Is an overview of the Shaolin Academy Martial Art Professional (MAP) program, the 10 levels and what each level seeks to achieve. Any member of the Shaolin Academy that wishes to teach or even help in teaching in any meaningful way needs to be an active member of this program. NOTE - program materials and accreditation open to any Martial Artist who wishes to upskill their teaching and be accredited by the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy!
Although there are still some Martial Art teaches out there who's sole qualification for teaching is the incredible ability to kicking and punching, this is very rare. Most martial art schools require their teachers to be informed about the basic requirements of teaching, First Aid and Legalities surrounding their profession. But usually these are just the basics as in the old way of doing things to develop on the job and 'grow into' the skill. Most martial art schools and most fitness business, do not go beyond the minimum legal requirement, before a person is set to teach the style or lead a fitness session. For the most, this is adequate. But it is just a minimum, better than nothing but not really good enough for the new millennium.
Many persons in fitness and martial art instructing/teaching positions are usually competent in their physical abilities but often lack the knowledge or even awareness of the full spectrum of responsibilities. Most martial art instructors will be aware of their need to have the bare minimum requirements such as a Professional Liability and Indemnity Insurance. Without which they can not really run a class or hire a sporting facility. Most martial artists will be aware of the need of a level 2 First Aid certificate but often not aware that these need to be renewed each 3 years. Most all martial artists will be aware of needing the Federal 'Working With Children' accreditation. But beyond this the water become murky and most organizations do not have anything in place to upskill and qualify their teachers beyond the basic martial art grading's. And as long as all goes well, all goes well with just these bare minimums.
There are a number of RTO specializing in preparing the potential martial artists instructor for instructing. Each of these have some form of basic curriculum, some requiring just a days attendance, others more. Organizations like Martial Arts Australia and Martial Arts Industry Association seek to provide a minimum of training to prepare the potential instructor for teaching. A more relevant reference to martial art teaching is the Australian Government 'training.gov.au' joint initiative with the Federal, State and Territory Governments. Yet, most of these focus on the legislative minimum and in the case of the Government Initiative also on the skill of Teaching by requiring a Certificate II or III in Sports Coaching. Yet, even this seems to be a bit ambivalent in it's approach to the subject with the listed subjects for Level 3 being;
As can be seen from the listing that what is being offered may not be necessarily addressing the needs of a martial art instructor! The various programs on offer most all fulfill the minimal legal safety requirements but it seems none consider what it is to be the solely responsible person managing a group of persons. It is a position similar to being a Ships Captain whereby you are totally responsible for everything that goes wrong not just to obvious events.
Long before you start your first training session there are process and procedures that need to be covered, considerations made, safety checks and the like. Then you need to be aware about what is and is not appropriate in dealing with adults and children, language, physical contact, discrimination and the like. And there is a bit more. This all can not be covered in an abstract class room environment. it can start there with such items as First Aid, Dealing with Children, Legal Requirements, Teaching Principles and Practices (and there are many opions on what makes a good teacher), but when it finally comes down to it, like driving a car, you need to get in and apply everything you have learned whilst being guided by an experienced and caring person. there is no substitute for this two part approach!
The MAP Program seeks not only to provide Legal and Instructing expertise but also include the Business, Management and Strategic components. There are always several parts to any business; the Legal requirements, the Subject Expertise and Business Management. Each of these has a number of other components including (for example) Customer Complains, Sales, Interesting People Management, Disaster Management, Finances and the like. There is actually an almost unending list of topics to be covered to make a person into a competent and even good Martial Art Instructor.
The Martial Art Instructor Development program that teaches serious martial artists, who wish to become instructors, all the aspects that being the person solely responsible for a teaching Venue/School. These subject are covered in two ways; In House and Outsourced. We Outsource the Hard Core Requirements such as First Aid and any other subject or accreditation (ie: Working with Children Check) that is legally required. Beyond that, we have an Apprenticeship like structure stepping through 10 levels guiding the participant through all the requirements of being a teacher in their own venue and even their own business.
As the new program member, your participate in the fortnightly Instructor Training Course and start to learn all about Venue Management. The logic of this being that as a martial art teacher, to fully concentrate on the task at hand, you need to be confident that you have prepared the venue correctly and safely for your members and yourself to use. This includes the opening, checking, clendliness, safety and readiness of the venue. This includes checking that the lighting, bathrooms, training are, access and the like are all ready, working and safe. Depending on the venue and location this could be a lot or a little. But each member must be able to perform the opening and closing procedure almost in their sleep to be accredited MAP level 2. Until this is complete, the MAP Program Member is asked to open and secure the venue on a regular basis until they have completed the task 10 times without needing prompting or forgetting a part of the process.
Once you are able to Manage the Venue you start by learning the New Member process. You observe the Instructor in how they manage New Clients both the OH&S process as well as the in-class help and support. After a while when you understand what is involved you then also become the New Client 'Buddy', assisting them in class during the first few training sessions. Initially this is under the supervision of an experienced club member but ultimately, you will need to be the sole responsible person for processing 5 new members (not selling) from entering the venue the first time through to their membership agreement.
Until such time that you earn your first Sash in either Kung Fu or Traditional Chinese Weaponry, you remain on L1. But once you pass your first grading you also pass into the 2nd Level and are eligible to be assigned a specific venue to manage one day a week. This is Level 2 MAP
Once you have become competent in helping new clients enjoy their training and be there to ensure their safety and comfort you will have the opportunity to learn to lead a small group of people. This will also very much depend on your martial art levels as to which level of person you may lead. You will not be asked to teach yet. In this role you lead by example. Members who have been taught a skill and now need practice will be assigned to you and you will do the techniques or form with them allowing them to see what you are doing and thus follow, abridge the items they may have forgotten or not have quite right.
Whereas before you would only be leading by example, once you attain L4 you will be able to teach techniques and forms to members. As a MAP L3 you would not be expected to show anything brand new to members but as a MAP L4 the Instructor may task you with showing a new member a form for the first time or a breathing exercise or some such. This is all dependant though on how far you have progressed with your Theory Training in the Saturdays MAP meetings.
In these you will be covering a diverse set of subjects seeking to develop you and your skills to become more self aware and a better teacher, mentor, leader, manager and person. Some of these subjects include (but are not limited to);
At this point you will have your First Aid Certificate, Working with Children Check and be working on achieving your Red Sash. Aside from the previous MAP levels you will also have had to work through the above listed Workbooks, all the Essential and a good number of the required. Now what you need is teaching experience under the guidance of a Sifu.
To achieve this you need a couple of years of teaching experience and at least Brown Sash.
It is much like teaching martial arts is part of learning martial arts. To be a good martial arts teacher you also need to be a good theory teacher and be part of the MAP teaching Program. A continuation of the process.
10 years of teaching and a 5th Degree in Kung Fu.
You can only be the 1st Instructor if there is at least a 2nd Instructor.
This is usually the person who is in charge of the program which at this time is Sijo. But in the history of a Style and Academy there is only one Sijo and after this there is the SiTaiGung!Back to the top of the page......
Becoming a Master of Martial Arts is more than just being good at teaching or being a Champion. Many think that just being good at something makes you good at teaching it that thing but they are wrong. Becoming an Expert or Champion is a very self-focused actively and prepares one naught for dealing with the problems and difficulties of students. Often, becoming a champion requires a modicum of talent, not just hard work and often it is difficult for the talented to understand those who do not have that particular talent. The best person to learn from is to learn from the Coach, Mentor and teacher of the Champion, not from the champion.
For 25 years now we have been helping martial artists all around the world with learning new skills, training Shaolin Kung Fu and becoming better instructors! How do you become a better instructor? Simply put by recognizing what is less effective and functional and by replacing it by tried and proven, modern and traditional teaching methods.
Many instructors are still trying to teach the old way using the old ways. But being a teacher is an evolution and a process; if your are not improving your skills and abilities you are endangering your members, your-self and your club! Support in this matter from Sijo is only $29/m and he is good at what he does. As a professional teacher for over 40 years, he has a good balance of the traditional and the modern!
Just as a bit of a test for your; the statement above (ou do not know what you do not know) is usually followed by three more and is considered the 4 stages of learning. Without looking it up on the internet, do you know what they are? Once you know this you will see that each stage of teaching requires a different approach! We cover these type of things and more in the Martial Art Professional Program.
For each level there are steps to be accredited. Although the outline is listed above, please write to Sijo before you seek Level Accreditations. depending on your circumstances and situation, each persons accreditation is customized to the part of the world, style and legal requirements. Please write to Sijo Robert Z at the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy. Once your requirements are clear and you have fulfilled them, then you will be asked to seek accreditation.