Government regulation of martial arts

After 28 years of continuous training in the traditional martial arts I get quite annoyed when someone compares me to a bloke who started up his own school after training for less than a year (sometimes in some made up drivel). We in Australia share the "McDojo" trend - there a number of different kinds - that allow people to teach after only a trivial amount of training.

On the other hand, would I support some sort of government intervention/registration in relation to martial arts? No way!

Since I have worked in government law (specifically in the area of legislation) since 1990, I feel I am qualified to make this assessment of the regulation of martial arts: it cannot work.

Who would decide who is a "legitimate" martial artist and who is not? You and I might have an idea (and have substantially the same opinion), but would you trust some government appointed committee? The very bloke who comes to your door to “sell” you martial arts after 12 months training might be chairman! He might say that you and I are the charlatans...

Copyright © 2008 Dejan Djurdjevic


  1. :O...

    These points you bring up Dan-dono are truly terrifying indeed.

    I imagine a disciple of a Mr. J or Mr. S would be able to wrangle a position of such power and prestige.

    What a landscape to imagine...0_0

    But, having said that surely government committees are made up of the leaders in their field? To suggest otherwise... Surely you jest.

  2. Since McDojos would make the most money vs private guys teaching 5 quality super elite students, I don't think the good ones will have enough dollar signs to buy enough political clout to "set the rules" so to speak. Also even now people operating under federation rules don't get to do what they want to do. Meaning, the federation overlapping their small dojo actually gets them to lower standards, in order to fit a "unified scale". This is true in the ATA, but also in South Korea, where the ATA instructors came from. And that's not the only place either.

    1. Yes Ymar, the McDojos would have considerable clout.

  3. Many people propagate martial arts as a sort of one size fits all thing, like a mass produced black belt factory which already exists in large numbers in the modern world. Even the ones against McDojos, aren't aware of what their own ideas concerning "credentials" are based upon more and more.

    The idea of art, as in creative individual expression without limit, is a foreign concept. The larger the group, the smaller the creative freedom to do what you want to do, because there will always be more and more people telling you that you can't do it because, Xhe, or Zhe, or Yshe would be "inconvenienced".


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