Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association
Teacher Certification Program

BOARD APPROVED:  9 November 2003

Revised: 26 July 2009

        I.      Goal
To establish a Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association teacher certification program that will develop, maintain, and provide support on a national level to those who teach Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Ch’uan, and to help ensure a high level of competency and the quality of instruction in t’ai chi and related traditional Chinese internal martial arts disciplines.

     II.      Steps to Implementation of  the Certification Process

A.     The initial goal will be to compile a list of recognized teachers of Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi.  This list will contain the names of those individuals currently teaching Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi who it can be determined have received an endorsement from their teacher to teach this form and whose teacher has a clearly established link with at least one of  the primary lineages as acknowledged by the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association and outlined in section III below.

B.     Once a final list is compiled, the board of directors will review it to insure the qualifications and integrity of those to be proposed for the initial granting of certification.

C.     In recognition of their acknowledged status and qualifications and by virtue of their being pre-screened by the full Board of Directors of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association, those practicing teachers who receive board approval will be granted “Certified Instructor” status and “Grandfathered” into the program.  Although these individuals  will not be required to go through the formal procedure and specific testing set out in the Certification Criteria and Process,  all those selected to be “Grandfathered” must meet all the requirements for certification as verified by personal knowledge of the members of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association board of directors.  This group will then be divided into two subgroups.  Those who are currently active members of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association with “Teacher” or “School/Organization” memberships will be automatically granted certification and certificates will be prepared and presented to them without delay.  Those who are not currently active members will be contacted, made aware of the certification program , and informed that upon achieving active status as a “Teacher” or “Organization/School” member, certification will be automatic and a certificate presented to them.

D.     A secondary application process will be established, which shall be available for a period of approximately one (1) year from the date of enactment of this program, to allow for the extension of “Grandfathering” to anyone meeting all the criteria as outlined above but who may have been inadvertently missed and whom  the board of directors determines should have been included initially.   As approved by the Board of Directors at their regular meeting on November 9, 2003, this secondary application process will cease to be available on December 31, 2004.

1.      The Applicants requesting certification under this provision, as those initially granted certification, must meet the all requirements and criteria set out by the association before Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Ch’uan certification will be granted.

E.      Establish procedures and clear, specific, and verifiable criteria for certification to be followed by all future applicants regardless of their status as members or non-members of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association.  Certification will be only granted to those applicants who meet the criteria as delineated below in section III.  The goal of  these criteria is to establish and maintain a high level of quality in the instruction of t’ai chi ch’uan and most especially with respect to instruction in Guang Ping Yang style t’ai chi.  The Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association reserves the right to exercise discretion in the application of criteria and administration of this program as necessary to ensure that the goals of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association and this teacher certification program are met.

F.      The Board of Directors will establish a Certification Committee to be chaired by a member of the board and composed of both members of the board and qualified individuals selected from the general membership of the association.  The purpose of the Certification Committee shall be to review all applications, and materials submitted in support of applications, and monitor the overall certification process.  The full Board of Directors shall retain the full and complete responsibility for the oversight, supervision, and governance of the application process, and shall retain solely the right and responsibility to make any revisions and/or modifications to the process and/or criteria that it deems necessary.

1.      The board will strive to compose the membership of the Certification Committee so that at least three (3) major lines of Secondary Lineages are represented on the committee, if possible.  (Primary lineages are delineated below in Section III, Certification Criteria. Secondary Lineages are those that derive from the direct students of the Primary lineage holders in Section III.)

2.       The Certification Committee will report to the board of directors monthly, or as frequently as the number of applications requires, at the regular board meetings on the number of applications received and the status of each application.

3.      After reviewing each application, the committee will make a recommendation to the board  to approve or deny the request for certification, and provide a summary of the reasons for its recommendation in each case.  After appropriate discussion and consideration, the full board of directors will then vote on the application.  Approval will require a two-thirds (2/3) majority in favor of granting certification.

G.     The Association will establish and maintain a permanent database to record all relevant information and maintain accurate records in perpetuity regarding the registration of all certified teachers.

   III.      Certification Criteria

1.      In order to qualify to apply for Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association certification, the applicant must perform at an advanced level and teach a version of Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi stemming from one of the recognized lineages.  S/he must also demonstrate, through the application process, thorough knowledge of the form, an understanding of its applications, clear knowledge of body mechanics and the dynamics of t’ai chi movement, as well as basic competence in teaching.

a.       The Primary Lineages as recognized at this time by the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association come from the following master teachers:

                                                                                                         i.            Kuo Lien Ying and/or Wang Chih Chien.

                                                                                                       ii.            Other variations may exist and they will be considered on a case by case basis as they are brought to the attention of the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association and its board.   In such cases it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide materials acceptable to the board which validate the previously unrecognized lineage under consideration.

b.      The Applicant’s performance of the form must be at an Advanced level. (i.e. At a minimum it will conform to a level equivalent to a score of 8.0 received in competition.  In other words, the applicant’s performance of the form must be consistent with someone who would qualify to participate in a tournament at the national level.)

                                                                                                         i.            The applicant’s form should follow the order as traditionally set out.

                                                                                                       ii.            The form should contain the traditional 64 movements.

                                                                                                      iii.            The stances should conform to what is generally accepted in the primary lineages as consistent with the Guang Ping Yang style.

                                                                                                     iv.            The form must exhibit correct body mechanics such as: Vertical spine, Knees in alignment, Proper waist movement, Etc.

2.      The Applicant must provide acceptable verification of  a minimum of:

a.       Five (5) years of T’ai Chi Ch’uan experience,

and

b.      One year of supervised solo teaching experience.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is the long standing tradition in the martial arts world that a student must first obtain his/her teacher’s permission before beginning to assist, or teach, others.  In recognition of this tradition, the preferred and most credible verification an Applicant can provide that s/he has met these requirements would come in the form of a letter of recommendation and support from the Applicant’s primary teacher.  However, the Association recognizes that extenuating circumstances might exist that could make it necessary for the Applicant to present other means of verification.  The merit and credibility of any other form of documentation provided by the Applicant will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

3.      In the required teaching demonstration the applicant must:

a.        demonstrate basic teaching competence,

and

b.      show clear understanding of the dynamics and mechanics of t’ai chi ch’uan postures and movement.

  IV.      Testing & Application Method

A.     Performance of the form and Teaching Demonstration
A picture is worth a thousand words. Thus viewing the applicant’s performance of the form, either in person or on video, is a major component of the testing for certification.  In addition, each applicant is required to present a brief demonstration of his/her teaching.  The teaching demonstration must include instruction in both of the required parts as listed in the paragraph below.  Ideally, the teaching demo will consist of taped segment(s) from actual class session(s), or a visit by one or more committee members to an actual class.  When this is not possible, a mock training session set up specifically for demonstration purposes is an acceptable option.  In either case, however, the demonstration class must include two or more students for the Applicant to work with.  The teaching demonstration shall not be less than 10 minutes or greater than thirty minutes in length.

The Applicant will demonstrate instruction for a beginning level student of two postures:  the Wu Chi or Beginning posture, plus one movement from the form.  The applicant may pick any movement from the first third of the set (i.e. “Strike Palm to ask Buddha” through “Turn body, Kick with Heel”).

1.      The Applicant will be required to demonstrate his or her form and present the teaching demonstration component in one of the following ways:

a.       In person, for the full Certification Committee (dates & times to be established).

b.      In person, for any one or more members of the Certification Committee along with submission of a video tape including at least a partial performance of the form (one third at a minimum), and the full teaching demonstration for review by the balance of the committee.  This tape may be pre-recorded or performed and taped “live” during the demonstration for the committee member(s).

c.       On video, by submitting at least two copies of a detailed video tape showing the complete form and both parts of the teaching demonstration.  This tape will be reviewed by the full Certification Committee.  Multiple copies are required to help expedite processing and review of the application.

B.     Written documentation:  It is the obligation of the applicant to provide all required information in full and complete form, in a manner that is accurate and avoids misrepresentation of the facts.  Any intentional inaccuracies or misrepresentations discovered in the application materials, no matter how trivial the applicant may consider them, will result in the immediate dismissal of the application, and/or revocation of any status granted prior to discovery.  The written part of all applications must include the following elements:

1.      Name, address, phone, date of birth, email address and the name, address, phone number, email, website of his or her school if applicable.

2.      The Applicant must establish his or her Guang Ping lineage by providing a list of teachers that clearly demonstrates the connection to one of the primary lines or demonstrates the clear validity of another line of succession.

3.       The Applicant must provide a brief resume describing his or her martial arts and internal arts background highlighting specifically any elements that reinforce her/his abilities as an instructor of  t’ai chi.   Details should include items such as those listed below:

a.       When s/he started study.

b.      Any lapses in study and or practice

c.       Summary of teaching experience

d.      A list of 2-3 references who are familiar with your teaching, study, and practice of t’ai chi.  Be sure to include accurate current contact information for these individuals.

e.       Other martial or healing arts or areas of study that would complement her/his t’ai chi practice, teaching abilities, or provide other background helpful to the evaluation of his/her application by the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association.

4.      The Applicant should submit any additional comments, materials and/or documentation that would further illustrate his/her qualifications.

5.      The Applicant should provide information regarding any other teaching certifications they may have already earned through a school, organization, or teacher.  Be sure to include all relevant information such as the date earned, term of certification, type of credential, etc., for each.

6.      The Applicant should provide references that speak to both their personal character and their teaching qualifications.

     V.      Fees, Term of Certification, and Renewal

A.     Certification Fees:

1.      Members:  An initial certification processing fee of $75.00 will be charged for active members maintaining a “Teacher” or “School/Organization” membership.  Renewal shall be as specified below.

2.      Non-members:  Non members seeking certification by the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association must, first or concurrently, join the association at either the “Teacher” or “School/Organization” level.  An initial certification processing fee of  $150.00 will be charged, in addition to the dues applicable to the  chosen category of membership.  Thereafter, certifications shall be renewed as specified below.

B.     Term and Renewal:

1.      The normal term for all Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association teacher certifications is four (4) years.  However, the board has the obligation to exercise its discretionary authority, when necessary, to modify the term in individual cases to ensure the ongoing quality and validity of the program and to guarantee that all criteria are met fully.

2.      Renewal of the teacher certification, once granted, will be free and automatic as long as the certified instructor continues to maintain active member status at either the Teacher or School/Organization level, and meets the Continuing Education requirement of attending at least one (1) Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association annual conference during the four year term or hosting/sponsoring a Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association co-sponsored local/regional intensive workshop or instructional event at which s/he is in attendance.

3.      Upon  the third consecutive renewal the certification shall be issued “For Life” unless the board determines there is significant reason to withhold this extended term.  A decision to withhold the Lifetime certification will require a 2/3 vote of the full Board.

C.     Renewal of Lapsed Certification

1.      If the certified teacher allows her/his membership to lapse during the period, fails to meet the continuing education requirement, or allows her/his certification to lapse for any reason for a period of one year or more, a new application must be submitted and will be considered for resumption of certified status.  The fees charged under these circumstances will be the same as for a new application for certification unless the board finds that extenuating circumstances justify waiver of the additional fees.

  VI.      Benefits of Certification

A.     National recognition by the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association and an announcement in the quarterly newsletter of the association upon certification being granted.

B.     A certificate, suitable for display, from the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association verifying your status as a certified teacher.

C.     A full listing in the highlighted “Certified Teachers” page on the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association website.  The listing will include your name, the name of your school (if applicable), phone number, email address and all appropriate contact information to make it easy for students looking for qualified t’ai chi instructors in your area to locate you.

D.     A web-based GuangPingYang.org email account that can be forwarded “invisibly” to your personal email address, helping you maintain your privacy,  and that will remain consistent even when you change your private email address and/or internet service provider.

E.      Priority ranking on applications to the Guang Ping Yang T’ai Chi Association Mini-grant program for funds to sponsor and support local/regional t’ai chi workshops and other events.