The purpose of today’s post to to re-examine the need and function of a ‘governing body’ and if so why. The reader is welcome to accept or discard any or all of it.
It is my contention that we do need a single governing body for the various reasons :
- Karate is widely misunderstood (and sadly, often misrepresented) and there should be one point of reference that interested parties and members of the public can approach for information, advice and assistance.
- Karate practice encompasses a plethora of ethical and technical ideals. Disparate umbrella groups and self-styled governing bodies mislead and allow confusion.
- A central single body can set, and monitor standards (technical, ethical, financial, etc.)
There are some who advocates the idea of two bodies, one to manage sport karate and one to cater to the so-called “traditional
” karate. I believe this inappropriate as many practitioners embrace both side of the discipline, and a great many respected karate-ka who consider themselves ‘traditional’ also support sport, and vice versa. By splitting the two, we risk potentially dividing the overall karate community. Even the sport of karate as endorsed by the major bodies (WKF
) embraces budo values.
It is important to consider the role of the National Sports Council
in these plans. In my opinion it can be very simple : Unify, or no funds. At the moment there are too many karate associations left out of the loop due to many reasons. There is of course the possibility of forging ahead with independent commercial funding. This has to be considered withing the wider context of sport/education/social policy generally. Whilst it is perfectly feasible to imagine a financially self-supported body, the implications of running independently of the Government Agency responsible for what might be loosely termed ‘physical education
‘ are not, IMHO, viable.
A governing body needs to :
- Establish and maintain standards
- inform and educate (members and outside parties)
- Lobby outside bodies for support
- Represent it’s members’ disparate needs
- Deliver services for its members
- Act as a disciplining/controlling force to control non-aligned or non-compliant bodies
All the above must be fulfilled in an environment of transparency and propriety. Due proses means that there will be accountability and scrutiny. There is no point in trying to run even a benign dictatorship or patriarchal democracy. One definition of democracy is that the leaders can be rid of. Thomas Paine, two centuries ago, warned that a democratic government must ensure that the will of the people is represented. That means constant reference back to the electorate (overall karate community). This has not been the case with MAKAF. I propose a trimmed down governing body with a lean, effective management that will include ALL the karate-ka in Malaysia in one body.
Read PART 2