Dear Friends in the Martial Arts,
I send you cordial greetings and sincere best wishes always from our US Martial Arts Association.
I am happy to tell you that our USMA is growing steadily. Many of you know that I have been ill during the fall and winter. I had some major surgery during the past summer, and took quite a while to recover. I’m in fine health again and back in the harness working hard in the office.
My wife Joy helps me every day. At the beginning of March we had a big backlog of over 1,700 emails. We are nearly caught up now, but it’s a constant work load of about 100 new emails a day. One good thing about all this is that the flow of questions about the USMA and its forward looking policies never seems to stop.
Two new and important essays for you are now up on our USMA website. In this message to you, I am calling your attention to two important essays I have recently written about two very important subjects. Please let me summarize for you
WE TRUST OTHER MARTIAL ARTISTS TO TELL THE TRUTH? This is the general subject of the essay I have called, “Martial Artists Aren’t Liars!” It’s an important question, because there are at least 100 million Martial Artists now practicing in the US and Canada. We cannot possibly know personally even a fraction of the 20 million club leaders who train these people. Therefore, when we receive a membership application from one of them, how are we to know if he’s telling the truth?
As you read through this essay, you’ll see that I have been thinking about this question for over 50 years. After all this time and experience, I have reached a strongly held conclusion the Martial Artists are not liars. Read the essay and decide for yourself. Look for the title, Martial Artists Aren’t Liars!.
How does the USMA descide what ranks a new member should have? This is the basic and fundamental question that the Founder of a large Martial Arts association like the USMA must answer every day.
Often a Martial Arts expert with up to 30 years experience writes to tell us he has been held back in promotion is only a 2nd or 3rd Dan after all those years of training and service. How do we go about deciding what rank he should have? Mostly by asking him or her to give us a resume of their career, and then following the guidelines laid out in the second essay, called “USMA Martial Arts Promotion Times.”
I really urge you to study this second essay carefully. You might want to print it out and then make many copies to give to non-USMA club leaders who need help in getting their promotion problems cleared up.
It’s hard for me to describe how much time and thought has gone into this five page essay. After all, it is a really big responsibility to tell someone what rank they should have or even should not have. On the one hand we could just give out rank as requested. Honestly, that has been suggested!
On the other hand, we could have so many insulting requirements that very few people would bother to fool around with promotions. Think about this for a minute. I’ll bet you know quite a few really dedicated Martial Artists who have simply stopped fooling around with rank because they have been rebuffed, neglected, or just plain insulted regarding promotions in Martial Arts rank. There are thousands and thousands of these “misplaced persons of the Martial Arts.”
What we of the USMA want to do is come to the rescue of these dedicated people who have looked for years for an organization which provides a fair and equitable promotion system. In the end, it’s all based on trust, and in my own personal conviction that Martial Artists aren’t liars.
It’s also wonderful to know that we have a build in, automatic correction system if any errors are made in promotions. Even though we are a very big group, Martial Arts leaders are really a pretty close knit fraternity. When someone claims or is promoted to the wrong rank, I know that sooner or later I’m going to hear about it, mostly sooner!
I rely on each of our members and friends to give me their thoughts on this subject. Our promotion system isn’t perfect by any means. At the same time, I think it’s the best system in existence so far. We are able to administer the ranks for not one or two Martial Arts with this system, but over one thousand, and that’s a big order. Please read these two new essays and give me your honest comments. Print them out and give them to all the non-USMA club leaders you know.
LET’S KEEP OUR ASSOCIATION GROWING!!
Your servant and friend,
O-Sensei, Phil Porter, Founder, USMA
10th Dan in: Judo, JuJitsu, Taiho Jitsu, Budo Taijutsu, Jun Kin Shin, Shorindokai Karate, Beikoku Mizu Ryu JuJitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.