At some point, students find that they can and want to earn their black belt. Here at SIDEKICKS, we’re particularly focused on earning black belt because we know that every person that steps through our door is capable of earning one. All that person has to do is supply the determination and desire to do what it takes to earn a black belt.
Long before a student wraps a black belt around their waist, they begin to exemplify the qualities of a black belt. This is because everything a student needs to become a black belt, they already possessed the day they walked in the door of our martial arts school. The job of instructors is to help students learn how to use or reinforce those qualities in each person.
At some point, a student may decide that he or she might find that they are interested in helping other students along in their black belt journey. This is usually because they genuinely enjoy helping others achieve their goals.
In the past, their was never a formalized training for becoming an instructor in the martial arts. Unfortunately, whether you wanted to teach or not, when you became a black belt you were usually forced to help teach the other students. Consequently, the people responsible for teaching classes may not have always had the desire or the necessary training to help students reach success through their training.
At SIDEKICKS, we happen to be on the front edge of formalized instruction for students who have the desire to become instructors to learn, acquire and perfect the necessary skills to teach effective and energetic classes where students are not only motivated to achieve black belt, but to be of high quality. That’s how we’ve made it possible for more people to earn black belts and not sacrifice the quality of the black belt that we are producing.
If you think that someday becoming an instructor—the highest level of martial artist the first step is to join the S.W.A.T. program or the Special Winning Attitude Team. This Black Belt Club and up-only program is the group of students that are interested in learning about being a leader and maybe even taking on more of a leadership role in our martial arts program.
SWAT Members essentially have four main functions in our program:
Role Model/Demonstrator: Demonstrate Black Belt Attitude at all times. You may also be called upon to stand in front of class and demonstrate proper technique so that the instructor may turn his/her attention to correcting and teaching the class.
Class Leader: From time to time you may be called upon to warm class up or teach a skill to a junior student.
Wandering Correction: With the instructor up front, you may be called upon to make small corrections of student behavior or technique to aid in the smooth operation of class.
Greeter: No student should ever come through our doors without a S.W.A.T. member befriending them and making him or her feel welcome. We are a family here at Sidekicks and it is up to you as a S.W.A.T. member and the instructor staff to cultivate that atmosphere.
Because the SWAT Program is such an elite program you must pass a pretty rigorous selection process. The process for joining the S.W.A.T. Program is as follows: 1) You must be selected/nominated by an instructor. Once the instructors have decided upon a list of students to invite, you will receive a letter in the mail inviting you to try-outs. 2) After you decide that you’ve been invited and you’d like to try-out for SWAT, you must set an appointment to interview with Mr. Cabrera. Upon interviewing with Mr. C. and both of you agreeing that the SWAT Team might be for you, 3) You must pass a written and performance examination of your martial arts skills.
To be eligible for consideration by the instructors for nomination, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Students must be at least 10 years old and achieved blue belt or 8 years old and achieved Black Rec.
- Students must be a member of the Black Belt Club.
- Students must be current with all tuition and billed through our billing company.
- Students must demonstrate a positive attitude and outgoing personality.
- Students must demonstrate a commitment to Black Belt Excellence.
- Students must show knowledge and proficiency in Taekwon-Do through their rank.
- Students must pass a written and physical examination of their skills in Taekwon-Do.
Letters to nominees are being mailed out now, if you receive a letter and want to tryout, you must schedule and complete your interview by the 12th of March and attend the SWAT Tryouts at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 15h.
If the SWAT Candidates are excepted onto this elite and prestigious team, they’ll be awarded their SWAT Patch and certificate signifying their official membership into the program.
In addition to being on an elite team of leaders, the instructor’s go-to people, SWAT members make the following commitments:
- Attend SWAT Class Consistently. We cover a great many issues that will help you become a leader at school and at SIDEKICKS. This will help prepare you for the Certified Instructor Training Program.
- SWAT at least 1 scheduled class per week. This is where we put the information and skills we learn at SWAT class into action. We will work with you and/or your parents to schedule you in to come and assist with classes.
- Attend SIDEKICKS special events and testings. You must attend as many SIDEKICKS events as you can, especially testings and promotion celebrations, even if you don’t test. This demonstrates to your juniors your commitment to black belt excellence and support for their efforts. Additionally, you may be called upon to help setup or clean up for special events.
- Be Friendly. A positive attitude and warm personality will go a long way to making you successful as a martial artist and in your everyday life. We want people who can be upbeat and put all the lessons we teach into good practice.
For all of those future SWAT leaders out there, good luck. All of you who are current SWAT leaders prepare to have new friends among your ranks and its time to set a new goal—STORM Team. STORM is those SWAT members that have assisted in more than 100 classes!
If you have any more questions please see Mr. Cabrera.