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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 1999 4:47 am 
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A recent letter to the editor of the Boston Globe outlined the perception that Martial arts in America are the most unregulated form of self defense today !

The letter continues:
Viability of this advertised self defense is questionable to say the least and may well lead to a false sense of security !

" I hope that these 'senseis' have the sense to remind their trusting students to maintain a sense of humility - sadly lacking in most American dojos- and that a false sense of bravado on the street may lead to life threatening situations "

Does it strike a responsive chord?


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 1999 7:17 am 
Here comes another move toward regulating dojoartists in the Commonwealth.


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 1999 3:43 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA
Allen: I believe that New Jersey is again trying to pass legislation to regulate martial arts.
Rich


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 1999 10:57 pm 
Matter of time, isn't it, Rich.


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 2:51 pm 
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Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Like it or not (I choose not) the teaching of the martial arts has gone down a new path. I do not like this new way of teaching the martial arts. I think it is watered down and weak (weak technique, weak spirit). Perhaps it is time for such legislation.

Now put down those torches and pitchforks. You must think I am nuts, eh? Then answer this, what are you doing to be rid of the cancerous instructors that plague the martial arts? It is so easy to say, we don't want legislation, but the fact is that these instructors may very well cost somebody their life, they need to be reined (sp) in and the martial arts community cannot or will not do it. And so there is little alternative. We live in a society in which groups are usually given free reign to do as they please so long as they do no harm and self-regulate themselves. It is usually only after considerable time that the government will step in and say you have had your chance. Like it or not we are all partially responsible for this mess, it is just easier to put the blame elsewhere.

What to do about it? I don't know for sure but this can only help. Get out and promote the way. Good martial artists have to stop being silent! That is our biggest curse, is that we sit silently hoping that if only we wait long enough the problem (poor senseis) will go away. We (including myself) need to wake up.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 6:53 pm 
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Location: Evansville, IN, USA
How could I possible disagree with the infamous (and I mean infamous Image) J.D? The fact is I don't. There are too many fools teaching martial arts to too many other fools. It is a fact. The question is, is legislation the answer? No, certainly not. Is anything else being done about it? No, so what does that leave us with. Legislation. ugh.

J.D. is also quite correct that MANY schools start with the best intentions but as things get successful they become just another business ("Once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny" Yoda, Jedi Master)). Sad, but true.

So what to do? I don't pretend to have all the answers. Ask me for all the answers when I am dead and I am one with the universe but here are some ideas.

1) Get every single person you know, and every single person at every school that you can form an alliance with to write a letter (and it must be a type or handwritten letter, petitions and email are generally ignored by politicians) that you will not vote for them if they pass a resolution that regulates martial arts in the manner proposed.

2) Self-regulate. If you don't want it happen then you have to get a bunch of schools, likely from different styles together and determine some system of how martial arts will be run in your community. Those that refuse to participate will lose the unofficial certification from the overall community and will probably be driven from business.

3) Change the public perception. The public will support a resolution like the one proposed in NJ because they don't understand "us". And believe me they view "us" as an "us". We are a seperate entity. We are apart from the rest of the crowd. We possess the mystical secrets of the orient, and they don't. That makes us scary. That makes us an out of control threat. That perception must change. In some ways this is even more important than self-regulation.

Legislation is coming. If we ignore it, like we have ignored the fools that pretend to be godlike martial arts masters then we will be burned. If we prepare for it, maybe we can dodge the bullet. If we refuse to acknowledge this foe, and fight it then I say that the politicians are right, we cannot control what we got and it has to be brought under control. Not the best answer, but in a way it makes sense. If I had an editor (which I don't) he would likely say this is an amazing rant coming from a person like me. I don't approve of regulation in general, but I have to tell you I am awfully tired of the state of martial arts. We need to act, or a non-martial artist will act for us. That would be a disaster.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 7:45 pm 
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Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
"the problem with the martial arts is that too many fools are teaching too many fools the martial arts!" How many people think taking the "fun" TaiBo will prepare them for reality? I suspect quite a few. As Van-san stresses, few of us "serious" practitioners have a realistic idea."

"we possess the mystical secrets of the orient...that makes us scary"

So in reality, the problem is IGNORANCE. The ignorance that we allow people to display because they happen to be a "master", and the ignorance of the general public towards the martial arts.

What do I think we can do about? Talk more. Give more demonstrations. One reason why the TKD people probably will end up setting the standards for what martial arts should and shouldn't be is because the TKD schools are in your face! It's time to drop the mystic cloud of secrecy and let people know that sane, functional people take up the martial arts! (Speaking of which, is anybody going to respond to my query in Paul Giella's forum on the "Jaded Master?" I'm dying to hear some feedback!)

People fear what they don't know. People believe the media hype. This is why you hear me and other black people whine, moan, and complain about every shuck-n-jive/sambo/killa-thug image that comes on the television or radio because it shapes a perception of our group. The same goes for this other group I am a member of: the martial arts community. People think that we can catch bullets with our teeth, and since they can't, they fear us. All they see are brutal blood-bath movies. I know a lot of folks who watched "The Karate Kid" movie and ignore the health mentor/mentee relationship between Mr. Miyagi and Daniel; all they remember is the killer Cobra Kai!

Those of you who may have some friends up in Jersey that are in the political arena need to get on them NOW before it's too late. If anyone has an address they can leave up so that we can send snail-mail, PLEASE post it.

Is it time for a National Association for the Advancement of Martial Artists? No, I should say not. HOWEVER, what we need to do is stop the constriction that we put on ourselves and not let the ignorant dictate who we are. This problem in the martial arts world is symptomatic of the problem with our society: THE SANE PEOPLE HIDE WHILE THE IDIOTS RUN AMUCK!

Cecil

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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 9:35 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Interesting thread. Been there before and agreed then and certainly now with the proposition of self regulation.

I don't believe in massive, all encompassing organizations. They tend to forget why they were formed and end up being bogged down with administrative bull****.

What must be done must be done on a style level. . . or on groups of styles that have very similar goals. The IUKF and the regional CHAPTERS of Uechi-ryu has been working towards this goal for many years. Essentially all it does is require its member dojo and groups to:

1. Agree to abide by a common sense code of conduct and ethics.

2. Maintain a fairly high minimum standard of rank.

3. Encourage member teachers to be certified by the Federation. Those who do get certified can prove to State and City politicians that they are already abiding by high standards, set by the industry's leading proponents. In so taking the lead in this issue, our member dojo are less likely to fall under the same political rules that absolutely will drop on unaffiliate schools in the future. The question is not if, but when!

Karate teachers pride themselves on being independent martial artist. They are very slow to accept change and are loth to join organizations and participate in anything not done in a Gi. Reminds me a lot of all my senior students years ago bragging about how they and their students would never wear pillows on their hands and feet while sparring! They were not active in helping build tournaments and were not active in the politics that dictated the growth of the sport. The TKD people were and now we all wear "pillows" while complaining a lot!

If you charge your students one penny tuition a month, you are a professional! You are a business! You will eventually answer to someone about your teaching practices. You will be required to be certified by someone or some group!

Hopefully when the time comes, our IUKF will be strong enough to convince the politicians that our programs and certification methods are superior to anything they might come up with. At the very least, we may get off with paying the fees and policing ourselves.

When this time arrives, the martial arts will probably be categorized by what is taught and how it is taught. Some dojo are nothing more than baby sitting services. They should be governed by "daycare" laws. Other very commercial schools offer minimum self defense and more confidence building and motivational attributes. These schools should be in another category. Then you have more traditional dojo, where self defense skills are emphasized and the hard training involved is potentially dangerous to the unaware. Here, strong organizational certification programs are needed. The politicians don't understand what we do and would certainly tie our hands in their attempts to make us a "safe" place to study. I'm not suggesting that our dojo are dangerous, but they are not the baby sitting parlors parents park their kids at for 45 minutes, twice a week!

In the certification process, we must make sure the nutcases are excluded. Best they continue to practice with their 3 human makiwaras in the garage, without benefit of organizational affiliation. Hopefully they simply bury their dead in the quiet of the night and not inform their insurance carrier.

Legislation of the martial arts is coming. The politicians have been knocking at our doors for years. Because they aren't sure what or who we are, they accept getting the door slammed in their face graciously. But politicians are mostly lawyers. . . and we know how persistant they can be. . . Image

We were told the NJ legislation was killed last year! Funny how it keeps rising from the dead.

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GEM


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 1999 10:19 pm 
I believe there are no kickboxing 'dojo' in this Commonwealth because it has been legislated out and is against the law.<font color=red>

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Allen at [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> on <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 1999 11:39 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Allen,

If that's true, than there are several kickboxing places that are operating illegally in the area (oops!!!)

david


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 1999 9:00 am 
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George Sensei said "In the certification process, we must make sure the nutcases are excluded. Best they continue to practice with their 3 human makiwaras in the garage, without benefit of organizational affiliation. Hopefully they simply bury their dead in the quiet of the night and not inform their insurance carrier."

I've heard that they eat their dead.
Hope a little levity is OK in this serious and sickening discussion - not the statements of my brothers, the fact that we need to be talking about the subject at all!

The insurance carrier's aren't going to like that at all. After all how can you kill a human makiwara when he/she is dressed up like the Michelin tyre person?

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Good training,
David


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 1999 8:13 pm 
David,

My curiosity is now up because my post is what I have heard more than once by different (reliable?) resources - hearsay, right? - over the past 5 years since I have been back in this area. Maybe I don't know what makes for official kickboxing organizations here.<font color=green>



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Allen at [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> on <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 1999 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
I was in NJ this past weekend for a seminar and the "Bill" was a topic of many conversations. As I oppose regulating anything as it usually really mucks things up and / or waters it down, I was told there are (in the state of NJ) 72 10th degree Black Belts! Any wonder someone down there is trying to get this passed!



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Evan Pantazi
http://www.erols.com/kyusho


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 1999 12:53 am 
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Posts: 2073
Location: Boston, MA
Allen,

I doubt that "kickboxing" is outlawed. There is dedicated Muay Thai Academy in Revere. There are also Muay Thai kickboxing classes out of a gym in SOmerville, a JKD kwoon in Belmont, a class (questionable) out of Yau Li's Academy on Newbury St, among others. It may be that Kickboxing the professional sport is disallowed -- possible but illogical when boxing is allowed.

It is easy enough to check in the Massachusetts government web site under the legislation/laws section. (This is where I found the knife laws.) Frankly, I doubt there is such a law. The state has enough problems regulating childcare and youth programs licensed by the state, never mind worrying about some rinky dink kickboxing school. If kickboxing is outlawed, I'll be in the basement with 3 or 4 partners working out. If one dies, sure... we bury him/her right there on the spot.... Image

I can see how people don't want to be regulated. I can see why people may want to "certify" within an organization structure. It's certainly a way to promote "standardization." But, it won't really stop the legislation that may be coming because usually when the "s##t hits the fan" in a member/affiliate dojo or any dojo for that matter, it'll probably be the first anyone outside of the dojo has heard about it. It will still get negative PR and reaction. The only way to stop legislation is by the political process. You can unite under an "advocacy" group. But, when said advocacy group is talking about regulating or certifying its members, there is a different agenda that is not necessarily related to the legislative process.

BTW, another martial arts instructor is in the news for allegedly raping his young charges. If this proves true, did anyone really know until after the fact and a victim was brave enough to step forward to make the charges?

I may be reading this wrong, but there is this tone that the three or four guys working out alone somewhere is "less than" or receiving less than the "quality" instruction offered through a "certified" dojo. I guess my reaction to that is to say, yes, MacDonald has achieved great "standardization" throughout the world. A big MAC in Boston taste like the one in San Francisco, Miami and, yes, even Hong Kong. But, I take the "hole in the wall" restaurant in Chinatown any ole day.

To a large degree, "buyer beware" will continue to apply no matter what. The "taste" of the individual buyer will also affect the decision about where and with whom s/he wants to train no matter the existence or non existence of an "orgranizational affiliation".

Realize when Funakoshi studied as a young man. Okinawans practiced secretly because such practices were illegal. And, there certainly were no organizations to certify his teachers. I suspect if the state want and succeed in heavily regulating or outlawing martial arts practice, there will still be some good, die hard commited practitioners who won't mind practicing late at night or early in the morning in a dimly lit garage or basement.

My .000000002 worth.

david


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 Post subject: Questionable ethics
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 1999 1:14 am 
Hello David,

Some dojo do kickboxing, as you pointed out, but that is not what I meant.

"It may be that Kickboxing the professional sport is disallowed"

Thanks for helping me with my expressions in English David. The quote above, from you, is exactly what I meant.

You're right! It seems illogical that Kickboxing would be disallowed but not Boxing. So maybe I should rephrase my original statement into a question, because I think Professional Kickboxing, and likewise training of it is, in the Commonwealth illegal.

Burial? On the spot? OOH! I guess less expensive then the quarry.

One of the problems that I see coming with regulation could be OSHA-style dojo requirements. You know, for safety. And then there will be the dojo licensing and registration fees accompanied by mandatory insurance, and if the insurance companies get their fingers into the bill they will go for high rates, etc.

I really don't see how legislated dojo can improve anything, but only add to burdens of dojo that are already financially stressed out.

I read somewhere on these forums that TKD is lobying for legislation or something like that? George may have even posted something somewhere. I believe posts to that effect may have been made on the old-style forums? I don't exactly remember, there are just too many forums to keep track of.

It could be another big-brother move too. I remember a (respected) dojang in Charlotte, NC that was visited frequently by the local police and the roster checked for name inclusion into another list. My training is my business and private (yeah, right Al -- with you all over the internet), and my students deserve their privacy too.

No way is the government going to be able to legislate the karate scam artists out, for they (the scammers) are true chameleons.<font color=green>
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Allen at [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> on <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 02-25-99).]


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