Dear concerned students:
I regret to inform you that based on your reports here, it seems that you have fallen prey to an unscrupulous encounter. You have been mislead to believe your certificate is “fake”, while the truth is you have one of the more prestigious and harder-won certificates in the martial arts community. Sadly, some less than upfront school owners use this ploy to convince unwitting students to pay again, start over, and/or retest to obtain more money from them.
I would appreciate it if you would provide the names of your new instructors who made these claims to you. I would like to contact them to set the record straight. I am confident that once they have the facts that they will revise their position and advise you differently.
Any professional and responsible instructor accepting a new student will contact the certifying body and speak directly with the issuing organization and instructor to learn more about the student, comparable standards and so on. In my view, it is not only professional, but what a caring instructor with your best interest at heart would do. It is apparent from your claims here that your new instructor did not bother to contact Master Na or the ITMA.
Master Na and the ITMA Masters, of which I am proudly a part, are highly distinguished, experienced and respected members of the martial arts community. ITMA Masters, Black Belts and members include attorneys, military, bodyguards, university professors, successful business executives, humanitarians and more. Just take a look at the “Break The Chain Foundation” at www.breakathon.com, an organization created by members of the ITMA.
Regarding competition, ITMA Masters have had competitors and champions at local, State, National and International competitions and can document these claims with our readily available public records. In fact, my students recently competed in International competition in Korea without restriction as ITMA affiliates.
I assure you that none of these Masters would risk their reputations and careers by affiliating with a “fake” or less than stellar organization. The ITMA has a proud reputation for high standards, accountability and thorough documentation. Should you have any questions, I would be happy to provide you with resources, professional organizations and legitimate professionals with respected reputations to assist your efforts. In time, with some basic research, I am confident that you will find the facts. We are committed to our ongoing efforts to raise the quality, integrity and standards of the martial arts industry of which we all love and cherish.
My hope is that, with more accurate information, you can open a dialog with Master Na and begin to heal your relationship with the person with whom you invested years of training. I am confident that he can guide you to a more reputable school and instructor who will not only recognize your certificate but respect your hard work and individual goals.
Personally, my experience with Master Na’s Black Belt Academy and Master Na has been remarkable. I have met thousands of Masters, Black Belts and instructors over the 20 plus years of my Martial Arts career. Having had the honor of training with many of the “greats”, along with numerous Masters in the US, China and Korea, I am proud to say that Master Na is among those whom I hold the highest respect and admiration.
I have had the honor of attending Master Na’s Black Belt testing in Washington. Sitting on a Black Belt promotion panel along with former members of the Korean Tiger Demo Team and many other distinguished Masters, I have seen the quality of the Masters, Black Belts and students Master Na produces. He clearly provides far more value in the ITMA certification than any other organization I have found. Furthermore, the WTF certificate option still exists as a service to members.
I searched for an organization that shared my goals, values and beliefs for many years, finally finding the ITMA and Master Na through a colleague I met through bodyguard training. I am a proud affiliate of the ITMA and a student of Master Na for many reasons. I have personally witnessed Master Na reinvesting into the TKD and Martial Arts community, working tirelessly to be a force for unification, professionalism and integrity. Master Na’s contributions to the martial arts and his leadership are clearly established, including being featured on the cover of TaeKwonDo Times magazine.
Master Na brought the internationally recognized Eagle demonstration team on a tour of the US, introducing students to TKD and Korean culture. He conducts numerous seminars for member schools and has always been encouraging, positive and wise. I have seen him to be a caring teacher, maintain an active role with students, mentor instructors and selflessly give of himself. I have also witnessed his love and devotion to family, along with his dedication to charity and mission work.
Speaking from personal experience as the owner of multiple locations in Arizona, I have had the opportunity for Master Na to conduct seminars and events for my students. Each time he has visited, the overwhelming response from my students is the same. They love and respect him and we look forward to each opportunity to learn from someone of his education, experience, caliber and character. Considering we have had Olympians, world champions and many others teach at our school, this is a high compliment.
As far as I am concerned, a certificate, contract or any other document is only as good as the person behind it. I can think of no better person than Master Na and the Masters of the ITMA. Students ranging from white belt to Master would be privileged to train with Master Na. The world could use more exceptional people like him.
I can only hope that your remarks on this blog do not dampen the spirit of a person thousands of us have come to love and respect.
With respect and humility,
John D. Nottingham