The simple truth is that while there are some generally accepted norms, there is not a single universal standard regarding anything in the martial arts. The standards, rules and regulations are established by the founder/headmaster and/or governing body of the individual style that is being taught. Their word is law, and they are the only ones with the authority to impose any sort of regulation on the members of that system/organization. Many popular styles are no longer centralized, with numerous organizations imposing their own rules and regulations upon their members that may or may not align with other branches of the same art. This is why rank, title and license are absolutely meaningless outside of the context they were awarded in... And why it's so confusing to me that there are people who actually spend their time trying to regulate and condemn others that do not fit into the confines of their understanding that they otherwise have no affiliation to.
In fact, it would be disrespectful to continue calling what you do something else if you are no longer adhering to their curriculum, training methods and regulations, so branching out and identifying as a separate art is the right thing to do. Not to mention that the very purpose of martial arts training is not to regurgitate what our teachers taught, but rather to internalize and personalize our own expression. The development of an independent style is the next logical progression.
The criticism of these individuals who break from tradition is that they are arrogant to think they have something new to offer the martial arts community. How dare they equate themselves with such notable legends as Kano Jigoro (who started the Kodokan at age 22 with only 4 years of prior training, and after Menkyo in Tenjin Shin'yo Ryu and Menkyo Kaiden in Kito Ryu in that short time frame all while earning his college degree)? But to answer the question regarding what these new styles have to offer, we have to remember that a style is nothing more than an individual's personal expression that has been formalized for transmission to future generations. There are only so many ways to cause damage to the human form, and so styles become defined by the philosophies, traditions, beliefs, principles and training methods used to transmit them. That's it.
- Kano Jigoro (1860-1938) - four years of prior training before earning Menkyo in 2 different styles (one being Menkyo Kaiden) and opening the Kodokan at age 22
- Karl Marx (1936-2013) - despite having zero formal training in traditional martial arts, founded Keicho-Do "Cajun Karate" and eventually recognized as 8th Dan by Robert Trias and the US Karate Association
- Okamoto Seigo (1925-2015) - reached 7th Dan after only 11 years of training, and four years later established the Daito Ryu Roppokai
- Shimabukuro Eizo (1925-2017) - promoted to 10th Dan at age 34 by the All Japan Karate-Do Federation
- Ji Han Jae (1936--) - three years of prior training before creating Sung Moo Kwan Hapkido at age 21
- Song Yong Ki - two years of prior training before creating Han Moo Kwan Hapkido at age 17
- Mas Oyama (1923-1994) - seven years of prior training before opening Oyama Dojo, teaching what would later be known as Kyokushin, at age 30
- Miyagi Chojun (1883-1953) - twenty years of prior training before opening his dojo, teaching what would later be known as Goju Ryu, at age 29
- Yamaguchi Gogen (1909-1989) - opened the Goju Kai at age 36 despite having no formal rank in Goju Ryu from Miyagi Chojun, even though he claimed such
- Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) - self taught swordsman, created Niten Ichi-Ryu at age 15
- Bruce Lee (1940-1973) - three years of training before teaching Jun Fan Gung Fu (literally "Bruce Lee's Kung Fu") at age 19, renamed to Jeet Kune Do at age 27
- Hwang Kee (1914-2002) - undocumented prior training, opened the Moo Duk Kwan at age 31
- Hatsumi Masaaki (1931--) - fifteen years of prior training before earning Menkyo Kaiden (highest license attainable) in 9 different styles and founding the Bujinkan at age 41
- Peter Urban (1934-2004) - two-to-three years of formal training before opening his own dojo at age 25, officially broke away from Yamaguchi and created USA Goju at age 30
- Adriano Emperado (1926-2009) - from ages 21-23, began development of what would be known as Kajukenbo along with 4 other practitioners, established the Kajukenbo Institute at age 24
- Victor "Sonny" Gascon (1933-2013) - left Kajukenbo and established Karazempo Go Shinjutsu at age 28 after only 15 years of experience
- James Mitose (1916-1981) - created Kosho Ryu Kempo at age 19 after an obscure training history he claimed was 14 years. Retired from teaching at age 37
- Nagamine Shoshin (1907-1997) - created Matsubayashi Ryu after only nineteen years of training, age 40
- Carlos Gracie (1902-1994) - eight years of prior training before opening the first Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy at age 23 (though started teaching on his own at 17, with only three years of training)
- Edmund Parker (1931-1990) - founded Ed Parker's American Kenpo in his mid-twenties after only earning a 1st Dan under William Chow (Al Tracy claims Parker was later promoted to 3rd Dan by Chow), though he actually first opened his school as a brown belt
- Kim Un Yong (1931-2017) - Founding President of the Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo Federation, despite only officially holding a 1st Dan
Who are they to decide what is questionable? Who actually gave them the authority to dictate anything outside the confines of the styles/organizations they belong to? Just because you do not understand or agree with how something is done does not make it wrong and condemnable. Until the day that the United States government begins to regulate martial arts, you don't have the authority to tell someone they are wrong in how they present themselves.
As stated above, rank, licenses, titles and scrolls have no meaning or relevance outside the style or organization they were awarded in. Unless you are a member of that group, what someone does or claims simply doesn't affect you. Therefore, it is not your place to demand to be shown such things nor is it the responsibility of the practitioner to justify themselves to those outside of their group simply because you demand it. Only someone belonging to the same style and organization, who holds a higher rank or position, has the authority to really say anything at all.
You as an outsider do not have the right to smear people's reputations and potentially affect their livelihood, the way they feed their families, simply because you don't agree with what they are doing. Unless they have been convicted of a heinous crime (not someone they know or are/were affiliated with, but they themselves), you don't even have the right to "warn the public" about them as there is nothing to warn against. This isn't a problem exclusive to the martial arts, but indicative of society as a whole. We need to relearn the fact that even if you are offended by something a person has said or done, get over it. Unless you can tell me how someone from another school, another style, another state, another time zone, etc. actually affects your life, you don't have the right to interfere in theirs.