The Mentor Program is an AUSKF activity designed to promote connections between senior sensei and kenshi who may not have the advantage of having many dojo and/or sensei nearby.
The mentors are selected on the basis of their expertise in kendo or iaido (5-dan or higher), knowledge of both the technical and philosophical aspects of these arts, and good teaching skills. In addition to teaching kenshi, the mentor may advise in matters with regards to promotional exams.
The process of setting up a mentor visit begins with a formal dojo request to its federation president. If approved, the request is passed to the AUSKF for approval and scheduling of a visit. The visit, which is paid for by the AUSKF, may be set up as a special seminar or in conjunction with a scheduled event such as a tournament.
The AUSKF provides support to regional federations by providing qualified examiners for promotional exams upon approval of requests made to the board. Half of the travel costs for the examiners are paid by the AUSKF. Additional support related to holding a promotional exam may be provided upon receipt of a formal request from the member federation holding the exam.
The current and former members of U.S. National Kendo Team have developed a Team USA Giving Back Program. In this program, Team USA members volunteer their time to fly out and offer their services at any kendo-related events hosted by an AUSKF member federation. Specific team members can be requested to teach, practice, or demonstrate at any weekend seminars, camps, joint practices, and /or tournaments. The format of this program is open and flexible; time with the members of Team USA can be spent in any way the federation and/or member dojo desires.
The airfare/travel expenses for the Team USA members are paid for by the AUSKF. All other expenses (hotel, food, local transportation, etc.) are paid for by the requesting federation and/or dojo.
To make a request, an AUSKF member federation and/or dojo must contact the AUSKF Vice President of Education. After submitting the Team USA Giving Back Program request form, the VP of Education will follow up with the requesting AUSKF member federation and /or dojo to confirm the dates, itineraries, and schedule of events.