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Martial arts: Accreditation

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Some martial art schools and organizations have more "PhDs" in them than your local university.

Many pseudo-masters claim to be a "professor" or have a M. MA (master of martial arts), have a PhD in budo or martial arts or have some such degree from some obscure organization founded by another pseudo-master who, for a fee, will certify anyone as a professor. Phony PhD's are everywhere. Most Internet users are bombarded with spam from diploma mills.

Anyone may profess to being a professor. However, professor is a designation bestowed by an accredited college or university upon an instructor at the school who has met its strict guidelines. PhD is a doctor of philosophy awarded by an accredited college or university. Only certain colleges and universities are permitted to bestow PhD's and they are the result of many years of study at a college or university. You cannot receive a PhD for life experience.

In one example I examined, Master A received his doctorate from the University of Oriental Philosophy, a diploma mill that was closed by the State of Maine. The "university" was operated by Master B who was Master A's instructor. Master B received his PhD in criminal justice from Columbia Pacific University, another unaccredited school that was closed by the Marion County Superior Court in California in 1999 due to the school awarding excessive credit for prior experiential learning to many students, failing to employ duly qualified faculty, and failing to meet various requirements for issuing PhD degrees. These "universities" are an example of the "fruit of the poison tree." If the one who bestows martial art rank or education degrees received his rank or degree from an illegitimate organization, then any rank or degrees he or she bestows are also illegitimate

Another "university" that issues PhDs is the International University of Martial Arts Sciences , which is located in Pakistan; many "masters" claim PhDs from this place. To get a PhD from them, you just need to:

You do not have to go through all the hassle of tuition payments, book costs, reading, research, class attendance, study, or homework; or have to worry about such things integrity and credibility. For for just $250 you too can have a phony PhD degree to hang in your office and use to fool your students.

Widespread problem

Accreditation is not just a problem in the martial arts. Since more and more people have started saving for their retirement and want to invest the money wisely, many people are seeking assistance from financial advisers. If you do some looking around, you will find that every person who has some investment to sell has an acronym behind his or her name that signifies accreditation from some financial organization. Most of the designations are as easy to attain as a black belt certificate and thus are useless. In January 2007, Nebraska's Department of Banking and Finance began cracking down on the practice. After a thorough review of all the designations and the qualification required to earn them, the department and found only five that were acceptable; all of which are limited in scope and difficult to attain.

Accreditation is a voluntary, independent review of educational programs to determine that the education provided is of uniform and sound quality and adheres to academic standards. Being awarded accreditation ensures that an institution has been evaluated and that it has met set standards of quality determined by the organization granting the accreditation. Accreditation also determines a school's eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs and is important for the acceptance and transfer of college credit. Accreditation is maintained by continued adherence to the set criteria.

The most recognized and accepted type of accreditation in the United States is regional accreditation. Generally, college credits or degrees received at a regionally accredited institution are accepted by other regionally accredited institutions. However, this acceptance is not guaranteed; each institution establishes its own policies on what credits it accepts. The United States Department of Education, recognizes six organizations as accrediting agencies. You may check to see if an institution is regionally accredited by visiting the Web site for the regional accrediting board that covers the state in which the institution is located.


When a "college" is unaccredited, you do not know what you are getting since it does not have to adhere to any nationally accepted standards, and its "degrees" are practically useless.

For example: The American College of Martial Science is run by the International Combative Arts Association, which for a fee will issue anyone a soke certification. For another fee, the college will issue you a PhD in martial arts. The "college" is accredited by the Apostolic Council on Educational Accountability, which is itself is unaccredited, which means any institution it accredits is also unaccredited. So, for a lot of money, and little else, you to can be a PhD Soke.

Look at the profession of an alleged master. Many masters do not have enough students to make teaching a career so they have a job to support themselves. Ask yourself, "Why does this "professor" with so many PhDs behind his name have to work at a menial job?" One would assume that a person with so many degrees would have a more prestigious job, such as teaching at a legitimate college, being a successful author, or being a successful business person.

Remember, over a few years, every pseudo-master breeds many pseudo-mini-masters who, by association with the pseudo-master, are themselves frauds, and every black belt certificate awarded by a fraud is bogus. The student receiving the certificate may not have been aware of the fraud, but that does not make the certificate less bogus. A person with a bogus medical degree is not a doctor, no matter how much training or experience the person has attained.

Acceditation agencies

Generally, large well-known universities, such as Harvard and Yale, and statewide colleges are regionally accredited. Smaller, private colleges may be nationally accredited. Programs of study that are regulated by national or state licensing boards may require specialized or professional accreditation, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the American Bar Association. The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintain directories of nationally recognized and specialized accrediting agencies.

Programs that are nationally accredited may not transfer to a regionally accredited institution. One well known accrediting agency is the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which accredits institutions offering correspondence or other independent study programs. However, programs accredited by the DETC are not as commonly accepted by regionally accredited institutions.