When IAOMAS first started in 2002, there was an amazing surge of interest and excitement from many schools around the World. That initial buzz led to the creation of a forum, directories listing IAOMAS member schools, and training seminars between member organisations.
What made the expansion of IAOMAS all the more surreal was the quality of instructor and schools joining our ranks. While many of us have reservations about the ego maniacs or the crooks that plague our industry, there are also many solid honest-to-goodness practitioners out there. And IAOMAS seemed to bring them out of the woodwork.
While it was not an immediate thing, I knew IAOMAS was going to eventually encounter organisational and management issues. Maintaining the decentralised directories was an unwieldy and frustrating process. Sharing the vision amongst all countries was not a push button affair. However, I must admit that the questionable readiness of technology in the mid 2000s and my inability to deliver a cogent (read ‘free’) solution meant I played no small part in the unravelling of this fine organisation.
I would like to say however, it’s time for IAOMAS to resurface. My personal and recent encounters with certificate mills, McDojos, and ego maniacs reiterate to me how important it is for a beacon, an IAOMAS, to ‘light the way’ – to show the industry that there are upstanding individuals who are courageous and confident and broad minded to reach out to other like minded practitioners!
IAOMAS started with a simple goal – ‘to bring the World closer together.’ I would like to see this simple banner unfurled again. Further, I would also like my 2013/2014 committee to identify what it is that owner operators of small martial arts schools and travelling students need. Our secondary goal should always be to address such issues, and where possible provide solutions which all members can enjoy.
While the technology available nowadays makes some things easier, establishing and expanding a going concern is no simple matter. As with everything else, creating value means effort – yours and mine. But as many of our early members will attest, IAOMAS is worth it. My hope is that you will recognise the worth this organisation has, and you will uphold it’s values and ethos as much as I do.
Colin Wee, 6th Dan
IAOMAS Coordinator 2013/2014
Perth, Western Australia