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|The League of Grand Masters is an organization of
legitimate Grand Masters of at least 8th Dan (Degree.) The membership is
that of recognized, senior members of the Korean Martial Arts. The members
are all documented, known and respected Grand Masters.
New membership is based on an individual by individual review by the members of the League. To become members, applicants must pass a document verification process and an oral interview as well as receive a majority vote of the voting membership. At present the requirements are that a prospective member show documentation of promotions from a recognized Grand Master up to the rank of 8th Dan. The prospective member must also have at least 33 years of martial arts experience. Membership is not automatic, but based solely at the discretion of the members of the League.
In order for the League to recognize and award a 9th Dan, a member must have passed all the other membership requirements, and have been a 8th Dan for eight (8) years.
The League was formed because it was recognized that there was a need for such an organization of legitimate Grand Masters within the Americas. Too many illegitimate ones currently exist.
A Korean Grand Masters Society, which is how many of the Korean Grand Masters received their 9th and 10th Dan rankings, is recognized as an honorable and effective method to conduct the awarding and documenting of senior grand masters by their peers. The fact that Americans were not accepted as equals in such a Korean Grand Masters Society and therefore not allowed the same opportunity for becoming legitimately 9th Dan is found to be offensive.
One method currently in existence for obtaining ranking in Korean Martial Arts is to submit to rank testing by the "Ku Ki Won" in Korea. One of the requirements is to be recommended by two (2) Korean Grand Masters. This organization also reportedly requires many thousands of dollars from the tested person. This is also found to be offensive. Martial Arts should not be about money, but ability, experience, honor, dedication, and all the other traits recognized as important.
Another even less valued alternative method in practice for promotion to senior belts including grand master rank is by joining an organization that awards belts with little regard to any traditional requirements or other recognized, legitimate means of recognizing excellence. This practice is considered by many as a means where people of questionable character or legitimacy get awarded belts and rankings from other people of questionable character of legitimacy.
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