Back in the 1980's, there was a college in Virginia that offered a course in martial arts and a "martial arts degree" through the physical education department. There were a number of what I class as "promoters" involved, and some legitimate martial artists. The problem then, as now, is that the return on investment was very negligeble, and simply having a degree in martial arts didn't provide anything except something else to hang on the wall... along with your "soke" pictures and real-time training certifications... from non-accredited martial arts schools.

Unfortunately, 4 years isn't long enough to gain the knowledge to teach martial arts adequately to "press forward" with your skills and independently survive as a martial arts school. Unless you're picked up by a McDojo chain, there simply isn't enough knowledge to hold it all together. If you started today and trained for 4 years under any real "master", you might make shodan in 4 years, and you certainly won't set the world on fire with that.

The dojo where I train has about 650 students... all but about 100 are under 16 years of age, and 85 to 90 percent of that 100 are below shodan. The few that are "higher ranked" are still pretty pitiful when it comes to actually understanding martial sciences and fighting tactics. They have some level of technique, but not nearly what would come out of a TMA school if they stayed there the same amount of time they've trained there. The reason is simple, they are doing it for exercise and not so much for knowledge, which is why they disappear after about two to three years. They run the "kickboxing" to aerobics to BJJ to being gone scenario, and of the teachers I've seen there over the past 17 or 18 years, only the dojo owner's sons are still there. The others run between a 3 to 5 years "lifespan" as students to teachers to gone.

At about $100 a month, they'll have $3600 in training to reach shodan, and about $4800 until they start teaching. Since our side does TMA, we don't get involved in their dojo operations, but if they pay the teachers at all, they'll spend it back for more training. Finally, it all wears out, and they leave... seen it dozens of times.

Now, if the actual college course in martial arts didn't work before, when it was done by "name" martial artists, I don't see it working unless it's attached to another degree as a minor. Martial arts is a broad subject, and it takes years to develop many of the basic skills in some arts, so a 4 year program that "does it all" isn't practical or one where you'll gain the kind of knowledge you need to be considered legitimate.


What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"