Legal and ethical questions around the "black belt"
Editor's note: The legal texts made available to our magazine by the authors in this article have been carefully researched by the authors, but do not constitute legal advice! This article is for our readers only for guidance! Since our magazine is published worldwide, different laws may apply in your country of origin. This article highlighted the legal situation in Germany in the HAPKIDO magazine flipbook. No liability can be derived either from our publisher or from the authors . If in doubt, contact the legal advice you trust in your region! (uw)
The values of the budo when running a martial arts martial arts school or even an association
The last three articles dealt with issues that normally affect and affect every student and / or trainer, learner or teacher.
Today we want to address a topic that can be described with the title "The black market with the black belt!".
Especially in recent years, more and more styles of martial arts / sports have been entering the market, some of which have names that sound very strange and sometimes seem very constructed. Once you have approached the name, the next questions immediately arise: How do I find out whether the club / school is good? What kind of competence in the practice of martial arts is behind the trainer staff? How are the training concepts designed? Is there a transparent and verifiable quality standard that interested parties can use as a basis for their decisions? The inexperienced in the field of martial arts is regularly overwhelmed here and often has no opportunity to make a really suitable selection. To date, only a few treatises on general and objective quality standards have been written in the context, and if so, it is mostly a purely sporting view, with tournaments, podium places, medals, trophies being the topic.
To make matters worse, so-called intensive courses by individual organizations, whose "quality standards" have to be questioned if they try to pass on impressive martial arts within a few hours. However, the martial art can only be taught in its simplest form, because the practitioners should learn the techniques as quickly as possible and so naturally can not or hardly suspect what they say or mean in depth. It fits into the negative picture if such institutions, for example after a relatively short time or after a few years, give a black belt that does not meet the true requirements for a martial arts master, but attracts solvent customers who are interested in the short-term (belt) “success” to have. Such developments are probably also the result of an sometimes excessive commercialization of martial arts and sports. Providers who promise wrong things out of financial self-interest and rent black belts prematurely and on a weak basis damage the many serious commercial and non-commercial martial arts and martial arts schools. There, the vast majority hold the values of the Budo up with idealism and black belts are only awarded if they have the appropriate level of training and “maturity”. This is what makes the difference. It is therefore particularly welcome that individual dishes uphold the values and standards of the Budo. The following "black belt case" of the OLG Hamm is a very clear and positive example. At the same time, it gives an insight into the problems presented.
Martial arts schools
and the code of honor
In the opinion of the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt, a school for unarmed self-defense cannot call itself a "technical school" if it cannot award the degrees and "belts" recognized by the responsible professional association (here: German Judo Association). This should apply even if the quality of training in this self-proclaimed "technical school" reaches the same quality standards as those in the usual judo and karate schools that are entitled to "belt awards" (OLG Frankfurt, OLGZ 1976,98). In one case of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm, a black belt was involved. The court has confirmed the exclusion of a martial artist from a club that trains classic judo and tae kwon jitsu. The association did not want to accept a strange black belt award to its member (OLG Hamm NJW-RR 2001, 1480). For important reasons, an association always has the right to exclude association members. Reasons in the person or in the behavior of the member must make the continuation of membership unreasonable for the association. An exclusion from the association can be judicially checked, whereby the courts only have a limited scope of examinations due to the association's freedom to regulate its own matters. From the club's point of view, the plaintiff in the Hamm Higher Regional Court's proceedings had violated the code of honor of the sport of budos to a considerable extent. Without previously being a Dan carrier in the "Tae Kwon Jitsu", he immediately accepted the 6th Dan degree in the Tae Kwon Jitsu from an Israeli association with only 30 members. This degree had been awarded to him on an honorary basis, according to the martial artist who complained against his exclusion from the club. After all, he made a special contribution to the structure of the "Tae Kwon Jitsu". He was chairman of the "German Tae Kwon Jitsu Union". The plaintiff previously had 2nd Dan in Judo, 1st Dan in Jin Jitsu and Taekwo Jitsu only 1st Cup (student grade). His club said that he had acted in a way that was damaging to the club and had degraded the reputation of the Budo-Dan supporters and the entire Budo stand. The court shared this view. It has - expertly advised - made fundamental and convincing statements on the code of honor in Budosport as follows (OLG Hamm NJW-RR 2001, 1480):
“The code of honor includes, among other things, to orientate yourself to the specified guidelines when awarding Dan degrees and other titles. The awarding of Dan grades is directly linked to the purpose of the association. A title or a Dan degree symbolizes the abilities and suggests a corresponding substance and knowledge of the wearer. The purpose of the Budo sports is to practice certain techniques and athletic skills among the members. The Dan grades show how far the respective sponsor has come close to this goal and thus also the purpose of the association. The honors also serve as role models for the others, especially the younger members ... The behavior of the plaintiff could be regarded as an important exclusion based on the purpose of the association by the defendant ... The plaintiff was in Tae Kwon Jitsu before the awarding of the 6th Dan only holders of the 1st Cup Tae Kwon Jitsu (student grade), the 2nd Dan in judo and the 1st Dan in Jin Jitsu. In Tae Kwon Jitsu he was still a student of trainer C2. Due to the awarding of the 6th Dan, the plaintiff skipped five Dan grades and ultimately saved the usual preparation time of over 20 years. He has become a high honorary student from trainer C2. The 6th Dan is associated with considerable sporting and professional competence, which the plaintiff cannot obtain by German standards due to the time constraints. "
The lawsuit of the "Tae Kwon Jitsu Danträger", who was excluded from the club and who fought for his remaining in the club and for his honor, was dismissed because of the behavior that was harmful to the club and the whole of sport. In its decision, the court granted the code of honor of the Budo the status it deserves. It is up to all of us to make our contribution within our respective sphere of influence to ensure that these standards are adhered to.