The Need To Be......
Every now and again a rumour flourishes within the martial arts world relating to the 'need to be recognised' or we may be
asked 'are CMAA grades/qualifications etc recognised?'

Our reply is always 'recognised by who and for what?' which has then, quite often, resulted in confusion from the enquirer
who seem to be asking the question due to tradition and habit rather than firm knowledge of what 'the need to be’ recognised
is actually based on.

The articles on this page are a culmination of historical investigations carried out by Andrew Morrell on some of these 'need
to be' situations since the CMAA was established back in 2002. Some of the groups mentioned below no longer exist which
enforces the fact that we DON'T 'need to be'.

Written in 2004: EKGB Recognition & Registration
Over the past few months it has been reported to me that comments have been passed, both written and verbally, to CMAA
members and Instructors in some areas with regards to having to be registered with the EKGB "or your Dan grades are not

This ruling only relates to members of the EKGB (English Karate Governing Body) as their constitution requires that all their
member Associations register their Dan grades with the EKGB office in order to be recognised by them. As we are not, nor do
we need to be, members of the EKGB this does not relate to the CMAA, our members or affiliates.

In order to stop this miss-information from spreading further I sent the following email to their Chairman:

Dear Sir,

My name is Andrew Morrell. I am the president of the Cobra Martial Arts Association. We are a multi style group with clubs
around the UK. We are not attached to any governing body as we do not legally have to be.

My complaint is that some of your member clubs, around the country, are passing comments that all Karate instructors must
be registered with the EKGB or they are bogus Dan grades. This information, i imagine, can only have come from your
constitution that all dan grades must be registered with you for recognition.

This has even been put in writing on an EKGB member website i have found. Here is an extract:

"3/ Are the Instructors bona fide? All reputable Karate Instructors throughout the UK should be registered with either the
EKGB (English Karate Governing Body).

Ask to see the instructors ID card and certificate (this has to be renewed every 2 years) If you have any doubts take their
registration number and contact the relevant Governing Body who will be able to confirm whether the Karate Instructor is
bona fide or not. If they are not registered with the above then they may not be who they claim to be."

The fact that the EKGB do not recognise groups outside of their own is irrelevant. On the same note the CMAA could pass
the same comments about EKGB members. But we will of course not do as ALL proven Dan grades have earned them and
as such should be respected and recognised by EVERYBODY.

One of our clubs sent me this email a few days ago after an EKGB instructor had gone into the club and passed comments:

"Hi Andy

Wondered if you could help me clarify something. I was talking to someone today who said that all clubs/associations must
be registered with EKGB, and anyone who isn't that their black belts are not recognised. I have looked on their web site but
it does not really give me the information I require. Can you just send me some details of what's what, just in case i am
challenged about it so if I know the facts about it I am prepared."

Please issue a memo or whatever you have to do to stop your members from spreading this miss information.

Thanks and regards,

Andrew Morrell, President.

The EKGB did not reply to this mail but the website that I quoted, run by an EKGB 5th Dan, did change the text to read as

3/ Are the Instructors bona fide? Most reputable Karate Instructors throughout the UK should be registered with either the
EKGB (English Karate Governing Body) or CMAA

In conclusion this goes to prove that the CMAA and it's Affiliates do not 'need to be' registered with the EKGB or any other
group for that matter.

Hope this clears up any confusion and my thanks to the EKGB for their co-operation in clearing this up.

Updated 2005: The EKGB are now Karate England 2005 Ltd
Updated 2006: Karate England 2005 Ltd have now gone into liquidation and closed down altogether!!!! (CLICK HERE)

Written in 2004: All Instructors Must Have a NVQ!!!!
We are continuously hearing the need for Instructors to hold NVQ Qualifications or a Nationally Recognised Certificate to
teach Martial Arts.

This is actually, for the moment, not correct.

All the Insurance Companies want to see is proof that a person either holds a black belt (the equivalent to a Diploma / Degree
in their art) or has been awarded a Coaching Qualification from the Group they belong to. I have also searched the Houses of
Parliament website for any new bills that are waiting to be passed relating to the same and there are none at present. The
only one I found related to Insurance and the requirements of the Insurance Companies before cover is granted, this one was
5 years old.

There is also the misconception that we need to belong to a 'Governing Body' as recognised by the Sports Council. After
checking with the Houses of Parliament and directly with the Sports Council this too is incorrect. The only reason we would
need to belong to a Sports Council recognised Governing Body would be to enable us to apply for sports grants. The CMAA
is a multi style Group and as such would need to join them all, which is neither viable nor practical.

The NVQ are engineered to cater for an employed environment, irrelevant of job or task. The following is a quote from the
QCA (Qualifications & Curriculum Authority) website:

'National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) are work related competence based qualifications. They reflect the skills and
knowledge needed to do a job effectively, and show that a candidate is competent in the area the NVQ framework represents.

NVQs are based on National occupational standards. These standards are statements of performance that describe what
competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do. They cover all the main aspects of an occupation,
including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future requirements and the knowledge and understanding that underpin
competent performance.'

I have spent over 12 months searching for an NVQ that closely matches the training that we, the CMAA, already offer. I have
now found that Activity Leadership NVQ/SVQ Level 2 covers almost, though not all, of the subjects covered in our training

Activity Leadership NVQ/SVQ Level 2 Specifications of Qualification

Mandatory Units

1.         D21            Prepare for a session
2.         D22            Lead a session
3.         D23            Conclude and review a session
4.         A52            Contribute to the work of your team
5.         C22            Promote safety in the sport and activity environment

Optional Units (I have selected the following 2 from a list of 13)

1.         C12            Set up, take down and store equipment
2.         C36            Support the protection of children from abuse

So how does this relate and compare to the CMAA Martial Arts Instructor UK Training Programme and requirements?

All the above sections are covered in the CMAA Martial Arts Instructor UK training programme Programme plus some extra
ones as follows:

1. Emergency First Aid/First Aid for Sport
2. Health & Safety
3. Risk Assessments
4. Knowledge of their own style of Martial Art and how it differs from other styles
5. Instructing skills
6. Codes of conduct
7. Child Protection
8. Dealing with unacceptable behaviour and discipline guidelines
9. Communication Skills
10. The importance of Insurance
11. The CRB (criminal records bureau) and its importance

With regards to mandatory units D21, D22 & D23 these are all done at Level 2 and 1 by planning and running a lesson using
the standard CMAA forms. During this lesson a CMAA Assessor/Verifier again assesses them.

The final stage is a check with the Criminal Records Bureau under the Child Protection Act (in line with C36) to ensure they
have no convictions that would prevent them from carrying out the role and put others at risk.


The CMAA Martial Arts Instructor UK Training Programme is in line with Activity Leadership NVQ/SVQ Level 2 requirements
but requires much more work and study, including written examinations, before the C.M.A.A. Level 1 (Full Instructor)
qualification is awarded.

Written in 2006: Are your Coaching Qualifications really externally accredited?
As Health & Safety and Training becomes more and more important within the Martial Arts, Groups & Associations are
developing their own internal coaching courses which is fine for them to do and shows a great deal of responsibility and duty
of care on their part.

However if a Group or Association claims external accreditation / recognition for their Award or Qualification, such as NVQ or
City & Guilds, Candidates / Instructors are advised to check direct with the external accreditation provider to ensure this is

For example The CMAA Martial Arts Instructor UK Programme is recognised / accredited by the Martial Arts Standards
Agency, evidence of which can be seen on the MASA site,, under the Coaching header on the Resources

The reason for this article being written is to bring to light the fact that we have recently checked into another Groups
Coaching Award (BNMAA & MASTARR) after being requested to do so by one of our members. The Group claimed City &
Guilds accreditation and whilst the element of trust would not normally cause a person to check, we have done so. We
contacted the head Office for City & Guilds in London:-

City & Guilds
1 Giltspur Street
London EC1A 9DD
United Kingdom

Telephone: 020 7294 2800
Facsimile: 020 7294 2400

After searching their data base of Accredited Centres, Training Providers and Accredited Award Schemes, they stated they
had no record of the Award in question nor had they ever heard of the Group providing it. The group in question later
announced that they were 'no longer working' with City and Guilds.

Updated 2009: The group making the above claim no longer exists and the head of the group making the above claim has
been sent to prison for fraud!! (

Written in 2006: Sport England
Lately we have had problems around the UK with members being told they cannot use facilities as they are not apart of Sport
England as in not members of their appointed Governing Bodies.

This has only been a minor problem as once our members produced all the requested documents and mentioned MASA they
were then allowed use.

However it is becoming a bind and seems to be spreading around the UK as Local Councils etc seem to associate being with
one of Sport Englands Governing Bodies as being a guarantee of quality and suitability.

Today, on behalf of the CMAA and MASA, I have complained quite strongly to Sport England under equal opportunities and
after several phone calls spoke with a gentleman named Richard Clarkson.

Mr Clarkson was very helpful and once I explained our position was also very sympathetic and explained that Sport England
recognition should not be used as a guarantee of anything and that they were not aware this was happening nor do they
condone it.

He agreed that it was a problem and stated that he would authorise a statement to be placed for all to see on the Sport
England website stating that Sport England recognition, in any sport, should not be taken as guarantee of an Instructor /
Coaches credentials or suitability over anyone else.

I would like to thank Mr Clarkson for his time and help with this.

Written in 2007: UKCC - United Kingdom Coaching Certificate
There are a lot of rumours floating around at present relating to the Government introducing the United Kingdom Coaching
Certificate (UKCC) and that fact that we will all have to have it but won't be able to access it, as we are not a part of Sport

This is incorrect and basically a repeat of the NVQ scare from 2004.

The UKCC is being implemented by Sports Coach UK and is only aimed at Sports that will be involved in the 2012 Olympic
games and beyond.

To clarify the confusion we have today contacted Sports Coach UK direct who gave us this statement:

Organisations wishing to engage with the UKCC process should attempt to map their existing coaching qualifications to the
standards outlined by the UKCC.

Currently an organisation must be recognised as a governing body of sport by one of the Home Country Sports Councils
if it
wants to be accredited with the UKCC
. Although there is nothing to stop an organisation from developing their qualifications
in line with the criteria even if not currently recognised.

You will note I have underlined certain sections relating to choice and having viewed the requirements I can confirm that
Martial Arts Instructor UK falls in line with the requirements, and beyond. Read the comparison online -
click here.

Should the time arise when we need to have it accredited by UK law then we will work towards doing so. However, before
this was to happen it should be noted that the Government would contact Martial Arts Groups direct informing them of the
changes and not do so by scare mongering on the Internet.