... Personally, I really like the Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor Program
as a model. In this multi-level system, you have to take a year-long casting instructor course, demonstrate technical proficiency on advanced casting, AND be able to demonstrate common mistakes that fly casters make (recreating them, and showing several ways to correct). Obviously, the main caveat is that fly fishing is more concerned with functionality (do my flies catch fish). For better or worse, aikido as a whole tends to argue about how to define “functionality”, so a certification program such as the FFF would likely be limited to an organization.
As a long-time fly-fisherman, Andy, this makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. My relatively small group, being independent for the past 28+ years, really has no problem to speak of defining and recognizing functionality. As George Ledyard said, "Anyway, that's how I'd do it if I was doing my own thing... but I suspect that if I did something like that, I'd have a very small organization with a small number of excellent people. I do not think it likely that very many people would want to step up and meet such standards when they could affiliate with other groups that didn't have these requirements or go independent where no one would tell you what to do." ... this pretty closely matches what I did almost 30 years ago now and we have a very close group of dojo spread over the U.S. and one small group possibly starting up soon in Japan.
We have been looking at putting together a simple but well defined system of instruction, testing, and maintaining skills for our instructors and teachers. Lots of good info in this thread to ponder...
Looking forward to more information from those contributing to this thread. Thanks again to all.