P U B L I C D E C L A R A T I O N
Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles established 1992
Terminates Pilates Method Alliance (aka PMA) Membership
After careful consideration, Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles has withdrawn its membership with The Pilates Method Alliance also known as the PMA, permanently. It is our belief that the PMA has slowly but systematically changed its direction over the last few years and is today propagating a message to the Pilates community which is no longer agreeable or consistent with the global vision and goals of PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles.
The "PMA Pilates Certification Exam” is not state or federally recognized.
Do you know what the PMA is attempting to do? A truly troubling secret agenda has been revealed. According to discreetly published information obtained directly on the PMA’s web site, from the PMA Pilates Teacher Training Summit November 7 & 8, 2009, the PMA now seeks to be the ONLY “Certifying Pilates Organization.” The discussion at this meeting urged members to (as quoted from meeting minutes) “cease the use of the word ‘certification’ to describe the results of their teacher training program, and to substitute it with the word ‘diploma’, ‘assessment-based certificate’ (ABC), or the word ‘graduate’ by July 1, 2010.” Members are then told to “agreed to direct their graduates to the PMA to obtain their industry credential, to become PMA Certified Pilates Teachers (PMA®-CPTs).”
Formed no more than 9 years ago in 2001, the PMA began as a small but promising organization, which was made up of a group of individuals from different ideologies, primarily of the “Pilates-based” community. The PMA promise was to operate as a non-profit, non-partial, unbiased, and non-restricting organization that would “unite” the entire Pilates community. PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles was apprehensive, but still offered full support, and observed how this new this new organization would develop. Today, in 2010, under new leadership, the PMA is now a very different organization, and has abandoned its original core objectives and purpose.
The first red flag was on or around November 2005, when the PMA announced the creation of the “PMA Certification.” This was not consistent with the original agenda that was put forth in 2001. This new PMA certification process was available for anyone willing to pay and take a standardized written test designed by members of the PMA. This was concerning especially since the PMA does not actually train or educate individuals to teach Pilates. And the PMA does not license teachers or individuals to teach or offer “Pilates.” Still, PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles expressed concern, and continued to observe with hopeful support.
This year on or around September 7th, 2010, the PMA discreetly published, via their website, a new plan which indicates the PMA now wishes to govern, control, restrict and limit Pilates organizations and individuals, from offering and or issuing “Pilates Certification.” The PMA has announced they are now a “certifying agency,” and desire to be the only organization to use the term Pilates Certification. Information posted directly on the PMA’s site, quoted here, urges the Pilates community to “embrace the PMA’s professional credential without delay, and to create a critical mass of acceptance of the PMA credential…” This is where we draw the line. PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles has awakened.
As one of the two internationally recognized, professional Pilates organizations, known as the creators of the world’s first “Authentic” Pilates Certification program, designed, developed, and presented by established medically licensed Pilates professionals, PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles can no longer support or recognize the Pilates Method Alliance. Therefore, all matters, views, and opinions of the PMA are now considered completely irrelevant for our organizations and unnecessary for any Pilates students, apprentices, or Certified Pilates Instructors associated with PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles.
Let’s be clear, this desire to control and restrict others by the PMA is nothing less than a desire to monopolize Pilates. And if you are a senior Pilates member and know the true History of Pilates in relation to “trademark and ownership,” then you know we have all already been there and done that. As one of two former corporate owners of the now rescinded Pilates trademark, no one knows more than PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles. Attempting to restrict, limit, or own Pilates is counter productive and actually works against the core principles of Pilates. One should strive to offer the best Pilates programming they can, and be judged based on credentials, the quality of their work, and level of expertise. Not by a dictatorship.
Not only do we completely reject this desire of the PMA based solely on the outrageous notion itself, but also for the fact that the PMA impudently chose to ignore and disregard all higher-ranking and more established educated Pilates professionals and organizations, especially those in the Pilates community who actually offer pure, undiluted Pilates and can substantiate it. The PMA does not differentiate or take into consideration, nor account for the fact that there are older and more established Pilates organizations, and or individuals, such as Romana Kryzanowka, and PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles, and others that have existed and operated and offered authentic Pilates instruction ten, twenty, even fifty years, long before the PMA was conceptualized and became a “certifying agency.”
Furthermore, it is significant to point out that the PMA is primarily made up of individuals, Pilates centers and organizations, from many different Pilates-based practices, and most do not offer “Authentic Pilates.” Pilates programming created by multiple Pilates principals is not authentic Pilates. It is true most PMA members are not “classically trained” in Pilates, and in most cases, do not themselves offer, teach and may not even know how to identify or differentiate between authentic Pilates (aka Classical or Traditional Pilates) and Pilates-based programming. For the Pilates Method Alliance to even hope to be or imagine to be the sole representative of “Pilates” is simply absurd. For the PMA to expect to, and hope to assume the position as a serious Pilates authority, or make claim to be a reputable “Certifying Pilates” Organization and sole Pilates representative is outrageous, and this we cannot allow.
In 1992, PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles and New York together created and presented the very first and only Professional Authentic Pilates Teacher Certification Program in the world. It was the first and only “official” Pilates educational program focusing on maintaining the purity of the method. In fact from, 1992 - 2000, PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles and New York were the ONLY legally recognized Pilates licensing organizations in the United States. No one else can make this claim and substantiate it. Anyone who posts, promotes, or makes claim to offer an older authentic Pilates certification program is simply being untruthful. Today, our Pilates programming continues to be the most professional, mature, consistent, traditional, and classical Pilates certification program globally. It is the only original Pilates program created by Pilates professionals who are also licensed medical professionals.
In our unique position, we can identify companies like the PMA who in our opinion only confuse the general public. And since the PMA does not clearly state what kind of Pilates Certification they are actually offering, there is no way to verify PMA members’ Pilates experience and training. PMA members and individuals who make the claim to offer “the new and improved Pilates” are not usually authentic. These companies refer to themselves in many different vibrant terms such as, “New Pilates,” “Modified Pilates,” “Contemporary or Modern Pilates,” “cutting edge Pilates,” “based upon the teachings of Joe Pilates,” “Yogalates,” even “Fusion Pilates,” which all leads to “ConFusion Pilates.” This list of new names and “31 flavors” of Pilates continues. There are even Pilates programs now that are based on astrology and even religion, which is far far from the original principles of the method. Where does it end?
If it is not authentic Pilates, it is not Pilates. Most of these Pilates-based companies are creating mass market confusion. PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles acknowledges and respects Pilates-based companies who clearly state and describe their “Pilates” school of thought and who are truly innovative, and offer great knowledge and experience, contributing to the general health and fitness of world society. Companies such as StottPilates®, BASI Pilates™, and Polestar are to be commended for their proven history and contribution.
These distinguished (PMA members or not) Pilates-based organizations, and a few others, established long before the PMA, offer excellent consistent Pilates-based training, and do not claim to offer authentic, classical, or traditional Pilates Certification. These organizations make it known to the general public exactly what they offer. No confusion. They do not declare, publicize, or seek to control “Pilates Certification.”
StottPilates® As of September 20th, 2010 published on their official website, “STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates…”
BASI Pilates™, who as of September 20th, 2010 published on their official website, “BASI Pilates honors and preserves the legacy of Joseph and Clara Pilates: presenting the original principles and repertoire (utilizing all the Pilates equipment), at the same time integrating contemporary scientific developments and evolution of the method.”
Information offered by PMA today has become unclear and appears disingenuous. They are no longer “an organization to connect teachers, teacher trainers, studios, and facilities dedicated to preserving and enhancing the legacy of Joseph H. Pilates and his exercise method by establishing standards, encouraging unity, and promoting professionalism.” Instead now they are striving to be the only “certifying agency” which solely tests teachers of many different Pilates or Pilates-based teaching programs by one standard written exam. And The PMA is giving the general public and the Pilates community the false impression that everyone teaching Pilates must be a “PMA Pilates Certified” Instructor, and this is wrong.
Through years of practice, Joseph Pilates developed a method of exercise that has successfully sustained itself for almost 100 years. He passed down his wisdom to several well known apprentices, and they passed down to the next generation…….creating teachers of “Pilates” Contrology. It is the evolution of the fitness and medical industry today that has established very specific recommendations for safely delivering fitness services to the general public. We agree with this stance, and are aligned regarding safety and education. We believe it is the responsibility of a teacher training program to assess and guide the level of competency required to teach and certify Pilates Instructors.
A “PMA Certified Pilates Teacher” is not anymore more qualified to teach Pilates because they simply passed a written exam, and it tells the public that the written exam is more important than a teacher training program. As Pilates instructors must practice within their “scope,” an agency delivering a standardized test should deliver a mark within their scope. An organization has every right to set “standards,” and to test those standards. After months of practical study, the Pilates student should have the freedom to attain their certification from their training program, and not have to sit for a written exam that supports only those training programs that it wishes to bless.
The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles will not recognize any organization attempting to control the delivery of Pilates teacher training programs and persuading the public to recognize only those individuals who attain PMA “Certification.” A set of criteria established by one entity, which then tests by written exam only, will not empower the Pilates community with better teachers. Instead, it will encourage less experienced teachers to spend more money after attaining one certificate to become part of an association which no longer unifies everyone. In fact, we appreciate the alliance of Pilates teachers all over the world.
The “PMA Pilates Certification Exam” is not accredited, nor state or federally recognized. This fact is not made clear to the general public. The “PMA Pilates Certification Exam” is ONLY recognized and accepted by those who are “current PMA members.” Membership with the PMA (a non-profit organization) is fee based. (Example: PMA Student Membership - $50; PMA Individual Membership - $150; Registry of Schools $500.00 per year; $200.00 per year per additional location) A strong alliance or association does not mean “PMA Pilates Certification.” PMA membership and PMA certification do not eliminate the growing trend of “ConFusion Pilates” possibilities, it only encourages it.
In conclusion we are left with unanswered questions and are uneasy... What does one actually attain with a PMA certification? What are the true benefits of PMA membership? Use of a logo? Your name on a list? What are the true credentials of a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor? How does the general public actually determine which PMA Certified Pilates Instructor has more experience than another? How does one determine which PMA Certified Pilates Instructor was actually certified to teach Pilates by a traditional authentic Pilates organization, or from a non-traditional “contemporary” Pilates-based organization? Who does the PMA really represent?
Our view is that the PMA represents only those of the “Pilates-Based” community and we wish to make it clear to all....The PMA certainly does not represent Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles or those who offer Authentic Pilates.
Important Fact: “Pilates” just like other types of fitness practice, such as yoga or karate, have not been regulated by the US government or state. An individual may lead a training program, or certify participants in most states based on their own experience and practice. Therefore, no one program, agency, or organization can say that they are the only ones to “certify” or qualify individuals to teach Pilates. Unless state legislation is passed, and no such legislation exists today, the PMA and no other organization can make this claim. Prospective Pilates teachers should seek out experienced an authentic Pilates certification program which meets the highest standards of the field.
As founders of the original www.PilatesAlliance.com, formerly operated 1992 - 2001, and due to overwhelming requests by other concerned members of the Pilates community, PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles has decided to once again take a leading role and become more actively involved in the Pilates global community. We believe it is time to act to protect the purity of the Pilates Method, without action to preserve the core principles, the method will be lost. This is why PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles has teamed up with Pilates professionals from around the globe, with the goal to preserve the Authenticity of the original Pilates Method.
We embrace evolution, and as the leading Professional Pilates organization we understand the need to adapt to today's medical advancements (offering continuing education), but at the same time firmly believe we must preserve the true philosophy of the Pilates method, or lose the authentic design forever. PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles will soon be announcing a new Pilates World Association.
This will be an exclusive, and “non-political,” Pilates organization funded by PAPT / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles and its associates. It will include both members from the Authentic Pilates community as well as members from the Pilates-Based community. All are invited and welcome. Details will be formally announced in early 2011.
To register to be notified or to become a member of this association register here: Register Now
it is not the intention or desire of Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles or its Associates to cause harm or damage to the PMA or any other company or organization named or not named in this public declaration. Performing Arts Physical Therapy / The Pilates Studio® of Los Angeles and its associates only seek to exercise our legal rights and freedom to express our opinion and views. Individuals should do their own research and form their own opinion based on available evidence and facts.