Sensei Speaks Out

The Crisis of Authentic Karate

There is a growing condition in today's modern, fast paced society that slowly erodes our country's ability to discern authentic Martial Arts from that of Hollywood facsimile and Media sport.

Parents and students have little means by which to validate an instructor's promotion credentials, lineage, and authentic representation of traditional Martial Arts as intended by the original masters who carefully handed down their wisdom and "way of life" training. The seduction with tournament fighting, rank promotion, phony breaking and flashy demonstrations destroy the foundation of an art that ultimately seeks to build character and fortitude not imitate it. Promotion factories allow individuals to buy their promotion instead of earning it. Association with traceable lineage is lost to commercial appeal and shallow goals of misguided opportunists who cater to building egos instead of integrity. There are many instructors who are self-promoted without authenticated credentials. In addition, there are some schools in our communities that do not adhere to the ethics of traditional Martial Arts systems; as such, it is truly "buyer beware."

In Japan, the criterion for teaching Martial Arts is to hold the rank of 4th degree Black Belt or higher - otherwise you are not recognized by society as a credible source for instruction. In this country it is common to see "students teaching students" by way of novice Black Belts (some too young to even drive) conducting classes for others.

In order for this situation to improve, we must increase society awareness and lobby for regulatory oversight/licensing of Martial Arts schools so that instructors are forced to meet minimum requirements before putting the safety and trust of others in their hands. In the meantime, protect yourself and do your homework: Ask for references and see how far back you can trace the credentials of the individual you are placing your children and self improvement goals in the care of.

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Contact Master Higa's Okinawa Kenpo Karate School - (516) 292-8770

Okinawa Kenpo Karate School
1051 Front Street, Uniondale, NY 11553
(516) 292-8770
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