- Feb 8, 2009
- Reaction score
I can't speak to DeVry, but I took a few graduate level courses at the University of Phoenix and they were legit. In any case, I only have an Associates Degree from a Community College - and at the end of a very long and successful career in IT, I can say my education was well worth it and helped me a tremendous amount. But if you compare my credentials to some of the Ivy League graduates I have working for me, well, they win. Except THEY WORK FOR ME. Kind of, I'm not a manager. More like first among equals.If you're starting over in a completely different style or art, this is a given.
If I'm going to keep a white belt around for the purpose of visiting other schools or if I'm transferring to another school of the same style but of another association, I might as well spend the extra buck and invest in a high quality one. A nice stiff 1.75" wide white belt, with my name embroidered in katakana on side. And maybe even kanji on the other side that translates to something like "I'm only wearing this here because I have to."
I engaged in a discussion in reddit over this.
I argued in favor of association membership for this very reason, while others argued that the quality of the instruction is what matters most. The problem with this argument is that the new student coming in off the street to learn martial arts does not know crappy instruction when he sees it. Also, I've heard many people claim that the quality of the education of University of Phoenix and DeVry is pretty high too. As dubious as those claims may be, even if it's true... even if the quality of the instruction is just as good as that of Ivy League schools, what are those Phoenix and DeVry degrees doing for the people who have them?
Regarding associations. I am a lifetime member of an association that our dojo belongs to. I joined because my sensei asked me to. I paid a fee for the lifetime membership, and another fee to have my 3rd Dan recognized. The purpose of this is to certify my rank in the case that I might someday move or my sensei might retire, etc, and my rank would be accepted in another dojo that was a member of the same organization. But it's a small organization. The chances of this are pretty small in my case. Probably when my sensei retires, I'm also retired, to be honest. I'm not going to open a dojo or move to another state and train somewhere else.
So for me, membership in an association is largely symbolic. I'm OK with it, but it doesn't really do anything for me.
It's a legit association from my point of view, but I've heard plenty of folks who have no respect for any association and believe firmly that they're all bunk and hocum. I get it; a lot of them are fake make-um-up orgs that exist to grant ranks for money.
I appreciate that some folks want to have some kind of standardization of ranks, and associations might be one way to do it. Frankly, I don't think it will ever happen; especially in the USA where we license barbers but don't license martial arts instructors.