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.
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.
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.
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