“Serving Martial Artists of All Styles” has been the purpose of the Independent Martial Arts Federation (IMF) since Robert Shook, Kirk Simmons and Chuck Harrison founded it in 1999 to provide practioners, regardless of style or affiliation, with rank recognition, school support and training opportunities.

The three, with combined martial art experience of over 70 years and black belts in hapkido, jujitsu and kenpo, had suffered the ups and downs of training in schools that frequenty changed locations or instructors. Even more frustrating were the organizations that dictated where, when and what they could learn. Confident that others had the same experiences, Shook, Simmons and Harrison decided to create a federation where the member came first. They laid out five guiding principles as the foundation for the Independent Martial Arts Federation:

* To establish an independent organization to support martial artists of all Styles;
* To function without arbitrary decision-making, dictates and exorbitant fees;
* To recognize members' rank based on demonstrated skills;
* To promote the growth of instructors and their schools;
* To promote the growth of members as martial artists; * To support a Hall of Honor to recognize outstanding achievements.

Since 1999 almost 1,000 independent martial artists have joined the IMF because of these principles. And the federation’s service has been recognized by a number of prestigious groups: World Martial Arts Masters Society, Budokaikan International, International Assembly of Sokeship, World Nibuikai Budo Federation, International Alliance of Martial Arts Masters, the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame and Who’s Who in Martial Arts.

Martial artists seek out the IMF because, for whatever reason, they have lost contact with instructors or associations. They seek a place to call their martial arts home, a place that does not tell them what or how to teach, what to study or who to associate with but one that is open and encourages growth.

The most important way the IMF serves its members is through rank recognition at reasonable prices. Shook, Simmons and Harrison believe that a good martial artist is a good martial artist regardless of system or style. Skill always shines through. A lifetime IMF membership costs only $45.00 USD and includes one rank recognition certificate. A new member must submit a copy of his/her most recent rank certificate or a video demonstrating the skills required for that rank. Every three years, the member may promote to the next rank. A video test is required, and the fee is only $3.00 USD. Members may also purchase special 11 inch by 14 inch hand drawn rank certificates on rice paper for only $30.00 USD or parchment for $35.00.

The IMF recognizes the importance of serving members who run schools. The difficulties of running a martial art school and business are well-known. The IMF stays out of an instructor’s way. The IMF does not demand that members force students to join, does not dictate curriculums nor extract exorbitant fees from promotions. The IMF offers instructors a student membership package if the instructor wants his/her students to join. The normal $45.00 USD fee is split between the IMF and the instructor who may invest his portion in his school or give it as a discount. When students promote, the instructor merely sends a list of the names and new ranks, and the IMF provides rank certificates. The fee is only $3.00 USD for each student.

The IMF supports a Hall of Honor that registers the achievements of martial artists whether or not they are members and regardless of style and art. The honoree receives an 18x24 hanging scroll in traditional calligraphy and a printed 8 1/2 x 11 certificate. All honorees are permanently listed in the Hall of Honor. Registration is only $75.

Finally, the IMF offers learning opportunities. Robert Shook and Kirk Simmons have created a library of video courses members can use to learn new techniques and arts. Members may also test for rank. The systems are organized into three ranks – green, brown and 1st black – and teach effective, real-world self-defense skills that are easily and quickly learned:

* Chinese Dragon Kempo teaches hard-hitting techniques in a unique way. Students train and test with a target dummy so they can practice at full speed and full strength.
* Warrior Spirit Hapkido focuses on basic strikes, joint locks, and throws applicable to various self-defense stand-up and ground situations.
* Warrior Spirit Jujitsu teaches a hard-core jujitsu system focusing on gross motor movements and combinations that can be mastered in a matter of weeks or months.
* Goshin Karate, an empty-hand art harkening back to the original kara-te (China Hand) that evolved in Okinawa from Chinese arts, is a striking art of punches, kicks, knees and elbows that teaches one-step techniques and forms.
* Close Quarter Fighting presents cross-art self-defense techniques based on the close quarter combat skills taught to Allied forces in World War II. This is an essential course that can supplement any curriculum.
Each series only costs $45.00 USD and testing fees for IMF members are $15.00 per rank. Higher black belt ranks are also available.

“Serving Martial Artists of All Styles” guides everything the Independent Martial Arts Federation does. And its record of success and support to its many members stands as proof of the IMF’s commitment now and to the future.

We hope you find our site informative and useful. We have information and histories on various styles of martial arts, lineage charts for several styles including Kenpo, Jujitsu, Hapkido and Tai Chi, and more detailed information on our products and services. Please contact us via email if you have any questions. Whether you choose to join us or not, we wish you the best in your martial arts endeavors!