Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

International Alliance of Martial Arts Schools

Previously, Mr Colin Wee wrote a guest post describing the Traditional Tae Kwon Do he teaches in Western Australia. Today, we have another guest post by Mr. Wee. He is the motive force behind a movement to form a loose network of schools world wide to provide ... well, see below.

My name is Colin Wee, I’ve been practicing martial arts in one form or another for the last 30 years. 

Many of you know me as the blogger who runs the Traditional Taekwondo Technique Workshop. 

This particular blog was created so I could explore techniques and training methodology beyond the confines of the 1.5 hour classes we have during the week.

Just so you know, the blog receives far more traffic than the handful of active students that train with me. Despite the healthy traffic, I have not received a single cent from providing that resource. In fact, 

I not only provide classes for free, I often find myself digging into my own pocket to fund additional club activities.

It seems I’m not alone when it comes to this giving mentality. When I recently revisited my instructors in the US, not only was I welcomed back with open arms, but they scheduled daily training (sometimes twice daily) and social activities. I felt like I was visiting family! What more can you ask for?

Well, let me tell you something you might not know.
n 2002, a friend of mine, Stuart Anslow started an organisation called International Alliance of 

Martial Art Schools. The premise was simple – any travelling student or instructor gets to train for free for up to two weeks at any participating member school. Joining was free – all you had to do was display the logo on your website, announce member benefits and away you went.

Dubious about the people I may meet – that is to say, those giving our industry a bad name – I was wary ... I wanted to stick with my own school and my own association, and I didn’t think this online group was going to amount to much.

Boy was I wrong. What I can tell you is that there are many solid honest-to-goodness martial art practitioners out there, and if given the right circumstance, they will come and will participate and will bring value to your lives.

Before IAOMAS, I was almost about to give up teaching martial arts. Nothing in my syllabus made sense to me. I had lost my way and my teachers were 10,000 miles away. But because of the opportunities through IAOMAS, I was able to embark on research, started discussions with very clever and informed instructors, and pretty soon started hosting my own IAOMAS joint seminars.

In the last few years, IAOMAS has fallen off the grid a little. There was a lot of work that had to be done by a very small number of volunteers. And we let the ball drop. It’s now come to me to reboot IAOMAS and to get instructors together again in one large global community. As Coordinator, I’ve chosen to form my committee with individuals all of whom reside here in Western Australia. We also are working with a larger group of regional facilitators who are helping us extend the IAOMAS message and network worldwide.

Please come and find out about what IAOMAS can do for you and your student body at our website And come say hi at our FaceBook page Looking forward to getting to know you better!

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