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Thursday, May 4, 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATIONS IN THE MARTIAL ARTS

In the world of martial arts almost anyone can reproduce or simply make a bogus rank certificate showing supposed knowledge in any martial art out there. Numerous examples of fake black belt  rank certificates are displayed online and on school walls.

 It's a sordid practice but a lot of Martial arts rank certificates aren't  worth the paper they are printed on. practically everyone has a "Black belt" whether it's real or fake, in something nowadays. In this day and time even potential new students and clients know this and therefore look for more than just a paper with some oriental writing and symbols on it. They want to see a record of an instructor's expertise. Simply saying that you are this or that just isn't enough. 

It took me several years to discover that simply being a legitimate black belt wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to run ads or have a website. Regardless of my black belts in judo or Kenpo or karate it never seemed to be enough to make those hard sells. Then one day I decided that if I wanted to be a professional at what I do I needed more. So I decided to get coaching certifications in Judo thru recognized Judo organizations and later obtaining certifications as a Personal Defense and Combatives instructor. 

Presently I am the ONLY official, licensed and certified Personal Defense and combatives in my area. This seemed to help it definitely set me apart from those instructors in my area who had no certifications. My clients not only increased but client retention improved as well and more and more people visit and check out my classes.

When was the last time you heard from someone who “self-taught” themselves as a paramedic, doctor, nurse, pilot or scientist? I’ve sat down with instructors, educators, and subject matter experts and they all say the same thing. No matter how much they know, they’re continually studying, reading, attending courses, seminars and conferences, interacting with peers, and looking for more information in their area of expertise.  

With every certification, I realized there is always something I can learn to improve my skills and abilities. Through self-study, attending courses and sitting exams, I continue to grow my skills, knowledge, and proficiency. Achieving a legitimately recognized certification is valuable in every profession so why should martial arts or self defense be any different? People, who have acquired a certain number of certifications in a desired field are perceived to be better, more competent and knowledgeable.

Professional certifications Strengthen you professionally, they reinforce your skills and expertise, they can highlight your skill set or highlight a specific area of expertise.  Certifications  can help you to compete in a competitive job market, you need every tool and resource in your toolkit. It means that you see yourself as an investment and completing a certification program helps to increase your face value. You’ll carry yourself well, and have professional poise and presence.

Potential clients are looking at certification as a way to assess whether an instructor does indeed possess the skills and knowledge that they are looking for. Certifications show others that you master your time and value yourself more highly.The process demonstrates to those around you that you can set goals and achieve objectives and is an indicator that you can be trusted to go the distance.

Professional certifications are a way to become...and remain...competitive. They are a way to reinvent yourself. Reinventing yourself means you remain current and viable and that you transcend age. This is critical because no matter how old you are or how old your system is you need to be adaptable. Certifications can broaden your perspective. When you grow as an instructor, you gain new in­­sights that allow you to approach your work in a new, fresh way. You think more creatively and strategically.

Studying for, training for and completing a certification helps build a reputational prowess. Professional certifications communicate that you care, that you “get it” and are serious about what you do. That you have a motivation to study, and deeply understand your subject matter. That you stretch yourself, go the Extra Mile and do what people without certifications would not do … spending your free time for something. It indicates that your continuing education is a lifelong process. This is generally motivated by a number of factors, including curiosity, self identified gaps in knowledge, and the desire to provide the very best to your potential clients and students.