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“Serving Martial Artists of All Styles” has been the purpose of the Independent Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) 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.

Since 1999 almost 1,000 independent martial artists have joined the IMAF 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.

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