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.
To become a Shaolin Kung Fu Academy Instructor, you need to be prepared not only for the usual 'stuff' but also for the unusual member, unusual question or even dangerous situation. When you graduate as a Sifu in Shaolin Academy Kung Fu, you are a Martial Art Professional! So what does the program seek to give you as a prospective Martial Art Professional Member?
The Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Martial Art Professional (MAP) Program delivers training to prospective and future Shaolin Academy and Martial Art Instructors to allow them to be the best possible teachers, mentors and guides, incorporating both the traditional Shaolin and Martial Art values as well as the modern legal, ethical and moral requirements!
The MAP Program is in 10 parts, much like the 10 levels to Black Sash and then the 10 levels after Black Sash. And for ease of reference we have allocated the same 10 colors to the 10 MAP levels as we have the the initial Shaolin Kung Fu and TCW Levels. To the left you see an approximation of the 10 Sash Colours to Black Sash; Gray, White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, Purple, Blue, Navy and Brown.
Much as when you join the Shaolin Academy, you start on L1, Gray. You attend the fortnightly 2 hour training course from this point onwards until such time that you do not want to teach anymore. You cover a wide diversity of Subject in this training sessions, all essential to a successful Martial Art Professional!
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
You will have learned by the time you reach this level how important it is to check and set-up your venue as per Shaolin Academy Standard. Aside from checking that the venue is clean and safe, setting up the signs, lights and you office area are all part of the Shaolin Academy Way. On this level you are taught what needs to be done and you do it; and if you do it 10 times correctly you are eligible for level 3, once you pass your Kung Fu or Traditional Chinese Weaponry White Sash grading.
The life blood of any martial art school are the new members. Aside from being welcoming that are a number or process and procedures that need to be managed. Although you have learned this in theory, now is the time where you apply this. You will manage the paperwork and assisting of 10 prospective new members for their first class. You will also learn how to be a good 'buddy', the person who partners with the new members in their initial training sessions.
As with the previous levels, when you are deemed ready and have successfully passed on to your Kung Fu or traditional Weaponry Orange Sash you become the Instructors Assistant. Irrespective of who the seniors are, you will be assigned an Instructor, at least once a week and you will be mentored by them and assist where assistance is needed.
When you reach green Sash and your Instructor certifies that you are well versed as an Instructor Assistant, you then can become and Assistant Instructor! What's the difference? You get to take parts of the class, are involved in class planning and management and may even be assigned a sub-group of members that will work on something other than what the rest of the class does. You may even run a whole session under the supervision of your Instructor. You get to do all the things an instructor does except under supervision of the teaching instructor.
You are now able to teach a session, once a week in a venue managed by an Senior Instructor. You have all the duties and responsibilities of an Instructor but you still coordinate with a Senior Instructor and are still responsible to them.
This is when you are able to run and manage your own Kwoon or even own Martial Art School. When you reach this level you are a fully qualified Sifu and the Shaolin Academy and Sijo will back you to open you own venue or even if you choose, open your own independent or interdependent Kung Fu school.
This is the teachers teacher. First amongst his peers and the person responsible when the Master is not around. This though requires at least a Black Sash in either Shaolin Kung Fu or traditional Chinese Weaponry.
Usually, this goes hand in hand with becoming a Master. The Shaolin Way of becoming a Master is when you have spent at least 20 years uninterrupted training but also have participated in the other aspects of Martial Arts such as Show, Competitions (Sparring, Forms, Weaponry, Demo and Judging), 10 years teaching experience and at least a 4th Degree.
In the traditional sens, you can become a Grand Master if you have done the miles in experience, teaching and all the other aspects that are part of today martial art. But the minimum is that you have spent 30 years active in Martial Arts and have reached your 50 th Birthday. And, there is only one Grand Master per style.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.