Martial Arts is something to me more than just the ability to fight. Some people get into martial arts initially to be able to defend themselves but over the course of time you also develop so many more positive attributes from training. Usually you never end up needing to defend yourself cause you also learn how to walk away from confrontation and avoid it. You develop self discipline, self confidence, hopefully a better moral code in life in general. You learn respect and honor. You treat others with kindness. You evolve and usually become a better person. So I ask this question. If you were not a contractor and you hired someone to build an addition on your house.. who you thought they knew what they were doing. And later found out that you got ripped off and paid tons of money to find out it was all done wrong. Or if you hired someone to fix your car and to just find that it was worse. How would you feel? This happens in the martial arts. People misrepresent themselves. And well I have an issue with that. If you say you are a Master, a Sifu, a Guru, etc. Then dammit.... be that. Do not lie and say you are if your Sensei or instructor would have never awarded you the Certificate to teach. Do not claim to be what you are not. Also people who pay for some certificate from a online place is a scam also. Obviously they also have no moral in misrepresenting themselves. I have seen people in my area pay hundreds of dollars to an organization so that they can they are certified by that organization. Even when the instructor has long been dead. Just cause the spouse of the instructor finds it as a source of income to do mail order Certificates. Suddenly someone who has become an Instructor of art X over night. Come on. Now most people training in the arts will see this as for what it is. But for the young child who is becoming a student and their parents who is paying good money and time and effort to get their child there should get what they paid for. Not a scam. This is disgraceful. And ultimately it's the downfall that is causing people to shy away from training. Esp. in the traditional arts. Disclaimer..... I am not saying that a piece of paper will make you a good fighter. I know a lot of people who are great fighters... without that piece of paper. But if you are teaching and claiming that you are an instructor of that art... then you should have the blessing from the instructor that you trained with for years. Not someone who gives you a certificate as a favor. If your instructor felt you were good enough and understood the art... they would have given your the Certificate and blessing. And would have been proud to have you represent them in the art as a certified teacher. If they did not... then it is clear there was a reason they did not. Most instructors will have you assist or teach classes under them. Helping you become an instructor. Again... if they did not do this... it's a problem in my eyes. I was saddened to see some people on this forum advocate for someone else to actually forge a certificate. This is a problem. You greatly diminish the public's respect to martial arts if you falsely represent your ability. This is just wrong. Now without naming the person.... I will say that I know of the persons ability. And their level of expertise. And understand why their past instructor did not certify them. I have heard numerous counts of this person in the area and their misrepresenting themselves. Even recently I had a new student come from another school. And there is lots of stories about this persons expertise... or lack of and what is going on. This person's name has come back to me over and over from various instructors. Now one can stop an individual from misrepresenting themselves to the public. You would have hoped that your training in martial arts gave you more code of conduct as a martial arts and a human to do such.