Thank you for the feedback. This is the type of information I am seeking. Not to be argumentative, however, since this is something that I personally do believe in, I will address a couple of points brought up in order to further the discussion.
First, I appreciate you taking the time to read the website and not just jump to conclusions. As you can see, and mentioned regarding accreditation, we are not accredited. The program does not even exist at this point. However, the idea is to seek authentic academic accreditation from legitimate agencies in the future, as well as buy in from some of the larger known and respected martial arts organizations. I have been planting seeds with this already and have received both positive and negative feedback. At this point, I will not drop names until I have something in writing from the people and organizations I have spoken to. That is, obviously, to cover myself and them in case minds are changed. This is only responsible as I am merely seeking feedback at this point, not sponsorship. Regarding accreditation, remember, I am speaking of academic accreditation, which would be completely different than simply rank certification. By the way, no where was rank certification mentioned on the website...this program has nothing to do with rank certification as the student must be training with a legitimate organization and ranked by them. Not this program. Who will determine which organizations are legitimate? Well, the board of directors, of course.
Regarding fees, if a program such as this were to fly, those costs are comparable to other academic programs. One of the biggest costs is accreditation itself. So, once again, absolutely NO (direct) mat time...all academic courses. However, the student will be expected to obtain the rank of Shodan in his or her style, concurrently or previously for a BA. I am not exactly sure how this would work...this is only a thought process at this time.
Next, distance learning. I completely agree regarding learning how to fight via distance. I don't believe in it and don't support it. That's why the student MUST be training with a legitimate recognized organization.
Not able to get a good job with a BA in Martial Arts? Did you guys read the links provided for the US accredited universities already offering a BA in Martial Arts Studies, such as the University of Bridgeport and Concordia University? What about the link describing accredited programs such as retail floristry and sports turf management? Is there really such a need for that?
When you think about it, the martial arts world, even in the US alone, is a pretty big world. I think the program could offer a lot in relation to having a basic understanding of various martial arts (academic), as well as historical aspects of how they developed, and concepts such as martial arts business management.
As you can see from the webpage, I have done a lot of research on the prospect (look under the "Why" tab), but I am not familiar with the university in Virginia you mentioned. If possible, could you provide me more information on that, at least the name of the school? I will take it from there. Once again, I am seeking the good, the bad, and the ugly, so ALL information helps.
Regarding being qualified to run a dojo after this 4 year program....that is not the intent at all. The intent is merely to supplement the training they are already doing, which, should they choose to teach with later, would be the organization who would probably sanction their teaching license...not the martial arts degree or college. As any professional can tell you, receiving a BA is only a beginning or a supplement to their hands on training....this program is no different.
Let me ask this rhetorical question...how many martial arts instructors are there in the United States? How many of those do you think could accurately tell you the history of their own art (let's say, from the 1800's on)? How many could intelligently discuss the personalities involved in the spread of (for example karate) from Okinawa to Japan to the rest of the world? How about the difference between major styles of karate and how they separated from their parent systems? How was Shotokan developed? What role did Shotokan have in the development of Tae Kwon Do as practiced today? How to karate, judo, aikido, and jujutsu inter-relate? Most traditional karate instructors cannot answer these questions. I am not saying they necessarily should be able to, however, the study of things such as this is part of what makes it a "do" vs. a "jutsu." It would be an academic pursuit only, but (I believe) an interesting one. Some martial artists really enjoy studying things such as this...why not allow them to pursue it academically, if possible?
The last item I will address. I realize I am a "no-name" martial artist. I am okay with that. I am not a master, or a soke, or the founder of some new art. I am not a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame, and, although I was nominated for induction (which I turned down) I am not a member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, either. I don't have a certificate from the World Sokeship Head of Families Council. I do, however, believe in this project, and I want to responsibly gather as much information as possible before starting something such as this. As a side note, I am not attempting to do this by myself. My plan is to have several "name" martial artists involved, one of whom has already expressed possible interested in doing so. This program is not about "me"...I'm just attempting to do it because no one else is. And I believe it could be valid with the right people involved.
I look forward to more dialogue, respectfully, Jason