Instructor Licensing

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Instructor Licensing

Postby dhoward66201 » Sun Oct 17, 1999 4:02 pm

Last year, New Jersey tried to license instructors and now this year there is a similar law in North Carolina.

Has martial arts, in general, grown to the point where it can no longer control itself?
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Instructor Licensing

Postby gmattson » Sun Oct 17, 1999 4:52 pm

Unfortunately, too many chiefs in the martial arts, each wanting to be in charge. Unlike other sports and activities, where people work together in order to survive and prosper, the leaders of the MA do everything possible to destroy the heart of their art. When only a shell remains, the government will step in and appoint someone to oversee our karate. We deserve what we get!

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Instructor Licensing

Postby Sochin » Mon Oct 18, 1999 5:12 am

Here in Canada, each province has control over sport regulations, especially 'fighting sanctions.' Each province also sponsors a 'recognized' organization of all the clubs in that style - Judo BC, Karate BC, etc.

A few years ago our organization, which is not affiliated with the provincial org. was told that 'soon' all clubs outside the provincial org. would be shut down using the 'unsanctioned' fight rules to stop sparring and sparring training...this was done as an incentive to get us to join but of course it just got our back up.

This is just one of the ways giving some people power will play out - using unrelated rules to control those not under their jurisdiction.

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Instructor Licensing

Postby dhoward66201 » Tue Oct 19, 1999 1:17 am

I understand what both of you are saying. I don't agree with MA splitting itself up. After all, it is a business and I think it largely depends on what area of the country you are in.

I know that Tae Kwon Do, for example, is taught in this area by Koreans. They band together and take care of their own, controling in what areas and how many Tae Kwon Do schools appear. It is a very controlled situation.

I support some legislation simply because of some of the things I see happening. The N.C. bill, for example, calls for background checks and standards for the qualifications of an instructor.

In Canada, I would even think that situation, if the sparring rules call for available medical services in case of injury, would be beneficial.

While I don't like government control of anything, I do think MA should straighten up its act.
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Instructor Licensing

Postby Shelly King » Tue Oct 19, 1999 6:50 pm

I'm sorry but once again people are expecting the government to do the things they as individuals should be doing. People will think licensing is good because they won't have to take the time to check out for themselves their instructors qualifications. They do the same thing with child care providers. I think it's safe to say we have all heard stories about bad child care providers who were licensed. It is just one more way for individuals to shift their responsibilities to someone else.

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Instructor Licensing

Postby dhoward66201 » Tue Oct 19, 1999 11:16 pm

Okay, I agree with both of you. Licensing is only as good as the agency doing the licensing.

You are right. Child care providers are licensed and there are still bad child care agencies. But you both neglect to take into account how many persons, both young and old, that martial arts affects.

A child care provider may only handle 20 people, lets say. How many students, parents, relatives, friends and neighbors can one bad martial arts instructor affect. I think a lot more.

Let's face it. Martial arts is a business. People make their living being instructors. Parents can sign contracts up to two years in length, sometimes at a costly monthly fee, to have their children learn martial arts. You don't have that kind of commitment with any other business.

In addition, martial arts has a reputation. It is recommended as therapy by a lot of groups and doctors who treat abused children and adults. Maybe that reputation is not wanted or it shouldn't be there at all, but it is. An instructor who is abusing the already abused, should not be tolerated by the MA community.

I don't know what the answer is here. But I do know that if this industry is not going to be self-regulating it can expect to be regulated--right or wrong.

Countless times, I have heard and witnessed what would be considered physical abuse, and I don't mean being made to do more push-ups as punishment. I have heard that sexual abuse is not uncommon, not to point my finger at any one MA group.

Most is not reported. And other instructors turn their heads. If we are to be honorable, than our actions must match our words.
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Instructor Licensing

Postby Scaramouche » Tue Oct 19, 1999 11:54 pm

dhoward66201 said...

"You are right. Child care providers are licensed and there are still bad child care
agencies. But you both neglect to take into account how many persons, both young and old, that martial arts affects."

"A child care provider may only handle 20 people, lets say. How many students, parents, relatives, friends and neighbors can one bad martial arts instructor affect. I think a lot more."


Actually, since there are no doubt _many_ more child care providers than martial arts instructors, it's certain that child care providers affect _far_ more people than martial arts instructors.

In addition, despite the sad tendency for martial arts to be watered down and used as kiddie day care, there are still many martial arts schools that focus on teaching adults, most of whom who are quite capable of quitting and/or suing, and/or alerting the authorities if an unsavory instructor is abusive, violates a contract, engages in fraud, or engages in other illegal or unethical behavior.

There are already laws against, violating contracts, rape, child molestation, and most if not all other terrible acts a bad martial arts instructor might engage in.

The recent New Jersey law would have made it impossible for some important and respected figures in America's martial arts history to have taught. It demaded a level of education some Asian masters (particularly from Southeast Asia) did not have, for example.

As I recall, some proposed legislation has demaded a teacher have a certain belt level before they could teach, though styles that don't use belt ranks, such as Bruce Lee's fighting style, many Filipino and probably most or all Indonesian styles, Muay Thai, Savate, Bando, and others. Such legislation could effectively make such styles illegal.

I see martial arts legislation as likely to give some politically well connected martial arts organization great leverage over the rest of us (How would you like to hear "New federal laws writtten with the help of a major TKD organization makes it mandatory for all martial arts tournaments and sparring to be done by Olympic TKD rules" ?).

I also see such legislation as something that will inevitably continue to water down the arts, as the government makes certain training and techniques illegal, because they are perceived as unusually brutal or dangerous to practice. I have heard that some European country (Norway?) already does this.

I see no good outcome from such leglation, and believe, as I said, that most or all of the behavior such regulation is meant to address is already illegal.

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Instructor Licensing

Postby Shelly King » Wed Oct 20, 1999 1:45 am

Excellent point Scaramouche! As for child care providers only having 20 kids to potentially abuse...the government dictates how many kids each day care is allowed to have and what age groups. Do you want them telling you that I'm sorry but you are only allowed to have 5 adults, and 3 kids between the ages of 6 and 12 in class at any one time and you need to provide snacks? The martial arts have become water downed without direct assistance from the government already. I would hate to see it diluted more. Personally I would be furious if I went to class and my sensei said, "sorry, I'm not allowed to teach you this move, because it would require me touching you in a possibly uncomfortable manner and the state says I can't do that." I am sorry, but I'm an adult and quite competent in determining for myself the behavior I find acceptable.
Each style is different and has different requirements and needs. Trying to bunch them all toghether would be like trying to tell the NFL, NBA, and NHL they would have to all use the same rule book.
Even a good agency will license bad people. Gee, Ted Bundy seemed like such a nice guy. Licensing would be the band-aid approach. Let's work to correct the real problems of abuse instead of just trying to legislate it.


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