A legitimate rank issuing organization issues rank to students who have been:
- Trained by a certified instructor of the organization.
- Tested in person by a certified instructor, or a group of certified instructors, of the organization.
- Recommended for rank by a certified instructor, or a group of instructors, of the organization as having met or exceeded the organization's requirements for the rank.
He said that I must be ignorant of the current way rank is awarded in the martial arts industry. He said that lower ranks are, and should be, tested in person but that high ranks (4th degree and above) are usually awarded rank by means of correspondence (previous rank certificates, a resume, letters of recommendation, thesis, a video of skills performance, tournament records, etc.).
He said he had competed extensively around the country and that most of the high ranks he knew had received their rank this way. and that this was the way most organizations issue high rank. He said most ranks above 3rd degree were honorary anyway and were mostly awarded for time in rank and for work in the art and in the organization, not for physical performance.
He said most of the high ranking taekwondo martial artists he knew had received their rank through correspondence and that my statement that rank should be awarded in person was disrespectful toward them. He thought that people who expect high ranks to test in person were ignorant of the way high rank is issued nowadays, must be envious of the rank, and are probably criticizing the rank in an effort to increase the status of their own rank.
This is why certificate mills still exist.