The Martial Arts BS to English Guide There are a gadzillion masters, grandmasters, founders and what around today. Enough to general a billion armies. I say general since they are all "leaders" of course. Some common comments are made by them as they try to push their systems, styles and hack job arts and of course separate you from the contents of your wallet. Here are a few of the phrases these blowhards utter and what they really mean, and how to tell the real deal from the cow dung. "I trained the military / law enforcement". A common utterance, and usually full of marketing exaggeration. "I trained" sounds a lot better than "I was in a class with a cop and were were training buddies". Sure some military and LEO will train on their own with various people and schools, but that is a far cry from being an Official Sanction. Military training is done on bases with contracted instructors, and in house specialists. It's highly unlikely that the DOD is sending 5 guys to a school in a strip mall for "Special High Intensity Training" before deploying them to an urban combat environment such as Iraq. "I was coined" Yes, many groups will issue a special coin to those close to them, but this while being something to feel good about, is not an Official Commendation, nor is it like receiving the Medal of Honor, or having a city name a holiday after you. "I was a World Champion" You and 10,000 others. There are a zillion little feds, orgs, leagues, and what. Every event is a championship. You can be World Champion in your division, just by showing up and being the only guy in that division. The number of truly big and important championships is few and far between. After all, who is seen as more credible? The UFC champion, or the cage fight champion of east Hoboken? "I'm a 10th dan" This is of course a legitimate rank. It is however usually attained after decades of blood, sweat, and tears. The legitimate ones are. Too often we see people padding their resumes with a dozen or so of these, usually in arts that have no history. If all your 10ths begin and end with you, it's probably a good sign they are worthless. "I'm a soke" This term is well debated. Real soke's are few and far between. The other 10,000 of them are born on "peer review" boards, usually awarded after the check clears. "I didn't have to test" Legitimate systems will test before issuing rank and credit. "I understand the concepts of the art" Translation: I was awarded rank, but really can't do the actual curriculum or techniques that make up the art. "My system is based on X's" Translation: I learned a bunch of stuff from X, and whatever I couldn't get I decided wasn't important, and since X wouldn't promote me anymore, I started my own thing. "My system is a modern one" Translation: I didn't understand what was in the old techniques, and as a result couldn't see how to adapt them to modern use, so I dropped them and just blended together the stuff I did think I got. How to tell if someone is a BS Master rather than a Martial Arts Master: - They have more than 5 10th dans, and are under 40. - They are not Japanese and use the word "Soke" as a title or rank. -- They always introduce themselves as "Soke so-n-so". Or Master, or Sensei, etc. - They claim extensive history and credentials, yet Google* turns up less than a dozen hits, mostly to the subjects site and other sites calling them on their BS. - They appear on web forums with the "next best thing", and when called on it, suddenly several new members sign up to defend them, vanishing afterwards never to be seen again. 1-Post Warriors are a sure sign of BS. - Their posts are full of contradictions, and when pressed, they fall in to insults, profanity, and sock-puppetry. - They constantly bash "traditional" arts as outdated, push "modern" arts, yet have little to no actual real experience in using what they teach. *Google has indexed over 1 Trillion web pages, has archives going back to the early 80's, and continues to grow by the second.