SFC Testing - We Are Now The College Approach
Simply put? Now, you do not have to take our modules in order. You can complete course levels out of order.
I am already scheduling seminars for 2016, my 19th year on the road and it does look like 2014 was my busiest year yet and 2015 is on par for this too. In some circumstances, I may only return to a city around the world in a year and a half now, not every year. Worse, complicating the mission, I really am consistently inundated with requests for rank progression and instructorships. Squeezing all this in, IN PROMOTIONAL ORDER for each person, is just about impossible to schedule.
Every single thing I teach is a course we have. We have 7 courses. Hand, Stick, Knife. Gun. CQC Group (which is the combination of the hand, stick, knife and gun courses) PAC/Filipino and Police Judo. But the core and most popular courses are the hand, stick, knife and gun programs. Four main courses.
Though there are ten levels in each course, the tenth is a big test, so there are 9 levels of study in each course. That's nine times four. 36 levels. 36 modules. Granted the modules are short and simple, but they take time to do, to teach and get to. Getting to them all, for everyone gets harder and harder each year. In a perfect world, like the perfect college schedule, you would start with "Subject 101" and proceed in perfect order, on through the "Subject 400s." Ever done that? Who do you know that has? It is next to impossible.
When folks go to college, they do the best they can. They take the subjects and classes that are open to them at the time, wrestling with both their schedules and the college-scheduled offerings. This means a college student may actually start in class "Subject 105," rather than "Subject 101" because the 101 class is full. (I actually took all my senior level business courses first!. Yes! As a night student no one seemed to care. So I took "401, 402- on up." Took the others later as I could get them.) And fact is we are not even a real "college-college." We are just some certification courses, some training courses. We are not even a martial "art." So, you can achieve out of order.
Complete any three levels? You can become an instructor. Instructors can teach ANY SFC level material, but only promote people in the levels they tested for. Any six levels? Any nine levels? And so on. Another simple way to put this, if on any given Sunday I teach Knife 6 and you complete it successfully? You can get official credit for Knife 6, even though you haven't finished knife 5. We'll all catch up with everything you in the end.
This will facilitate more people to achieve what they deserve this way, given our constricted opportunities.
Some courses have prerequisites. Seen this before? "Must Take Class 301 Before Class 308." Fortunately, in my practical/tactical course modules, these subjects are not brain surgery or rocket science, nor are they fancy, difficult katas, high jinks or high kicks. They are simply basic, simple things spaced out over time, because not all things can fit in level 1 or "101." Plus we expect people will already be working with their local instructors, have the training videos, and also have experience (most folks I see, have experience) in a variety of systems and schools.
So now, simply put? You do not have to take or test for our modules in strict order. Nice if you would? Best if you would. But like college, you can complete course levels out of order.
And, of course, you can simple train in all of this for knowledge only, never taking any tests at all. The choice is always yours.