Approved: December 30, 2013
Revision: March, 20, 2015

South Carolina Kyudo Renmei

Policies and Procedures:

SCKR Code of Ethics and Standards of Behavior Policy

I. Preamble
The SCKR is dedicated to the study and practice of Kyudo as a Budo (martial way - a spiritual and ethical discipline [Do]) within which aesthetic, moral, and ethical values take precedence over practical considerations.

The ideals and ethics set forth in the Budo Charter (Nippon Budō Kyōgikai, 1987; English translation 2004) and the Kyudo Kyohon (All Nippon Kyudo Federation, revised edition, 1971) establish the principles of conduct for members of the SCKR. The seven tenets of bushido (rectitude [moral character], courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty) further characterize the traits exemplary of SCKR members’ behavior.

SCKR firmly believes that those who choose to study Kyudo under the direction of SCKR and its instructors are individuals of the highest moral and ethical character.

SCKR understands that new students, without any background in martial arts training, may not be aware of dojo specific etiquette or behaviors. It is the responsibility of the instructor to teach new students the expectations of the dojo and SCKR.

SCKR’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws expressly prohibit any discrimination of individuals based on age, sex, race, religious belief, or sexual orientation. Additionally, SCKR maintains a zero tolerance for abuse of any kind or in any form (verbal, written, psychological, or physical). Any infractions shall be addressed and rectified immediately.

SCKR acknowledges that in today’s society, misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and discord occur. This policy is for those occasions, where situations occur among members, for which clarification or resolution is needed to maintain the harmony of the dojo and to give all parties an opportunity for a fair and unbiased review to equitably resolve these difficult issues.

This policy is not intended to produce a list of acceptable behaviors prescribed by SCKR, as SCKR fully believes that all members of SCKR understand the expectations of martial artists studying Kyudo as Budo and any list, by its very nature, is not all-encompassing.

Every member of SCKR is expected to read and understand the policies and procedures explained in this document. Ignorance is no excuse. Ignorance will not be considered reasonable defense for poor judgment or inappropriate behavior. Questions regarding acceptable behavior or interpretation of any policies in this document should be directed to the SCKR Chief Officer before any action which might be questionable occurs.

SCKR acknowledges that neither respect nor ethics can be legislated, as the first is earned and the second is learned within the context of one’s society. Both concepts, however, are understood within the Budo community.

The success of the SCKR is built upon the trust and confidence SCKR members share with each other and the local, national, and international communities within which SCKR interacts. SCKR continues to maintain its high standing because of a strong foundation of honesty and integrity during all interactions, private and public, and by reaching its goals through honorable conduct, developing the highest quality of students, and sustaining an environment that is positive, safe, and free from all types of discrimination of abusive, offensive, or harassing behavior.

II. Code of Ethics
The SCKR’s Code of Ethics is not meant to preclude a member’s personal system of beliefs or standards of behavior. Membership in SCKR is voluntary; therefore, in choosing to accept membership one also accepts the SCKR standards of behavior and code of conduct. SCKR believes that following these precepts promotes the harmonious interaction among students and instructors and maintains a safe training environment.

The SCKR Code of Ethics and Standards of Behavior, based on the documents referenced in the Preamble, establish the guidelines, principles, and practice of acceptable decorum of SCKR members. To be allowed to study Kyudo with the SCKR is a privilege, not a right.

Ethical behavior does not just happen; it is the product of clear and direct communication of expected behavior modeled by leadership and demonstrated by example. Ethics begin with etiquette. Any member’s behavior that does not support these principles will not be tolerated.

Ethical behavior is required of all members of SCKR and is necessary for each member to remain in good standing.

All SCKR members are entrusted with the responsibility of creating an environment that allows every member to have a rewarding, positive, and safe experience while participating in Kyudo training and other SCKR related activities.
III. Standards of Behavior
Standards for all Members
Standards of behavior set forth in this document shall be applicable to every member, i.e. director, officer, advisor, or general member, of the SCKR.

The SCKR Board of Directors, as defined in the SCKR Bylaws, or any individual appointed to an official capacity shall exemplify the highest ethical standards, meet all requirements as specified herein, and represent the SCKR’s mission in a professional and collegial manner. Leadership roles in SCKR are positions of responsibility and service, and are never to be considered positions of privilege.

SCKR members in leadership positions, e.g. dojo instructors or individuals having significant authority within the organization to set the standards of ethics and etiquette within SCKR, have the added responsibility of demonstrating through their actions the importance of appropriate behavior especially on matters of safety.

The SCKR Board, anyone appointed to an official capacity, and SCKR members who are testing for the rank of Godan and above, or individuals who are actively teaching Kyudo must submit a background check upon request by the SCKR Chief Officer.
Standards for Members in Leadership Positions
SCKR prides itself in developing and promoting the highest quality of leadership and training. In the current environment of scrutiny of leaders and coaches in the athletic community, SCKR is proactive in establishing standards for its members that engender public confidence and trust in the SCKR quality of kyudo training as well as the protection of all members both minor and adult from any inappropriate action or activity perceived or actual.

The following requirements shall be applicable to anyone in a leadership capacity in any affiliated SCKR dojo whether nationally or internationally, i.e. dojo managers, instructors or coaches, and any SCKR member serving on the Board of Directors or in appointed positions.

Recent events in the martial arts and amateur athletics communities have created awareness that sexual exploitation has greatly damaged the teacher/coach and student relationship. SCKR is being proactive in its deterrence of any potential situations that might arise in the future. In this effort anyone in a leadership position will:

1. Approach all relationships with other members in a mature and honest fashion. Sexual relationships between consenting adults is not our concern. Sexual exploitation is our concern. However, sexual relationships between instructors, leaders and/or coaches and their students or dojo members are strictly forbidden, regardless of whether the student or dojo member has reached the legal age of consent.

2. Never use rank, status, contingencies of favor, or any other superiority ploy to build an intimate sexual relationship with another member. Such a relationship would be considered predatory in nature and is therefore strictly forbidden. Instructors, leaders or coaches will not encourage, develop, and/or participate in intimate, personal, “special”, and/or unprofessional relationships with students and/or their families wherein a sexual relationship is the outcome.

3. Never solicit or engage in any behavior that could be considered “grooming” or seen as potentially having sexual activity as an eventual outcome with any student or member, regardless if they are adults or minors.

4. At all times present him/her-self to be above reproach and exemplary of the qualities of excellence of the SCKR. All unforeseen or uninitiated situations of concern arising outside the leader’s control, e.g. a student initiating unsolicited advances, shall be immediately directed to the President of the SCKR or the Ethics Committee Chairperson for action and resolution.
IV. Conflict of Interest
SCKR members shall not engage in activities actual or perceived as conflicts of interest while acting in an official capacity for SCKR.

It is unethical for any SCKR member at any time:
  1. to achieve personal gain by using SCKR services, a position of office or any authority explicit, implicit or inherent or associated with an elected or appointed position in SCKR;
  2. to incur any debt for or in the name of the SCKR that is unsubstantiated, unauthorized, unnecessary and/or unreasonable; or,
  3. to participate in any decision making within SCKR that could result in an immediate or future personal gain, either monetary or status enhancement in nature.
Any individual may request a clarification from the SCKR Chief Officer for any requirement listed above or similar topics not specifically listed.

V. Implementation and Enforcement of the Code
Implementation of the SCKR Code of Ethics depends on voluntary compliance, peer involvement, support, and participation of all members.

For activities alleging criminal behavior, legal recourse for the complainant are given priority and the appropriate law enforcement (local, state, or federal authority) immediately contacted by the Chief Officer.

Any further action by SCKR will be held in abeyance until resolution by the law enforcement process.

For matters of a non-legal nature, it is desired that SCKR members will be able to informally and amicably resolve issues between the offended parties.

For issues, related to conduct or ethics, that are substantial or cannot be resolved informally, SCKR herein establishes a process to provide a fair and equitable resolution.

Any member, who after addressing an ethics concern directly with another member with unsatisfactory results, may seek resolution through SCKR. A formal submittal is required in the form of a signed, written complaint to the Chief Officer. The complainant will cooperate fully with any and all investigations regarding the alleged ethics concern.

Any individual, SCKR member or non-member, may file an ethics complaint against a SCKR member by sending a signed written statement to the Chief Officer. Complaints shall be clearly written and provide complete details of the complaint including the issue, date, and other pertinent facts. Double jeopardy will not be sanctioned. Complaints must be filed with the Chief Officer no later than 60 days from the alleged event.

The Chief Officer will assess the complaint. If the complaint is found to have merit, the Chief Officer will assign the case to the Ethics Committee for investigation and recommended resolution. At any time the Chief Officer may choose solely, in the interest of safety, to address the issue immediately.

The SCKR Chief Officer may convene at any time an Ethics Committee as an ad hoc committee or may designate a standing committee with the concurrence of the Executive Board. Whenever convened, this committee shall assist in the resolution.

Policy, procedure, and individual rights referred to the Ethics Committee are addressed in Section VI Ethics Committee. As stated earlier, this primary step may be bypassed at the direction of the Chief Officer if the violation involves illegal activity or if such intervention is feared to possibly lead to an endangering situation.

The SCKR Chief Officer has the right and responsibility, based upon information of an ethics nature that is regarded to be highly credible, to initiate and conduct an investigation without a written complaint having been filed.
VI. Ethics Committee
The Ethics Committee is established to assist in this process and can assign a committee member to act as a consultant and/or negotiator. As stated earlier, this primary step may be bypassed if the violation involves illegal activity or if such intervention is feared to possibly lead to an endangering situation.

The Chairman of the Ethics Committee has the right and responsibility to initiate and conduct an investigation without a written complaint having been filed, based upon information of an ethics nature that is regarded by him or her to be credible. Information gathered in such an investigation or in a written complaint can be presented to the Chief Officer for disposition without informing the person or persons involved if the Chairman determines that this procedure best serves the safety of the membership and/or public involved with the SCKR and that the immediacy of time is essential for this safety. Due process for the respondent is served by the respondent having the right to appeal directly to the Chief Officer.
Committee Membership and Purpose
An Ethics Committee (herein referred to as “the Committee”) may be established as an ad hoc committee or a standing committee by the SCKR Chief Officer to resolve disputes regarding issues of conduct or ethics involving SCKR members. In either case, the chairman and committee members are appointed by the SCKR Chief Officer. The number of committee members and the duration of service shall be defined by the SCKR Chief Officer.

The purpose of this Committee is:
  1. to arbitrate disputes related to conduct and ethics within the scope of this policy in a fair, unbiased, and equitable manner;
  2. to implement standards of acceptable behavior and provide clear direction on conduct and ethics matters in the SCKR;
  3. to protect and uphold the SCKR’s reputation in all activities related to the SCKR; and,
  4. to provide an avenue for fair review and arbitration of all issues brought before the Ethics Committee.

All communication regarding the request/complaint, investigation and reporting to the SCKR Executive Committee or the Ethics Committee shall be dealt with in a manner afforded privileged/confidential communication. All records and information (in all available formats, e.g. digital, photo, verbal, etc.) shall be kept confidential. It should be noted here that such information, although held confidential by the SCKR, does not have a protected status by law and may be vulnerable to disclosure through legal process or court order. The SCKR may have to make disclosures regarding the proceedings as necessary to prosecution or in litigation defense, regarding legal action between a member and the SCKR or other legal action.
The Complaint
Any person, member or non-member, may submit a complaint alleging improper action of a member of the SCKR. The complaint shall be in writing and signed by the complainant and submitted directly to the Chief Officer of the SCKR within 60 days of the alleged event. Upon receipt of a signed, written complaint, the Chief Officer shall forward the complaint to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee for further review. The Committee Chairman shall inform all parties of the process for the review and the time frames to be followed.
Committee Proceedings
After a complete investigation has concluded, the committee, within a reasonable time or no later than 90 days following the completion of the investigation, shall provide an opportunity for the affected parties be heard. The Committee, after deliberation of the circumstances and facts, shall provide a recommendation to the SCKR Chief Officer in one of the following:
  1. Dismiss the complaint because it does not allege a violation of the SCKR Code of Ethics, lacks merit, or for other good cause as determined by the Committee; or,
  2. Try to resolve the non-criminal complaint to the satisfaction of the parties involved, through mediation, counsel, or advice.
  3. The Committee will submit a complete and detailed report of the proceedings including the recommendation for the final disposition of the issue to the SCKR Chief Officer.
If the individuals involved in this action feel that the Committee process did not adequately address the complaint, either party may request a Board of Inquiry review. Appeals are to be made directly to the Chief Officer, within thirty (30) days. Certified mail is recommended.

The Board of Inquiry shall consist of three individuals: one Ethics Committee Member (who shall serve as the Chairman of the Review Board), one member chosen by the individual bringing the issue, and one member chosen by the individual being challenged. This Board shall investigate the issue, set the date, time and place for the hearing of both parties, conduct proceedings, provide electronic records and written documentation of the proceedings, and provide a written recommendation to the SCKR Chief Officer at the conclusion of the proceedings. Resolution, corrective action, or dismissal of the issue as determined by the SCKR Chief Officer is binding on all parties.

If the Chief Officer overturns a unanimous decision of the Ethics Committee, the Committee may, at its discretion, call for a joint meeting of the Committee and Executive Board (in equal numbers). The final decision shall be by majority vote.

We are all human and make mistakes. A clear acknowledgement of error is an essential beginning to the resolution process. Once a final outcome is determined, the issue is deemed resolved and closed and shall not be a part of any future action(s) regarding any individual involved.

The Complaint
All records will be archived. All notes from entire proceedings, including phone call logs, notes, all letters (original and copies) and recordings from any proceeding will be kept secured by the SCKR Chief Officer. Records cannot be destroyed unless ordered by the SCKR Executive Board.