You've got a great deal of awesome info here, and I've spent quite a bit of time reading it. As a martial arts instructor of nearly 25 years nonstop, I would suggest that you be very careful about the accusations you level at other people attempting to discredit them. Often what you reveal does not achieve the intentions you hope for, but only reveals a misguided lack of insight or lack of experience on your own behalf. I consider us all students and instructors of each other, so I hope that you take this in a spirit of constructive criticism and consider really revising this article.
Are you saying that it is wrong to discredit frauds? Are you suggesting that we should just accept what every “master” or “soke” claims and not question it? How should I revise, the article? Should I tell people it is wrong to question a “master’s” credentials until they have been defrauded by him? Or, should I tell them to be aware of fraudulent instructors and tell them how to verify an instructors claims and credentials? How is wrong to discredit a “master” who claims false education degrees and titles? Just because someone founded a “new” martial art (new usually means it is just a new combination of other arts with a different name) it does not mean we should automatically believe what the “master” says and put years of our time and money into pursing the art only to find the rank awarded by “master” is worthless outside the front door of the “master’s” school.
In addition certification began with something even less accountable than asking someone else for it or mailing off for it - it began with someone make up rank and giving it to others. It began with people awarding themselves rank. Before we get too high on our horse we need to consider people like Jigoro Kano and ask ourselves if he was really a piece of trash and a fraud, as articles like yours would make him out to be (without naming him, of course.) I'd wager that there are thousands of Judo practitioners worldwide that would love to debate that. All ranks are made up. What really matters is whats being done in the classroom and in life.
I agree that all ranks were made up, but so was every man made thing in the world, including college degrees, medical licenses, real estate licenses, etc. What makes these things valid is their national acceptance as indicators that the persons holding them are authorities on the subjects. Just because a storefront martial art “organization” awards rank and title certificates to anyone who pays the membership fee does make the certificates valid. Some “masters” collect these certifications from every “certifying organization” on the Internet in a feeble attempt to appear to legitimate.
It easy to say that all that matters is what’s being done in the classroom and in life, but that does not make it correct. This is what we say to people who fail to achieve something. This is what the instructor says to the new students who failed a rank testing. This is what a coach says to players when they lose the game, but he knows that what really matters is winning and being successful, especially if he wants to keep his job. You can tell the bar association that, although you did not earn a law degree, you really worked hard in the classroom and you are a good person in life, but that will not get you a law license.