31
George,

I certainly did not take offense to anything you said. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, and you asked some questions regarding rank and how it was aquired. Asking someone where and how they got their rank should not be perceived as offensive; making false accusations and deliberately spreading lies is offensive, but you did not do that.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Joseph Svinth
5th August 2000, 15:33
I have to disagree with you, Jeff -- in my experience, many, perhaps most of these self-inflated balloons take offense at being asked to show credentials. (I am still persona non grata some places for having had the temerity to ask one Famous Master to his face in which war he won that military medal, as he was only 13 years old when the war in which he claimed service ended.) And their students take even more offense.

Jeff Cook
5th August 2000, 17:11
Joe,

I said "should not be perceived as offensive." It is unfortunate that others are offended by questions regarding certification, and it certainly does happen.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Yojimbo558
5th August 2000, 20:01
Hi there!

Like several of you I don't care for many of the problems that go with organizations like this. When organizations arbitrarily throw out their own ranks.

Having seminars and trading ideas with our peers is great, and I have no problem with anyone creating their own style either. But when organizations like this offer rank to people to people, supposedly in their own style ( despite the fact that they're not apart of it, this opens to many problems ). Equally dismaying is the handing out of degrees in other systems they know nothing about.

While the truth of the matter is that this sort of hollow resume in reality means nothing in terms of growth or ability for that individual in two capacities:

1) As I noted in the post regarding the World Kobudo organization, the unsuspecting Joe Public walks can wind up joining a school thinking that the instructor is a legitimate whatever rank black belt in that system ( when in reality they've used this or another organizations promotions to get the rank they couldn't obtain or didn't have the patience to wait for ). Plain and simple this is fraud as it takes advantage of a publics ignorance.

2) In regards to what happened in New Jersey, this was down right scary, because as pointed out by several others, the government will wind up turning to these individuals ( since like Joe Public they will be equally ignorant )thinking that they are legit...and these people will be in place to judge the rank and training. So far we've managed to avoid this by martial artists assailing their Congressman etc. informing them that there are over 5,000 different styles and setting up such a board would be unfair in that it would have others judging systems for which they weren't apart of.

Like one poster I've run into some of these people who state but refuse to show their credentials. One particular individual claims to have been a member of the special forces. But after a long time, and comparing notes with others we've found him not only changing dates of events but he can't remember the platoon he graduated in or any of the units he was assigned to. While he's a good technical martial artist, unfortunately he's one of those that feels the need to padd his resume with exploits that he hasn't achieved. He's a member of a simialar organization...to this one, and the thought of him or others like him being approached by the government as someone to help out with regulating and judging styles he's not apart of...is more than ample to set chills up my spine!

Eric Bookin

As was noted the governments initial attempts ( lookin at New Jersey and regulation ) are down right scary.

Scary for the simple fact that there are

Jeff Cook
6th August 2000, 01:03
Eric,

I strongly disagree with your use of the word "fraud" (but I still luv ya, man!:)). I could accept "meaningless" to folks outside the organization, but not fraud in this case.

By applying your standard, everyone in the JKA - and every member of every other Shotokan organization - over the rank of Yodan would have fraudulent rank - Funakoshi was never ranked above Godan, and he founded the style.
Ohtsuka Sensei, the founder of Wado Ryu Karate, would be in the same boat - he had an even lower dan rank in Shotokan before founding his own style of karate. He was ranked by the Emporer of Japan, a non-martial artist. And these are just two examples of established, respected, "legitimate" (whatever that means) styles and organizations.

How do you reconcile that?

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Yojimbo558
6th August 2000, 02:58
Hi Jeff,

Ok, not fraud in the legal sense...please note that I have no problem with Shuhari ( for those not familiar with this it basically means breaking away and creating your own ).

Let's look at Daito Ryu and good old Sokaku Takeda Sensei. Takeda had numberous students who either aspired to inherit his system or be highly ranked with in it's structure.

Ueshiba was disappointed, to find himself not in contention for inheriting the system and moved on to create his own system Aiki Budo which would later become renamed by his students as Aikido. Another disappointed individual who had aspired for a greater standing within Daito Ryu, was Ryuho Okuyama. Like Ueshiba he was not content, and chose to gain further honor by taking his studies and creating his own system Hakko Ryu Jujutsu. Only one generation later, Hakko Ryu would be split as the senior instructor left the system. Deciding that Nidai Soke was deviating from the creators art, he re-christened the style Kokodo Ryu Jujutsu.

Stuff like this I have no problem, it's one of the reason why there are over 5,000 different styles. It's part of a natural evolution as people take different aspects that work better for them. Not surprisingly this winds up being what the instructor passes on to his students.

My contention is with organizations offering promotions to higher rank in styles they aren't apart of.

If these groups were to set their own curriculm and have people start from scratch...I wouldn't care because they would be following the proper format of shuhari!

To me that would be legit....at any rate have fun weekend, and if you haven't seen it yet X-Men's alot of fun.

Eric Bookin

Mokushin
6th August 2000, 04:45
Mr. Bookin,

Actually, Takeda was rather fond of Ueshiba (read Tokimune's interview in "Daito-ryu Masters") and according to some accounts, was grooming him to succeed. Ueshiba had other ideas however. Ponder this; Takeda drops in to see Ueshiba and is told he is teaching in Osaka. Takeda promptly drops by the Asahi dojo, takes over instruction and awards Hisa (Ueshiba's student) a menkyo kaiden, in short order. That couldn't have possible been a little snub on Takeda's part could it? Also, Ueshiba officially registered the name "Aikido" with the Butokukai in 1942.

IMHO:

Another case-in-point; Takeyuki Miura (20th headmaster of Eishin-ryu, as recognized by the Butokukai) was awarded 8th dan in Toyama-ryu, having never studied the tradition. There's also Hisa's 8th dan in Aikido, awarded by Ueshiba.

Let's look at Aikido for a moment. In Japan, it's quite common to reach shodan in 1-2 years (that goes for most other budo forms as well). Here, it's not uncommon for shodan to take 5 or 6 years. How did that happen? Maybe it's the misconception that a *black-belt = master*. It could also have been the fact that many of the shihan were low ranked when they came over (I can think of one on the east coast that was a sandan). In such a case, the ego might play a part -Not wanting their students to get too close. It's silliness really and has little to do with budo. It's politics and ego. Carrot dangling.

I'll never forget meeting a Japanese exchange student at my old university Aikido club. She was a nidan and had only been training for 2 years. That blew my mind at the time. Our nidans were yondans compared to her, technically.

The point is, rank is relative and "honorary" ranks have been awarded since the Edo period, perhaps even earlier. Organizations such as the USMA(A) are really not much different than the Kokusai Budoin or the Butokukai. They're simply "umbrella" organizations. Just because they're Japanese organizations doesn't mean that $$ isn't a prime consideration when accepting members.

Again, IMHO

Yojimbo558
6th August 2000, 08:45
Mr. Jones,

You bring up some valid points to the table...I am aware as to the more rapid progression in Japan. Perhaps it is due to the fact that as you pointed out promotions take place a far slower rate here and in Europe...Perhaps this is the reason I've been prejudiced about these umbrella organizations....

Eric Bookin

MarkF
6th August 2000, 08:58
Since it seems most here are worried about government involvement, and also that those who sell rank and hand out lavish rankings to undeserving people, we can trace this, at least in this country, back to the Armed Forces Judo Association, and the Judo Black Belt Federation, which was the forerunner of today's Unites States Judo Federation. In 1969, the Armed Forces Judo Association led a breakaway from the USJF, went to court to "break up" the so-called strangle hold that the USJF had on American Judo. This rebellion was led by Mr. Philip Porter, and he formed the United States Judo Association. The court upheld the USJA's right to form another faction.

Since that time, the board of govenors of the USJA voted Porter out of office because of his habit of "selling rank." Porter then formed the United States Martial Arts Association, the group being discussed here. Since that time, the number of MA groups has soared, and I doubt a precise number can be counted. The USMAA is certainly not the first to do so, as the Kodokan has always had a fee to go with its grading and teaching licenses. Of course, the Kodokan does not cross rank. The USMAA does.

That said, let say I can vouch for Jeff Cook's judo knowledge and I know he is trying to change things from within. I hope he is successful, but I think it is out of control, as of now.

[Edited by MarkF on 08-06-2000 at 03:01 AM]

Yojimbo558
6th August 2000, 21:09
An excellent post,

Thanks for showing the timeline Mark, it was interesting to see Porter as a key player from the beginning.

Jeff, good luck ( sincerely ) with organizing changing things from within. I've enjoyed changing posts with you.
On a side note out of curiousity, what was it that attracted you to Judo in the first place?

Have fun training,

Eric Bookin :)

bkrh
16th August 2000, 14:47
You've hit the nail on the head. It's all about self promotion and making money. Nothing wrong with making money in martial arts, if you are selling a legitimate product and not misrepresenting your skills or experience. And inflated rank does just that.

Ben Reinhardt

Jeff Cook
16th August 2000, 16:08
Erik,

What attracted me to judo in the first place? I wanted to study a martial art. I knew nothing about martial arts. Judo was available at the University of Florida, and it was close to my dorm. So I tried it.

I instantly liked it because of the attitude of the other students and instructors, the fact that it was challenging, both physically and mentally, and because I seemed to be fairly good at it. It was an "older" style of instruction, with "self-defense" training in addition to training for competition.

Fortunately, the club also included martial artists from other styles (karate and jujitsu). They were very respectful of the judo program, and constantly reinforced the value of that type of training and that approach to self-defense. There was absolutely no negativity expressed about any martial art, artist, or martial arts organization.
In fact, they encouraged me to try other arts as well, which I did; I shortly began to train concurrently in aikido.

It was an outstanding experience for me, being brand-new to the martial arts.

Jeff Cook
Wabujitsu

Yojimbo558
16th August 2000, 21:01
Hi Jeff,

That was a cool, thanks for sharing, I've always thought it interesting as to what attracted people to various styles.

Your group sounded like an ideal introduction for your life in regards to martial arts.

Eric Bookin