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    Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:41 am

    Many know that judo is a well-funded and popular sport in France. Something that few people know though is that France is one of the few, perhaps even the only country in the world where currently dan-ranks are protected by law.

    In brief the regulations state that:

    Therefore, dan-ranks issued abroad, and thus including those issued by Japanese federations are not recognized by France (really, "the French government").

    The Sports Code Law (Law 84-610 of 16 July 1984, amended by Law 2000-677 of 6 July 2000) states in:

    Article L212-1
    I. - The only people allowed to teach or coach a sport of physical activity are those who are [...] hold a diploma that [...] attests to competency of its holders in matters regarding safety and skill of the discipline;

    Article L212-5
    In martial arts-related sports no one may claim to hold a dan-rank or any qualification equal to that rank in terms of sports aptitude or technical skills, or the aforementioned are are absent, the competitive achievements, sports under martial, no arts can invoke a danger or an equivalent grade sanctioning athletic skills and expertise and, where applicable, the competitive abilities, unless these have been issued by a specialized dan-rank committee or equivalent qualifications evaluation committee of the responsible federation, or in its absence, the only federation that is exclusively devoted to that sport.

    A ministerial bill establishes the list of federations mentioned in paragraph 1.

    Article L212-6
    Specialized dan-rank and equivalence-evaluation committees of which the composition is fixed by ministerial order after consultation with the sports federations, submit the conditions for the issuance of dan-ranks or their equivalence to the Minister of Sport, who officializes them by ministerial bill.

    In the bill of 16 February 1999 3 MP Patrick Leroy sets out the reasons for this regulation:

    The evolution of sporting activities necessitated the establishment of specific regulations for certain sports disciplines that may present risks to the physical and moral safety of its license holders. These disciplines include martial arts and comprise the issuance of dan grades and requires a particular tool for ensuring safety and skill. This regulation is part of the public service of sport and aims to avoid sectarianism among others.

    Between 1993-1998 approx. 60,000 dan-ranks have been delivered in all different disciplines and levels together. (Note CK: I suppose that this refers to just France ...)

    Links to the relevant laws:

    http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006067273&dateTexte=vig
    http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006077344&dateTexte=vig
    ___________________

    Note CK: it is suggested that this law would only be applied in as far as someone who wants to actually instruct judo (or another martial art) against remuneration. The legal consequences therefore are somewhat obscure if someone is teaching for free or whether someone not involved in teaching at all can 'safely' claim to 43rd dan without being considered in violation of the law.



    ---------------------
    Original text in French

    En France, la délivrance des dan est contrôlée par l’État, qui autorise une fédération par activité à les délivrer. Cette délivrance « officielle » n’a en fait d’importance que si la personne veut enseigner en étant payée, puisqu’elle doit passer son brevet d’État (BE) : la possession du 1er dan est requise pour l’inscription au brevet d’État de karaté et de taekwondo, celle du 2e dan pour l’inscription aux brevets d’État de judo et d’aïkido. Rien n’empêche donc un enseignant de délivrer un dan officieux, mais la personne ne saurait s’en prévaloir, c’est-à-dire ne peut le faire figurer nulle part.

    Par conséquent, les dan délivrés à l’étranger, et donc notamment par les fédérations japonaises, ne sont pas reconnus par l’État français.

    Le Code du sport précise (loi 84-610 du 16 juillet 1984, modifiée par la loi 2000-677 du 6 juillet 2000) :

    Article L212-1
    I. - Seuls peuvent, contre rémunération, enseigner, animer ou encadrer une activité physique ou sportive […] les titulaires d’un diplôme […] garantissant la compétence de son titulaire en matière de sécurité des pratiquants et des tiers dans l’activité considérée ;

    Article L212-5
    Dans les disciplines sportives relevant des arts martiaux, nul ne peut se prévaloir d’un dan ou d’un grade équivalent sanctionnant les qualités sportives et les connaissances techniques et, le cas échéant, les performances en compétition s’il n’a pas été délivré par la commission spécialisée des dans et grades équivalents de la fédération délégataire ou, à défaut, de la fédération agréée consacrée exclusivement aux arts martiaux.
    Un arrêté du ministre chargé des sports, fixe la liste des fédérations mentionnées au premier alinéa.

    Article L212-6
    Les commissions spécialisées des dans et grades équivalents, dont la composition est fixée par arrêté du ministre chargé des sports après consultation des fédérations concernées, soumettent les conditions de délivrance de ces dans et grades au ministre chargé des sports qui les approuve par arrêté.

    La proposition de loi du 16 février 1999 du député Patrick Leroy 3 expose les motifs de cette réglementation :

    L’évolution des pratiques sportives a nécessité la mise en place d’une réglementation propre à certaines disciplines pouvant présenter des risques pour la sécurité tant physique que morale des licenciés. Parmi ces disciplines figurent les arts martiaux dont la délivrance des titres que sont les grades et dan requiert un dispositif particulier. Cette réglementation fait partie intégrante du service public du sport et vise à éviter entre autres les dérives sectaires.

    Entre 1993 et 1998, environ 60 000 grades dan ont été délivrés, toutes disciplines et niveaux confondus.


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    afulldeck

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by afulldeck on Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:35 am

    CK are you suggesting that this type of regulation be applied in other countries? If so, I think there would be considerable cultural and political push back in many places in the globe.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:04 am

    afulldeck wrote:CK are you suggesting that this type of regulation be applied in other countries? If so, I think there would be considerable cultural and political push back in many places in the globe.
    So far I have not suggested anything and only provided some insight into the situation in France together with a translation. I did post it in the Discussion subforum rather than in the Promotions subforum, thus viewpoints such as yours are welcome.


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    Judoker

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by Judoker on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:47 am

    Hmmmm...not sure this is actually legal anymore within the EU, and not quite unique. The French have been trying it on like this for years in different sports:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1073885/british-ski-coach-arrested-at-french-resort

    Basically what you have is protectionism masquerading as health and safety. There needs to be an accreditation system for non French qualification.

    It's an EU test case waiting to happen methinks.

    Ps It wouldn't be so bad if the French actually ever won anything at sport...
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    afulldeck

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by afulldeck on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:07 am

    Judoker wrote:Hmmmm...not sure this is actually legal anymore within the EU, and not quite unique. The French have been trying it on like this for years in different sports:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1073885/british-ski-coach-arrested-at-french-resort

    Basically what you have is protectionism masquerading as health and safety. There needs to be an accreditation system for non French qualification.

    It's an EU test case waiting to happen methinks.

    Ps It wouldn't be so bad if the French actually ever won anything at sport...

    Well I would agree that its protectionism, but let me play the devil's advocate for a moment. Is it any different than doctors, engineers, lawyers who qualifications are not recognized in foreign countries? When does a country give up the right to control the qualifications of its citizens who work in the country?

    In my country there are regulated occupations and non-regulated occupations. Those that are regulated are ones that are controlled by law and/or governed by a professional organization or regulatory body which has been set up by its citizens. The regulatory body governing the profession or trade has the authority to set entry requirements and standards of practice, to assess applicants' qualifications and credentials, to certify, register, or license qualified applicants, and to discipline members of the profession/trade. Requirements for entry, which may vary but usually consist of such components as examinations, a specified period of supervised work experience, language competency, etc. If you want to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you MUST have a licence or certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation. Have the French made this a regulated occupation? Certainly, CK's original post points that way.  If so, then it doesn't matter if its masquerading as health and safety--it falls under a regulated governance of some sort.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:28 am

    Judoker wrote:Hmmmm...not sure this is actually legal anymore within the EU, and not quite unique. The French have been trying it on like this for years in different sports:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1073885/british-ski-coach-arrested-at-french-resort

    Basically what you have is protectionism masquerading as health and safety. There needs to be an accreditation system for non French qualification.

    It's an EU test case waiting to happen methinks.

    Ps It wouldn't be so bad if the French actually ever won anything at sport...

    Unfortunately, the article misses to address the essence of the situation, i.e.:

    - did the gentleman have instructing credentials in skiing, and if so exactly which ones ?
    - which credentials are desired ?

    It is quite common for countries including in the EU to demand certain qualification in order to get access to a certain profession or exert that profession. National law naturally focuses on national qualifications, but usually it allows a procedure for evaluation of foreign credentials. I don't think one has a leg to stand on if one is simply does not have any qualification, but one would if there is not equivalence process in place.

    The Bologna Convention did exactly that with regard to academic degrees, although there still can be issues when one goes outside of the EC, particularly because of the same issue. Consider the US, for example. In the US it's common to ask for things such as "marriage certificate", "transcripts", "birth certificate". Who in Europe outside of the UK (from which the US tradition is derived) has a "marriage certificate", a "birth certificate", or "transcripts" ? These documents in Europe historically never existed. Obviously there are things that are more or less equivalent but not under that name and not identical. Or in judo, the infamous "rank certificates" ...  Historically did not exist in Europe. The situation is somewhat the same with regard to instructor certifications. However there has been a process going on for some years that just like the Bologna convention attempts to unify or put procedures in place with regard to recognition of foreign EU instructor/coaching certifications.

    The fact that the state is involved is a good thing though since judo national governing bodies are famous for violating due process and using all kinds of politics to do inappropriate things with regard to instructor qualifications. By separating those qualifications and taking them out of the hand at least the state offers guarantees that one will not become a ball in the game between judo politicians or NGBs.

    These absurdities exist everywhere. When I went to the US they did not want to recognize my judo instructor/coaching certifications even though it was the highest possible in the EU and obtained after 16 weekends of classes and exams for every single course, from physiology to judo history to kata, to ... you just name it. Instead I first has to take a US judo coaching certification which just took a single morning listening to someone who had forgotten to prepare anything, no exams whatsoever, and then I was qualified whereas 16 weekends of formal courses and exams apparently did not qualify me. I also had to take a First Aid certification. You think this makes sense ?  It didn't because I was already holding an Advanced Cardiac Life Support qualification, which not only is much higher, but which also even was American and obviously valid !  And so the absurdity goes on and on. To get rid for once and for all with this kind of nonsense I decided afterwards to obtain a university master's degree specifically in instructing and coaching judo. They can now go stand on their head and attempt to fabricate some reasons as to why someone who slept through a morning of someone talking would be a qualified instructor/coach but someone who has graduated from a 1,500 hour multiple university program in instructing/coaching judo would not and then attempt to convince a judge of the same nonsense.

    The advantage of having the state or government or external institution involved is that they are subject to due process and other constitutional rights and have proper procedures in place to guarantee just that so that in the case of problems and least justice will prevail, which means that if you know your stuff, you attend your classes, you pass your exams, and you don't violate any rules, you will get your qualification. This is often not the case in judo whereas even if you do all that, it is sufficient that someone high enough up the ladder who does not like you and they will try whatever they can to still pretend you are not qualified. For that reason the French situation is an improvement, although there still is an issue because part of the technical judgment is delegated to a single sports federation (the FFJDA) who is given a monopoly. This makes me wonder if they will fairly treat people who come from other French judo federations such as Jû-no-michi and others ...

    Back to the article ... I think the situation is quite different if the ski teacher was in possession of a proper UK certification in skiing which the French are refusing to recognize, OR isn't in possession of ANY ski instructor qualification, UK or other. I find it kind of stunning that the article is omitting this crucial information.

    Already now, several coaching authorities (I believe the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany) have procedures in place to evaluate foreign (EU) qualifications for equivalence. The procedures generally involves providing copies of the qualification, legalized translation, identification of the coaching authority, providing the curriculum with details about the types of courses, the length of the course, whether there were exams or not, whether it involved a traineeship or not and how long it was, if any person final paper had to be written and copies. I assume that the French have something similar in place. If they do or did and the British skiing instructor ignored the whole process, it seems to me that he and/or his employer are indeed the ones to blame and not the French government.


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by Jonesy on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:39 am

    Guess no one told Levanier-sensei http://www.efjjsd.fr. Mind you he was a pioneer of judo in France and must have been part of what is now FFJDA at sometime.


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    finarashi

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    Re: Protection of dan-ranks by law, a unique situation

    Post by finarashi on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:10 am

    I seem to recall that the french had some sandan requirement collecting excercise and/or standardization going on the early 1990s. That might have been to make sure that other EU member sandan certifications can be recognised.


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