Instructor & Leader Training Overview

The American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) Instructor and Leadership Training Program (ITP) was developed over decades and continues to be developed with a focus on incorporating new relevant information while maintaining a careful and responsible process of evolution that will continually improve the skills and knowledge of our instructing staff and leaders. It was through diligence and attention to detail that this work came in to existence. The AIK Senior Staff has spent countless hours, days, and months in research and study, distilling information from many sources to provide a training course that will benefit both the newest Leader, and hone the skills of the most experienced Instructor. 

 

All of the lessons contained in the Instructor and Leadership Training Program not only apply to teaching, but also provide skills that will extend into every part of one's life. As with all good books and stories, you will never get the full content between the pages with a single reading. I have taught this course more times than I can remember, and every time I teach it again, I find things that I have either forgotten, or never fully implemented. It is an ongoing requirement for all my instructors to participate in this program in order to maintain their eligibility to teach at my school.

 

Andrew Pilch                

American Institute of Kenpo Founder

Bushido - Discernment.png

Current Rotation Resources

In conjunction with the AIK Rotational Curriculum Model, each four month rotation will consist of three classes. It will take three years to present all the material contained in the program. 

Current Rotation Required Reading:

Discernment is also known as “wisdom.” This is seeing into the heart of what a situation really is. Seeing beyond the surface presentation of a situation will allow you to make intelligent and effective decisions on how to best proceed in an effective and positive manner.

General Information

This information should help Instructors and Leaders understand what is expected of them while they are officially representing the American Institute of Kenpo.

Program Pre-Frame

These two stories are representative of the mindset that the American Institute of Kenpo encourages all its Instructors and Leaders to cultivate within themselves.

Remember to always be a student first! Receive new information without allowing past knowledge and old habits to cloud your judgment. After you have received the lesson, evaluate it with an honest intent for the value it contains in relation to reality, if any.

All the ranks and titles in the world cannot change reality. Always be ready to let reality change you. If you resist reality, it can sink your battle ship.

Expectations

Instructors and Leaders participating in the training program are expected to do the following while they are officially representing the American Institute of Kenpo:

  • Your Training Must Come First: To be a teacher, you must always be a student first. Diligently attend to your duties as a student.

  • Attendance: Mark your calendar so you don't miss classes! All upcoming classes can be found on our Schedule.

  • Participation: Come to class ready to participate. Put what you learn into practice during the class you are teaching or assisting with.

  • Empty Your Cup: Apply yourself to the lessons as if it is the first time you are learning them. Search and find new things you can implement in your everyday life as well as your teaching.

  • Lead By Example: Be a physical, intellectual, and moral representation of the martial arts and, specifically, the art of Kenpo.

  • Seek To Be Better Today Than You Were Yesterday: Remain a HUMBLE student and seek continual growth!

Participation Requirements

These are the standard requirements to participate in the Instructor and Leadership Training Program.

Leader Requirements (14 years old and younger)

  • Minimal rank of Junior 1st Degree Black Belt

  • Completed at least one rotation of training at the minimal rank and maintained all required information at an above average level

  • Have the ability to demonstrate required structured information at an above average level

  • Have good communication skills and the ability to interact with others respectfully

  • Be willing and able to attend all Leadership Training Classes

  • Be willing to assist with at least one class a week

Instructor Requirements (15 years old and older)

  • Minimal rank of Senior 3rd Degree Brown Belt Belt

  • Have the ability to maintain all required information at an above average level

  • Have the ability to demonstrate required structured information at an above average level

  • Have good communication skills and the ability to interact with others respectfully

  • Be willing and able to attend all Instructor Training Classes

  • Be willing and able to get and maintain CPR & First Aid Certification

  • Be willing to assist or instruct in at least one class a week

Certification Levels

Many organizations rely on the martial rank of an individual alone as the indicator of their staff's ability to instruct, lead, and handle the underlying business of class management necessary to the successful running of their school. The American Institute of Kenpo firmly believes in martial rank, but primarily for an individual's personal progression on their Kenpo journey, not as a representation of their skill and ability to instruct or help run the school. Though we recognize that there is a required level of technical ability to operate at the professional level, we acknowledge that the person highest in martial ranking is not always the most qualified person for a given job. To this end, we utilize a separate Instructor Training Program (ITP), coupled with on the job training and performance observation to evaluate and place an individual dynamically in a Leadership or Instructing position that is best suited for them, regardless of their personal martial rank. 

 

It is important to note that the number of years one instructs does not determine an individual's level of certification. One's ability to instruct, matched with the responsibilities they are willing and capable of assuming within the organization, determines the instructor certification level and placement in our organizational hierarchy. As life evolves, we recognize one’s ability to serve will vary. The level of responsibility, certification, and service to our organization can and will increase or decrease according to the availability and ability of the individual.

 

All our instructors, as professional marital artists, must be able to provide dynamic service from the ground floor up to the position they are currently certified and selected to serve in. Certified ranking members of the American Institute of Kenpo's Instructor and Leadership staff must be willing to step into the role of any certification level at or below their active certification; they must also defer appropriately and respectfully to those instructors and professional marital artists actively serving in a position above the role they are actively filling.

Here is a brief description of the different Instructor and Leadership Certifications:

Leadership

This certification is for those individuals volunteering their time to function in a leadership role. They will get an early start on developing the skills and experience that are the foundation of instructing and teaching others. Though young, they will be exposed to many of the advanced teaching tools and work on developing their communication skills. They will be taught how to be a role model and a leader for their peers.

Advanced Leadership

This certification is for those younger individuals who have substantially mastered the foundational skills necessary to be an Instructor and possess an above average communication skill set. 

Ready Reserve Instructor

This certification is for those individuals who have functioned at a high certification level in the past and have been of great service to the organization over many years. Though they are not actively participating in the Instructor Training Program (ITP), these individuals possess exceptional teaching skills and are trusted to step in to assist with many of the organizational events, teach regular classes (should the necessity arise), teach seminar classes, and/or present specialized information. Only individuals with this experience and skill set that are still actively participating and actively training with the American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) will be listed as a Ready Reserve Instructor.

Class Assistant

This certification is for those individuals developing the entry level skill for teaching the art. Individuals instructing for the American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) normally spend at least a year at this certification level. During that time, their teaching skills, reliability, and initiative will be evaluated for future placement at higher certification levels. 

 

A Class Assistant will work on establishing a mentor-to-student relationship with students attending classes they are assisting with. They will be studying actions of, and following the direction of, the experienced instructors while developing the clear and respectful communication skill set necessary for working with students and parents.

Class Instructor

This certification is for those individuals who have developed the entry level skill for teaching the art. These individuals will be in direct charge of a group of students attending class. It is their responsibility to make sure all the required information is taught in an interest capturing manner that does not overload the students. Having a basic awareness of physical limitations, learning disabilities, and overall emotional well being, these individuals will tailor fit the required information they are in charge of presenting to the students. 

 

These individuals need to be able to deal with class disturbances. They should be able to efficiently direct and train Leaders and Class Assistants assigned to help them.

Class Supervisor

This certification is for those individuals who have the knowledge and skill to control and coordinate the activities for the entire class. They need to be able to keep an eye on both students and lower level instructors while providing helpful feedback to all Leaders, Class Assistants, and Class Instructors in a respectful and constructive way. These individuals need to be able to act quickly and decisively to make sure classes stay safe and exciting. 

Assistant School Director

This certification is for those individuals who have the skills to both instruct the students and assist with the general operations of the school. They must be capable of running the front desk of a school to include taking payments, answering the phone, and booking appointments. Assistant School Directors must be able to teach new student orientation lessons and provide private instruction.

Program Director

This certification is for those individuals who are capable of running standalone programs outside of an official AIK school without oversight. They have to be able to handle the tailoring of the curriculum and programs for their teaching environment as well as the integration with and communication with any external organization that is involved with the program. 

School Director

This certification is for those individuals who have the skills to both instruct the students and are capable of handling the operations of the school without oversight. They must be capable of handling the enrollment, renewal, and conferences with students. They will be able to access and be aware of the status of all students, accounts, and scheduling for the school's classes and activities. These individuals need to have a keen sense of detail and awareness that extends beyond simply instructing the students and the general operations of the school.

School Manager

In most cases, the School Manager will be the owner of the school. It is the School Manager’s job to make sure the four pillars of the school (Accounting, Administration, Reception, and Martial Arts Instruction) are in place and maintained in a professional manner.

Training Program Registration

New Instructors/Leaders

If you are interested in participating in the American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) Instructor and Leadership Training Program (ITP), and you believe you meet the requirements, please let the instructing staff at your school know. An interview appointment will be scheduled with your School Manager to discuss your eligibility and the current needs of the school.

If you are accepted into the ITP, you will need to fill out the appropriate registration form.

Renewing Instructors/Leaders

Once a year, those individuals actively participating in the American Institute of Kenpo (AIK) Instructor and Leadership Training Program (ITP) will need to renew their membership in the ITP.

Make sure to fill out and submit the appropriate registration form.

Instructor/Leader Uniforms

All Instructors and Leaders need to have a uniform that corresponds with their certification. This uniform needs to be in a condition representative of a professional. Should that uniform be damaged or worn out, it will need to be retired and replaced so that the participant can maintain a presentable appearance in accordance with the organizational expectations.