Institute of Martial Arts & Sciences

Promoting professionalism and quality in the martial arts worldwide

Guidance notes for membership applications.

To all new prospective members.

We are pleased that you are considering applying to become a member of this prestigious institute.  The information contained below will aid you in taking the next step in your application.  Please read it carefully prior to taking any further action at this point in time.

Things you should do:

  1. Spend some time exploring the institutes website. You will find a lot of information there regarding exactly what the institute is and what it does. 
  2. Ensure you read about the different categories of membership that are available along with their associated criterion. This will help you to ascertain exactly what category you may be eligible to apply for.
  3. Complete our application form (available on our website). This form must be completed in as much detail as possible and should include such information as your martial arts ranks and academic qualifications as well as the names and contact details of two referees. Once you have completed this form it will passed on to our membership committee for evaluation.
  4. You should also be prepared to send us a copy of your most recent CV/Resume which should contain any and all additional information regarding your education, background, training and experience.
  5. Scan copies of your martial arts certificates and academic/professional qualifications and send these to us as an email attachment. (steps 4 and 5 will help support your application and assist our membership committee in coming to their decision). In some cases you may be asked to provide the original documents.
  6. All documents will be checked and cross-referenced against official records maintained by the awarding bodies.

When applying please be as thorough and (above all) as honest as possible. All applications are dealt with on an individual basis and we will do our utmost to advise and support you throughout the process. However, we would like to draw the following points to your kind attention:

  • All martial arts grades mentioned on an application must come from a bonafide organisation and have been properly worked for and earned through time served and grading exams passed. There should also be a clear history of advancement in rank which can be easily verified.
  • All academic degrees claimed must have been awarded by an officially chartered university or institute of higher education after completing all of the necessary coursework, research projects and examinations.
  • Any claims of service in the armed forces or emergency services will be stringently checked, as will any qualifications claimed to have been awarded while a member of these bodies. The institute maintains a robust Accredited Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) policy with a persons service in the armed forces and emergency services being taken very seriously and acknowledged accordingly. Any claims found to be false will result in a lifetime ban from membership of this institute and in some cases may result in this information being passed on to the relevant authorities for further investigation and/or legal action.
  • Any honorary awards granted may be included on your application but this must be made clear on your paperwork. (An honorary 5th dan is not the same as a regular grade. Just as an honorary doctorate is not a properly earned PhD from a chartered university)
  • No martial arts organisation, in any country, has the right to grant any type of university degree (Bachelors/Masters/PhD). So please do not include these in your application as they will not be accepted and may harm your application.
  • The IMAS will not accept degrees and other qualifications which may be bought online from various so-called churches and seminaries usually based in the USA.  Once again including such information may prejudice your application.

Special note concerning your referees.

Your referees should not be:

  • Members of your own family
  • Members of your own organisation
  • Work colleagues/friends/acquaintances

Your referees can be:

  • Your martial arts instructors
  • Your teachers/professors from school/college/university
  • Your senior officer in the armed forces/emergency services
  • Some other person of similar status and responsibility

To summarise:

  1. Only official qualifications from recognised bodies will be considered and given credence by the membership committee.
  2. Hard evidence is always required in order to substantiate and verify any and all training and qualifications and this evidence will always be checked with the awarding bodies responsible.
  3. If a person claims certain training/education/qualifications then they should be prepared to substantiate these by sending in copies of certificates and/or a written reference on officially headed notepaper.
  4. References must come from suitable people in order to be pursued and considered valid.
  5. The membership committee consists of a panel of experts drawn from the Special Interest Groups of the institute (education, research, security studies, etc) It should also be noted that the IMAS maintains strong links with various organisations all over the world (colleges, universities, professional organisations, etc)

The IMAS was formed to promote professionalism in the martial arts by raising standards of competency, and is dedicated to education and research. Membership of this institute is a very serious and sought after qualification the world over.  Please keep this in mind when applying.

That said, it is also our policy to remain as open, accessible and inclusive as possible and there is a membership category for literally everyone, with all being welcome to apply to become a part of this professional and learned body that is specifically for the martial arts and sciences and related fields.

We hope these guidance notes, along with the other information contained on this website have been of some assistance to you in taking the first step towards membership of the IMAS. Should you require any additional assistance please contact admin and we shall do everything we can to help you realise your ambition of becoming a member of this specialist institute.

We wish you every success and look forward to receiving your application.

IMAS Membership Committee.