Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
Quote: The real problem is that fraud is so rampant that there is just no way any more to tell. Some of the most well known "experts" in the U.S., (especially on forums) are frauds themselves. Even respecetd publications have been known to prop up fakes and discredit good people.
I'd have to disagree mainly because that is an extreme defeatist attitude. There are various ways as indicated in the initial post to validate that what they say they teach and the credentials which they say they have. If there is a lack of a paper trail that should be the first sign of something "wierd". Just because there may be a high amount of fraudulent behavior does not mean there is nothing we can do about it.
Quote: The best thing to do is just stay away from commercial schools in general. Look for someone that teaches out of thier home, a community center or other non-profit place. Never sign any kind of contract.
Disagree again. Just because it is commercialized does not mean that the instructor is not valid or has fraudulent tendencies. However, this may increase the risk. To just say all commercial dojos are fraudulent is unacceptable. I would just recommend obtaining more information corroborating the assertions made by the owner.
Quote: One of the best things that "legitimate" schools can do is do away with the ranking system. If there are no ranks, there's no way to sell ranks and then there's no way to be accused of selling rank. Which has been happening since the very start of it.
Wishful thinking but not going to happen. Judo started the belt fad. But most judoka are pretty tough. Especially the higher ranks. Hell, BJJ is derived from Judo techniques and their belt system has strong merit. The problem is not the belt system. Is what each belt system means for each system. If all belt systems represented actual skill resulting from countless hours of being tested against resisting opponents we would have less "masters" amongst us.
"I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey"