A friend of mine recently mentioned how he had met this really great martial artist. It was interesting listening to him talk about this individual especially since he made a very big point about this person being in a Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Some things you can be impressed about when talking to someone. Where they have trained, who they have trained with are two examples. Though even then what is really important is if they have substantial skill sets. That is what you need to determine. Do they have skill? If I want to train with them can they impart these skills to me? That is what is important. Did they learn from a teacher? Can I verify this? Not if they were in a martial arts hall of fame.
Now when someone talks about their induction into a Martial Arts Hall of Fame you need to be very, very curious and or concerned. There are very few and I mean very few Hall of Fames that are not total farce’s in the martial arts world. At one time the Black Belt Hall of Fame was a really good one. Then in the last fifteen years or so a bunch of people were inducted into it who just happened to also buy a lot of ads in the magazine. Coincidence? I think not! I am asked about four times a year to join a martial arts hall of fame. Each time I am invited and then they send me the itinerary and of course the cost of attending which is usually pretty substantial. The cost covers diner and of course the award but it is padded up about 400% so that the person putting on the event is making a lot of cash. You see these events are generally all about how much cash the event organizer can make. Sure they give an award but it is really meaningless. In other words they are shameful. In my opinion if you are invited for an award it should not cost you anything! If it costs you some thing then it really is not an award.
Typically these Hall of Shames usually induct a few big names in the martial world and some times they even pay them to show up and attend or they don’t even tell them. It really is a great scam when they do this. Most martial hall of fames are just crap. I had to explain this to my friend and not too surprisingly he was appalled at how he was taken in by this. It also didn’t help when I explained that in my opinion this person was a poor example of a martial practitioner.
Hall of Shames are a joke but they are not anything as bad as the circle jerks that represent the World Soke a Doke Councils out there. These organizations of martial head masters are usually so bad on so many levels that I am just disgusted by them. They operate by you paying a fee to join. Then they review your credentials and you are in. You may have to come and do a demonstration in front of them but not always. Bottom line if you pay money then you are probably going to be a part of the Soke Doke group. Which really isn’t impressive. Heck they do not even understand what a Soke is most of the time. What is unfortunate is some good practitioners do join thinking that it has value. I know several and it saddens me. Now I could go on and on about Soke councils but I do not need to because Don Roley has done such a fine job here on his blog: Soke Councils and other groups of slime balls Don does a wonderful job and pulls no punches as always!
Bottom line do not believe everything that someone tells you and if you think about training with someone investigate them thoroughly! You owe this to yourself. Martial arts are unregulated so it is a buyer beware situation. Look into anyone you train with. Investigate and check them out to the best of your ability!
See You On The Mats!
Brian R. VanCise
Note: This blog is opinion only and neither Instinctive Response Training LLC or Brian R. VanCise are responsible for any third party actions.
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As the Lord High Grand Imperial Poobah and Grandmaster of all Chinese Martial Arts…. I have to say I don’t get it
Let me tell you about all the self appointed Grandmasters and Shigongs in CMA sometime. Shigong (Sigong) is the funniest one to me. It means Teachers Teacher so basically they are saying they taught themselves and they are also saying they do not know the Chinese language. That and there are no grandmasters in Traditional Chinese Martial Arts
I ran into a guy a few years back trying to sell me his certification system for Taijiquan, and very early in the conversation he threw in that he was in the Hall of Fame. He went on with his sales pitch until I asked him for his lineage. Then there was a bit of a stumble in the conversation. But he recovered and started again, that was until I asked him what he did to get into the hall of fame. He gave me a verbal resume which then lead me to say, so your only Taiji background appears to be Beijing 24 form…. The conversation ended
I can’t fix the post so let me say there should have been one of these 🙂 after this
As the Lord High Grand Imperial Poobah and Grandmaster of all Chinese Martial Arts…. I have to say I don’t get it 🙂