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Thread: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

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    Default Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Do you think that MA schools should be subject to government regulation? For instance, do you feel that a school should have to have a license to instruct martial arts and be approved by a government regulating authority?

    I personally support the idea for several reasons:
    -The public in general is extremely ignorant about the world of MA. They will blindly join any school with no idea whatsoever about what they're getting into. Gov't regulation would at least help ensure that the schools are legitimate and give the public knowlege to help them pick a school based on their needs/wants/etc (ie: Do they want to take MA because of the sport aspect, self-defense aspect, or for the internal/performance aspect) Schools could be catagorized as such.

    -There are several predators and scam artist out there giving MA a bad name. People that have a bad experience with one of these shiesters spread the word quickly and then we ALL get a bad name. There are recorded instances of instructors molesting children, taking peoples money and leaving town, etc. How do you know if the instructor of a 'karate' school is a convicted felon or not? You don't really. Government regulation would require background checks to ensure the safety of the public. You have to have a background check and in some cases a license to carry a firearm....why not for martial arts?? One can be just as deadly as the other. (That is if the MA is a legitimate one)

    -Government regulation would help to preserve the integrity of different styles. As Camey posted on another thread, it can be frustrating to visit a school that is supposedly "American Kenpo" and find that they don't teach not one Parker Form or standard technique. As we've seen in this very forum, we sometimes have slight differences in the way we perform techniques...but we all know what we are talking about because we all have a common base. People that accept these 'other' American Kenpo schools as legitimate are basically being lied too and their perception of Kenpo is incorrect (they would essentially assume that your school is no different than the one that doesn't teach any Parker curriculum which in itself is borderline slanderous! LOL)

    That's just a few...and I don't want to eat up too much space.

    Your thoughts?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    There's a lot of scams and kooks out there, I agree. But I think no matter what you do to regulate it, that they will find a way around it.
    Susan A. Spann

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Well that is a very good point, I’m sure there are a lot of con artists in this world and a I’m sure there are less than honorable people dealing with children. And as such I have to agree on one hand it would be a good idea.

    But on the other hand should people not be some what accountable for their own actions. What I mean by that take the first issue of dealing with kids. As a father I could not conceive of just picking up a phone book calling the first school I found and dropping my kids off for even a min much less an hour. I would research the school and the instructor on the internet. If I was unable to find enough information to be satisfied then for around $40 anyone can do a criminal record search on the net.

    www.yourownprivateeye.com
    www.ussearch.com
    www.backgroundpi.com

    That’s just the first three of ten pages I found. Then you run into the issue of who would set the requirements to get a license to teach? Whose standards must be met? Then what about the old guy down the street that studied all his life and was teaching just a few students to give him something to do in his retirement/spare time. If you placed a bunch of hoops for him to jump through just to teach he may just give up. And lastly I would hope that if someone did join a school and the instructor of that school was a joke That would become apparent rather soon after you started.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    On the surface this seems like a good idea. But what arts woudl be recognized, and in reality who in the government would know what is truly legitimate and what is not. Jhoon Rhee has been teaching on memebrs of the US Congress for years, something like Gov't regulation goes through and you might only see TKD schools.

    This is definitely one area where Gov't should keep their nose of.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    I think we already have too much government regulation in this country.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Good counter points.

    All these were also made in an article in "Martial Arts Professional" about 3-4 years ago (?). I still have the issue at home as it was a really good one.

    I'm really not sure what the answer is. State regulation would definately be preferable to Federal. But as jdinca pointed out, we do have quite a bit of government regulation as is.........

    I do feel that steps need to be taken to deal with a lot of these issues. If not government regulation, what about 'self-regulation?' What do you think the chances of forming some kind of "Kenpo-Coalition" are? Do you think with the mass splintering of groups since the death of SGM Parker that this would be feasible.....or even possible?

    Boards like this one could go a long way in assisting with that. Hmmmmm. A central hub with a list of "legitimate" Kenpo schools could help if the public new about it.....

    Ideas? Further thoughts?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Regulation would stifle positive growth. if there was Gov't regulation back when parker started creating this art there would not be an American Kenpo.


    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Good counter points.

    All these were also made in an article in "Martial Arts Professional" about 3-4 years ago (?). I still have the issue at home as it was a really good one.

    I'm really not sure what the answer is. State regulation would definately be preferable to Federal. But as jdinca pointed out, we do have quite a bit of government regulation as is.........

    I do feel that steps need to be taken to deal with a lot of these issues. If not government regulation, what about 'self-regulation?' What do you think the chances of forming some kind of "Kenpo-Coalition" are? Do you think with the mass splintering of groups since the death of SGM Parker that this would be feasible.....or even possible?

    Boards like this one could go a long way in assisting with that. Hmmmmm. A central hub with a list of "legitimate" Kenpo schools could help if the public new about it.....

    Ideas? Further thoughts?
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    I believe their should be some kind of permit needed if one wishes to run a business that caters to the teaching or caring of children. I also believe that certain regulations on long-term contracts need to be in place in order to protect the consumer. These schools that are cashing out members for 3-year agreements is not healthy for the MA community. It only takes so many students to get screwed over before we all feel the affects of it. These instructors are doing it for the quick buck and don't care about the students, IMO.

    I don't feel we need any regulations on what to teach or how to teach, as that would not work. There are almost as many styles as there are practitioners.

    In NH martial arts schools have to register with the state the same way a health club has to. This is mainly because health clubs have a tendancy to open up, take your money and then close. But there is nothing that says a sex offender couldn't run a dojo. Things like this need to change, I think.


    With respect,
    John

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Do you folks feel it would be possible to set up some sort of verification process or procedure that could be made available to the public? Some kind of "partnership?" where "certified" Kenpo schools could be listed on a central location. Of course, that would require someone to certify them...

    What do you think? Would this work? Could it work?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    *sigh*

    You really blew it, Charlie Brown!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Do you think that MA schools should be subject to government regulation?
    Not no, but (explative) no! The gov't has screwed up everything it has regulated. And nothing in the Constitution gives them the right to regulate private enterprise. Regulation also means more fees and taxes- as well as more money for lobiests to give parties and contributions so yours won't be the system that gets regulated out of business.

    For instance, do you feel that a school should have to have a license to instruct martial arts and be approved by a government regulating authority?
    See above. Further, why would you want to hand over your right to train to some beaurocrat, then grovel and beg to the sleezeball to stay in business?

    -The public in general is extremely ignorant about the world of MA.
    So is the gov't. The difference is, most of the public can learn from their mistakes and move on.

    Gov't regulation would at least help ensure that the schools are legitimate and give the public knowlege to help them pick a school based on their needs/wants/etc
    The blind leading those they've blinded. Gov't certification would give an appearance of legitimacy to any one who forks over the fees. Talk about opening the door for graft, corruption, charlitans and thieves. And a veritable panacea for your next category of filth...

    -There are several predators and scam artist out there giving MA a bad name. People that have a bad experience with one of these shiesters spread the word quickly and then we ALL get a bad name. There are recorded instances of instructors molesting children, taking peoples money and leaving town, etc. How do you know if the instructor of a 'karate' school is a convicted felon or not? You don't really. Government regulation would require background checks to ensure the safety of the public. You have to have a background check and in some cases a license to carry a firearm....why not for martial arts?? One can be just as deadly as the other. (That is if the MA is a legitimate one)
    Do you really want to be categorized as being as deadly as a gun? There is an effort to ban guns in some circles in gov't. And I doubt that background checks will keep predators out of MA schools. I know first hand of instances that it didn't keep them out of public schools.

    Let's not forget that when Japan regulated the martial arts, they were changed from jitsu to do- from fighting arts to just an exercise in discipline. The Kempo arts in particular were outlawed as killing arts.

    -Government regulation would help to preserve the integrity of different styles.
    No, I don't think so. First off, they can't preserve what they don't know. Second, what beaurocratic standard would they apply? You would end up paying some pasty jerk to come in and justify his job by writing up a laundry list of things you have to "correct" before he comes back and either fines you or shuts you down.

    I understand your frustration with the charlatins and the belt factories. But bringing the government in to regulate martial arts schools just is not the way. Most systems already have associations that insure their schools meet standards. We can advise people to look at those schools for training. And you as a caring, experienced martial artist can do that much better than some government hack.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Do you folks feel it would be possible to set up some sort of verification process or procedure that could be made available to the public? Some kind of "partnership?" where "certified" Kenpo schools could be listed on a central location. Of course, that would require someone to certify them...

    What do you think? Would this work? Could it work?
    American Kenpo, and many other systems, have associations that already do this. The best solution I can think of would be for these associations to put aside their differences and arguments over who's best and baddest and form a limmited alliance to educate the public and promote the martial arts in general.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Indeed, government regulation is more than capable of doing more harm than good given their track record. LOL.

    Some really good points have been made weighing the pros and cons of regulation.

    ...but...does anyone have any ideas for a viable solution to the existing problems? Any thoughts? That's what I was really shooting for. What suggestions do you have to address long standing concerns in the world of martial arts?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    I don't think the goverment should regulate MA. Micro-managing us would not help, in my opinion.

    I do think we should have some sort of Governing Body of Kenpo to help w/information, schools, instructors and such as that. Now, to come up with that solution would take more brain cells than I can offer right now.
    "Second chances they don't never matter, people never change
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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    In many states (if not all) require a business (such as a mid to large sized school) to be licensed to operate, but generally no further regulation as to how it is to be run. I think that is the extent I am willing to let the government go, no more than that. Most very small schools (ie. backyard or garage dojos) are exempt from being required to have a business license, I think.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    When you have a licence to carry a gun that makes you a target for police to harass and they will do it. If you have to have a licence to be a Martial Artist then that makes you a deadly weapon and therefore you are another target for police to harass and look into. I would have to dissagree on the Goverment Licencing idea it will just cause to many problems.

    The deal on the Certified thing, like Thedan said, is already there, that is how I joined the school I am currently going to.

    If you really want to learn, and I mean learn, MA then that should be your responsibility to check into things like: How good is the instructor, How reliable is the class, and Do they teach the things I want to learn.

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan
    American Kenpo, and many other systems, have associations that already do this. The best solution I can think of would be for these associations to put aside their differences and arguments over who's best and baddest and form a limmited alliance to educate the public and promote the martial arts in general.
    That's a very good idea. An alliance that does not dictate curriculum or testing, but one that shares a mutual respect for the art of Kenpo and wishes to maintain the integrity and reputation of all schools and organizations.

    Do you think if a website was established as a central hub of communications that your current organization would participate?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Came across some interesting facts. If you are AGAINST regulation you may want to know that it has been/is being attempted.

    -Arkansas House Bill 2606 requiring criminal history background checks, died on the Senate floor in April of 2001

    -New Jersey State Assmbly A2216, the Martial Ars Licensing Act, was introduced in June of 1998. this act would allow for the creation of a gov't appointed 7-member State Board of Examiners of Martial Arts Instructors. It was aimed at protecting children from being victimized by unscupulous instructors requiring in depth back ground checks. It's still up in the air.

    -House Bill 1460, Martial Arts Licensure, was introduced into North Carolina General Assembly in May of 1999. If passed, a gov't commission would be formed to examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicnts for licensure, renewal of licensure, and reciprocal licensure, including conducting criminal background checks.

    -Senate Bill 904 was introduced to the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1999. If passed it would create a "Martial Art Advisory Commision" to promote and improve a public understanding of the martial arts and make recommendations for regulation of martial arts, including licensing of schools and instructors.

    You may find politics boring, but it pays to be on top of current legislation that may be pending in your area. Don't think that local and state politics have no affect on you. If you don't vote against this type of legislation, you can't really complain when they pass it now can you?

    Just a friendly Public Service Announcement from your buddy Da' Crippla'
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Unhappy Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Quote Originally Posted by gimpat01
    I don't think the goverment should regulate MA. Micro-managing us would not help, in my opinion.

    I do think we should have some sort of Governing Body of Kenpo to help w/information, schools, instructors and such as that. Now, to come up with that solution would take more brain cells than I can offer right now.
    Good idea, but it would never happen. There are too many egos, and everyone and their brother is a 10th degree grand poobah master. After you get past the ego and double bricks, you have the people who feel that their way is the only way for Kenpo instruction. The political climate of the American Kenpo world is almost as bad as between Republicans and Democrats. I can see it now. Red state and blue state Kenpo.

    HKF

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    I once read a novel where a sortof nomadic culture had taken root in North America, and many people lived entirely by travelling. Gypseys in a way I guess, but high-tech. Being able to trust one another was very important to their way of life. So they developed something called a 'reputation server' where anyone in their network could record good (or bad) deeds done for (or to) them by somebody else. The reporting person's own reputation weighted their submission. Over time, with everyone constantly reporting, they could quickly assess character by checking the reputation server.

    The various web forums are evolving towards that kind of thing, but cliquism, organizational politics, personal biases, and greed for money and fame are all slowing it down.

    Would it be impossible to build a central clearing house for reputation points... every martial artist in the country reporting people who did something nice or something mean, held a seminar or helped them with a technique... would it take long to have useful numbers?

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    Default Re: Should MA be regulated by the gov't?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC
    I once read a novel where a sortof nomadic culture had taken root in North America, and many people lived entirely by travelling. Gypseys in a way I guess, but high-tech. Being able to trust one another was very important to their way of life. So they developed something called a 'reputation server' where anyone in their network could record good (or bad) deeds done for (or to) them by somebody else. The reporting person's own reputation weighted their submission. Over time, with everyone constantly reporting, they could quickly assess character by checking the reputation server.

    The various web forums are evolving towards that kind of thing, but cliquism, organizational politics, personal biases, and greed for money and fame are all slowing it down.

    Would it be impossible to build a central clearing house for reputation points... every martial artist in the country reporting people who did something nice or something mean, held a seminar or helped them with a technique... would it take long to have useful numbers?
    Unique concept. It could work but as with all the ideas there's always a drawback and it's usually related to humanities own shortcomings. We're our own worst enemies.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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