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#369477 - 01/08/08 04:33 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: Raul Perez]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
can anyone actually prove there is fraud in martial arts?

If a place advertizes 'self-defense', and then you get your ass beaten during a mugging...does your martial arts gym have to give you a refund?

If a place claims to teach an unknown family style/kata, or long-kept secret, is it provable ?

If a gym is owned by someone who was legitimately and honestly duped by the previous generation...and now they are just honestly "teaching what they were taught" - can THEY be held liable for passing on crap which they honestly believe to be the real thing?

If a magician calls his skill 'Chi' and demonstrates while wearing a martial artsy-looking he liable for people thinking his martial arts training (as oppossed to his training performing the trick) is the cause of his 'powers' and therfore pay a fortune for his training DVD's which never show how those tricks are actually done?

how about a vein-pumped gym-owner with the: "more it hurts, the better it is" overly-macho bravado mentality - who teaches caveman-level techniques with a brute-force strategy towards fighting (which is nothing more than just getting together, lifting weights and brawling)? Wouldn't that be as fraudulent as a diaper-dojo run by teens teaching slap-tag while claiming it self-defense or martial arts?

I was wrong. There is no fraud in martial arts. There are only choices.

#369478 - 01/08/08 06:37 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: Ed_Morris]
JAMJTX Offline

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
If someone knowingly and willingly decieves people and takes money form them under false pretenses then they can likely be charged with fraud.

If a mcdojo operator takes money from students claiming to teach some ancient tradition and the student paid money to learn an ancient tradition and then learns the truth that it was just some crap that the guy made up, then he should be able to sue for a full refund plus interest on the money plus punuatuve damages.

#369479 - 01/08/08 06:55 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: JAMJTX]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
has that ever happened? has anyone ever won a lawsuit against unsubstantiated MA claims or false advertising?

#369480 - 01/08/08 11:58 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: Ed_Morris]
JAMJTX Offline

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
Not that I know of. I don't even know for a fact that anyone has sued for such. It's about time people start though.

#369481 - 01/09/08 08:05 AM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: JAMJTX]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
just offering an alternate view. can fraud be claimed if it is never prosecuted? Sure, the blatent things like using a credit card number illegally, harrassment, contract fraud, etc...the kind of fraud and illegal activity sporatically found in any line of business.

but when we say 'fraud in the martial arts', it's usually meant either false advertizing, making dubious claims that are never backed-up or provable, unqualified presenters of the art, or ranking/org schemes to maximize profits at the expense of depth and quality.

and none of that is prosecutable (as far as I know). it's not illegal to make claims in the name of marketing. There are no qualifications in the arts to open a gym. and it's not illegal to try and maximize profits regardless of what it does to perceived quality.

a 21 year old with no MA experience other than schoolyard fights, could apply/get a commercial licence and rent a floor on main street. decorate it with 'Asian-looking stuff', and send a flyer out claiming 25th dan gold belt rank in 20 different styles from a ficticious white-bearded guy on a mountain in China. the syllabus could consist of made-up kata, haymakers, headbutts and push-kicks - having 50 levels of rank to black-belt in the average span of 2 years....each time you get a cheap laser-printed certificate with smudgable ink and a new rayon-belt for $100 per test.

someone could do that, and no one could prosecute the place for fraud if they kept within the law. it may close from lack of business, but my point is, it's legal.

#369482 - 01/09/08 08:28 AM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Funny...I don't think of legal criteria when I apply 'fraud' to MA. I think of character issues. Is that your point? That 'fraudulent characters' can operate quite legally? Or am I just resorting to my old mantra...that it's the person's character that one should be investigating.

#369483 - 01/10/08 01:05 AM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: harlan]
AAMeeting Offline

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 8
The fraud to me happons when the teacher isn't honest about their study, fraud happons when a guy who did a two week cource or no training at all! Just watched some video and baught a certificate claims that they have done 10 years, blablabla and can blablabla grandmaster blablabla

They not only rip off the students but also other legitimate teachers, and I don't know why more teachers have not come together to find these fake masters of the art and expose them

#369484 - 01/10/08 08:37 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
what I'm suggesting is that the legal definition of fraud is different from the perceived common use of the word.

It would seem that people use the word 'fraud' in cases where arts are advertised as something they are not...UNLESS the person making the claim is a nice guy. THEN it's not considered fraud if the person is liked.

also, another scenario that has come up before is lets say a student is an unknowing victim of fraud...they truely believe they learned a 5000 year old Korean battlefeild art called 'Wonder-do' or whatever in just the same condition, deadly, everything intact thru direct lineage, etc etc...they proudly display their smudged laser-printed certificates written in 1st grade level Japanese (even though it's a Korean art) - etc - they are oblivious....but they are a good person.

is that 'fraud'? someone with more than a 75 IQ looking at the credentials for 30 seconds would instictively say, that is complete and utter fabricated junk, and quick to label it fraud. ...but someone knowing the person to be a nice guy might be suceptable to overlook the preposterous claims and not categorize it as fraud at all, since they know it's not with malicious intent that the nice guy is passing on what was defrauded unto him while honestly thinking he/she is passing on something 'true' but in reality, a fabrication.

in short, it seems if they don't know any better and if they are nice...then it's not perceived as fraud.

thats why I say: There is no fraud. There are only choices.

#369485 - 01/10/08 09:06 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Lying about your qualifications and taking people's money is ok? We can't sue for that?

What should we do about bogus resume's, dojo's, claims, etc....? Even if they are nice....
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#369486 - 01/10/08 10:00 PM Re: Fraud and the Martial Arts [Re: BrianS]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I'm not a lawyer, but have you ever heard of a martial arts school closing for false advertising?

'qualifications' are unregulated. you could literally print this out right now:

lol...or if you are worried someone might question the legitimacy of that one, you could order a more official looking one:

then write in your name and whatever rank you want, have your grandmother sign it, frame it. then go down to your local chamber of commerce, apply for a small business licence, then rent out some space on main street, hang your grandmother-endorsed 'qualification' on the wall - and start reeling kids in to do some karrotty!

as long as you don't break the written law, yes, you can lie about your credentals and take people's money....thats exactly what people do - and in pretty big numbers nowadays. look at how well the mail-order MA certificate mills are doing.

here are a couple random ones (but there are hundreds) which are apparently selling rank without regard to in-person evaluation or any kind of technical observation...

United States Martial Arts Association (USMA)

Brotherhood of MartialArtists
(I wonder if one of the 'Member Benifits' is a free spell-checker? lol)

etc...none of those are breaking the law. they provide a membership and other services, and printing rank certificates is one of those services. Thats not fraud in the legal sense. whether you or I consider it fraud in the common sense is a matter of opinion and choice to join or not.

not fraud. choice.

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