I recently got an email about Pramek.

It seems I don’t have a black belt, or any belt…so, I need to stop teaching.  That’s according to the emailer, atleast.  No one has tested me, tested my skills, no one they know atleast, and it’s who they know that make it important.  No one with multiple belts has lorded over my life for decades, no organization has had me pay it a lot of money and wear it’s branding.  I just have a history of teaching and that’s not enough for this emailer.  In his opinion it might be better to fold Pramek underneath an organization, or ‘certified’’ teacher in an organization…that way, it will gain more legitimacy.  And btw, he knows one – it’s the one he belongs to.

I had to chuckle, and right after I screenshot the email and sent the photo of myself that I can blow up into a framed picture…I deleted it.

The arrogance of such an email.  Not only the arrogance, but the lack of that person to be willing to develop something new, something challenging…instead, it’s easier to try to shame someone who has done it into submission by claiming legitimacy.

Such is the internet.  It never ends…you should see the YouTube comments we get…it’s never a critique of what is being taught, it’s ‘that is _x_ art, you are copying my teacher, here is a link to him’.

I don’t need a master. I’m not your master, I’m here to help you understand martial art concepts and make people more confident, explain to them they have the capability to accomplish a lot in life and

don’t need someone’s mysticism to do it.  So I want to give you permission – permission to go out and show someone Pramek and not worry about your certification. You are gonna do it anyway…I’m not going to stand in your way.

And if you wanna create your own thing…go teach it.  In the end, whatever you create, your results become your certification, not the certification of some one with a certification.  If all of your students suck and you get beat down on video, or your methods make no sense…that’s your certification.  I know a lot of black belts that are great people and good instructors…and I know a lot of black belts and 2nd Dan’s who are shitty people and terrible teachers, just good demonstrators.

But, we don’t need an industry so controlled by those with belts and certifications that new creations can’t pop up without being crushed by internet trollery.

This is not to say that we don’t need certifications in the martial art world…of course we do.  I don’t want my child learning judo from the guy who got his black belt via website and payment.  In many countries to claim ‘black belt’ certification must be verified by the state…and to open a martial art school, you must be scrutinized. I think this is a good thing. I have taught in these countries and never had a problem – I have never claimed to be anything other than what I am. My history and that of Pramek speak for itself – that is my certification. Fake belts, those are one thing and should be scrutinized – people creating something new – should be welcomed.

So take the wedge, go share it.  Take Human Equilibrium and go show a friend how weird it is.  Take the CLM and try it out in your BJJ class through Goal focus.  Take Combative Rotation and show it to a friend.  Take stuff from Against the Wall and show your girlfriend, better yet, go practice it.

You don’t need my permission…you just need to want to help folks.

And for that guy – maybe I need to add masterless to pastless.

– Matt

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