Entries for month: January 2012

Serving Two Masters

Recently I have been asked by a few instructors why they can’t belong to the International Combat Arts Federation and another organization. Let me begin to answer that question with a martial arts parable that goes something like this:


One day a martial arts student approached his teacher with a question. "I'd like to improve my knowledge of the martial arts. In addition to learning from you, I'd like to study with another teacher. What do you think of this idea?"

"The hunter who chases two rabbits," answered the master, "catches neither one."

Attempting to serve two governing bodies simply will not work. It is certainly conceivable that there will be potential conflicts that will arise in serving these different constituents. For example,

1.      Which organization’s standards for promotion do you follow?

2.      Which organization’s uniform do you wear?

3.      To which organization are you loyal?

4.      If both organization’s have an event on the same day which one do you attend?

5.      Which organization do you and your students test under?

6.      To whom do you pay testing fees?

7.      To which organization do you give your time, talent and effort?

8.      To which organization do you recruit membership?

These are just a few of the issues to consider. At some point you must make a decision.  You can be the CEO of Ford or of Honda, but you cannot be both. You must pledge your allegiance to one or the other. You may once have been the CEO of Ford, but when you become the CEO of Honda, you will be expected to denounce your allegiance to Ford and accept Honda as your new master.

There are many who do not share this view. They say that they can be loyal to two masters. If you owned a business, would want an employee working for you who also works for a competitor? With whom does the employee’s loyalty really lie?

It is an adage in espionage that no one trusts a double agent, possibly not even the agent himself.


Just as a person cannot serve in the armies of two countries or play football for one team and support another in the same league, they cannot serve two different martial arts organizations. To say this more clearly no person can serve two masters, because the wishes of the two may differ. You cannot train within the guidelines of one organization and at the same time practice under the guidelines of another. The principal philosophies of the two may tend to differ in culture, custom and beliefs. It is irrelevant what rank level you are, your rank, and this applies to most organizations, is only valid in your own club, school and national organization. Generally speaking rank is not recognized by other styles outside of your own organization. To be a 1st Degree Black belt in one style does not make a person a black belt in another style. In most organization’s promotions are awarded for knowledge, skill, efforts and achievements in accordance to the policies of that specific national organization or governing body.


So what does this all mean? It means that we all have to make a decision which master to serve, the International Combat Arts Federation or some other organization.  I know that it is not an easy decision but it is one you make. One of the greatest military minds of all time, Napoleon Bonaparte, is quoted as saying:


 “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."


Where will you place your loyalties? With us I hope, but if you do choose a different

path I wish you the best. What ever your decision serve your master and organization well.



Master Pepin Announces New Advisory Board Members

On January 14th, Master Pepin annouced the appointment of the following individuals to the ICAF Advisory Board.They will serve for a 3 year term unless reappointed. Master Doug Blomker, Mr. Kirk Tellier, Mr. Steve Sinning, Mrs. Lucy Boyd, Mr. Jeff Boyd, Mr. Leon Dietz. Mr. Andny Birzer was appointed to the position of Chief of Information Technology. I would like to thank past advisory board memember's for their service and dedication. 



The Sogo Ryu Bujutsu System includes a devastating array of joint locks. One of the more basic locks