Instructor certification?

gpseymour

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In today's world I think you need at least a black belt to teach. In my first MA class over 40 years ago, I was taught by a yellow belt with 5 years of experience, while my teacher watched. I think it was as much about him learning to teach as it was me learning. I have 12 years of experience in MA and have coached many sports for many years.

Today I am wearing a white belt, I tired to help a white belt, the response was the black belt did not tell me that. In her mine how could a white belt know any thing. I just smiled and kicked the bag slowly and hoped she was paying attention. The young black belt method of teaching was kick the heavy bag and said do it like this and make sure to pull your toe back and walk off to watch the higher belts.

I real like how Kung Fu long fist and Alkido had only black belts and white belts. White belts judged each other by their ability, not by a colored belt. Last night our teachers were out of town, I was not wearing a belt and we had a teacher I had not seen before, half way throw the class she asked if I had been a black belt somewhere else, she was surprised when I said no. She was a good teacher and showed me respect. She noted I did the form slightly different, no one else had noticed. My blocks flow across my body hands open until the end of the movement. The hands move faster if not in tension. Holding a hand with tight fist slows you down.

I know how to teach better than most teachers, because of my many years of coaching sports. But without a Black Belt no one would let me teach and I would not ask. I think people need the safety of an organization to say the teacher knows what he is teaching. Where as I can tell with in the first 5 minutes without looking at a belt to know if he is a teacher.
That depends on the circumstances. It's not at all unusual (though becoming rarer) for a brown-, purple-, or even blue-belt in BJJ to teach. It started out that way because there simply weren't enough black-belt folks available in many areas. It continues mostly because it worked before.

And it also depends on how people are educated about what the rank means. Where BB is sanctified, you're more likely to get that kind of reaction where if it didn't come from a BB, it's probably not right.
 

KenpoDave

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I'm just curious if you know what the functional distinctions are intended to be? To clarify what I meant by "functional", I mean something that they can do (within the organization) at each level. For instance, I created just 2 levels: Instructor and Senior Instructor. The only functional difference is that a Senior Instructor can promote to Instructor (and Senior Instructor). I didn't find a need beyond that, though if I built a large following (which I almost certainly won't), I could be convinced to add a Master Instructor, and making the promotion to Senior Instructor that group's purview.

I don’t know what the functional differences will be.

Part of the reason this is being developed is that it is intended to provide ongoing instruction for those who teach, rather than a weekend course done a single time. It also exposes instructors to different educational models, system seniors, each other, a variety of teaching approaches, and at the same time, standardization.
 

gpseymour

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I don’t know what the functional differences will be.

Part of the reason this is being developed is that it is intended to provide ongoing instruction for those who teach, rather than a weekend course done a single time. It also exposes instructors to different educational models, system seniors, each other, a variety of teaching approaches, and at the same time, standardization.
Thanks. I'll be interested in hearing more when they actually roll it out. I'm a big fan of purposeful training specifically for instructors.
 

dvcochran

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I agree, but only for large systems. If you have a smaller system, it can help to allow anyone with enough experience and ability become an instructor. If you have the main instructor of a small style leave, retire, get injured, etc. and no one in the dojo at the time has the instructor training, all the students are out of a dojo, and the style dies in the area. If you train somewhere and have been training for years, but suddenly have to move, teaching may be the only way to continue training consistently in the style, and also a way for the style to spread. For something like kukkiwon TKD, muay thai, boxing, or bjj that are in every city these issues don't exist as much, but for smaller styles an instructor certificate could seriously hamper growth.
When I started TKD it was the only MA school in my town. I did not even know what WT of Kukkiwon were even though our school was affiliated. More out of necessity we often taught as green belts. Usually one on one during regular class and only a very limited teaching such as a single move or segment. The head instructor was always there. We always had a very family environment where it was ok to lean on each other. I don't remember there ever being an issue with this format. I think if your system of teaching is sound and the head instructor is smart about who and what he has his color belts teach it can be good in moderation. The best case example I can think of is when you have someone who is really struggling with a basic element. A solid green or red/brown belt should be able and comfortable teaching a down block for example. Having a red belt teach another group of red belts a red belt form is a different matter. IMHO
 

Dirty Dog

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When I started TKD it was the only MA school in my town. I did not even know what WT of Kukkiwon were even though our school was affiliated. More out of necessity we often taught as green belts. Usually one on one during regular class and only a very limited teaching such as a single move or segment. The head instructor was always there. We always had a very family environment where it was ok to lean on each other. I don't remember there ever being an issue with this format. I think if your system of teaching is sound and the head instructor is smart about who and what he has his color belts teach it can be good in moderation. The best case example I can think of is when you have someone who is really struggling with a basic element. A solid green or red/brown belt should be able and comfortable teaching a down block for example. Having a red belt teach another group of red belts a red belt form is a different matter. IMHO

I think, in the context of this thread, what you're describing (a student working with a lower ranked student) isn't really teaching. While in the broadest sense, the word "teaching" can be used to describe any sharing of knowledge, the actual definition of teaching requires that the teacher be 'an authority' on the material being taught. And in the context of this thread, I think it's pretty clearly meant to describe teaching independently and unsupervised.
 

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