Edwin Neal wrote:
James i see your point but is fraud a constitutional right... It is illegal to claim to be a lawyer or a doctor(medical) or law officer if you are not... there are limits to freedom of speech...
Of course, the guy can't claim to be a shihan of a specific organization he doesn't belong to, but he can create his own organization and call himself Shihan. Hell, I have a doctorate of theology from a mail order church (and can marry people in the state of Colorado). Every once in a while I toy with the idea of making everyone call me Dr. Kelly just for fun (my grandmother would be proud).
We once had a kid come into our dojo. He claimed he was 18, but couldn't have been more than 15 I think, and kind of chubby. Anyway, he watched for a bit (none of the Sensei were there) and then, when asked if he was interested in signing up, he explained that he had founded his own martial art (something with ‘fu' and ‘dragon' in the name) and was probably higher-ranked than our sensei anyway so why bother? He was really there looking for students for his new dojo. We smiled and said that was great and wished him well in his new endeavor.
I had totally forgotten that, but I have to say it was very funny and you know what...? good for him. He was a shmo, but he had chutzpa. I certainly wasn't walking into strange dojo and making claims of my martial prowess at the age of 15. The world is a better place for him and his claims (assuming he avoided getting his ass kicked by walking into the wrong dojo and is still alive).