Question: I never thought about becoming a certified Instructor and am now eligible to test for 4th Dan and life changes now present me with an opportunity to pursue Soo Bahk Do® instructor certification. I have been assisting and teaching at my Instructor's dojang for years. How do I proceed?
Answer: You can purchase all three Soo Bahk Do® instructor certification study kits at the same time and that will open the door for you to proceed as expeditiously as possible toward Sa Bom certification or you can purchase them in sequence. The only thing your choice changes is the overall time to achieve Sa Bom eligibility as indicated below.
Since you have not previously applied for any level of Instructor Certification and your target rank (or current rank) is 4th Dan or above, you need to proceed a bit differently than is typical.
- Jo Kyo requires 90 day possession of kit and apprenticeship time before eligibility to test. Time begins counting at time of kit purchase.
- Kyo Sa requires 1 year possession of kit and apprenticeship time before eligibility to test. Time begins counting at time of kit purchase.
- Sa Bom requires 2 year possession of kit and apprenticeship time before eligibility to test. Time begins counting at time of kit purchase.
- Purchasing all at the same time starts the countdown for all three from the same date. (Total of 2 years until Sa Bom Eligibility)
- Purchasing them at different times results in consecutive time. (Total of 3 years and 90 days until Sa Bom Eligibility)
The content of the kits overlap so the Sa Bom Kit contains the contents of all three kits, so you only need one physical kit. The Jo Kyo and Kyo Sa fees you pay cover the lower certifications and thus create a record of your progression through each certification as the prerequisite for the next certification as you successfully complete each segment of study and apprenticeship.
Kwan Jang Nim's guidance about Jo Kyo and Kyo Sa certification titles are that they not really appropriate for use over 4th Dan. ( i.e. the proper title for a master is "Master" not Jo Kyo Nim or Kyo Sa Nim, even if the Master possesses those certifications.) However, once you achieve Kyo Sa certification you would be authorized to sit on gup testing boards and sign gup testing recommendations for students. In fact, that is very likely to be part of your apprenticeship training during the year after Kyo Sa as you prepare to apply for Sa Bom. The instructor who is training you may evaluate your ability to run gup examinations independently and as a certified Kyo Sa you can do so.
You should proceed through each Instructor certification examination just as any other applicant would.
- After study kit acquisition and 90 days of Jo Kyo apprenticeship, your Instructor could test you for the Jo Kyo Certification at your dojang and submit your recommendation to HQ. Successful completion of the Jo Kyo exam administered by your instructor at the dojang will satisfy the TAC's prerequisite requirement for you to be eligible to apply for Kyo Sa certification.
- After an additional 275 days (365-90) of Kyo Sa apprenticeship, then your Regional Examiners could test you for Kyo Sa in accordance with your Region's Kyo Sa test procedures. Successful completion of the Kyo Sa exam administered by your Regional Examiners will satisfy the TAC's prerequisite requirement for you to be eligible to apply for Sa Bom certification.
- After an additional 365 days (2yrs -1 yr) of Sa Bom apprenticeship, then you can apply with the TAC to test for Sa Bom at an approaching Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa.
You can pay for all the kits at once or you can activate a special 12-18 month installment payment plan on the Soo Bahk Do Institute under which you could make equal monthly payments. Each certification can only be issued after sufficient monthly payments have been made to cover each certification. Please contact Headquarters if you want to use this option.