USBBF HISTORY

It's been a long run...

The United States Black Belt Federation® or USBBF is a name you’ll recognize from the early days of American Martial Arts. 


Established in 1969 and boasting membership over the years of some of the most recognizable Martial Artists in America. Names like Tokey Hill, Bob Gillette, Skipper Mullins, EA Moore, and so many more. At one point membership rivaled that of the USKA and AKA.  In fairness, there were no membership fees until the late ’70’s.


Built on the premise that Americans should have their own Federation/Association and not have to rely on often fickle overseas leadership. Prior to the rise of the USKA, AKA, and USBBF, all aspects of Martial Arts were tightly controlled by organizations that were often more interested in ensuring their countries members dominance.


Following the lead of trail blazers like Robert A. Trias with the USKA and Ernest Lieb years later with the AKA, American martial artists were establishing their own associations. Much like labor unions, these groups were able to leverage their numbers and as a result saw partnerships and recognition from “Hombu” organizations.


The first constitution of the USBBF acknowledged the practice of black belts from differing systems acting as judges at competitions and sitting on promotion panels. An Executive Board consisting of members would make decisions rather than a single person. The diversity of the board would allow for growth and helped to keep style/system bias to a minimum. Early on, the USBBF was an eclectic group concerned more with what was best for it’s members and less with politics.


The USBBF was the first organization to recognize the emergence of American styles. As respected instructors began to blend systems, the resulting style fell well outside the established structure of the originals. Long before the label Mixed Martial Arts, the USBBF established a system of American Martial Arts and allowed for the chosen style name with strict requirements and documentation required before being recognized.  Doing this preserved the purity and respect of the origins and allowed for “Martial Evolution”.


The USBBF has been recognized as a “governing body of the Martial Arts” worldwide and has worked in partnership with many other groups.


image42

Integrity

Membership and Rank

USBBF is a multi phase membership organization.

Unlike many organizations we do not accept your membership and then issue a certificate bearing your rank.  

Application for USBBF membership does ask your rank, but only for your file.  No rank will be listed on the annual or life certificate of membership.


The USBBF was founded on the principle of integrity first, everything else in it's good time.  This is the approach we take to this day, especially in regards to rank.  Many groups have put rank at the forefront and as a result garnered the troubling moniker of “paper mills”.

Members of the USBBF, past and present, are some of the finest Martial Artists in the world and we owe them due diligence. 


As a member of the USBBF you may apply to have your rank formally recognized.  This process is not required nor is it automatically approved.

The USBBF rank system provides procedures for  validation, verification and homologation. 

Homologation is the issuance of USBBF credentials for Martial Arts rank possessed by a current member when that rank has been issued by a recognized Martial Arts organization and verified by the USBBF.   Since 1969, the USBBF has compiled a lengthy and comprehensive list of recognized organizations.

Validation is the examination of a current member to obtain USBBF credentials for a Martial Arts rank issued by an unrecognized Martial Arts organization, or for which no credentials are possessed.


The standards used in this process have stood the test since 1975, making a ranking certificate issued by the USBBF one of the Gold Standards of the Martial Arts  world. 


image43

History

Established in 1969 and boasting membership over the years of some of the most recognizable Martial Artists in America. 

Inclusion - Innovation

The USBBF was the first organization to recognize the emergence of American styles. As respected instructors began to blend systems, the resulting style fell well outside the established structure of the originals. Long before the label Mixed Martial Arts, the USBBF established a system of American Martial Arts

Tradition - Integrity

Unlike many organizations we do not accept your membership and then issue a certificate bearing your rank.

Many groups have put rank at the forefront and as a result garnered the troubling moniker of “paper mills”.

As a member of the USBBF you may apply to have your rank formally recognized.  This process is not required nor is it automatically approved.

Members of the USBBF, past and present, are some of the finest Martial Artist in the world and we owe them due diligence.