A long standing, official organisation, covered by the acknowledgement of great masters somewhere far away in the East, is a safe harbour. Ranks and duties of these associations give a feeling of achievement and the experience of guidance and quality management.
And yet the feeling that there is something missing, that a broader approach to martial arts might be helpful, is very common among many experienced students and masters. At times federations and organisations are not doing the job they were meant for. Instead of connecting practitioners and generating quality management by licensing and educating, they often limit new ideas and create a status quo for those in charge.
Where does that leave the passionate Martial Artist, the person who wants to learn valuable skills and explore one of the most fascinating adventures mankind has to offer? Fighting in general and the art of fighting especially opens a whole world of personal development, of learning for body and mind. It shouldn't be disturbed by petty disagreements about different styles or administrative matters.
The Missing Link Community has a minimum of political and organisational overhead. It keeps things as lean as possible. We focus on the Martial Art itself. There are no tournaments or championships, no fight for power and influence, just learning and development for those who are really interested in martial arts.
The community has been introduced in 2010 in Germany by Karateka who share decades of practice under well-rounded masters with a versatile approach to their Japanese art. They broadened their knowledge by intense cross-training in other styles like Wudang Kung Fu, Wing Tsun, Systema, Ninjutsu, full contact Karate. Besides being strongly involved in the well-known German ShoShin Projekt, they are also closely connected to masters of different styles all around the world. They learned in Europe and Asia. The three authors of this little book are part of this Founder Circle. Our many years in Martial Arts made us wonder if we could do better than what we experienced.
We are well aware that we are not the first to try this. We also won't be the last ones. And we will encounter all the challenges that other groups like ours have been facing in the past. Nevertheless we are convinced that our approach, that Missing Link Martial Arts is a huge step for all those martial artists who are on the same quest as we are: For individual, deep rooted, intelligent, healthy and lifelong practice.
The Missing Link Community is organized in circles:
Beginners start without any circle membership, until their teacher feels that they are willing to travel the Missing Link journey for real. In this moment the teacher can apply for the Student Circle membership.
This group consists of experienced, long term students who have been working hard and maybe working as instructors themselves, probably even in an own school.
Members of the Senior Circle are highly involved experts who also take responsibility in actively developing Missing Link Martial Arts. Gradings within the Omote/Kyu curriculum are privilege of the Senior Circle.