With modern technology and internet shopping, it is all too easy for the unscrupulous to print impressive looking certificates with lofty sounding titles, buy a black belt and boom – just like that they are a high ranking official, in a martial arts organization created out of thin air, with little or no real skill to back it up. Instructors of this ilk – scam artists, actually – have given the martial arts a bad name for decades now.
One of ATAMA’s main functions is to certify our members. We pick up the phone and call folks. Despite the proliferation of martial arts schools on almost every street corner in many cities, the world of high-level, experienced martial artists is actually quite small. Anyone who has been training or teaching for any length of time will eventually get to know the experienced heads of organizations. The actual number of legitimate organizations isn’t all that large, and verifying our members actually trained under particular instructors, or were ranked in the organizations they claim rank from, is a fairly straightforward process. We verify our members training background as well as their ethical and moral character.
A martial arts teacher that has been vetted outside of his or her home dojo or organization is one that can be trusted by families and public entities. Being an ATAMA member can make the general public more comfortable with choosing your school to bring their family to for training.
An ATAMA poster in the front of your dojo may very well be one of the most valuable assets you add to your school.