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Tau's picture
Leaving an Organisation

Hey all, some advice needed.

I'm seriously considering reisgning from the organisation that I teach for. I have great friends and many happy memories from it but I'm sick of their inability to organise anything. The catalyst is the cancellation of an important seminar that all instructors MUST attend. I, and four of my students have struggled to secure the weekend off and will be out of pocket for this important seminar that now isn't happening. It's not the first time.

I know that some of you (possibly most of you) have left your former organisations and started up on your own. This is what I'm looking to do. I have a syllabus in place and am commited to a high standard of everything, not just Martial quality but organisation planning and all of the necessary official documentation.

Of course it's a big step and this what I'm seeking advice. I'll need to re-grade all of my students to a new syllabus and grade structure. I need to ensure that I'm properly preparing my instructors for instructing in the absence of an organisation to provide the course or support.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Thanks for all input into this.

Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture

Hi Tau, firstly its never easy leaving an association or organisation but somtimes one must follow their heart and own way.

Secondly setting up your own association or organisation may seem scary at first but its really not that bad speaking from my own experiances.

You need to be clear in yourself about exactly what association/organisation you want to run

1) Your own private association for your club & style?

2) A Governing Body for just Traditional Karate or a multi style such as Karate, Kung Fu etc?

3) Are you looking to grade your own students or want to join a Governing Body that deals with all the paper work etc and recognises yours and students grades?

As you know i teach full time but also run a Governing Body Karate Association which i set up 2 years ago for the same reason your going to. Its a lot of hard work, demends a lot of time and work but its very rewarding and you must love what you do or there is no point.

You have my contact details so if you want to speak further please dont hesitate to contact me and will help any way i can.

Kind regards,


Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

I agree with Jason

with regards to regrading your students to the new Syllabus, they're your Students, you give them the grade already. So if they stay within your group surely they keep that same grade but just learn the new syllabus criteria for the next grade etc.

I've been on my own now for over 8 years, the karate i teach now is now very different to the karate I was practicing/teaching back then. I pigeon hole myself as Ashihara Hybrid. (its Ashihara mixed with Tang Soo Do, Wado Ryu and others). The Syllabus I wrote I worked with my students through it so they knew, know exactly what was required for each grade etc.

The only thing I miss is having a Sensei to ask advice etc but places like this forum are a perfect media to ask and get questions answered.

Have a look around at the various NGB's that are around and see which one of them ticks all the boxes that you need provided. but concider what would you pigeon hole your style as, would it be Jujitsu, Karate, Kempo or some other variant? Insurance needs, not many of the NGB's cover Full Contact Knock Down Martial arts like Kyokushin, Muay Thai, Ashihara, Enshin, Juku or Full Contact Jujitsu, MMA etc due to the types of injuries etc substained in training etc. 

The main issue you need as you don't legally have to be a member of any NGB is

The Insurance - Many companies offer Marital Arts Instructor Liability etc for Independent Instructors (see above for type of cover)

The CRB - IF you train in a place who has their own Child Protection Officer, speak to them as they could organise your CRB checks/Certificate through their provider.

Grades - Most Grades are only valid within their individual Dojo/Organisations anyway. Its up to you how important the Lineage is to you etc. But Most NGB's will Ratify your grade and your Students grades for a fee. There's many Worldwide Organisations who will "recognise" your grade in various "Multistyle" Organisations.

Mark B
Mark B's picture

Hi all,

I love running my own club. I created a syllabus based on what we know about the early okinawan pioneers, ie. narrow and deep.

As Black Tiger says, if you have already graded the people in your club then I wouldn't see the problem. The only issue you may have is if you create a syllabus that has many elements that are alien to your existing syllabus, for example you may not practice power slap, but wish to incorporate it into a new system. In that situation you may require your students to reach a level of competence before they can grade in future, just a thought.

Will you do your own dan grades, that will be relevent if choosing a body to affiliate yourself to.

We are members of the British Karate Association. They are great, I got instructors liability and my CRB through them. They haven't interfered with regards to my syllabus, I grade up to 1st kyu, a BKA instructor does the dan grades, in our case Iain. Also the BKA chairman is Brian Seabright, a class act and a top bloke from the conversations I've had on the phone.

I have considered going it alone, but having quality like Brian and Iain is something I like, and I believe my students will when the time comes to dan grade.

My syllabus is all about impact,  Bunkai and self protection drills. I don't miss having a Sensei to ask advice of, my old Sensei was not interested in applied karate and kata application. I have plenty of ideas of my own, and a pretty good idea of what I want from my training, and how to achieve it, I think that is vital.

I hope some of that is of use

All the best