East Morris Karate Academy

 

Professional Leadership

 

Teaching and practicing are, supposedly, the primary activities of martial arts instructors. However, for any even moderately passionate instructor, broader issues become of concern. Teaching methods, program standards, professional ethics, public relations are just some of the areas demanding attention. Here are some of our efforts.

 

 

American Budo Kai, Inc.

Our Head Instructor, Sal Musco is a charter member of this association of schools, and serves on its board of directors. In 1987, Mr. Musco co-founded the organization along with two long time fellow students, George Calvert and his wife, the former Ms. Joan Felenczak.

 

Many of today’s martial arts associations function primarily to provide marketing support and credentials to otherwise unafilliated instructors. In this regard, “The Kai”, as it’s known, has a rather unique mission: To preserve the teaching legacy of the directors’ late sensei, Dale A. Jenkins. To this end. participation in annual Kai sponsored events is restricted to student of the founders.

 

 

Teaching

About the single most important aspect in any martial arts program is the quality of instruction. Yet, this area seems the one most taken for granted by the public and instructors alike. In fact, at one time, student experience alone was widely accepted, by most Americans, as sufficient for instructorship. That mistaken view was still far too common by the time the first mail-order “Be the Next Martial Arts Millionaire” programs offering turnkey opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. Today, the situation is worse still as many commercial industry operators have given up even the pretense of any instructorial training or credential.

 

While we do support the concept of martial arts instructing as an occupation, we believe that competent teaching, and quality programming and professional integrity are best attained through specific, face-to-face study with a competent instructor.

 

To address the issue, Mr. Musco sought ways of upgrading the process for selecting and training new instructors. As a result, EMKA established a unique, formal assistant instructor internship called Future Instructor Special Training (FIST). This program, only available to a dojo's members, is used with great success by Kai member locations.

 

Since then, Mr. Musco has continued to develop more standardized and effective ways to improve instruction. Most recently,  he and staff members have undertaken a comprehensive study and review of our entire empty-hand and weapons training program: curriculum, training path, evaluation criteria, everything.

 

 

Field Research

Mr. Musco, along with the other association directors, participated in three, month long tours of Okinawa, Japan. There they interviewed a number of eminent teachers and studied at various traditional dojo. They also attended museums, historic sites, and made the acquaintance of many local people.

 

The tours were arranged by Mr. A. J. Advincula of California who is a first generation student of Isshin-ryu karate founder, Tatsuo Shimabuku, and also serves as technical/historical advisor to American Budo Kai.

 

 

Industry Advocate

A veteran martial arts professional and practitioner (since 1974), Mr. Musco contributes as media resource for journalists, editors and authors. He uses these opportunities to promote understanding and appreciation for tradition and legitimacy in martial arts training and application.

 

He’s also written several opinions to legislators concerning bills regarding regulatation of martial arts schools and instructors. Allthough none passed (all were flawed or misguided), one bill, in 1998, was actually very promising and constructive. On that occasion, a state assemblyman wrote Governor Christine Todd Whitman endorsing Mr. Musco to serve on it's proposed New Jersey Commission on the Martial Arts.

 

 

 

 

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