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#363641 - 10/03/07 12:50 PM What are YOUR 'karate credentials'?
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
(From E-budo) A 'karate conman' was exposed, and the advice to parents was to check out the teacher's 'karate credentials'. I found that an incredibly hard thing to qualify/nail down. An uninformed parent might think that credentials equals association 'papers', or rank, or just grey hair and self-professed 'years of study'. A beginner like me thinks 'show me'. I don't have a clue how bonafide karate teachers assess their peers.

Define 'karate credentials'. Is that really good advice anyway???

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8IhEN5QBD8A


Edited by harlan (10/03/07 12:54 PM)

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#363642 - 10/03/07 01:48 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I think credentials only matter in certain cases. If you are selling yourself as coming from a certain lineage, teaching a certain manner, etc. Then it become a matter of not getting what you pay for if the credentials are not there or are bogus.

If one is simply looking to learn fight skills, then the only credential the teacher needs is to be able to beat your a$$.

Bonafide teachers should be able to assess skill pretty easily by watching for a bit. Alignment, speed, accuracy, etc, are pretty visible. A quick sparring match will really tell you.

But even most paper credentials can be checked, if anyone ever bothers.
_________________________
"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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#363643 - 10/03/07 02:17 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: MattJ]
ChangLab Offline
Sleepy-ninja

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 312
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
"Credentials do not Make the Man or the Martial Artist"

-Me

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#363644 - 10/03/07 02:50 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
All instructors have 'credentials' which are not pieces of paper from some group.

They're the class and the students.

To see their credentials observing how the instructor teaches beginners, how they teach advanced students (brown belts), how theyr very advanced students perform form the only credentials anyone needs to know.

A students performance is always their own, but it is also a reflection how they are being taught.

The method to evaluate credentials is quite simple, watch a class, and compare that to classes from other instructors in your local.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#363645 - 10/03/07 03:21 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
Hmm, karate credentials, how about, when you strike your opponents fall. That is the credential for an individual's karate. For an instructor, when your students strike their opponents fall. At least that's how I see it.
_________________________
Dulaney Dojo

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#363646 - 10/03/07 03:30 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: medulanet]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Sure...you guys know what to look for. Like in the video...they questioned something 'basic': how the kids were likely to hyperextend a knee due to poor teaching of kicking. That isn't something a clueless parent knows.

Seems like credentials for the advanced are things you learn...but don't put on a resume.

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#363647 - 10/03/07 04:02 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
There is no system that provide credentials that anyone can use and trust as meaningful.

But the buyer can use simple ways to see what happens. Talk to students, for exmple if they're all limping that might point to the knee hyper-extension you mention. Sure that's simplistic but there is little else. Find knowlegable individuals and solicit their opinion, compare schools, and then keep a commitment if when you get into the program if it is bad, leave immediately. Document your reason and when they come after you for money, counter sue!!!!!!!!!!

Pleasant world isn't it.

The rule Crevat Emptor, let the buyer beware, is the true credential.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#363648 - 10/03/07 04:26 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Harlan,
I don't know if many prospective students or parents question credentials very often. Not that they shouldn't. Most folks seem to believe whatever they are told.

First any interested party can observe as many classes as they wish. They are also free to participate in classes without cost (within reason). They must first sign a waiver though.

I am willing to provide anyone that asks, my training history and teaching experience. That includes rank certificates and contact information for my instructor and the other instructors in our organization that I have trained and tested under. In addition I would be willing to provide (with their permission) contact information for current adult students and parents of minor students as references.

I would also be willing to provide personal references outside of the art.

If that left any questions unanswered I would encourage the prospective student or parent to talk with my wife. My wife is almost pathologically incapable of being untruthful.

If that left them wondering anything I would let them talk to my 3 teens.

My kids would tell then that I'm a huge a$$ and I never let them do anything or go anywhere and I'm so cheap and I think I'm sooooooooooooo funny and I'm soooo not funny and we have to be in by a stupid midnight curfew and that I MAKE one drive a USED Saturn and the other one drive a USED Toyota when her best friend got a new Lexus for her birthday and Alexi got a JEEP LIBERTY for her birthday!!! They would let you know I'm sooooooooo not fair and that we are POOR!!!


So I guess what I'm say is the best Karate credentials I have are a very honest wife, and normal teens.
_________________________
www.prairiemartialarts.com

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#363649 - 10/03/07 04:26 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: harlan]
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
Quote:

(From E-budo) A 'karate conman' was exposed, and the advice to parents was to check out the teacher's 'karate credentials'. I found that an incredibly hard thing to qualify/nail down. An uninformed parent might think that credentials equals association 'papers', or rank, or just grey hair and self-professed 'years of study'. A beginner like me thinks 'show me'. I don't have a clue how bonafide karate teachers assess their peers.

Define 'karate credentials'. Is that really good advice anyway???

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8IhEN5QBD8A




Hi Harlan

Here's a guide we put together for English people:

http://www.masa.org.uk/ you can also download the standards document for free there.
_________________________
supporting standards in the martial arts www.shikon.com www.masa.org.uk

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#363650 - 10/03/07 08:51 PM Re: What are YOUR 'karate credentials'? [Re: oldman]
Saisho Offline
more than just a pretty face

Registered: 06/26/06
Posts: 620
Loc: Dayton, Ohio
I agree with Oldman in the statement that most people don't look at creds. If a person has a blackbelt (provided that art uses blackbelt to mean the upper ranks), most people will not question further.

Now, those that understand the varying abilities between instructors (notice I didn't say 'Style'), may want to know a little about association or even lineage. Lineage should speak for something. Anyone I promote to blackbelt will meet a standard that I expect. There shouldn't be a decline in quality.

Association doesn't mean a whole lot. It is sometimes a plus for prospective students to know they belong to something bigger.

As for credentials for myself, I usually tell people just a few things.

1) I am a student of a true Okinwan master - 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.

2) I am listed in the Okinawan prefecture registry of True Okinawan Karate instructors.

3) I hold Masters degrees in Anatomy and Physical Therapy (in 8 weeks). So they will learn safe and effective martial arts.

4) I let them watch/participate in a class and see what I can teach them.

If they don't want to be my student after that, Fine. I don't teach for a living.
_________________________
Tony Partlow Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Minamoto Shibu Dojo http://martialartsfriends.com/Shogen

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