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#338627 - 04/30/07 01:14 AM Martial Arts College Degree
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Hi, first, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jason McLendon, and I have been practicing martial arts for about 27 years. I grew up as a military dependent living all over the world and had the opportunity to train in several arts in several locations. I train because I love it and I consider myself to be a beginner.

This is my first post here. I have been a silent lurker for a little while, but I am working on a project that I feel it is important to share. By the way, this will be a non-profit project, so I am not trying to make money off this. Please understand that I am also posting this on a couple of other forums I have read frequently (so you may see it more than once), but I am doing this in order to get as much feedback as possible. Also, I think it is important to know that I have no problem posting the project information here, however, the website is 6 pages long and I think it is simply too much information to post here.

I am attempting to generate thoughtful discussion about the possibility of a true academic martial arts degree program, with both a distance education and residential platform. I am not talking about some fly-by-night fake accredited school, but rather a real program similar in nature to other academic programs and focusing on martial arts. The programs of instruction will include a variety of subjects including history of martial arts, survey of martial arts practiced today, philosophy, and business management, to name a few. A complete list of the proposed courses is listed on the website. The program will be available for US and international students.

Please feel free to visit the website and read more about it. I welcome the insight and opinions of other martial arts professionals and students alike, as well as non-practitioners. However, I would ask that you keep opinions and suggestions professional, and also that you actually read the website material presented before judging. I know there are many people that are strongly against this type of program, and I believe it is important to discuss negative and positive aspects of what I am proposing. I am planning on initially funding this myself, and I certainly don’t want to waste my money or time (or anyone else’s) on a project that won’t hold any actual interest.

The website has tabs across the top of the page and a discussion area/vote area under the title of the page. Because I am attempting to publicize this in several places, I will try to read and answer posts in reply to this one, however, I can’t guarantee that I will respond immediately. If you happen to provide information in our site discussion area, please link back to this forum to provide further insight to discussions, questions, answers, or other important related information.

The website is http://www.amaconline.net , and I am calling it the American Martial Arts College.

I look forward to hearing from you, both pro and con. Thank you for your time.

Respectfully, Jason McLendon


Edited by JM2007 (04/30/07 01:31 AM)

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#338628 - 04/30/07 03:22 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
shadowkahn Offline
anti-stupid crusader

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 234
interesting concept, but what would it lead to? Like it or not most students go to college because they want to make money. How would a degree in martial arts help you get a job? A 4 year degree won't qualify you to open your own dojo, and won't even give you a leg up in whatever system you decide to join with the eventual goal of being an instructor. Then there's the small bit that karate teachers don't generally get exactly rich unless they run a bunch of large McDojos.

The only thing I can see it qualifying you for really is teaching at a university that grants the martial arts degree, which gets rather circular
_________________________
"Belt mean no need rope hold up pants" - Mr. Miyagi, RIP.

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#338629 - 04/30/07 04:56 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: shadowkahn]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Hi Shadowkahn,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, you are correct about a 4 year degree not qualifying you (by itself) to open a dojo, however, I believe it does add at least some value to someone opening a dojo. You are also correct in that this would be mostly for those who are interested in one day instructing and/or owning a dojo.

I would like to add, however, that I feel this degree could also be used by many other people from other career fields as well. Not specifically the martial arts degree, but just the accredited degree itself (if we can get the accreditation). For instance, when I was a military officer, I know that many of my peers had degrees in subjects having nothing to do with their jobs, and many of them only got that particular degree because it was easy or convenient, never having a desire to pursue that particular field. I have spoken to many people recently who got degrees with the same mentality. If there are martial artists that need a degree in something (anything), why not pursue one in a subject they really enjoy, even if they don't plan to instruct later?

Often, employers require simply an accredited degree; the major does not matter. This program would provide that.

Graduates could use the degree to pursue not only government jobs (including military), but also law enforcement, security management, and public safety in addition to martial arts instructor positions.

As a side note, I also feel that a degree such as this should NOT BE REQUIRED to run a dojo or instruct at one.

Please keep your opinions coming. Thank you, and stay safe, Jason

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#338630 - 04/30/07 08:09 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

I am not talking about some fly-by-night fake accredited school, but rather a real program similar in nature to other academic programs and focusing on martial arts.


You aren't accredited at all, therefore you can't even be fake. Nothing guarentees you aren't fly-by-night other than your word. Nothing guarentees you will have qualified instructors. Nothing guarentees you aren't a more elaborate certificate mill posing under collegiate terms.

$7800 for a Bachelor of Arts in Martial Arts....for how much mat time, hands on learning?

$7800 @ $80/month will give a student 8 years of instruction. so you are cramming 8 years of on-mat instruction into how many years of classroom theory?

after you are accredited, it'll be $21,000! lol

rediculous.

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#338631 - 04/30/07 08:33 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
shadowkahn Offline
anti-stupid crusader

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 234
Quote:


after you are accredited, it'll be $21,000! lol

rediculous.




Beyond the money, I don't like the distance-learning idea. That works fine for reading Shakespeare or studying politics, but how can you reliably teach a concept like fighting via a web cam? You might be able to use it to supplement actual mat time, but not to replace it.

And if I were a hiring manager, I would care that you know something about my business if you're trying to get a good job with me. If you just want to be a file clerk or a receptionist, that's one thing, but then you can get a 2 year degree at a typing school and get a job like that.

If you want to be hired by an investment firm, showing them a major in martial arts isn't going to get you in the door. If you want to be hired into a GOOD position in a company it is generally helpful to be able to demonstrate that you have some skill or knowledge that will apply to your job. Knowing how to fight (or at least thinking you do) and knowing the history of the bo staff isn't going to impress anyone outside of the martial arts world.
Of course you can get a job with a BA in martial arts, but it won't be a good one. And you can get a job with only a GED if you have to - and it'll probably be just about as good as the one the guy with the BA/MA gets.
_________________________
"Belt mean no need rope hold up pants" - Mr. Miyagi, RIP.

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#338632 - 04/30/07 08:46 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Back in the 1980's, there was a college in Virginia that offered a course in martial arts and a "martial arts degree" through the physical education department. There were a number of what I class as "promoters" involved, and some legitimate martial artists. The problem then, as now, is that the return on investment was very negligeble, and simply having a degree in martial arts didn't provide anything except something else to hang on the wall... along with your "soke" pictures and real-time training certifications... from non-accredited martial arts schools.

Unfortunately, 4 years isn't long enough to gain the knowledge to teach martial arts adequately to "press forward" with your skills and independently survive as a martial arts school. Unless you're picked up by a McDojo chain, there simply isn't enough knowledge to hold it all together. If you started today and trained for 4 years under any real "master", you might make shodan in 4 years, and you certainly won't set the world on fire with that.

The dojo where I train has about 650 students... all but about 100 are under 16 years of age, and 85 to 90 percent of that 100 are below shodan. The few that are "higher ranked" are still pretty pitiful when it comes to actually understanding martial sciences and fighting tactics. They have some level of technique, but not nearly what would come out of a TMA school if they stayed there the same amount of time they've trained there. The reason is simple, they are doing it for exercise and not so much for knowledge, which is why they disappear after about two to three years. They run the "kickboxing" to aerobics to BJJ to being gone scenario, and of the teachers I've seen there over the past 17 or 18 years, only the dojo owner's sons are still there. The others run between a 3 to 5 years "lifespan" as students to teachers to gone.

At about $100 a month, they'll have $3600 in training to reach shodan, and about $4800 until they start teaching. Since our side does TMA, we don't get involved in their dojo operations, but if they pay the teachers at all, they'll spend it back for more training. Finally, it all wears out, and they leave... seen it dozens of times.

Now, if the actual college course in martial arts didn't work before, when it was done by "name" martial artists, I don't see it working unless it's attached to another degree as a minor. Martial arts is a broad subject, and it takes years to develop many of the basic skills in some arts, so a 4 year program that "does it all" isn't practical or one where you'll gain the kind of knowledge you need to be considered legitimate.

JMHO

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#338633 - 05/01/07 01:32 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: wristtwister]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Hi everyone...

Thank you for the feedback. This is the type of information I am seeking. Not to be argumentative, however, since this is something that I personally do believe in, I will address a couple of points brought up in order to further the discussion.

First, I appreciate you taking the time to read the website and not just jump to conclusions. As you can see, and mentioned regarding accreditation, we are not accredited. The program does not even exist at this point. However, the idea is to seek authentic academic accreditation from legitimate agencies in the future, as well as buy in from some of the larger known and respected martial arts organizations. I have been planting seeds with this already and have received both positive and negative feedback. At this point, I will not drop names until I have something in writing from the people and organizations I have spoken to. That is, obviously, to cover myself and them in case minds are changed. This is only responsible as I am merely seeking feedback at this point, not sponsorship. Regarding accreditation, remember, I am speaking of academic accreditation, which would be completely different than simply rank certification. By the way, no where was rank certification mentioned on the website...this program has nothing to do with rank certification as the student must be training with a legitimate organization and ranked by them. Not this program. Who will determine which organizations are legitimate? Well, the board of directors, of course.

Regarding fees, if a program such as this were to fly, those costs are comparable to other academic programs. One of the biggest costs is accreditation itself. So, once again, absolutely NO (direct) mat time...all academic courses. However, the student will be expected to obtain the rank of Shodan in his or her style, concurrently or previously for a BA. I am not exactly sure how this would work...this is only a thought process at this time.

Next, distance learning. I completely agree regarding learning how to fight via distance. I don't believe in it and don't support it. That's why the student MUST be training with a legitimate recognized organization.

Not able to get a good job with a BA in Martial Arts? Did you guys read the links provided for the US accredited universities already offering a BA in Martial Arts Studies, such as the University of Bridgeport and Concordia University? What about the link describing accredited programs such as retail floristry and sports turf management? Is there really such a need for that?

When you think about it, the martial arts world, even in the US alone, is a pretty big world. I think the program could offer a lot in relation to having a basic understanding of various martial arts (academic), as well as historical aspects of how they developed, and concepts such as martial arts business management.

As you can see from the webpage, I have done a lot of research on the prospect (look under the "Why" tab), but I am not familiar with the university in Virginia you mentioned. If possible, could you provide me more information on that, at least the name of the school? I will take it from there. Once again, I am seeking the good, the bad, and the ugly, so ALL information helps.

Regarding being qualified to run a dojo after this 4 year program....that is not the intent at all. The intent is merely to supplement the training they are already doing, which, should they choose to teach with later, would be the organization who would probably sanction their teaching license...not the martial arts degree or college. As any professional can tell you, receiving a BA is only a beginning or a supplement to their hands on training....this program is no different.

Let me ask this rhetorical question...how many martial arts instructors are there in the United States? How many of those do you think could accurately tell you the history of their own art (let's say, from the 1800's on)? How many could intelligently discuss the personalities involved in the spread of (for example karate) from Okinawa to Japan to the rest of the world? How about the difference between major styles of karate and how they separated from their parent systems? How was Shotokan developed? What role did Shotokan have in the development of Tae Kwon Do as practiced today? How to karate, judo, aikido, and jujutsu inter-relate? Most traditional karate instructors cannot answer these questions. I am not saying they necessarily should be able to, however, the study of things such as this is part of what makes it a "do" vs. a "jutsu." It would be an academic pursuit only, but (I believe) an interesting one. Some martial artists really enjoy studying things such as this...why not allow them to pursue it academically, if possible?

The last item I will address. I realize I am a "no-name" martial artist. I am okay with that. I am not a master, or a soke, or the founder of some new art. I am not a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame, and, although I was nominated for induction (which I turned down) I am not a member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, either. I don't have a certificate from the World Sokeship Head of Families Council. I do, however, believe in this project, and I want to responsibly gather as much information as possible before starting something such as this. As a side note, I am not attempting to do this by myself. My plan is to have several "name" martial artists involved, one of whom has already expressed possible interested in doing so. This program is not about "me"...I'm just attempting to do it because no one else is. And I believe it could be valid with the right people involved.

I look forward to more dialogue, respectfully, Jason

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#338634 - 05/01/07 07:57 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768

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#338635 - 05/01/07 11:13 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Mr. Morris,

Wow, you put a lot of work into that reply. A lot of links and everything. As I stated on the first page of the website I provided, The ONLY accreditation I plan to seek is that which will be recognized by the US Department of Education. That includes: The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) at http://www.chea.org, The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) at http://www.acics.org, The Distance Education Training Council (DETC) at http://www.detc.org, and possibly The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) at http://www.sacs.org (but the requirements for this one are the hardest and may not be possible to obtain). Accreditation for all of these are considered "legitimate" and degrees accredited by them can be used for things such as receiving a commission in the US armed forces.

Mr. Morris, it sounds as if your biggest area of contention is the whole accreditation area, and I completely agree with you. I have written letters to the agencies listed above to ask if they would even entertain the idea assuming all other requirements were met. I have not yet received any replies. However, as I stated in the very first post, I am interested in ONLY legitimate accreditation, not like the McDojo and McCollege sources you listed (which I didn't visit all of the links, but I am familiar with the type). Other than AIKIA, which I personally consider to be legitimate...that's Bill Wallace, Jerry Beasley, Renzo Gracie, and some other big names. Of course, they are merely a summer camp, not an academic college. If I am given negative replies by all of the agencies listed above, I'm not going to waste my money or time.

I hope I have answered your question(s) about serious accreditation, but that really isn't the purpose of my original question. That being said, and assuming this program could actually get accredited as I state above, then what are your thoughts about the validity of the program? Keep in mind, this is academic only (mat time expected at the student's own dojo) and as a supplement to their martial arts training with their training organization providing their ranking and instructor certifications, should they choose to go that route.

So, I am beginning to see a pattern here, negative responses mainly from the accreditation and quality of instructors standpoint, as well as from taking away the certification process from parent organizations. I think I have answered those questions.

As a side note, there are more legitimate Shotokan Karate and Tae Kwon Do dojos than anything else in the United States. It only makes sense there would also be more McDojos and charlatans from the same. So, I agree with you on that point as well.

Please keep your opinions coming.

Respecftully, Jason

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#338636 - 05/01/07 11:35 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Jason -

I am not sure if I understand how academic learning will really help with the quality of someone's martial arts. They may be well informed historically, and know some useful physics, but if they are not getting adequate "mat time" (which your program does not seem to address), how can you be sure of their ability to apply their training?

Not to be pedantic or minimize academic pursuit (that's why I'm here on the forum), but MA is a physical endeavor at it's core. How do you seek to maintain focus (quality) in that regard?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#338637 - 05/01/07 11:59 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: MattJ]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
MattJ, I was about to log off...caught me just in time.

That is an excellent question, and once again, I completely agree with you. First, let me state that this program would have a board of directors of legitimate, qualified martial artists from various disciplines. This board would determine which existing organizations would be recognized as having the appropriate standards for training and rank/instructor certification. For the distance learning program, students would be required to do the same physical training as they are now, without pursuing a college degree, to reach the rank of (as an absolute minimum) Shodan or equivalent and/or instructor licensing. We recognize that Shodan is actually only the beginning, but in itself takes between four and eight years of dedicated training to achieve. If they have not done this, they can still take some classes about martial arts history, philosophy and business management, but they cannot get a degree unless they are already fully (physically) qualified by their (recognized) parent organization.

In regards to the residential program, which will only be established once accreditation has been received (all of the accreditation agencies require an institution to be in existence for no less than 2 years and have no less than 100 program graduates before even applying), physical training will be conducted in the college dojo. Please keep in mind this is still only a thought process, so I will be looking for the best way to do this, but for now I plan to have several different full time instructors doing that here. I don't know who, but as you can imagine from the theme, I will only be using legitimate people. I have also already spoken to a couple of local dojos that would be willing to participate if the student wishes to pursue that art.

So, in a nutshell, yes, they must be fully qualified from a physical standpoint as certified by their parent organization. The AMAC will not issue, for example, their rank or their instructor certification. That would be done by the USKA, or the AKA, or the USJA, or the WTF, or whomever.

I hope this answered your question, respectfully, Jason

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#338638 - 05/01/07 12:32 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

For the distance learning program, students would be required to do the same physical training as they are now, without pursuing a college degree, to reach the rank of (as an absolute minimum) Shodan or equivalent and/or instructor licensing.




Fair enough, but now another problem.

With rampant diploma-mills, a la Ashida Kim, would you be taking any other measures to verify that the documentation in question is valid? Calling the organization, requiring a video or in-person demo, etc?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#338639 - 05/01/07 01:09 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
The range of martial arts practiced around the globe is immense. The idea of 'official qualifications' in martial arts scares me as that inevitably leads to dogma where only the 'officially recognised' martial arts are taught and learned and the vast majority of unofficial ones gradually die out. Even worse we could see a situation where talented martial arts instructors who haven't taken such a course could find themselves losing students, and eventally their schools to the officially qualified teachers. This degree course, to me, seems virtually worthless anyway. It would, from your description, be almost entirely theoretical and who on earth wants to learn just theories of martial arts?
From your biography you are heavily influenced towards karate and presumably this would form the bias of your training but what about others such as the 800+ different schools of martial arts taught in China that come under the general heading of kung fu?
Sorry to rant and I appreciate you have put a lot of time and effort into this but to me this is anathema to all I hold dear.

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#338640 - 05/01/07 02:32 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
until you are accredited, why even offer the program? people will start the course with only your promise their course hours will be transferrable to other schools if they decide to move on before finishing.

let's say a 19 year old starts your courses with some of the core academic classes you offer...then one year later, he decides to transfer to a community college to pursue a degree in sports medicine or something. your '101' classes are not transferrable.
...He's got to take (and pay for) all those core courses over since the community college won't honor your credits.

The promise of accreditation doesn't cut it. anyone can promise anything and deliver nothing. opening your business with only that promise is deceptive.

Direct TRANSFER of credit is very different from 'testing credit' or what some call 'challenging the course'. but freshman wouldn't know the diff until after they've been had.

Here's the central problem that you are trying to detract from by making it sound like I'm harping on a minor issue. accredidation is not a minor issue. it's central to being able to even legtimately call your business a college. and you are not transferring a physical Art, but an academic study. If that course material is not acredited, then there is nothing stopping a 'professor' from teaching chi-ball theory as scientific fact.

accredidation speaks to the standard - reputation of kept level of standard speaks to the quality.

btw, do you have course professors lined up? Bill Wallace, Chuck Norris, Cynthia Rothrock, prof. Claude van Dame et al teaching academic online pre-recorded video courses ?

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#338641 - 05/01/07 02:47 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I'm confused now. I thought this project was just in the formative/theoretical stages. Have students actually been accepted yet?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#338642 - 05/01/07 02:57 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

In addition to minor associated application and other general fees (to be determined), the initial anticipated tuition fees will be approximately $65 per semester hour. Once accredited, tuition will probably be around $350 per semester hour.



I thought the plan was to offer 'pre-accredited' rates as incentive to get people to join now while offer lasts.

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#338643 - 05/01/07 05:49 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
MattJ, puffadder, Ed_Morris;

I will attempt to answer your questions sequentially.

First, MattJ:
First and foremost...no students hae been accepted...this entire program is only an idea at this point. I am merely trying to do as much research as possible before funding this program.

You asked: "With rampant diploma-mills, a la Ashida Kim, would you be taking any other measures to verify that the documentation in question is valid? Calling the organization, requiring a video or in-person demo, etc?"

That is a good question, and I am not sure I have a good answer (yet). I do have plans to mandate residential coloquia for the distance education students, so they will expected to be able to demonstrate their competence. My dilemma is that the parent organization certifies them, so I can't really dispute that. However, it should be obvious whether or not they have been trained well. I would like to make the board membership a group of credible people from various martial arts, but we will have to stick with the mainstream arts for the most part, I think. Probably do something like break the board into Japanese/Okinawan, Korean, Chinese, and all-other divisions, with several people in each area from different disciplines. I am really not sure, but this is definitely something to think about and about which I am open to suggestions. I am, however, hoping to have close relations with the major martial arts "parent" organizations to help facilitate this.

Puffadder: I can see your concern. The intent is not to delineate "official" from "unofficial" arts, however, we will probably have to stick primarily to the "mainstream" arts. I am not sure exactly how this will work. Also, the intent is to supplement martial arts training with academic background, not to give the impression that one instructor is better than another because he or she has a degree in martial arts and the other doesn't. As a student, though, I have to admit I would probably opt to train with the instructor who had the accredited degree, all else being equal. I will re-emphasize...all else being equal. You are correct in that my personal background is more karate-related, however, I don't feel that I am qualified to teach in the type of program I am talking about. I would love to manage the program and be a student myself.

Ed_Morris: You asked "until you are accredited, why even offer the program?" The answer...because that's how it is done. Fake accreditation sites will just give you the paperwork when you pay the fee. The real accreditation agencies mandate the institution be in existence, actually offering the program, for a minimum of two years and have at least 100 graduates before they will even allow you to APPLY for accreditation. So, it seems I don't have a choice. I don't think I have tried to hide anything and have made it pretty clear that this would be the case. That is why (to answer your last question), the tuition rate is discounted until accreditation is approved. Yes, you are correct in that students will have to take my word for it that I am actually applying for accreditation (if I start the program, that is), but I don't really see that I have another choice. I am open to suggestion. By the way, I would still have to charge because I would still have associated costs, such as paying instructors (from your last question about a discounted tuition cost before accredited). Also, the fact that the majority of classes won't be transferable, even after accredited, will be made abundantly clear to students. Although some may be able to be used as electives.

You also said "Here's the central problem that you are trying to detract from by making it sound like I'm harping on a minor issue. accredidation is not a minor issue. it's central to being able to even legtimately call your business a college." I don't think I have given any indication that I believe you are harping on a minor issue. In fact, I think the accreditation issue is probably the most important one here, because otherwise, this program would be just like the McDojo and McColleges out there. I am trying to do something different. But I can't do anything about that at this point. First, once again, we don't even exist right now. Second, if and when we do, it will take at least 2 years before we can apply. Third, I don't even plan to start the program unless I receive a response from one of the legitimate accrediting agencies that they would even be willing to entertain the idea if all requirements are met.

I fully realize there is a lot more work that needs to be done here, and I am willing to do it.

So far, based on the information I have provided, does this still seem like a far-fetched illegitimate idea, or maybe something that could work?

Thanks again for all of your thoughts..respectfully, Jason

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#338644 - 05/01/07 06:46 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
As far as the 'accreditation' problem goes...why not go through an already accredited institution? A martial arts major in an existing Athletics department?

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#338645 - 05/01/07 07:07 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
shadowkahn Offline
anti-stupid crusader

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 234
Quote:

Not able to get a good job with a BA in Martial Arts? Did you guys read the links provided for the US accredited universities already offering a BA in Martial Arts Studies, such as the University of Bridgeport and Concordia University?




You made a lot of points that should be addressed, but others might want to address them - - - for example I don't know anything about how to get accredited at an academic level, so I shouldn't comment on it.

But this needed a reply - - - universities can offer a major in anything they want - that doesn't mean that it'll be useful in getting the kid a job, or that students will go for it.

Quote:

What about the link describing accredited programs such as retail floristry and sports turf management?




Well, you can at least get a job as a flower arranger (which btw if you get a job doing that on a movie set pays surprisingly well), and take it from me - the guy that manages the grass at Lambeau Field is making good money, and has to know his stuff

Quote:

When you think about it, the martial arts world, even in the US alone, is a pretty big world. I think the program could offer a lot in relation to having a basic understanding of various martial arts (academic), as well as historical aspects of how they developed, and concepts such as martial arts business management.




I agree completely - - but where I start to have trouble is when you try to make it a university major. In the first place, let's look at the average college student. They're not there to learn - they're there to get that sheepskin. Your goal purports to be to enhance and spread knowledge of all things martial arts - well I might suggest that you're picking the wrong audience.

But secondly, where are you going to come up with enough material to fill four YEARS of instruction that doesn't involve any mat time?

Quote:

As any professional can tell you, receiving a BA is only a beginning or a supplement to their hands on training....this program is no different.




Well, it's a little different. I got a BA in journalism and THEN went and did the on-the-job learning. Your model would force me to be Tom Brokaw before I could get my diploma


Quote:

It would be an academic pursuit only, but (I believe) an interesting one. Some martial artists really enjoy studying things such as this...why not allow them to pursue it academically, if possible?




Because it's unnecessary. If someone enjoys studying something, they're gonna do it whether you wave a degree in front of them or not. The learning *is* the carrot. I'd frankly rather see a comprehensive website that goes into that than to see a university major try to make it something that it isn't.


I'll end by saying that I could well be wrong - - -I've been surprised before. I never thought the pet rock would go anywhere either, but the guy that invented it is rich
_________________________
"Belt mean no need rope hold up pants" - Mr. Miyagi, RIP.

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#338646 - 05/01/07 08:33 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Without attempting to discourage anybody, I would point out that the Budokans in Japan are rift with masters of the arts, and their entire programs are built on the total depth of knowledge that is contained within them. Studying Kodokan judo for instance, is a lifetime endeavor... not just a "course of study". Students that enter the Kodokan are looking for a lifetime study of Kano Judo and Jujutsu as currently being taught by the masters there. They aren't dropping by for four years and then off to run their dojos.

Hundreds of students enter the Kodokan yearly, and soon find the life a bit too much for them, so they leave. Those that stay, end up teaching there (or somewhere) for the rest of their lives, with the connection to the Kodokan that never seems to go away.

The "martial arts college" idea gives me the idea that you think you can get a slice of this and a piece of that in martial arts, and suddenly after 4 years of study, you're "qualified" to run a dojo, school, or program somewhere that will succeed. Having 45 years of involvement in them has shown me differently.

The McDojo ethic is tied to contracts and long term obligations of money to reach goals. The TMA approach is to fund the dojos with what comes in, and train until you can't move. Both methods have serious drawbacks, and serious money problems.

We used to joke that the way to make a small fortune in the martial arts was to start with a large one. There are some pretty large up-front costs to starting a dojo, and if you don't cover those, you either go out of business, or are limited to using someone else's facilities and equipment... which always leads to problems at some point.

If you focus on money, the training goes to hell... if you focus on training, the outfit starts needing bake sales to keep running... and if you operate in somebody else's facility, eventually the scheduling catches up with you, and the "other people" using the facility cause problems.

Personally, I wish something like a "MA College" had existed for some time, but over the years, I've seen the pitfalls and problems to actually keeping qualified teachers and long term students around to keep one going. Most of the long term students eventually understand how much money they have invested in the activity, and they either want a return on their money in rank, or by teaching and getting paid.

Without the dojo available, the staff available, and a small fortune to keep it running, the only thing out there is networking to gain strength and depth of knowledge... which is what martial arts schools do now through their organizations.

When there are so many differences within single styles of all martial arts, how would you ever hope to gather everyone in and standardize technique? The answer is, you won't... there are scisms of all styles from teachers who want to do something differently from how "master so and so" did it.

As I said in the opening of this post, this isn't to discourage anyone, but I've seen this same thing tried multiple times with multiple styles and groups, and it's only worked until it hit an impasse, and then it folded.
It's just possible that's how it is going to be... regardless of the "dream".

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#338647 - 05/01/07 09:58 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
good post. It could very well be that MA training, both physical and academic is not geared for the same model of learning that educational institutions are setup for. However, unless physical knowledge of MA is not somuch the goal.

academic training implies the student is being prepared with tools for a vocation. In this case, as a paid instructor.
If the idea is to fit the same model as a certified personal trainer like you see for weight lifting or fitness coaches, then the certification requirements will be established by the employers (gyms) or gym sponsors. The only dojos/dojangs/gyms that hire outside instructors are large organizations (I actually saw a help wanted-ad listing for a 'karate instructor'. when I searched where the ad was in reference to...it came up here: http://www.pittsburggym.com/martialarts.html ).

I'd recommend adding to your curriculum child psychology, first aid and all other qualifications of childcare specialists or elementary phys ed teachers.

If the aim is to meet the growing demand for activity childcare providers or adult courses of martial-based aerobics...then a Marial Arts university is just the place to fill that demand for qualified people to run those programs.

see here as a model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburger_University

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#338648 - 05/01/07 10:36 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: wristtwister]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
The idea of a Martial Arts major is as good of an idea as any.

If you were a college age student with the goal of one day running your own school. Assume for a moment, that the actual martial training occurs in that students dojo, where would they go to get the education to run a business? how to learn to teach effectively? how to handle the legalities?

Do they take a business degree, education degree, law degree?

Yes, much of this could possibly be taught by the students current instructor, but a good teacher doesn't necessarily mean a good business person or vice versa, or mean that the student will be exposed to special education situations. ADHD, disabilities, etc.

From that perspective, I could certainly see a martial arts degree which was a combination of a business/education degree with a focus on the martial arts. Having some courses on MA history wouldn't be bad, because it would give the student a better respect for all MA's (even though no one agrees on what that history is). Actual physical experience would be even better.

That being said, the real difficulty comes from the Student Teaching portion of any education degree. Unlike a traditional educational degree, you would have to work out a way to get the student actual teaching experience.

You could require the student to tape themselves teaching, if its an online program, or contract with local clubs to allow a student to student teach at their school, if its a traditional program.

But then again, I'm getting a lot of this for free right now, but if I were college age, I could see the value of having both a business and an education degree, whether it was used for running a MA school, or the next dot-com.

Laura

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#338649 - 05/02/07 02:33 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Ed_Morris,

Just so you know, I am taking this seriously so I actually am reading all the links you provide. I almost fell out of my chair when my browser opened the link to Hamburger University. Nice.

Okay, I will try to answer the questions systematically again. Please bear in mind, however, this is still only an idea. I don't have all the answers...

Harlan, you asked:
"As far as the 'accreditation' problem goes...why not go through an already accredited institution? A martial arts major in an existing Athletics department?"

That would work, and a couple of universities have already done that. However, my idea leads to an eventual residential program where martial arts students live, eat, and room together on the same campus, practicing martial arts a couple of hours a day for four years, plus getting the academic courses. A lot of "mat" time for those concerned with that. The actual residential program would have to be limited to one or two different arts just for logistical reasons (the student would have a couple of choices but would focus on one art). Once again...JUST AN IDEA.

Shadowkahn, you said:
"Your goal purports to be to enhance and spread knowledge of all things martial arts - well I might suggest that you're picking the wrong audience. But secondly, where are you going to come up with enough material to fill four YEARS of instruction that doesn't involve any mat time?"

I never said anything about spreading the knowledge of all things martial arts. I think people are getting the impression I believe this program will turn out martial arts masters in a few years. Not at all. I have been training for 27 years and I am certainly not a master myself! I do however, stand by my statement that I believe it would enhance them, but only from an academic standpoint. These courses of instruction won't make anyone a better fighter, but they may make someone understand the dynamics of stretching a little better, the physics of power and controlling techniques, the history of their art, the legal aspects of running a martial arts business, the management pitfalls of running a martial arts business, the psychology of teaching, etc. Yes, these are all things they could learn on their own or may learn from their instructor(s), but I think it would be a good idea to have it all in one place. Regarding four years of instruction, well, two years of that, just like any other degree program, is core requirements (which can be transferred in, tested out of, or, during the residential program, taken at a local university concurrently). So we are really talking two years. I believe there is plenty to learn in two years, especially since they are getting mat time, just not from the college itself. But it's still required. As you probably know from my background, I have had to write lesson plans and syllabi for undergrad and graduate programs (yes, at an accredited university), and then teach those programs. Therefore, I am intimately familiar with how to do so and approximately how much material should be covered in a semester-length class. That is how I put together my sample curriculum. Based on my experience, I feel it is possible. Last thing Shadowkahn...this could be a pet rock!

Wristtwister...excellent post. You are quire correct about how things are done at the Budokans in Japan. Let me ask this question: Would it be beneficial to have someone is Japan train at the Kodokan where they learned everything about Judo, and then also supplement that training at a local university where they would learn about things such as the courses I am proposing. Remember, not ONE of the courses I am proposing is style specific. The caliber of their training and their ability to perform their art and instruct their art would come from their training, not from the college program. But when is the last time you heard of an instructor teach a class about the legalities of teaching martial arts? Or in depth focus on the history of martial arts, other than just their own direct lineage? Or about the psychology difference between teaching a child and an adult? Or about teaching skills in general (other than "just do what I do")? There may be SOME schools out there that teach these things, but most do not. This would attempt to bridge the gap. Of course, the residential program would be different in that the art would actually be practiced with the college program, not outside of it.

You said: "The "martial arts college" idea gives me the idea that you think you can get a slice of this and a piece of that in martial arts, and suddenly after 4 years of study, you're "qualified" to run a dojo, school, or program somewhere that will succeed."

This is not the case. Once again, they become "qualified" through their parent organization. The college program provides beneficial supplemental information that could help make them more successful.

You also mentioned that you have seen this type of thing tried before and seen the pitfalls. I would love to discuss that with you sometime. With 47 years of experience, I am sure you have seen a lot and have a lot to offer.

Ed_Morris, you said: "The only dojos/dojangs/gyms that hire outside instructors are large organizations."

Remember, the instructors would not be considered "outside" instructors by going through this program. They would not be certified by the college as an instructor. They would not receive ranking from the college, but rather from their own parent organization. So, if you were an organization that had already ranked someone and then certified them as an instructor, would you consider it beneficial for them to have taken additional courses related to dojo safety and first aid (which was already listed in the curriculum), psychology of teaching, legal aspects, business management, and general martial arts history courses? Or would you see it as a detriment? Remember, YOU are the parent organization, and YOU certified/qualified them already.

Laura (tkd_high_green): Thanks for your support...I'm glad at least one person likes the idea!
You mentioned the student teaching portion. That's a good point, and actually already part of the requirements. It is listed as "Teaching Martial Arts Internship" under the courses on the website.

You all are giving fantastic feedback, and I really do appreciate it. Thank you, and please keep ideas/opinions/suggestions coming. Stay safe, respectfully, Jason

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#338650 - 05/02/07 06:50 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

This is not the case. Once again, they become "qualified" through their parent organization. The college program provides beneficial supplemental information that could help make them more successful.





Exactly... and they aren't even allowed to exhibit technique to visitiors until they have done the kata of their techniques for thousands of times. When the USJA sent representatives to the Kodokan to "view their teaching methods", the kata shown to them was done by 6th Dan teachers and was done with an apology beforehand gy the masters... "they have only done this kata a couple of thousand times, and they aren't very good at it" (exact quote reported by the visitor).

There has to be a depth of knowledge to support a Budokan, and while we have thousands of "schools" here, there isn't the depth of knowledge found in Japan or Okinawa or China, or in any of the other "nations of origin" for these arts. While they not only have those references, they ARE attached to the universities through university clubs that teach martial arts through the physical education departments.

To be honest, the biggest problem you have is that you don't have the society to support the idea and "make it happen". What supports the Budokans is a societal mindset that recognizes the value of having them. What you have here is the mindset of "I can make money off this"... they are worlds apart... separated by both philosophy and social structure.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#338651 - 05/02/07 07:52 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
glad you have a sense of humor. Seriously, the idea of any new degree program has merit if it fills a need. Since commercial gyms at the very least, provide a community with a place of activity for kids and exercise for adults, certification and screening seems a reasonable approach to keep the instructor positions filled.
Like I mentioned before, there might be some other courses that may be pertinent to consider offering:

- basic business law (contract law, small claims, liability insurance, if the commercial gym instructor gets sued, criminal background checks, identifying and preventing preditory behavior in instructors/students, etc)
- marketing (basic web page design, advertising, recruitment, retainment incentives, how to design joe camel in karate gi logos, etc)
- child care and psychology (how to deal with a student during tantrums, diaper/potty issues, child-safe gyms, new age disciplining, dealing with parents and special needs)
- First aid certification.
- Tournament/demonstration/competition sponsorship and participation.
- Seminars, private lessons and tutoring business structure.

just to name a few. If large commercial enmass-oriented martial-based gyms are here to stay anyway, they may as well have certified and screened instructors/activity providers that deal with leading the participants in a public-safe environment.

you've been polite and reasonable - good luck with your project.

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#338652 - 05/02/07 10:18 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Jason

I've read your posts and web sites with interest. I've had numerous discussions with people over the years, of martial arts being available as an acredited course at colleges. Given the interest in the subject, the complex nature of the physical and academic study possible, and the possible application of the knowledge having completed a course, I believe an acredited course (BA, MA, wahatever) to have more value to it than many courses currently offered by colleges.

The problem I have is that what you are offering is currently not acredited. As such, it screems SCAM at me.
You have put your we site together well and I have no doubt that some people will be attracted to it, however charging $7,800 for a non-acredited and therefore non-recognized degree, while not fraud, is certainly a proposal of the snake oil variety. If people are dumb enough to go for it (and there's plenty of dumb people around) you stand to make a good load of money.

As for the acreditation of the course, there are any number of organizations you can become acredited with but as you are aware, in the U.S. these are two a penny and when you present your resume in the profesional world the fact that you have done a distance learning course in anything is held in the lowest regard.

The fact that once you become acredited means the fees involved for a student may go from 7,800 to 21,000 means that you would certainly make more money but I suspect this would be due to the gulability of the purchasers more than anything else.

Despite my negative comments above, I don't actually find what your trying to do offensive, but I believe it's fundamentaly flawed. There's nothing wrong with setting up a couse of study, but what you are setting up is a college, which you are not.

If you set up the course under the auspices of a reputable college (Let's say San Antonio or Texas) I wouldn't have a problem with it, indeed I would support it.
_________________________
John L

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#338653 - 05/02/07 12:45 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
MikeC Offline
Dragon

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 130
Loc: Kingston Ontario
Check this site: www.indiana.edu/~martial/

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#338654 - 05/02/07 01:51 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: MikeC]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
anyone notice the courses in that link?
"E450: Advanced Karate II - Red Belt"

a red belt in karate is 9th/10th dan....must be quite the course. lol

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#338655 - 05/02/07 02:00 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
JM

A number of practical matters need to be addessed--not trying to be harsh, just some questions need to be addressed.

1-How will you go about establishing performance standards for grades and degrees?

Since you have had expereicne in writing syllabi, then you know they have to fit with an overall view of the subjetc matter.

Whom gets to decide the overall sublect matter and why?

And why is that opinion to be respected by anyone that will deal with the students you produce?

2-What standards will be used in picking textbooks--the "history" of the MA is rather fragmented and contentions, beyond some very basic info.

3-Where will you get teachers--and why should they teach for you?
In practical terms why would getting taught by some dude trump getting direct hands on teaching from a "name" expert just down the block?

4-How will you test the skills of the people you hire?
There is a rigouros process in place to hire say Econ prof at the college level.
You have a model in place where you find out the knowloge base of the teacher.

Past that how are you going to establish their TEACHING skills--ie the abilty to impart information in useable form.

5-Why would a person not be better off simply taking some business classes at the local college and taking his/her martial arts the same way??

6-How will the degree be recived in the MA community?

If you went to a school and said "Hi, I'm Joe have a Bachlors degree in martial arts" as opposed to "Hi, I'm Joe, I trained for the last 10 years training under teacher X."
The MA scene is, for the time being more tilted to a method of direct instruction.
Like a Union, I am required take a range of classes--but what is really important is the time spent under the direct, hands on teaching of an expert.

7-There is the practical matter of demonstrated skill.
If I have direct, hands on, practical skills in various areas--as long as I can prove it/back it up, I can get classes waved in college.
How will that work with you?
If a person comes in that can beat the heck out of the teacher, does that that mean they get an automatic "A?"

Would a highly expereinced/highly successful tournament copmetetior be allowed credit for various classes?

At what level of skill would you start to offer a stright degree??
Say a guy/gal with 25 years of training and a MBA showed up and asked to take the "masters" exam?
How could you test them?
Better yet on what basis could you turn them down for the test?

8-How would you work around organizations?

If your offering a degree in say Shotokan Karate, then how would your degree hold up vs the folks that might have title to that name and designation?

Schools fill needs, I can take my training, add an actual college degree in business--which is probably going to be of much more overall worth--say I don't end up running a school--add some First Aid classes and have pretty much what your offereing.

I can just get it cheaper, with greater range of accpetiblity and more flexibality in use, with better quality classes than you can provide.

(when deciding cost, you have to look at much more than actual dollar amounts.
A "cheaper" degree tha nobody respects will turn out to be ALOT more expensive over time than a more expensive but more generally accpeted might.)

So why would people spend their money with you?

Not trying to be an arse, just don't get the "hook" as it were.


Edited by cxt (05/02/07 02:18 PM)

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#338656 - 05/02/07 02:24 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

anyone notice the courses in that link?
"E450: Advanced Karate II - Red Belt"

a red belt in karate is 9th/10th dan....must be quite the course. lol




Depends on what karate. In AKK, red belt was just below brown.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#338657 - 05/02/07 10:36 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
oh yeah.

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#338658 - 05/03/07 12:20 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: wristtwister]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Wristtwister...Excellent points again. You are right, we don't really have the societal support for something like the Budokans in Japan. I am hoping for support on a much smaller scale, though. It may be that support comes only from a small portion of even the martial arts community.


Ed_Morris,
Thank you for these suggestions. You have listed some good ideas which could be incorporated. I am still not sure about the mass production line type of martial arts training mentality, because that is not my intent, however, the course suggestions you offered are valid points. Thank you.

JohnL,
I completely understand what you are saying, but the problem lies in the catch-22 of getting accredited. You are right, why would a student want to take a course that isn't, however, in order to become so, you are required to have at least 100 graduates of the program. This definitely makes it confusing. The reason for the prices is because I still have to pay the instructors and take care of other costs (if I plan to run this professionally, I expect to have to pay similar costs as other professional organizations). I'll need to have a location, licenses, at least one administrative staff person to start, and someone else working on standards and accreditation issues. Plus, I would have to find instructors who were legitimate martial artists as well as lawyers (for the legal class), psychologists, professional instructor trainers, etc. People who could creditably teach the courses. Then, I am sure I would have to pay them. Don't get me wrong, you bring up very valid points, but I am in a catch 22.

What if I (hypothetically) offered the courses for say, $25 for the entire course (until accredited)? Would that make a huge difference in people's opinions? It would end up costing me money, but since I am planning on dropping at least seven figures into this project anyway, if that would make a huge difference, I may be willing to do so. However, I am tempted to NOT do so. Things that are given away for free are rarely valued as they should be...classes like this would be no exception. Or, what if I said the classes would be a flat $100 each until accreditation, then go up in price? Would that make things easier to accept? To answer your statement about accreditation being "two a penny", well, not REAL accreditation, which is what I would be seeking. One of them for instance, is $200,000 just to apply. That's one reason why so many institutions don't bother. But, legitimate accreditation is important to me IF and WHEN I pursue this project. I am sorry that you view my complete honesty and "upfrontness" as of the "snake oil variety" and a "scam." I can't do any more than I can do, and I believe complete honesty and integrity in all aspects is the best way to approach things. Last, you said "There's nothing wrong with setting up a course of study, but what you are setting up is a college, which you are not." Actually, that is exactly what I am desiring to do...set up an actual martial arts college, not just a program of instruction.

Cxt,
Okay, I will answer your questions by the numbers as you asked them.

1. "How will you go about establishing performance standards for grades and degrees?

Since you have had expereicne in writing syllabi, then you know they have to fit with an overall view of the subjetc matter.

Whom gets to decide the overall sublect matter and why?

And why is that opinion to be respected by anyone that will deal with the students you produce?"
ANSWER: This would be accomplished by the board of directors and in conjuction with an invitation to the major martial arts organizations to join us. Textbooks would be chosen (for instance, I am thinking about "Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts" by Donn F. Draeger and "The Way of the Warrior" by Howard Reid in the course "Survey of the Martial Arts"). Then, assignments would be based on the chapters in the books, exams and papers would be based on the subject matter in the books.
I can't make anyone respect it...either they do or they don't.

2. "What standards will be used in picking textbooks--the "history" of the MA is rather fragmented and contentions, beyond some very basic info."
ANSWER: The board would have to decide which books are most credible. However, even for martial arts history, most of them pretty much say the same thing...that no one really knows up until about the 14th century. After that, written records are available, and as we move in the 18th century to modern day, extensive historical records are available. That is just one example (but the one you used).

3. "Where will you get teachers--and why should they teach for you?
In practical terms why would getting taught by some dude trump getting direct hands on teaching from a "name" expert just down the block?"
ANSWER: I don't really have an answer for this yet. I have contacted a few people I know that either are "names" or close to "names" to feel them out. I will also be looking for people that have degrees in both the subject matter they are teaching (say, history, for example) as well as extensive experience in martial arts. I don't really have a good answer for this yet, but suggestions are welcome. Anyone on this board have a strong educational background as well as strong martial arts background? Want to teach?

4. "How will you test the skills of the people you hire?
There is a rigouros process in place to hire say Econ prof at the college level.
You have a model in place where you find out the knowloge base of the teacher."
ANSWER: Actually, how rigorous the process is depends on the school. But to answer your question...I'm not sure. I think it will be pretty easy to determine, though, if I am asking someone to teach business management whether or not they have been successful. Plus, the board will work as a consortium of sorts, hopefully.

5. "Why would a person not be better off simply taking some business classes at the local college and taking his/her martial arts the same way??"
ANSWER: They might be better off doing just that, however, those classes won't be specifically geared to martial arts; ours will.

6. "How will the degree be received in the MA community?"
ANSWER: Well, if publicized appropriately, people would understand this is an academic degree that is supplemental to their normal martial arts training. I personally see that as a good thing.

7. "There is the practical matter of demonstrated skill.
If I have direct, hands on, practical skills in various areas--as long as I can prove it/back it up, I can get classes waved in college.
How will that work with you?
If a person comes in that can beat the heck out of the teacher, does that that mean they get an automatic "A?""
ANSWER: Yes, it will, to some extent. The entire core curriculum can be CLEPed and otherwise tested out of. That is exactly the same thing you are talking about. Regarding their physical abilities, yes, we require a certain rank progression...if they have already achieved that, they can receive credit for it. Same thing for the teaching internship...if they, for example, have been running a dojo for several years, they can receive credit fo that. Same thing for first aid/CPR...if they are already qualified to the level required, they can receive credit for that.

7, part 2. "At what level of skill would you start to offer a stright degree??
Say a guy/gal with 25 years of training and a MBA showed up and asked to take the "masters" exam?
How could you test them?
Better yet on what basis could you turn them down for the test?"
ANSWER: We would not test them on that basis alone. They have not met the requirements. If they had the experience of doing the exact same thing...we would let them test or give them credit. Having an MBA does not demonstrate they know the ins and outs of running a martial arts dojo. Having 25 years of teaching experience does not mean they understand the various different theories of teaching. They could have the internship waived (which is actually teaching a class), but not the class called "Teaching Martial Arts," which explains different theories of teaching...it helps round them out.

8. "How would you work around organizations?"
ANSWER: I would prefer to be working WITH organizations...to include developing curriculum and standards with their input.

The last point you offered about getting a business degree as well as your own martial arts training...well, that might be the better route. I can't guarantee people would respect this degree, even if accredited (although I suspect it would be respected if and when it was to become accredited). You also said you can do it "with better quality classes than you can provide." That's a assumption, of course. Maybe the classes I and the instructor staff I put together will be pretty awesome. I think they will be, if I actually do this.

Well, I think that is enough for now...sorry about the "book", but I am only answering the questions you ask.

Have a great day, and I look forward to hearing more from you...respectfully, Jason

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#338659 - 05/03/07 08:00 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

I am still not sure about the mass production line type of martial arts training mentality, because that is not my intent...



no, I'm sure thats not your intent at all by offering online classes to deliver to the most amount of people while minimizing operating costs.

you mentioned you'll be investing '7 figures' into the project. I'm not good with numbers that high...is that 10 million USD? that much commitment implies you'll be seeking certain numbers of students in order to turn profit.

at some point, someone will question your idea's credability.
http://www.americanbujutsuinstitute.com/
you are ranked from here:
http://www.ajku.net/home.html
http://www.ajku.net/ajkudirectors/memberdojos.html
with the PA based 'honbu' / academy:
http://www.coldmountainkarate.com/index.cfm?page=7#1

Is that where you got this idea of a University? from Cold Mountain Academy?

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#338660 - 05/03/07 08:37 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Ed_Morris,

Seven figures is one million. According to the figures I have gathered, it will cost me just over this to set up the school the way I want to, which would include things such as dorm rooms (remember, we're talking about a residential program, too.)

And no, to answer your question, it really has nothing to do with profit. I would love to break even eventually, but the college program will be a non-profit (that doesn't mean it can't pay back the initial investment, though). As you did the background research on me, you may have noticed that I am very much a philanthropist. I have been involved with the start up of several non-profit corporations (one of which was nationally recognized), and I currently work full-time for one. As far as karate is concerned, I haven't even charged for instruction for the last five years, because I have been able to manage the costs without doing so. I also teach a class from my home, where I have a "garage dojo" set up. Mainly neighborhood kids who would love to train but aren't able to make it to the dojo. Did you also read that I do this as a ministry? So, no, it's not about the money. I do this because I love to, and I will do what I can afford to. It's my way of "giving back." (More about my school plans later in this message) Although I probably should have never made the original statement about costs, since I did...the answer to your next question is yes, I do have the capital available. I'm certainly not "rich", but I can do this. I have not tried to hide any of this, but it's not about me, so I usually don't bring it up unless necessary. My intentions are honorable.


The main reason to offer online classes is because of the accreditation issue. Since you can't get accredited until you have been in operation for at least two years and have at least 100 program graduates, I believe the distance learning program the way I have described is the most appropriate option to lead to accreditation. Once again, however, I am completely open to suggestions from anyone and everyone that would like to make them (I know there are a lot of smarter people than me in this forum...)

Second, why would someone question my idea's credibility because I have a website for my school, which, by the way, anyone is welcome to visit (it's on the www...not hiding anything there)? Is it because I would like to have income producing schools? If I want to build something that will last, they HAVE to produce income. Otherwise they won't survive. Is it because I mentioned the words "chain of schools" in my site? I believe very much in the concept of having a (tightly controlled) chain of schools that maintain the highest and ethical standards. Not McDojo-type black belt mills, but just a set of schools that are associated with each other, teaching the exact same curriculum, with the same standards. Is that wrong?

And no, I didn't get the idea from the Cold Mountain Academy...they aren't doing anything at all like I have discussed and proposed. One of the reasons I am associated with them, however, is because they strongly supported the vision I described for this college I am talking about.

I hope that answers your questions....respectfully, Jason


Edited by JM2007 (05/03/07 08:45 AM)

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#338661 - 05/03/07 08:57 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think it is an interesting idea. But...even accreditation won't mean anything to 'old school'. Meaning...I don't think your graduates will be able to get a job with their degrees.

There are so many small, good MA schools languishing right now from lack of funds...have you considered throwing your support behind them instead?

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#338662 - 05/03/07 10:09 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
JM

1-So where wil this "Board of Dorectors come from? And exactly what standards are you setting up foe their levels of skills and knowloge?

2-So this unnamed board with unamed cred, will decide what books are to be used.
What method are you going to use to establish critieria for textbook standards?

My text books at school are vetted with a specific process--what is yours?

3-No I don't want to teach.

4-So you have no model or mechanisim to either establish the skills of the people teaching classes nor even a guess about how you would go about it.

Good luck with getting any form of acceditation.

5-Your missing the point, perhaps delibratley so.

They are the SAME classses your going to be offering, you can just get better, cheaper, elsewhere, with no need to go to your school.

Not knocking you---just pointing out that a business that can't offer a better product at a better price really can't compete.

6-I disagree, I think people will see this as uneeded and perhaps unwanted.

7-So if you allow people to CLEP the entire program--what exactly will you be teaching?
And worse, if I can come and CLEP pretty much everything--then why take the courses at all?

There seems to be no advantage to either you or me to do so.

I'm guessing that a large portion of your potential market will be able to CLEP out of pretty much everything.

Anyone with a BA and 5-10 years exp will probably meet most if not all your offerings.

And again, if you have some ma training, then you would probably be better off in a accredited, reconginized business program for the rest.

8-So you have no plans in place or ideas about how to work with organizations?

Not trying to be harsh--but one of the things I am quite "hands on" with is new business ventures.

And right now I see little more than "thought problem" here.

Perhaps it will make money--but it does not sound very strong right now.


Edited by cxt (05/03/07 10:12 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#338663 - 05/04/07 12:24 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: cxt]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
My feeling about this discussion is that we have reached some common understandings here...
1. Everyone would like to see something like this in place.
2. The likelihood of it happening is "slim to none".
3. There is no way for it to ever reach legitimacy as a 4 year program, since the physical and mental skills take a lifetime to acquire.
4. The program would be more focused on those that were hoping to go into "martial arts businesses".
5. The quality of the training would always be in question.
6. The structure of martial arts learning does not lend itself to this type of learning environment as currently structured.

What we have here is a "good idea" that is far more impractical because of the lack of social support and structure necessary to make it successful. Our society does not recognize the value of MA training as a lifetime endeavor as do the Asian societies, and do not support it in the same manner.

Here, it is looked at as "day care", or "something to do to get in shape"... not Budo. Our history is not tied to the development of these arts as is Japan or Okinawa, so there is no historical perspective for the society to adapt that "yearning to train", as in their countries. While our country celebrates history with Revolutionary War and Civil War re-enactments, and holidays celebrating events of our history, we do not have festivals honoring the Samurai or the Code of Bushido that are found in Japan, or those kinds of festivals that are found in Asian countries which exhibit historical skills and training that was found in our country.

I'd love to see a "martial arts college", but the practical side of me says "it ain't gonna happen" and be something that is either accepted by the organizations that currently manage the styles of martial arts, or the businesses that currently manage the training of martial arts. It will continue as it has been since first being brought over... with the significant difference that it will continue to be watered down by promoters (a discussion for another day).

We will continue to find open McDojos, where you can have "fries with that back-kick"...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#338664 - 05/04/07 01:05 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Quote:

Seven figures is one million.



oh yeah.

Quote:

I believe very much in the concept of having a (tightly controlled) chain of schools that maintain the highest and ethical standards. Not McDojo-type black belt mills, but just a set of schools that are associated with each other, teaching the exact same curriculum, with the same standards. Is that wrong?



of course not, nor is anyone to judge unless you are breaking the law or not delivering anything useful. The judgement will come from the enrolled students who take the courses and pay the money. and the silent judgement will be from those who don't enroll or even give the idea the time of day.

I'm not saying the idea is wrong or right. your in the idealistic stage, people here are pointing out some realities without trying to be to much of a buzz-buster. your background is pertinent since it kindof gives an impression/guess of where you are coming from. and you seem to be coming from others who have started their own orgs/academies/standards which to be honest, most always seem to end up affiliating with larger orgs that have a reputation of tournament-centric mcdojoism.

While it may not be your problem what people do with your MA degree you sign them after they have met the requirements to graduate - after a while it will be increasingly your problem since you will need sponsorship from organizations honoring your degree...EVEN if you are accredited.

So the question is, which kind of organizations & dojos are likely to accept and honor their degrees? The ones which have some say as to the curriculum. Which ones will have some say? The largest sponsors. Who will be the largest sponsors? mcdojos.

Established organizations have their own standards - someone with two Phd's from Harvard in Asian history and medical science does not necessarily make them better suited to teach than a person trained in carpentry, for instance.

Why will mcdojos be the largest backers of your college as oppossed to the federations and organizations well established with widely known and respected founders? Because mcdojos need teachers. more teachers means more franchises, more franchises means more money. standards won't be kept if it means sacrificing enrollment. whatever the current fad is, they will offer access to it by hiring an instructor. Advertising that they are graduates of your MA college gives a selling point as to the qualification of the instructors.

you aren't in it for the money, but yet you say you have to make money to survive. If survival of the business is more important than the Art, the business-side will always win. you might be forced to deliver what the investors want: mcdojo instructors.

not necessarily a prediction...I guess just a warning.

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#338665 - 05/06/07 07:27 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Ed_Morris]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Ed,

The value of degree programs depends on the faculty teaching them.

Say one art is involved, even four focused years of instruction will hardly dent what someone needs to know to be an instructor.

A program on MA history, while interesting for the individual, really has little to do with training students.

It has a poisonous flaw in that many of the current martial texts are flawed. I have over 500 books in my library and as time passes, finding original errors that are replicated in subsequent volumes over and over is so common. And even one error throws the merit of an entire work into oblivion. An example is a Pa-Kua text that shows a diagram of the human body with the liver on the wrong side of the body. How much else might be wrong? In effect the study of MA History might be renamed a study in MA Myth, for much of it is unverifiable.

Who are qualified to be the faculty? There are none who have done this before. So you end up with other degree holders who translate those studies into MA classes. Have they done so correctly? Does an MBA holder from a legitimate organization find working MA business practices interesting enough to develop a curriculum of value? Business wise, MA is small potatoes, can only go so because of the nature of the business. Would those with serious business studies spend their efforts to make a potential MA instructor more capable to run a dojo?

Universities offer programs solely for their financial benefit. They hire instructors to both teach those programs as well as continue to conduct research into their studies, and senior instructors rarely spend much time teaching. So their efforts must financially be bound into the Universities success. First year programs exist to garner great cash flow, as many of those students will wash out, for many reasons, and in turn they are often taught be new instructors and teaching assistants, keeping the costs down.

If it was a university that was taking the effort to determine how to manage developing a MA program, perhaps there would be some possibility of this occurring, as courses from other disciplines might be included.

For example how many ‘English’, ‘Rhetoric’ and other basic university programs will be included in the degree requirements. University programs are developed on the premise that a degree candidate might pursue a career in their training, but at the same time enough other material must be offered to give the candidate other possibilities if their growth goes in other directions.

After Watergate there were many times many more journalism majors than there were active journalists. Today there are more law students than practicing lawyers. A carefully designed program will accept that as a field of study it’s candidates must be more than qualified to move into other professions, too.

A successful program in a university is more than just one idea.

Now Medical School is a training profession after university.

Perhaps the JKA developed its International Instructors program in that light. The candidate must first have been a graduate of a 4 year university as well as be into their dan ranks by that point. Then they developed a 3 year intensive program, combining other studies and advanced karate training. The result is those individuals were the only ones qualified to advance their art world wide, controlled promotions, etc.

The flaw that I see is they had maybe 7 years training, in my way of thinking far too short a time.

A short order, 4 year course of study, has some value for an individual who wants that training. Where is there any proof that it equates to preparing advanced MA’s.

Ideas like anatomy and physiology sound great, but how does that integrate into an art? That would take decades of work to prove such value. A short course in First Aid and keeping a cell phone handy to contact emergency and medical professionals is a stronger answer for an instructor.

Some thoughts,
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#338666 - 05/07/07 02:01 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Victor Smith]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Hello everyone,

I see there are several posts for which I need to respond. I have been gone for several days, and it is extremely late at this time, so I just wanted to let those of you who might be expecting an answer from me know that I am not ignoring you and will respond soon, probably tomorrow. As a quick note, however, I would like to say that I have read through the posts and found them to be extremely helpful. Although many of you don't agree with my idea, I believe you are trying to honestly provide feedback and, for that, I am appreciative.

Thank you once again, respectfully, Jason

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#338667 - 05/08/07 02:03 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: harlan]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Hello everyone. Sorry it took so long to respond back to you.

Harlan,
Yes, I have considered providing some money to some of the schools where I think the instruction is good, and have even done so in the past, however, if they are failing now, they will probably be failing again in the future. Many people think the reason they are failing is because they don't have the money. But why don't they? Is it because they don't have good business management practices? Don't know how to properly advertise? In the past, I have learned that organizations I have given money to don't necessarily use the money the way I think is best. Then, they either fail or ask for more. So no, I am no longer doing this unless I am directly associated and have some say about how the money is used.

CXT,
1. The Board of Directors will come from qualified people who are members of organizations I would like to be involved in the project. I'm not sure what you mean in the second part of your first question. These will be people who are representing their particular organizations, so I am sure they will be considered knowledgeable by their organizations. Of course, if I am not personally impressed with them, they won't be a part of the project.

2. Textbooks would be chosen by the instructor of the course and approved by the Board. Just like in a traditional university.

3. Anybody else?

4. Actually, as mentioned several times, the instructors would be considered qualified and legitimate by the organizations that certified them. Since this is only an idea at this point, I don't really have the exact answer..this is something that should be hashed out in more detail once the project starts taking on a more serious role.

5. No, they are not the SAME classes. They are classes similar to what the AMAC would offer. The difference is the particular emphasis towards martial arts. Studying general business management courses, for example, doesn't address martial arts specific things such as types of insurance needed, how to find a good dojo location, how to advertise a karate school, etc. They are general in nature whereas ours would be specific.

6. Can we agree to disagree?

7. CLEP stands for "College Level Examination Program" and there are only certain classes than can be taken through them. They offer exams for such things as English, Math, Science, etc. The AMAC would only teach actual martial arts classes (NONE of which could be CLEPed), but the requirements still mandate core education. Hence, students would have the option of taking these at a traditional university, or CLEPing them (or taking one of the other recognized examination programs). So no, you wouldn't be able to CLEP out of the majority of classes. Here is the exact quote for the website: "All general education core requirements must be completed at a regionally-accredited academic institution or through the successful passing of a CLEP, DANTES, ACT PEP, or ECE examination. The AMAC does not provide instruction for any of the core requirements."
The proposed curriculum can be seen here: http://www.amaconline.net/bachelor.html

8. No, I don't have the necessary relationships in place with the organizations I would like to be involved. But my plan is to explain the idea to them (I have already done this with some), attempt to get the support, and attempt to have someone from their organization join the board as a representative.

Your last point...as I am sure you are aware with your experience starting new business ventures...no one ever has all the answers when they are still in the new idea stage. That is where I am right now. I have not started to develop an actual business plan at this point. All I have done is requested feedback from some people and organizations about whether or not they think the idea might work, and tried to get a general idea of how much it would cost to build the type of location I would like to have. If I decide it is a "go", then I will spend more time and money figuring out the answers to some of these questions that I really don't feel are too important to have at this point. Right now I am developing general plans, and I will determine the specifics of those plans when the time is appropriate. I also have experience with new ventures, which is why I am doing it in this particular manner.

Wristtwister,
You have made some vaild points, and in the end, you may be right. This may be, as you said, very impractical, and I may have to scale it back to setting up a smaller program without the buy in of the major organizations and such. Maybe I should concentrate on one particular style and see how that works...I'm not sure. But either way, you have provided excellent feedback..thank you.

Ed_Morris,
You have also brought up some very good points, especially that it more often than not comes back to the money. I think I could get it started, but you are right, it will need to be funded to continue. The last thing I want is to have only the McDojos as the sponsors. I certainly don't want it to be about the money...but maybe in the end it either will be or it won't work. I don't have a problem with organizations making money teaching martial arts, but I do have a problem when the teaching becomes about making money and that takes precedence over the art itself. As long as standards remain high and quality instruction is still provided...making money is okay in my opinion. I guess what I am saying is that I don't want this idea to ever become about the money.

Victor Smith,
I completely agree, the value of the degree is inherent on the quality of people teaching in the program. I would be attempting to place only quality people in the faculty, but you are right, that is an issue. I am impressed that you have over five hundred books in your library. One of things I would like to do is build the world's largest martial arts library for use by the students of my dojo and the college.

Regarding those with serious business interests being willing to develop martial arts business programs...I think the answer is yes. I, for one, have a Master's degree in Business and Organizational Security Management, and see the validity of it. I have also talked to other peers who have MBAs and law degrees that do as well. And would be willing to help develop curriculum and teach.

Regarding your other question about material other than martial arts courses, yes, that is part of the curriculum as well (please see above link).

You mentioned that a 4-year course of study program is too short. I agree...remember, this is only intended to be a supplement to their other training, in which they have to be at least a Shodan (a beginning in itself) in order to complete the degree program.

I know there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. I am not sure where I going with this at this point...however, many of you have provided excellent feedback for which I am grateful. I don't mean to always sound as if I am defending the idea, but I am rather simply trying to answer objections. I don't have answers for all of them, but if I pursue this idea, I will develop, probably with a team, the best course of action.

Thank you again, and I continue to welcome feedback. Respectfully, Jason

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#338668 - 05/08/07 03:29 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
JM

There is some really good advice being given by all sorts of people.

1-You have no clue how to go about establishing why a given person is "qulaified" of not---and you don't even have a guess how to establish that for the potential students.

If I was your banker and I asked you several times now--just how you define "qualifed" and you could not answer me---then you get no money from my bank.

2-You can't even tell me whom exactly is "qualified" to teach and yet your OK with these nameless, faceless, phantom people picking your books??

Again if you can't me even in THEORY whom is going to be doing this and what books they will use--then nobody is going to bankroll your project.

4-If the ORGANIZATIONS are the ones that are de-facto certifing and "qualifying" your teachers then why do they need YOU?

I'd just set up a school with my OWN organization and keep all the cash to myself.

5-Actually they are the "same" class, your just wanting to have it at YOUR location rather than elsewhere.

MA are simply not that different from any other business--even the insurence is simply not that complex---plus your better organization do all that for you ANYWAY.

Another "non-benefit" that people won't need or can get better elsewhere.

7-Yeah, I know what CLEP stands for

Now your waffling, BEFORE you told me that skilled MA person COULD CLEP out of martial arts classes.

If I'm the current forms champion or the current UFC winner by what possible logic could you force me to take one of your "martial arts" classes?

If I'm de-facto better than your teachers--why come to you at all?

This goes to the heart of the problem---not many people have in-depth hands on work with say Forensics Accounting.
Chances are the teacher will know more about that than any of his students.

Martial arts however is a very different industry from the students perspective and people with tons of hands on are eveywhere.

If you have no means of dealing with thses people then I can see serious problems ahead.

Not the least of which is messy situation with skilled students.

Remember, were not talking about skilled people in classes--where talking about skilled people and DEGREES.


Edited by cxt (05/08/07 03:30 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#338669 - 05/08/07 06:28 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: cxt]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Cxt,

Yes, there is some good advice being given here, and I do appreciate it. Even though you don't agree with the idea, you are making some good points which have caused me to think about particular things. Please don't misinterpret my responses are argumentative, even though they may appear to be such.

1. I thought I had made it understood that I don't have the exact qualification requirements established yet. Since this is still the beginning phases of the idea, I am no where near asking for someone to payroll the project, however, you are correct that I should have this issue determined before actually attempting to establish the program. Also, I am really not too concerned about what any bankers may think since I am planning to pay for the upfront costs myself. IF and WHEN I get that far, I will have a complete business plan developed before I put any money into the project, just as I expect others to provide for me when asking me to provide venture capital. You are correct in that the absence of a complete, well-thought business plan with questions such as this answered only get laughed off of my desk. I am not that far in the process yet.

2. See number one. Remember that although the standards are not yet set, they will be when appropriate to do so. Once again, I am not that far in the process yet. Also, the project will get bankrolled if I choose to do it and, after developing the business plan and satisfying any objections (personally), if I think it will work. I have no doubt the person bankrolling this project will agree with my determinations.

4. Maybe it would be better to do as you suggest: set up my own organization and and keep all the money for myself. However, remember that it's not about the money. If it WERE about the money, then this would probably be the best solution. In the end, if I still believe in the project but can't get the organizational support I desire, maybe this is the best answer. However, I would still want to get accredited.

5. I don't think they are the same, but that is just my opinion.

6. I never said someone could CLEP out of martial arts classes. What I said was they could CLEP out of the core curriculum. In the academic world (for a bachelor's degree), there are two main curricula to be concerned with: the core curriculum and the major curriculum. The core curriculum consists of your maths, sciences, composition, rhetoric, arts, humanities, etc. The major curriculum, in this case, consists of the martial arts academic classes. What I said was that some of these COULD be waived (I should have said "credited") based on experience. The ONLY ones that could be waived in this manner include: First Aid and Safety (if already qualified to the required level), the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Martial Arts (if already AT LEAST ranked as a SHODAN), and the Teaching Martial Arts Internship (if they already have extensive experience teaching). Every other class must be taken. It doesn't matter whether or not they have 40 years of teaching experience, they still have to take "Teaching Martial Arts," they just wouldn't have to take the internship of the same name...they've already done it. Either way, the CLEP program is only for the core curriculum. I hope this further clarifies your concern in this area.

To quickly address your last couple of comments...I wouldn't want to FORCE anyone to come to the classes, however, if a forms champ or UFC champ wanted to pursue this as an academic study, it is completely different than what they have already done. Kudos to them for being that good. But they wouldn't get any more credit than someone else would for the same type of classes. They would still have to get the core curriculum by attending classes at a regionally-accredited university or test out of them using the recognized tests (as detailed on the AMAC website). They would still have to take, for instance, Martial Arts History, Martial Arts Philosophy, etc. I would hope they would also have a lot to offer the program. To be honest, if someone ever came to me and said they were the current UFC champ or a forms champ and they couldn't learn anything from my classes, I wouldn't want them as a student anyway. Not because they are that good, but because they obviously don't have the right attitude.

Why would it be a serious problem and a messy situation to have extremely skilled students? I think that would be great...they could add a lot to the program. I can honestly tell you that I have a couple of students who, at this point, and from a purely physical level, could probably defeat me in a real match. Does that make me a bad instructor? Or does it make me a better instructor for recognizing that? I am proud of them...because I helped shape them. And, I still have a LOT to teach them. For that matter, I still have a LOT to learn.

I have to go at this point, but I hope this has answered some of your questions and concerns.

Respectfully, Jason

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#338670 - 05/09/07 04:29 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
JM

And what I'm saying is that questions about the teachers/books etc are the MOST crucial ones to have answers for.

Its like trying to build a car without knowing what kind of engine you want.

You kinda need to be able to answer those questions.

4-NOPE, that is NOT what "suggested" at all.

What I said was if some organization is going to provide teachers etc--then they have no need of YOU at all.

They would be better offer from a business standpoint just takeingyour idea and doing it themselves--no "middle man" to drive up prices and better control over the product itself.

6-Sorry, but they ARE the same--more or less.

Also feel teh need to point out two things here.

A-Since you have NO idea whom is teaching or the textbooks used or an actual course of study---how the heck can you even claim that they are "not the same??"

You have no idead what your teaching, whose teaching it or with what materials---no possible way you can make that statetment at this point--none.

B-Again, if you can't tell people why they should take your classes instead of something else in a couple of clear sentences--then you'll be able to sell this to exactly NOBODY.

6-Eveytime we try and discuss this CLEP thing the more muddle it gets.

Your saying multiple contridictor things about it.

I'll say it again, martial arts is a subject where people have the capacity to have very in-depth expressable skills, you need a logical means of dealing with them.

You don't have one--you need to seriously think about it.

What are you selling?

If I can better elsewhere why come to you?
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#338671 - 05/09/07 10:18 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: cxt]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
CXT,

You have a lot to offer and your comments are appreciated.

Your analogy about building a car is perfect. In fact, maybe that will help clarify the current stage of this project. Using the "building a car" mentality, right now I am simply telling others about this idea I have and I want to see if they think it is a good idea or not. I don't have specific details yet because I don't believe those details are needed yet.

I am saying "Hey everyone, I have this great idea...something I'm going to call a car. It will be kind of like the carriages everyone drives now, but it will use an engine kind of like a train instead of having a horse pull it. The engine will have to be smaller than a train's of course, and maybe use carbon combustion instead of steam combustion, but I haven't worked out the details for how to do that yet. Do you think it would be a good idea to have a horseless carriage? I mean, do you think even the basic idea, in its infancy, sounds good?"

You are saying "Whoa, that will never work. Will the engine be diesel or gas? 4, 6, or 8 cylinder? A Hemi? How many horsepower?"

Obviously, these are two completely different stages in the development process, just as I am in the infancy stages of my idea and you think I am ready to open the doors and recruit students.

Either way, it doesn't matter at this point. I do appreciate your feedback, and also that you obviously feel very strongly about what you are saying and are willing to share it. However, I think at this point we are beating a dead horse about the same couple of points, and other people are probably tired of reading about it.

Also, I don't think I have contradicted anything I have said; I have had several other people read the dialogue between us regarding the CLEP aspect, and they seem to understand just fine (but it may be because they have a little more background information). For some reason, however, my point is obviously not coming across. I would be happy to discuss it with you offline if you would like. Let me know and I will PM my phone number...maybe discussing it that manner would help more.

So, other than the standards and qualifications for instructors and books (about which points I will go ahead and concede to Cxt) that will be established at a later time, are there any other major areas of concern with the idea (from anyone)?

It is often difficult to detect intent behind the written word when reading a message such as this. I hope I have not come across in any manner as demeaning, argumentative, or belligerent because I certainly don't intend to.

I hope to keep hearing from people, respectfully, Jason

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#338672 - 05/10/07 03:58 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
JM

I honestly mean no offense, seriously, as you say things are sometimes hard to get across on-line.

But from where I sit there is big difference between:

"Hey I got this idea"

And:

"Here's what I'm planning."

If the former, then all were really doing is playing "what if."

"What if" can be fun, but as a business plan "what if" simply does not get it done.

If the latter, then you have a number of concerns to address to make your idea a reality.

Forwarned is forarmed as far a business idea goes BTW.


Edited by cxt (05/10/07 03:59 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#338673 - 05/23/07 01:11 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Hapkid0ist Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 125
Loc: Hollyhood, Ca.
Some accredited universities already offer degrees in the martial arts. I believe there is a school in Northern Va and the University of Bridgport has one as well.
http://www.bridgeport.edu/pages/3868.asp
_________________________
D.W. McCullar, Hapkido
I.H.K.A./I.H.M.U.Ca. Chief Instructor, 5th Dan
www.ihmuca.com

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#338674 - 08/15/07 09:55 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Hapkid0ist]
falconhunter2020 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 16
A question asked earlier was "what kind of job would a MA degree help you get?"

Would it be possible to have an internship program through the college for bouncers, bodyguards, ect? Also, could the college make a deal with the military to give graduates a higher chance of being accepted into special forces programs? What about the US Marshalls?

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#338675 - 08/21/07 11:40 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Michael_Scialpi Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 1
Hi Jason.

We've never met but you're already earning my respect. I say this because of how you respond so professionally and rationally to people who just don't seem to be listening or getting your point. I am a retired USAF Senior NCO and I agree completely with your view that more often than not, the major of a degree is irrelevant to employers who require a degree from their applicants these days. I think your idea is a good one. Hell, I knew a guy once who had a degree in Spanish! My only advice would be to ensure you're seeking accreditation from one of the 7 regional accrediting bodies recognized by the US Dept. of Education. There are other "accrediting entities" out there who are much like the dan rank certificate mills we've come to know in the martial arts community. BTW, I've been unable to access your website (expired?), or e-mail you. How can I learn more about your program?

Mike, S

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#338676 - 11/07/07 12:18 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Michael_Scialpi]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Falconhuner2020 and Michael_Scialpi,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have been out of pocket for a little over a month and am just getting back onto the site.

To answer your question about making a deal with the military to have a higher chance of getting into special forces...I don't think that will make a difference. If we can get legitimate accreditation, the degree would be able to be used for commissioning purposes, but martial arts experience (in itself) wouldn't really help with either an SF "Q" course or indoc, or any pre-training. Of course, the physical fitness component, self-discipline and confidence would be helpful, but the military would be more interested in training their soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors in their own way, not recognizing previous rankings or degrees. Although my personal martial arts background was certainly helpful, I had to become fully qualified in the military version of hand-to-hand combat/defensive tactics before teaching it. The last thing I wanted to do was be like the one guy in my class who offered up the information that he was a black belt in some martial art...I don't think I've ever seen another person get knocked down so quickly! :-)

Mr. Scialpi: Thank you for your kind words. The only one of the seven regional accrediting agencies I would be able to work with is the one that covers Texas (The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges at http://www.sacs.org). My most recent discussion with them, to be honest, was not very favorable. I am hoping that, if we pursue this program (and I have gotten a lot of really good feedback...we probably will) when we have met the minimum requirements, they will be more willing to work with us. The other option is working with a national (as opposed to regional) accrediting agency which is still recognized by the US Depratment of Education and the Council for Higher Education. As long as we are accredited by an agency recognized by either, or both, of these entities, the degree would still be considered valid for employment purposes such as commissioning requirements for the US military. I am not sure why the link didn't work for you. I just checked the one in the first message of this thread and was able to get to it. Please PM me if you are still unable.

As a side note to anyone else who may be reading, as I stated above I have received a lot of favorable (and of course some not favorable) feedback on the program idea. I believe there is enough interest in the program to proceed, and am currently working on engaging the interest of qualified (meaning legitimately credentialed) persons to serve as faculty members should we get this off the ground. These people would be qualified both academically (from regionally-accredited institutions) as well as in their respective martial arts. Please feel free to have interested people contact me.

As always, I look forward to feedback and opinions.

Respectfully, Jason

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#338677 - 11/07/07 12:45 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
JM2007, you are going to need a few years operating capital to pull off such an idea. Some things to consider: 1) Both the Army and Marine Corp have their own H2H training. Anything you would teach for military would have to be similar to that. 2) You will have to have General Education courses (English, Math, Foreign Language, History, etc.). Just to get someone with the appropriate credentials in each category is a lot of time and resources invested, especially as you'll need multiple professors in each area. 3) You will need to have ROTC, which you have to accredit through the DoD, on top of your academic accreditation. You will have to have a few years of accreditation before DoD will even consider you for ROTC. Without ROTC, you cannot guarantee your graduates will become officers.

I think it could work, overall, and I have asked the same question, back before the change over in 2005. It's just time and resources.

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#338678 - 11/07/07 08:12 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Bushi_no_ki,

I am sorry if I gave the impression that I was planning on setting up a program to teach military defensive tactics...I was actually just responding to falconhunter2020 regarding his suggestion to try to set something up with the military. In short, I don't think that would be very likely to happen and I am not sure I would be interested in pursuing that anyway.

I'm not concerned about the operating capital at this point. If and when we get to the point of setting up a residential program, financing is available. However, the initial two years won't require it.

You bring up an excellent point about the general education, or core, requirements. However, we will not be teaching ANY of those. They will be required in the curriculum, however, students will be required to complete those at regionally accredited institution. I have already spoken to several colleges in the local area who have indicated an interest in working out an agreement to teach those core requirements for residential students of the AMAC (again, once we get to that point). Accreditation standards don't require that you actually teach those general ed courses, just that you have manageable way to include them, which allows for the use of another university or college (using something usually called a "cross-town agreement").

I have no desire to start an ROTC program...once again, if students are interested in this, they may use a "cross-town agreement."

I think the confusion came when I mentioned using the degree for commissioning purposes. In that regard, I was only speaking in terms of the fact that, if legitimately accredited, the degree would be recognized by the federal government for commissioning purposes, i.e., as a pre-requisite for applying to OCS.

I hope this quells any confusion.

Respectfully, Jason McLendon

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#338679 - 11/07/07 11:57 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Actually, disregarding ROTC altogether is probably a bad idea as well. Leave your option there open, as a lot of the officers your school teaches will end up at CALL, and would have a hand in further developing the MACP curricula. And if you want the school to be anything martial, you do have to play up the ultimate martial, the military.

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#338680 - 11/08/07 08:16 AM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
JM2007 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Bushi_no_ki,

Good point...I haven't yet talked to anyone about that, but it would probably be a good idea to have a cross-town agreement with an ROTC program in the area. That is a long way down the road, though. And, as you stated before, we aren't even accredited yet (which in itself is still a long way down the road). I will keep the future possibility of an ROTC program open.

Thanks for your feedback...respectfully, Jason

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#338681 - 12/28/07 03:04 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: JM2007]
tigga1723 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 1
Loc: coos bay,OR
My name is Thomas and I am a 1st degree in Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate. I have an extensive background in martial arts from Aikido to some shotokan and TKD. I believe that if you can get accredited and the courses all validated that there is a great potential for students. The majority of the posts that I have been reading have been somewhat negative and I would like to be positive. I am a firefighter/EMT and I train daily at either my dojo or a friends dojo. A lot of the postings are correct in the fact that getting a degree does not make you an instructor, time, patience, blood sweat and tears give you the knowledge and experience needed to be a quality instructor/sensei but in achieving that rank, you also learn to be an optimist and look at things from a positive view. The mat time and physical side of the courses should be done at the students local martial arts facility whether its a local dojo or the college. It is a matter of the instructor to feel that the student is good enough to be an instructor, apprentice instr. and so on. that is why a student never asks when, " when am I testing for my next belt?"

One way that might alleviate some of the problems for right now is have potential students to keep training at wherever they are training at now and to look into taking some of the courses outlined in the course curriculum and start in that direction. I know I have some of the courses already at my local college ( anatomy. physiology, cpr & first aid, kinesiology, body mechanics ect) or a health care professional type training area ( personal trainer, nurse, EMT/Paramedic and so on) until things start going smoother, that way if things don't go as planned, they can still work towards some other major degree. Just because you have a degree in that field does not mean that you have to practice in that field.

I have spoken with quite a few of the local instructors in my area and we are definately interested. I will be waiting for further details, while I am waiting I have been going to college for a firefighter/EMT associates so alot of the gen ed classes can just cross over.


thomas

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#338682 - 12/28/07 11:05 PM Re: Martial Arts College Degree [Re: MattJ]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
I don't know how I missed this thread after all this time.

This is not a new idea at all. There are plenty of places to go an get a non-accredited martial arts degree, and even a few real colleges that offer programs.

from the web site:
"General Education Core Requirements: All of these requirements must be fulfilled through a regionally-accredited institution or may be tested out of through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), the ACT PEP Regent's College Examinations, or the Excelsior College Examination Program. All core requirements can be completed through one of these accredited examination programs."
In looking at the web site, all that is offered at this time is that people pay a fee to get a certificate that says they took courses some place else. I assume that if enough money started coming in you would start offering classes and then build from there.

If you are thinking about growing into a real accredited college, you are looking at several decades and hundreds of millions of dollars, if not a billion or more.

If you have legitmate credentials in a martial art you'd be better serving potential students by opening a real dojo and offering real martial arts credentials. Of course then you can start offering other classes and atleast get some kind of charter from your state with the set goal of earning some sort of accredidation.

In the mean time, if I have to go someplace else to take accredited classes, then go to an approved dojo to take martial arts, what value would be added by paying more money for a certificate from any other organization?

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