Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program

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In the past, in order for someone to be considered for instructor certification in the Women Empowered program, they had to own or operate a professional martial arts school. We have since realized that in order for this program to reach women everywhere, we had to encourage more female instructorship and eliminate this entry barrier. Women Empowered was redesigned from the ground up with this objective in mind, such that any person who successfully completes the curriculum and achieves a score of 95 or higher on the Pink Belt Test will be invited to participate in the Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program (WE ICP). Those who graduate from the WE ICP will be certified and authorized to teach Women Empowered anywhere in the world, for profit, or not!

We are looking forward to the release of the WE ICP process for instructors not teaching at a Certified Training Center (CTC). Our goal is to have certified instructors in every city around the world so that Women Empowered is being offered in every fitness studio, college campus, church, military base and beyond. There are women all over the world who haven't found jiu-jitsu, and with your help, jiu-jitsu will find them!

The first step to becoming WE Certified is to submit a Territory Inquiry so we can learn more about where you wish to teach, and confirm the territory availability before you commit to the program. Once your territory request goes through, you may submit your application along with a non-refundable background check processing fee. If you would like to be notified once the WE ICP application process is live, please click here.

Although the Women Empowered ICP has not yet launched for non-CTC (Certified Training Center) instructors, here is a brief summary of the 5 Phases of the Women Empowered Certification. You can already get started with Phase 1!

Phase 1: Women Empowered Mastery (12 Months)
You must pass the Women Empowered (2.0) test with a score of 95 or higher within 12 months of the approval of your WE ICP application. You may complete the Women Empowered course at home using the DVDs or online course, or by attending classes at a Certified Training Center. However, regardless of where you learn the material, you must record and upload your Women Empowered video test to the Testing Center, so that we have a permanent record of the test. If you hold a BJJ rank from another affiliation or organization, you may keep your rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but must still demonstrate proficiency in the Women Empowered techniques by passing the test with a score of 95 or higher. If you do not pass the Women Empowered test with a minimum score of 95, you may retest only once in your attempt to meet the WE ICP qualification standard. That said, you should aim for perfection the first time around. In the event that you do need to retest, you will need to submit completely new test videos.

Here are the steps you have to take if you wish to resubmit your test for WE ICP consideration:

  1. You must wait at least 30 days before retesting. Even if you pass with 95 or higher, you will not be accepted into the WE ICP if you did not wait for 30 days to resubmit your test.
  2. You must fix all errors and notes indicated by the evaluator. All techniques must be reflexive.
  3. You must re-shoot the entire test.

Phase 2: Online Instructor Course (60 Days)
If you pass the Women Empowered test with a score of 95 or higher within 12 months of your application date, you will have the opportunity to unlock access to the WE Online Instructor Course. Upon unlocking the course, the 35 instructor videos and the official Women Empowered Instructor Manual (pdf download) will be made available in your Gracie University online lesson library. In this course, you will learn all the Gracie teaching methodologies that have been perfected over nearly a century as well as the essential program administration skills you’ll need to successfully teach the program in your community.

You will have exactly 60 days to complete the Online Instructor Course and upload five Teaching Proficiency Videos (TPVs) demonstrating your knowledge of the Women Empowered teaching methodologies covered in the Online Instructor Course. If upon reviewing your videos, we confirm that you have the technique, passion, and communication skills that we seek in a Women Empowered instructor, we will invite you to Gracie University Headquarters for the 3-day Live Evaluation.

Phase 3: Live Evaluation (3 Days)
Twice a year, we host a three-day Live Evaluation for Women Empowered instructor candidates at Gracie University Headquarters in Torrance, CA. During this visit, you will be tested on your comprehension of the teaching methodologies and collaborate with other aspiring instructors in group workshops. Even though the Live Evaluation is normally held in-person at GU HQ, the January 2021 Live Evaluation will be held via Zoom in an online video conference format in anticipation for any COVID related travel restrictions.

Throughout Phase 3, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions about anything that was not covered in the online material as well as network with successful Women Empowered instructors from all over the world. Upon passing the Live Evaluation, you will have all the skills to successfully administer Women Empowered in your community, and you will receive an official certificate denoting your completion of the Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program.

Phase 4: WIN Membership
Upon successful completion of the WE ICP, you will have six (6) months to join the Women Empowered Instructor Network (WIN) through which you will be licensed to teach the Women Empowered program. As a WIN member in good standing, you’ll be licensed to teach the Women Empowered program and utilize the trademarks. Additionally, you’ll be issued custom profile page on GU to maximize visibility, and you’ll have your own admin account through which you can track each of your students’ progress. There is no long-term commitment, and you can cancel your WIN membership at any time with a 30-day notice.

Phase 5: Start Teaching
As long as your WIN membership remains active and you meet the following requirements every 24 months, your license to teach will not expire.

  1. Create A Pink Belt: The most objective way for us to know that you are sharing the techniques correctly is to observe the growth of your students. As a result, you must have at least one student pass the Pink Belt test every 24 months.
  2. Recertify in Person: You can renew your certification by attending the WE ICP Live Evaluation at Gracie University Headquarters (free of charge). In addition to sharpening your teaching skills, you will help us evaluate new WE instructor candidates.

    OR

    Recertify via Video: If you cannot attend the WE ICP Live Evaluation, you have the option to demonstrate your teaching proficiency by uploading two teaching proficiency videos (fee required).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there additional costs for the WE ICP?
The WE ICP has a tuition of $850. Tuition covers access to the Women Empowered 2.0 videos, the 35 online videos of instructor material, as well as the 3-day live evaluation in Torrance, CA. This fee also covers a $300 background check fee that will help us determine your eligibility for the WE ICP. If you fail the background check, you will be refunded $550 and you will be released from the program. If, however, your application is processed and you are admitted into the WE ICP process, there are no refunds regardless of how far you make it in the program.

Are there any licensing fees?
Upon successful completion of the WE ICP, you’ll have the opportunity to join the Women Empowered Instructor Network (WIN). As a WIN member in good standing, you’ll be licensed to teach the Women Empowered program and utilize the trademarks. Additionally, you’ll be issued custom profile page on GU to maximize visibility, and you’ll have your own admin account through which you can track each of your students’ progress. There will be a base licensing fee with an additional per-student Women Empowered Family Membership (WE FM) fee. You will enroll students in WE FM under your admin instructor profile. This membership will allow you to grant each WE FM student access to the Women Empowered online curriculum, test them for pink belt, and each time a student passes the pink belt test, their achievement will be reflected on your WIN profile page, boosting your WIN rank and visibility. There is no long-term commitment, and you can cancel your WIN membership at any time with a 30-day notice.

Can a man become certified in Women Empowered?
For a male to become Women Empowered certified he must undergo the WE ICP with a female teaching partner, and they must teach Women Empowered together. The only exception to this is for those who undergo the Gracie Combatives ICP first and become a Certified Training Center.

Are there any restrictions on where I can teach the Women Empowered program?
Yes. If you plan on teaching the program within 10 miles of an established Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center (CTC) that is actively offering the Women Empowered program, you will need to gain permission from the CTC owner to ensure that your course doesn’t adversely affect the CTC in any way. To view the list of CTCs near you, click here.

Can I teach Women Empowered at a BJJ school?
Yes, but only if the school is a Certified Training Center (CTC). To learn more about what it takes to become a Certified Training Center, click here.

If you are a current student or instructor at a Certified Training Center and want to apply for the Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program (WE ICP), please click the button below. This page will only be accessible to current CTC members.