“I am an I.T.F. International Instructor.” What is it when an instructor tells me that?
Well, what it is, and what it was suppose to be are two different things. How it was suppose to be is that an “International Instructor” was a 4th to 6th Dan I.T.F. black belt that has attended a 3 Day (minimum) Instructors Course given by Gen. Choi or his designated I.T.F. IIC instructors. While he was alive, there were basically two of them. One was GM Rhee, Ki-ha, the other was GM Charles “Chuck” Sereff. When the International Instructor title was given, only then could black belts have the black stripes down the arms of the dobak. If you have not attended an IIC, then you were only allowed the black stripe down the pant legs.
So how is it? From its inception, it has been pay the Course fee, show up, and then pay the certificate fee. And the I.T.F. would send you (some IIC’s had your certificate ready at the end of the events.) your IIC certificate. So, the IIC especially the last two years prior to the Generals death had become attendance and cash based!
The IIC should be competcy based! There should be a form of oral, written, and practical applicatoins after the black belt has attended the event. The IIC should really be closer to a week long or broken up into several levels. The I.T.F. under GM Pablo Trajtenberg (acting) has over the last couple of years have headed in that general direction. The I.T.F. under Chang Ung has made a couple of these as part of their IIC, and the I.T.F. under Choi, Jung-hwa does what’s called “Master Class” and it has been more of a lecture series rather then an practical seminar. Also, the instructors should require routine re-testing and qaulifications, and again, some of the organstions have started this as well.
The largest road block to these changes are the fact, once they have an IIC certificate, a lot (of course not all) of the higher dan ranks believe since they have been to a Gen. Choi IIC, that they become an “authority” in instructing Taekwon-Do. It has been my experience that every instructor needs to routinely seek instruction, improvements, and experience! To use, and promote an IIC that has a written, oral and practical application, testing and follow up system.
Soon, we will promote a ‘model’ for an IIC that the Kido Kwan instructor must follow, and must have prerequisites and other criteria before and after an IIC. It is my (authors) firm belief that it doesn’t and shouldn’t take a 9th Dan to teach and promote an IIC. IICs, should and could be taught by QUALIFIED 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Dans, along with 8th and 9th Dans!