Instructor certification ideas

OP
Gerry Seymour

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,035
Reaction score
9,167
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Looks like a good idea. I haven't read everything as I am busy at work and at home for a bit. But a couple of quick ideas.

Have you considered if there is an ISO or IATF standard for instructors, especially MA instructors? If not would you consider working under them to begin one?
I hadn't thought of that. I'd have to give some consideration. It seems there should be a reasonable set of requirements and useful information that would be useful for pretty much all MA. The question is whether that would create so much bureaucracy (and potentially, cost) as to make the program less useful.

Have you considered if there are any legal ramifications to having 'certified' instructors? It could be good or bad or both. If you have no certifications, or the certified instructor standards aren't followed and someone is hurt or killed, would you, the instructor, or your school be more or less liable if your instructors are certified, especially by an international organization?
Most organizations offer some sort of certification - a point at which they declare someone as eligible to become an instructor. The primary difference for me is that the certification is essentially a rank. I could call it "nidan", but I just call it "Instructor".

Will the head of the school be certified as an instructor, and if so, able to teach assistant instructors, and where does the head of the school get his certification to teach?
Within my curriculum, there's also a "Senior Instructor". That's someone who can certify instructors in the curriculum. The certification process for that is pretty simple: they submit an Instructor candidate (probably more than one, I argue the cutoff point with myself) to a Senior Instructor. If the candidates are properly prepared, then the original Instructor has shown the ability to prepare Instructors, and is now certified as a Senior Instructor.

If I were offering instructor training outside my own curriculum, I probably wouldn't offer it as a certification, except perhaps elsewhere within NGA (because I know the art). Instructor certification should include verification of their understanding and skill with the techniques, and there's no objective standard for that when you're not and expert in their art.

Will recertification be required at certain intervals? By whom? Who pays for all the certification and recertification?
Again, within my curriculum, not if they are actively teaching. If they aren't actively teaching, I'd probably suggest they revisit the instructor training after some time. I've not considered anything about cost in this. I'd prefer not to charge, but I probably will need to, given the time commitment of training a new instructor this way.

[{[{[{ I have taught in the military, in the government, as an adjunct professor, and as a head of a Hapkido dojang/club, under the distant auspices of my GM.

You would be glad to have me as an instructor in Hapkido. ;)

But I tell you I am proven good and I am experienced, and would be insulted to have to acquire you instructor certification. You don't want to lose me, but what will you do? }]}]}
I don't understand the question. There's no reason anyone would need my certification outside my curriculum. If I offered it outside my own curriculum, it would be as instructor training for those who want it. If someone doesn't think they need it, there's no reason they'd come to the training.

Me personally, I prefer the old school. When I studied Tae Kwon Do, and Hapkido, higher belts who proved their grasp of the lower level (or they wouldn't have been promoted) were often used to teach. They were of course watched by the GM, so if needed, he could correct a mistake in the teaching. But they taught.

Even so, I like the idea you have raised. Certifications are getting to be the thing in a lot of areas, maybe it is time for martial arts to do it. But I just thought it might be useful to throw in a few things for consideration.
The issue I have with the old school is it often depends upon the instructor-in-training to figure out what works. And often, even very good instructors cannot accurately tell you what makes them so good at it. They happened into their competence over a long period of time, and work intuitively. I've seen good instructors create weak instructors, because the newer folks tried to imitate them, and that didn't work. If an instructor is turning out good instructors, they've no need of outside training.

In most styles I've seen, frankly, it's simply a matter of rank. If someone achieves the requisite rank, they are sanctioned to teach, though they are often never actually trained in teaching. Sometimes ability to teach is necessary for that rank, but there's still no organized training for that skill, which is akin to requiring a spinning backfist for the rank, and never actually teaching them that - just letting them pick it up when it's used in class, without instruction.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
I hadn't thought of that. I'd have to give some consideration. It seems there should be a reasonable set of requirements and useful information that would be useful for pretty much all MA. The question is whether that would create so much bureaucracy (and potentially, cost) as to make the program less useful.

I think being an instructor in MA could be something that would have applications across all martial arts. But it might be that some MA are so different there would have to be a part of certification that applied to that particular art. The big problem I see is if I am Korean Hapkido Association, and you are World Hapkido Federation, who gets to decide what differences appear in the certification(s)? Or is that where there would in fact have to be branches?

Most organizations offer some sort of certification - a point at which they declare someone as eligible to become an instructor. The primary difference for me is that the certification is essentially a rank. I could call it "nidan", but I just call it "Instructor".

In the Hapkido I studied, all I know was necessary, was be 3rd dan and work under a Master, or Grand Master, or be a 4th Dan and you could have your own school, under a Grand Master. At 4th Dan you were considered a Master. I know of no additional training needed. I think it was considered to have been given and completed by the time you reached those ranks.

Within my curriculum, there's also a "Senior Instructor". That's someone who can certify instructors in the curriculum. The certification process for that is pretty simple: they submit an Instructor candidate (probably more than one, I argue the cutoff point with myself) to a Senior Instructor. If the candidates are properly prepared, then the original Instructor has shown the ability to prepare Instructors, and is now certified as a Senior Instructor.

As I understand what you are saying, all this is for certification within your school and curriculum. That's fine. Your school, your rules. No problem with that. Is that a correct understanding, and that you only want to discuss your school and a good certification for and within it?

If I were offering instructor training outside my own curriculum, I probably wouldn't offer it as a certification, except perhaps elsewhere within NGA (because I know the art). Instructor certification should include verification of their understanding and skill with the techniques, and there's no objective standard for that when you're not and expert in their art.

Makes sense.

Again, within my curriculum, not if they are actively teaching. If they aren't actively teaching, I'd probably suggest they revisit the instructor training after some time. I've not considered anything about cost in this. I'd prefer not to charge, but I probably will need to, given the time commitment of training a new instructor this way.

I agree. It depends on many factors.

Specific training or not, if they are successful as instructors, both teaching skill and ability to keep students interested, they probably don't even need certification or recertification.

As to costs and who shares them, it is perhaps something you should be recompensed for, but how much? You also get benefits.


I don't understand the question. There's no reason anyone would need my certification outside my curriculum. If I offered it outside my own curriculum, it would be as instructor training for those who want it. If someone doesn't think they need it, there's no reason they'd come to the training.

Sorry, not skillfully done. Again, is this certification only for you and or your art? What if you, or schools already existing, want to teach more than one art? That would change the game for that type of school, as well as other martial arts different from yours, yes?

The issue I have with the old school is it often depends upon the instructor-in-training to figure out what works.

Well, not exactly. I was talking about old school where there was no specific instructor training. You either had it or your seniors and peers mentored you so you could excel at it. But I guess you could refer to that person as an instructor-in-training couldn't you? That was how it was done in the US Army when I first joined. It actually worked pretty well.

And often, even very good instructors cannot accurately tell you what makes them so good at it. They happened into their competence over a long period of time, and work intuitively. I've seen good instructors create weak instructors, because the newer folks tried to imitate them, and that didn't work. If an instructor is turning out good instructors, they've no need of outside training.

Yes, but I don't blame the instructors as much as those being trained/mentored. They don't have what it takes to begin with. Through diligent work, and imitation, they learn. They may make mistakes, but they learn. Or they don't, and aren't useful as instructors.

In most styles I've seen, frankly, it's simply a matter of rank. If someone achieves the requisite rank, they are sanctioned to teach, though they are often never actually trained in teaching.

As I mentioned above, rank was part of it for sure, but not all. They had to have an innate ability or it had to be taught/mentored. And that was a process as one progressed in ranks.

Sometimes ability to teach is necessary for that rank, but there's still no organized training for that skill, which is akin to requiring a spinning backfist for the rank, and never actually teaching them that - just letting them pick it up when it's used in class, without instruction.

In the old school, that was my point. There was no organized training that sprang on the student as some unsuspecting point. It was an integral part of the progression. Or at least was if the student accepted it and fed it. If not, they could still progress in rank, but would probably still get teaching assignments at very much lower ranks.

Anyway, through all this, I am perhaps being a little legalist because I think a school owner needs to be aware of legal pitfalls. I don't mean to be confrontational at all. Just point out some things that you or anyone with a school, or even a club, needs to be aware of.

Bottom line of course, is it is your school to run as you wish, and improve if you wish and can.
 
Top