Most martial art schools use the standard apprentice/trainee model of instructor training. It has worked well for decades in many professions, such as in the electrical, plumbing, mason, and, especially since the martial arts are patterned after the military, in the armed forces, but as with most things, sometimes it needs some updating and improvement.
The standard apprentice/trainee model of instructor training is as follows:
- Students first learn the basics, and, after passing graduated levels of rank proficiency tests, they learn more and more.
- If a student expresses an interest in teaching or the instructor notices the student may have a potential for teaching, the student is encouraged to assist in teaching classes, so the instructor may further evaluate the student’s teaching potential.
- If the instructor thinks the student has teaching potential, the student is encouraged to pursue being an instructor apprentice/trainee.
- The instructor gradually grooms the student for teaching, giving the student extra attention and concentrating on teaching the student to be an instructor.
- When the instructor thinks the student is ready, the student formally enters the apprentice/trainee instructor program by testing for apprentice/trainee status.
- The trainee assists in all aspects of teaching, administering rank testings, working in tournaments and camps, etc. for a number of years to accumulate a required number of assisting/teaching hours.
- Usually there are no special training classes for instructor trainees. They acquire teaching knowledge and skills by osmosis, absorbing information from listening and watching other instructors.
- After student achieves all the minimum instructor certification requirements and the instructor thinks the student is ready, the student tests for final instructor certification.
- The student may be required to attend some type of special instructor course just before or after certification.
- After a set time of satisfactory performance as a certified instructor, the student may be permitted to open his or her own school under the auspices of the school or the organization.