THE JOB OF SOA
Shintaido of America was established to make it easier for all of us to practice Shintaido and to have access to qualified instruction. SoA administers national level certification programs, communicates with the European Shintaido College (ESC) to co-manage international activities and produces educational materials for practicing and teaching Shintaido.
Shintaido groups affiliated with SoA are led by an Instructor licensed by SoA, or a Graduate or an Assistant accredited by SoA and teaching under the supervision of a licensed Instructor. Exceptions are at the discretion of the National Technical Council. No Instructor or Assistant will take over an SoA-affiliated group established by another person without the prior approval of ISP and SoA.
INSTRUCTORS AND ASSISTANTS
After reaching a certain level of keiko, some practitioners will wish to further develop their own keiko by working with a group. They may then apply to become Assistants or Instructors. This means that they are willing to take on greater responsibilities. For position descriptions, see Appendix III.
CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING
National-level certification is awarded to qualified applicants for Assistant, Graduate and karate and bojutsu to nidan. Instructors are encouraged to attend one advanced workshop yearly. For certification and licensing requirements, see Appendix III.
SoA-certified instructors are available to direct and teach at gasshukus around the United States. However, the planning and administration of gasshukus is the business of regional groups. SoA provides guidelines for the production of these events, and offers such assistance as a national mailing list. A “national gasshuku” must include an advanced workshop and upper-level examinations. An advanced workshop is defined as a workshop led by a General Instructor or above, intended for Graduates and above, and sometimes open to other SoA members with permission of the instructor.
SoA offers examinations as a part of its certification and licensing program, so that members can choose to be examined for technical proficiency and integration in Shintaido practice. SoA also offers examinations for rank in Shintaido karate and bojutsu.
Examinations provide encouragement as well as information on areas where further work is needed. Teaching rank also ensures that instructors can perform Shintaido techniques effectively.