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2014 Instructor Certification Clinic – Phoenix, AZ

January – October 2014

They say “necessity is the mother of invention”. I’m sure it is true in many cases, however I think frustration is the stick that prompts you into action!

Early on, as an instructor of Ki Gong, my frustration was having a good number of people tell me they wanted to learn about &/or have Ki Gong classes at their Do Jang, but could not because they did not have the resources or the opportunity to pursue their goal. In retrospect I think a lot of it was a hesitancy to self- educate due to the way we were taught to learn in the Tang Soo Do arena. 

In martial arts, the Instructor is in charge of what you learn when, & with good reason! Not to follow this approach is not only disrespectful, but downright dangerous! In Ki Gong much of the learning is self-directed based on practice, reading, experience & comprehension. I know I had the same hesitance also in the beginning! I guess, for me, it was both frustration & curiosity that pushed me past that hurdle. In my mind I thought if I had achieved such remarkable results to this point, what else could I accomplish if I continued further?! I believe in the saying, “You don’t know, unless you ask”. And so, I asked, & I asked often! I’m sure I drove my Ki Gong Senior’s crazy, but they always answered with a smile & much understanding! As basically a newcomer in the Ki Gong community I would ask myself, “I wonder if this or that would work to help the situation?” However at the time, I was not in the position to address the situation myself.

In 2012, when I was informed that I would be the next West Coast Ki Gong Director, the light bulb finally lit up! My brain went into overdrive and I willingly dragged a good friend and fellow Ki Gong practitioner, E Dan, Mayela Fox, into my plan. It was an excellent decision, as she provided additional creativity & insight into the overall program. She was also a much needed additional instructor.

And so we began to plan our work & work our plan;

Problem> Tang Soo Do students & family that did not have access to, but sincerely wanted, to learn, experience, & have Ki Gong classes at their Do Jang.

Solution> Create a condensed and focused training program for beginners as well as those who wished to become certified Ki Gong instructors.

After presenting our plan to and getting permission from all the powers that be; top of the Ki Gong admin, Regional directors, Masters, & studio owners, we proceeded. Due to family/life obligations on both our parts we realized we only had 9 or 10 months to accomplish the program in. That meant our time frame would be January – October of 2014. In our case, 99% of the students were seeking to advance to level 2. So it worked out well for us to split the program into 3 different sessions. Each session covered 1 form, a set number of meditation approaches, a beginner level of techniques and information and some extra items to keep each once a month, two hour long class, interesting and motivating. We exposed the students to material in a way that built upon itself and we made sure we performed the Ki Gong form for that session at least once a class while allowing time for meditation practice, as well as Q & A.

The completion of the program took a great deal of commitment and perseverance on both the students and Instructors. Constant planning and adjustment, flyer creation, and organizing(not to mention travel) was called for on the Instructors part. The students not only had to meet the requirements of the World Ki Gong Club, but the stipulations of our program as well. Our program had a fee for each class (to cover gas & lodging of instructors). 

Those wishing to certify could only miss a set number of classes, as well as make up those classes in a specific manner. Copies of tracking charts for attendance, & practice had to be signed & turned in. There was mandatory attendance to the certification day and leading a form as part of certification.

Our goal was to help tie the information together to form a big picture, without overwhelming the student, as well as allow the student to experience the energy of Ki Gong in action! The students who only wished to experience Ki Gong were dismissed each class following the meditation session. Then the remainder of the class was conducted in a manner geared towards those wishing to certify. Feedback was requested at the end of each session in order to help the instructors plan for the next class as well as refine instruction for any future endeavors. Emails were the main communication source. Prompt and detailed communication was essential to the success of the program.

The final class (10-18-14) was a day-long event officiated by level 7, Chief Administrative Officer,

Master Schroeder. The day was a mix of testing, new forms and special activities chosen by Master Schroeder to make the event a full and exciting day!! At the days end it was wonderful to witness the certification of 7 new Instructors, covering 4 cities & Do Jangs! 

Congratulations to Sam Dan Mr. K Thomas and Ms. Warren of Starworld AMAF, Sierra Vista, AZ; Sam Dan Ruth Aviles and E Dan Mayela Fox, of Pacini Martial Arts, Gilbert ,AZ; Cho Dan Mr. Eaton and Mrs. Durrant, of Starworld MA, Goodyear, AZ ; and Sam Dan Brooke Sexton of Arrowhead Tang Soo Do, Glendale, AZ!!

It was an honor and pleasure to work with all the students. I am so grateful to all that made the program possible; Master Schroeder, Senior Master Williamson, Master Pacini, Master Roberts, Ms. Sexton, Mrs. Fox, Ms. Aviles, & Mr. K. Thomas.

As I look back, of course I see things I would adjust, but I also see how effective the program is. I encourage other Regions to hold similar programs, as well as to create programs for the remaining levels of the WTSDA Ki Gong program!

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