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#363661 - 10/04/07 11:49 AM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
To John Q public Credentials are whats hang on your wall or whats in your window. I know many dojos that because they win torunaments the public flocks to them. Even when they are not wanted at some of the bigger events because their students and assistance and sometimes head Instructor lack discipline. Sometimes both are wanted by the police. I'm not bashing tourneys just the judgment of John Q public.

Most head Dojo or teacher even here in USA keeps some kind of records but usually only share that with other Senseis. I don't think John Q is really concern with real credentials they want what They believe they want. I've seen some families walk out of good dojos because tournament competition is not the teachers main concern.

The major body have split so much that there is no control of what is or is not an accredit (being sanctioned don't make you a good dojo imho, now days you can buy it) or good dojo. The only proof as mentioned is the fruits that it bears, from the top to the youngest student, generally speaking. The knowledgable can see this clearly, but John Q is blind to it unless it painted gold.

Edited by Neko456 (10/04/07 11:56 AM)

#363662 - 10/04/07 01:20 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Joss Offline

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 567

'Credentials' is really, if you think on it, a really nebulous thing to tell someone to check out. Newbies/parents are conditioned in US society to think paper 'academic' or 'association' types of credentials. Part of the commercialized world we live in. These folks accept 'rank' as a substitute for paper. They don't have a clue how this barely touches the surface. There is the idea of 'street creds'...and that seems pretty dominant in the 'old world' of karate. 'If he can kick my butt..' type of thinking. Then there are the lineage hunters. I think that is pretty worthless as a 'credential' myself. Kinda like saying 'I'm a Yale man'. Doesn't indicate if you flunked Yale or were Valedictorian.

Isn't this everyday life for any commercial activity?

What are the credentials we use for:

... your doctor, dentist, lawyer, electrician, mechanic, home builder, day care center? Beyond state licensing, what is there? I've never sought or rejected anyone based on their wall hanging certificates.

Reputation and price are about it.

#363663 - 10/04/07 01:36 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: Joss]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Reputation'. That is an interesting credential.

#363664 - 10/04/07 02:40 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: Bossman]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Bossman: I took a look at it...but section 3.1 (Instructor Qualifications) refers one to Appendix 10...and Appendix 10 is empty of qualifications.


Hi Harlan

Here's a guide we put together for English people: you can also download the standards document for free there.

#363665 - 10/04/07 03:14 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
JMWcorwin Offline

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
As previously said, I've never actually had anyone ask. I have my cert's posted on the wall but haven't had them challenged by anyone.

In reality, I think like most things you're selling yourself not the art or your links to the art. Those who know nothing will join because they like you, your pitch, your attitude, etc. Those who know will be able to tell if you're legit by watching you and/or your class.

Sure, if you're clueless and want reassurance, go ahead and ask for the paper. Then try and check it out if that makes you feel better. But, my advice would be talk to the instructor; get a feel of his character. Watch a few classes and try at least one. If you still feel like you need credentials, it's probably not the school for you.
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

#363666 - 10/04/07 03:17 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: JMWcorwin]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Yes...but there is this recurring idea that martial arts should somehow be regulated. It keeps coming up...and tv coverage like the initial post feeds into a perceived 'need' for some kind of 'certification'.

#363667 - 10/04/07 03:32 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
All of the following words have the same root word (credere) to believe or trust...


cre·den·tial [kri-den-shuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. Usually, credentials. evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form: Only those with the proper credentials are admitted.
2. anything that provides the basis for confidence, belief, credit, etc.
–verb (used with object)
3. to grant credentials to, esp. educational and professional ones: She has been credentialed to teach math.
4. providing the basis for confidence, belief, credit, etc.


cred·i·ble [kred-uh-buhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. capable of being believed; believable: a credible statement.
2. worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy: a credible witness.
[Origin: 1350–1400; ME (< MF) < L crédibilis, equiv. to créd(ere) to believe + -ibilis -ible]

—Related forms
cred·i·bil·i·ty, cred·i·ble·ness, noun
cred·i·bly, adverb

—Synonyms 1. plausible, likely, reasonable, tenable


cred·i·bil·i·ty (kr?d'?-b?l'?-t?) Pronunciation Key
The quality, capability, or power to elicit belief: "America's credibility must not be squandered, especially by its leaders" (Henry A. Kissinger).
A capacity for belief: a story that strained our credibility.


cre·du·li·ty [kruh-doo-li-tee, -dyoo-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
willingness to believe or trust too readily, esp. without proper or adequate evidence; gullibility.
[Origin: 1375–1425; late ME credulite < L crédulit?s. See credulous, -ity]


cred·u·lous [krej-uh-luhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. willing to believe or trust too readily, esp. without proper or adequate evidence; gullible.
2. marked by or arising from credulity: a credulous rumor.

Last but not least...


in·cred·i·ble [in-kred-uh-buhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. so extraordinary as to seem impossible: incredible speed.
2. not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable: The plot of the book is incredible.

Someone could discribe me as incredible, meaning I'm either amazing or not someone to place your trust in.

Don't you just love the english language.

#363668 - 10/04/07 03:57 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

The Martial Arts are already regulated, but in more subtle ways. They don't certify the instructors knowledge or ablitity, the state often requires bonding insurance proof to allow a pogram to proceed. Then the landloard/school or organization hosting the program require liability insurance to protect their property or location from law suit. In turn the insurance companies set up what a program can or cannot do, requiring safety gear for all 'sparring' and regulating what techniques are allowed or disallowed to protect their right to make money and not pay anything out.

While there are exceptions this form of regulation is far more sensible for the governments than trying to open the can of worms who is qualified or not. They're protecting the public in their eyes, with such regulation and as long as the public is protected (that the school can't fold and not return the pre-payments of the students, that the student won't be injured because of the insurance restrictions) thats' all that is required.

For example in NH, all of the phone directory yellow pages for Martial Arts carry an admonishment if you're opening a martial arts program you have to call the State for Registration details. And the State is notified if a school opens by the commercial schools falling over themselves to report them, trying to get them to drop out because of the cost of the bonding insurance.

Edited by Victor Smith (10/04/07 04:01 PM)
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#363669 - 10/04/07 06:48 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
JMWcorwin Offline

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
I supose in this day and age a school that teaches children, which most do, parents might be wanting to know things like, "Is he a criminal? A pediphile? Sex offender?" And I guess I don't have a prolem with them wanting to know it. But I might have a problem with being asked for a criminal check from a student. Mine's clean, but the asking would bother me I think. If it somehow became another in a long line of lame, privacy invading, paranoia induced laws, I would post such a certification in my office.

But, I was looking at the question more from the standpoint of people looking for a true martial arts teacher and not certification of honorable standing in the community. That's a whole new well that I loathe diving in to. Are priests now required to have such credentials? Soccer coaches? Little league, football, and on and on? And would any such certification garauntee you're leavin your child with a trustworthy person? No. It just means they haven't been caught or it hasn't been reported.

No matter how hard you try, morality can't be legislated.
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

#363670 - 10/04/07 06:48 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
Indeed, there are lots of things that a person could think IF they ever decided to ask about credentials. And yes, I can see how someone would think a few of the things you posted.

1) I am a student of a true Okinwan master
unsubstantiated and opinionated statement. however the bragging tone is noted. are you or were you a regular student of Kensei Taba...or are you ranked thru his organization?
What tone? I would be the first to tell you that I am the most humble person you will ever meet. I don't see how this is unsubstantiated or opinionated. Someone may doubt his abilities, but Okinawa is rather strict on who is termed a Master. It would be nearly impossible to prove I was ranked by direct teaching from him.

2) The only person in the Greater Dayton, Ohio area directly linked to Okinawa and the U.S. Director for his Okinawan Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Association.
"Shogen-Ryu" ? basically thats Kensei Taba's version of Matsubayashi, yes? There are other Matsubayashi in the Ohio area - in fact, it used to be/still is a hotspot for Matsubayashi Ryu. There are other Shorin orgs in that area. Yes, There are lots of Matsubayashi-Ryu dojos in Ohio and many in the Dayton area. However, all of the Dayton area dojos belong to associations that are headed by a self appointed U.S. 'Master'. None are affiliated with Okinawa.

2) I am listed in the Okinawan prefecture registry of True Okinawan Karate instructors.
does it actually use the term 'True'? what organization makes that registry? since you use the term 'prefecture', I'm guessing it's based in mainland Japan?
I am not sure what all it exactly says. It is in Japanese. Here is the link web page
Seriously though, how many people would question my name on a website with a lot of Japanese writing?

3) I hold Masters degrees in Anatomy and Physical Therapy (in 8 weeks). So they will learn safe and effective martial arts.
The 'safe' part I'll give you, but how does an academic degree qualify what you teach as 'effective' ? Absolutlely!!! So much stuff I see being taught as effective is so anatomically and biomechanically wrong. Knowing how the body works, I know very well how to make it NOT work. I have cut into the body enough to know how and where things are located.

4) I let them watch/participate in a class and see what I can teach them. How is that a qualification? isn't that more of a 'what you see is what you get' policy?
How is it not? If I knew someone without any affiliation or certificates and knew that person could teach me something amazing, I would consider that the ultimate qualification.

I see where you are coming from and I agree. It is not easy to qualify yourself, but these are things I think make me unique in my area.
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo

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