The martial arts is not regulated and as a result, anyone can purchase a black belt at their local store and open a school without any martial arts training at all. The same thing has occurred in regard to the Hall of Fame. Anyone and everyone can establish their own version of a Hall of Fame at any time. Today, there are over a thousand martial arts halls of fame across America alone.
Nearly all of these halls induct people with little or no criteria. We have witnessed fifteen-year-old martial artists being inducted along side 40-year veterans. A hall should be the accomplishments over decades of a persons life and should be the most difficult thing to get inducted into. Halls like these are not only confusing to the martial arts community, but even more confusing to the general public.
In 1999, the Martial Arts History Museum felt it was important to at least bring some validity to the Hall of Fame and focus its efforts and providing the reason in which each inductee was selected. The Museum Hall of Fame was established with its inductees having an historical impact on the martial arts as a whole. Although winning countless tournaments or learning the arts for 40 years or teaching children who cannot afford classes is a great accomplishment, it does not alter history for the arts a whole.
Ten individuals are inducted into the Museum’s Hall of Fame each year. The nomination process of this prestigious club is selected by the PAST INDUCTEES, NOT THE MUSEUM. The Museum will conduct a check on their stats, information, etc. and then the board members will select ten from the nominee list. There is no “of the year” categories (such as baseball’s Cy Young Award, or MVP for that year) which only reflects a specific time period, a Hall should reflect nearly a lifetime on an individuals work.
This information should be provided to a previous inductee, NOT THE MUSEUM. It is up to the previous inductee to submit a letter or recommendation on your behalf. Please note: Do not send a previous written bio and have them forward it to us. We need the person nominating to indicate what you did to change history as a whole. The museum will contact the nominator and go over the information provided.
All previous Hall inductees are eligible to nominate only one (1) individual per year. It is up to the inductee to contact the Museum, the Museum will not send out reminders for nomination. Voting is available all year round but the deadline for a particular year ends on February of the next year. (For example, to be considered for the 2012 year, final voting ends on February 2013). The Museum will not reveal a list of nominees.
This is the only Hall of Fame recognized by the Museum as the official Hall for the martial arts. Any inquiries from the press or any individuals asking if a certain individual was inducted into the Hall of Fame will be based solely upon the inductees included here. The Museum will not provide names of the thousands of different halls a person may have been inducted into. Listing of the Hall inductees are provided here online or in book form.