I have been in the Martial arts now for approx. 31 years and never do I remember a time that politics was not present. Politics is a cancer that eats away at the very life blood of the martial arts community. I think it all has to do with ego and cotton worship. There are lots of instructors out there that believe, if you aren't training with so and so, or if you aren't associated with a certain group or organization, or if you don't do it like this or that, then you must be a phony martial artist and you don't know anything.
I must say that this is very discouraging, because I know a lot of great martial artist that train everyday, that can out perform most martial arts teachers I know but, they haven't had a means by which to rank up under someone higher than they are, so they've continued their study of the arts and have become true masters of their arts. But under the normal politics of the community, they would still be fake to claim master rank. If they go to an organization seeking rank, they are paper chasers and the organization they ranked under is a paper mill, if they go under certain masters who play the politics, then that person seems to want to hold them back as if they are scared of someone passing them.
I feel that a person should be judged by their own merit in the arts. If they know their art, they can teach it, they can perform it, the art is effective, and their years of training is there, they have spent the time in grade to master it, then they should be brought to the rank they deserve. Now I know there are many out there that would disagree with me right here, and that is OK. We should all have our opinions, but nobody elses opinion will change mine and what I believe should be the direction of this organization.
Namido Martial Arts Yudanshakai refuses to be drawn into politics, if someone doesn't like what we do, it is OK, we respect your opinion, but we won't change our direction because someone else doesn't like the way we operate. As a matter of fact, we invite you to discuss any issue you wish with us, as long as it is done in person and not by email or text messaging. If you can make your case as to why we should do something different, then we are open to listen. Namido has a mission, First, to minister to the lost, Second, to teach good martial arts and Third, to correct the wrongs done to others by politics in the martial arts community.
If you are reading this, and you have been training for many years and you have been held back by politics and you would like to pursue higher ranking but, have been cut off by those who wish to continue playing dirty politics, we would love to talk to you. Our home page says it all, Whosoever will, let him come!
Shihan Mike Frazier