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Does A Martial Art Organization Trademark Matter? - Martial Art Fraud
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2016/03/23

Does A Martial Art Organization Trademark Matter?

The instruction of a martial art to a student occurs in different ways by different instructors and thus the skills achieved by students vary with the diligence and eagerness of the student and the competency of the instructor.

One can learn martial art techniques from instructors at any number of martial art schools, so does the trademark an instructor uses to advertise their instruction services really make any difference?

Yes, it makes a big difference.

The presence of a registered trademark ® indicates that specific standards of quality are present and that those displaying the trademark are committed to maintaining those standards.

 Does A Martial Art Organization Trademark Matter?

If music could be used to answer this question, might this be the answer?

No Trademark Trademark®
These YouTube videos are presented merely to illustrate how vast the quality difference may be.

Which do you prefer?

When choosing a martial art instructor and school a few questions to consider may include, but not be limited to:

  • Is the instructor certified by a reputable accreditation entity to teach the martial art system(s) they advertise?
  • Does the instructor display any registered trademarks ®  for the martial art instruction services they provide?
  • Does the instructor teach the history related to the martial art system?
  • Does the instructor teach the traditions and culture related to the martial art system?
  • Does the instructor teach the philosophy related to the martial art system?
  • Does the instructor adhere to, and teach the discipline and respect that is integral to the martial art system?
  • Does the instructor teach the techniques of the martial art system as they are intended to be taught by the system founder?
  • Can students of the instructor achieve performance levels that meet standards of excellence established by a reputable third-party accreditation entity?

Unfortunately, there are some martial art instructors who use another's trademarks for their own advantage without a license to do so and those instructors are teaching a particular trademarked martial art system without adequate credentials to do so. They are teaching their counterfeit version of the well known martial art system to students while representing that they are learning the “real thing”  These instructors do not adhere to the trademark owner's established curriculum, examination requirements, etc. and they do not maintain standards of quality necessary for students to achieve legitimate credentials of proficiency for the trademarked martial art system.

Some may argue that individual martial art techniques are like a number of other activities (baseball, football, yogo, piano, etc.) and as such can be taught by anyone relatively familiar with the individual movements and concepts.

However, the reality of martial art instruction is that conveying the essence of a martial art system to students is much more complex and instructors who are licensed and certified by a reputable accreditation entity to teach a particular martial art system can teach nuances of a particular martial art system that unlicensed instructors simply cannot. Instruction by a certified instructor enables students to achieve high levels of skill and proficiency that meet the performance standards of the trademark owner or accreditation entity for that particular martial art system.

Reputable martial art organizations and trademark owners endeavor to assure that the tangible and intangible standards of quality associated with their trademark are preserved and maintained by those licensed to use their trademark. Instructors and students are expected to meet those standards.

Certainly, there are many competent and skilled martial art instructors teaching many different martial art systems and their students may excel in those respective systems, but beware of any instructor who uses another's trademarks to lure in unsuspecting new students with the promise of learning a well known trademarked martial art system that the instructor is not licensed to teach.

For students who want to learn the traditional martial art system of  Soo Bahk Do®, only Moo Duk Kwan® Certified instructors provide the unique training and learning experience that incorporates the many attributes and nuances of the martial art system that are crucial to learning and performing the martial art of Soo Bahk Do® as intended by its founder.

Find a certified instructor near you here or subscribe to the official video site here.

Phil Duncan

Phil Duncan serves as the Executive Administrator of the U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® providing and coordinating support services for the U.S. Federation Board, the Kwan Jang Nim, the U.S. Technical Advisory Committee, U.S. Regional Officials, U.S. Members, the Board Directors of the charitable non-profit U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan FOUNDATION and the World Moo Duk Kwan. He can be contacted at National Member Headquarters or philduncan@soobahkdo.com or (888) SOO-BAHK

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
Albert Pike

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