I’ve had a few conversations recently with fellow school owners and martial artists about certification and rank, and about participation, talent and effort.
Especially in light of the recent inspirational Krav Maga and BJJ gradings that took place at CAIA I feel that it’s important to explain what those things mean to me as a martial artist and teacher.
Criteria for grading changes from style to style, instructor to instructor, school to school. And so it should. That being said, I have been, and continue to be, openly critical of things I see in the martial arts world that I feel ultimately hurt the industry and the art.
Chief among those things is the focus on the acquisition of qualifications or awards over skill. This is not directed at anyone in particular, but rather my own assessment of things I have seen and experienced.
Is it bad to have many certificates and qualifications? Of course not!
Is it wrong to celebrate your achievements? The opposite is true – you must celebrate your achievements.
This becomes a problem, however, when there isn’t a clear understanding of how effort comes into the equation. Here are 3 bizzare, funny and, I think, sad stories that illustrate this.