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

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

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.

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:

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 I am sure you are aware with your experience starting new business 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.

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.

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

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

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

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.

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

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

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

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

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

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.

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

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

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

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

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

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"


"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.

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

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.
D.W. McCullar, Hapkido
I.H.K.A./I.H.M.U.Ca. Chief Instructor, 5th Dan

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

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?

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

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

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

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 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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