DUES R DUE
David Berndt, Membership Director
It’s that time of the year when I sit down for hours and hand write invoices for membership dues for IUKF/SCMAA. Not being very computer literate, in spite of Sensei Mattson’s guidance and throwing his hands up, I do this ritual a couple times a year.
I try to cycle the due dates for every few months for my hands and eyes to recover.
Over the course of the year I come into contact with members for various reasons, who ask, “why do we pay dues?” What do we get?
While that’s a good question, even more surprising is the fact, that many don’t even look at the IUKF section on the uechi-ryu.com web site to see what they do get.
Originally your dues were a way for you to receive a discount on your Dan certificate fee. Saving you $50 on this alone, more than made up for the $35 yearly fee. Sensei Mattson also provided a discount to IUKF members for the Summer and Winter Fest camps. Again, a savings equal to or better than your dues payment.
And, if you purchased books or training videos, he also passed a savings to Members.
But now, IUKF is taking even more responsibility on the monthly maintenance and updates on the Uechi-ryu site itself. You may not even think about it, but all the Forums and the people who host them or write in to them, are able to do it free. While it is free to use, it isn’t free for its mere existence. Your Uechi-ryu site has an average of over 700,000 hits per month, one of the most visited martial arts web sites in the world, and to keep it that way, people work on its image constantly. It’s not free.
Your membership also provides a data base of Dojos around the world, who subscribe, regardless of affiliations, and a Black Belt Registry to list members and non –members certifications. A data base that adds legitimacy to your Rank. This data base is maintained, voluntarily, by David Kahn. He is always available to post your current promotions and titles, without fail. Where else can you go to see someone’s heritage and their years of experience? Of course now, you must be a member in good standing for a year, in order to receive the Honorarium Titles, such as Shihan, Renshi, etc.
And of course, with your Membership, you receive the IUKF embroidered patch and membership certificates, for Kyu and Dan ranks. The IUKF Passport is also a popular item to keep as a diary of promotions, seminars and visiting sensei’s from all the Arts. All of the materials you receive are individually processed personally, and many times with several hours a week, volunteered.
So the next time you get an invoice for dues, or you are asked to join, please remember what goes on behind the IUKF scenes.