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#183991 - 09/05/05 09:56 PM MA Governing Bodies
Avalon Offline

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Canada
Hello all! This is my very first post.

I have been lurking here since early July and became a member recently. I have not yet contributed to any discussion because I've found most of my questions to be answered, if I just kept reading.

However, I do have one question which I have not found the answer for.

Do all of the various martial arts have central governing bodies, where the authenticity of an instructor's claim to be a black belt, or student of so-and-so, can be verified?

I have been researching the martial arts for the last few weeks -- largely thanks to the excellent information on this forum -- and have learned the importance of finding a good instructor. My research led me to find that one instructor and founder of a school in my city has made fraudulent claims; he claims that not only was William Cheung his instructor (Bruce Lee was also Cheung's student), but that he was Cheung's favourite student next to Bruce Lee. has a listing of Cheung's lineage and this guy's name is nowhere in sight. Another fellow on another forum found that this instructor was not even a member of the Wing Chun Federation (not the actual name of the world wide organization, but I can't recall the correct name).

My point being, there was actual recorded fact of people's achievements as black belts and hence qualified instructors, archived in a central body. Do all the martial arts have these? Is membership automatic and based on merit and achievement, or does one simply need to pay a fee and be a member regardless of qualifications?

Thank you for the single most informative, intelligent, outstanding site on martial arts, and thank you to all you moderators for keeping things "straight", so to speak. Thanks also to the people who post their experiences and perceptions. They have been incredibly helpful in my search. I haven't found a training system that doesn't either smack of McDojo or where the instructor's qualifications aren't questionable, but I'll keep looking. I'm currently leaning toward BJJ.


#183992 - 09/05/05 10:02 PM Re: MA Governing Bodies [Re: Avalon]
kenposan Offline

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
The short answer is, no. Most arts are very fragmented, with lots of divisions. Mine is a prime example. Okinawa Kenpo was founded by Nakamura Sensei. When Nakamura died, he left no successor. The art splintered into numerous factions. My sensei abandonded the faction he was in and started his own Alliance. There is no central # or website to find a listing of all Okinawa Kenpo instructors or schools, only those belonging to their respective organizations. Best I can do in my school is show you my certificates and lineage chart w/ my name on it. But of course, I could have made it up.

Unfortunately, it is let the buyer beware in many instances.

Oh, and welcome to the boards!
The angry man will defeat himself in battle, as well as in life. -Samurai maxim

#183993 - 09/05/05 10:04 PM Re: MA Governing Bodies [Re: Avalon]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

No, not all credible instructors are part of MA organzitional bodies. Also, instruction should be sought on the basis of what you enjoy and want out of martial arts, not necessarily that one has organizational ties...though, this might add to the legitimacy of your art when seeking out similar instruction elsewhere.

There are good arts out there with good instrutcion that will just not mesh with your requirements or expectations, therefore don't dismiss MAs you don't like, but recognize that somethings are not an exact fit.

And, BTW, welcome to the forums.


#183994 - 09/05/05 10:33 PM Re: MA Governing Bodies [Re: butterfly]
Avalon Offline

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Canada
Thank you, kemposan and butterfly. You've saved me hours of searching on the 'net for "central governing bodies". I had been searching for one for BJJ and have spent the last hour lost in a maze (or is it a daze?). Lots of schools out there, but not much else of help. In fact, this forum has offered more help than any other source of information!

And thanks for the welcome! This is a great place.



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