From Okinawa to Korea

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Michele123, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Black Belt

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    If it is a reputable Dojang and you are getting Kukkiwon certificates you should not have to start back at white belt as far as belting is concerned. If I take a significant break I would have to go back to the beginning with curriculum. Just me.
     
  2. mrt2

    mrt2 Blue Belt

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    I don't see what is so special about a black belt that you can keep it, but if you only get to high brown, then you have to start back at the beginning. I would check on that. I didn't mind starting over as a white belt after 35 years away, and starting a new style, but if I had to take a break after training for, say, 18 months and I was a high brown belt, I would hope if I had to start over someplace else a year later in the same style that I could keep my old rank, even if I had to take a few months to shake off the rust.

    And, fwiw, I asked my current teacher what he does with former students who make black belt, then leave for an extended period of time. For example, young women who made black belts in the teens or early 20s who come back a decade or so later after having kids. And no, they don't get to come back as black belts.
     
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    This is entirely dependent on the individual instructor (examiner level) and the skills of the person returning.

    If they've forgotten everything, then it's better to adjust their belt grade or leave them where they are for a while.

    If their theory is still there and just their body has to catch up, they will probably honour the grade.

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  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    My former teacher had a great policy. Whoever came in with experience from a different karate style and/or a substantial break in training wore a white belt for 2-3 months. He evaluated where they were at during that period and promoted them to whatever rank he felt they were at. Pretty much everyone agreed with his assessment in the end. One woman from a completely different karate style stormed off because she thought she was entitled to her 3rd dan from a different organization 25 years ago. She was told and agreed that she wouldn’t be that rank nor any black belt rank until she passed the same black belt test as everyone else going for that rank before she signed up, yet she somehow thought she should be a 3rd dan in our school.

    My former teacher let people keep their old ranks he promoted them to if they had a long break in training. They’d spend a while catching up to where they were before they left. They wouldn’t promote to the next rank until they were ready to promote like everyone else. He gave them that rank, so it’s not like they didn’t earn it. If I were to rejoin his school after leaving about 18 years ago, I’m pretty sure he’d allow me wear the black belt he gave me. I wouldn’t do it, and he’d be fine with that too.
     
  5. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    I’m not pregnant yet. We are simply hoping to achieve pregnancy by the end of this school year. We don’t plan to start trying until late winter.

    But kukkiwon certificates are only issued for black belts. There are no colored belt kukkiwon certificates because each school is able to decide their own colors and order of colors for the colored belt ranks. That’s why getting black belt is important, for the kukkiwon certificate.

    It’s because of the kukkiwon certificate. It would be possible to pick up where I left off at another school but it would all depend on the instructor. Without the kukkiwon certificate (which doesn’t begin until 1st Dan), there are no guarantees that my rank would be acknowledged by another kukkiwon school outside of our association.


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  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Pretty much irrelevant. The color of the belt may vary from school to school, but the RANK is the same. 10th geup through 1st geup.
    The KKW doesn't register geup ranks in large part because it would be expensive and pointless. The vast majority of those who start will quit before they're anywhere near Dan rank, so why bother with an international registry?

    So what? Most schools (all that I've personally experienced, and the vast majority, given what people post) have ways to deal with students who have prior experience. But ultimately... so what? Why is the color of the belt all that important? What matter, the color of the belt, or your knowledge of the material.
    It's better to wear a white belt and have people wonder why than to wear a black belt and have people wonder why.
     
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  7. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    Well ultimately I trust my instructor’s assessment of me and told him I would do what he thought was best.


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  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Black Belt

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    Keep up with the certificates you get for color belts. I would think that should count for something. A good instructor will see your "rough" proficiency and know whether you are truthful about your experience.
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Black Belt

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    Your instructor seems in conflict with you. I fully agree with your statement about a brown belt taking a short break, coming back and shaking off the rust. I disagree with your instructor saying a BB would lose their rank. That is part of the accomplishment of acquiring the BB rank. I liken it to a scholars degree. You never lose the title. You may not be a good as you once were due to inactivity but the curve at which you would get back in form should be much quicker than someone who had not put in the time to get their BB. I have had a few students that were legitimate BB's who changed styles and wanted to start at white belt which was fine as it was their choice. It wasn't hard to tell they were experienced by anyone who worked out with them though.
     
  10. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    There are no certificates for the colored ranks.

    This may be partially related to my situation. I hold a BB in a different style. At the tournaments and other times we are around people who don’t know me, they are confused that I am only a colored belt. My instructor had wanted to start me off at a high colored ranking because of my previous experience and the level of my techniques but I requested to start at white because I don’t know all the curriculum in this style. I think that’s why he keeps wanting to have me double test and why he often tells the black belts to not look at my rank but to hold me to BB standards.



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  11. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Your school doesn't give out certificates for geup ranks? That's odd. I don't think I've ever heard of a school that didn't before this.
     
  12. mrt2

    mrt2 Blue Belt

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    I was a Cho Dan Bo in Tang Soo Do which, while different from my current style isn't that different from the ITF style TKD I currently study. That rank is between 1st Gup and 1st Dan. At my current school, that rank is called Probationary Black Belt. Though my certificate from my old school is packed away someplace, my old school can verify my old rank. A little over 5 months ago, I started as a white belt. I am currently a green belt, on track to test for 5th Gup, or high Green at the end of the month. I have already gone past a bunch of people who were yellow and high yellow belts when I started.

    That is my teacher's philosophy. I am fine with it for a number of reasons. One, I still need to learn all the TKD patterns up to black belt, which is 12 to 14 forms. In addition there are things school specific including 13 basics, 20 one steps, 6 linear forms and 20 sparring combinations. It is very manageable to do this over a period of months, as I quickly move up the ranks.

    The other thing is, if my current teacher gave me back my old rank, it creates a problem. At my current school, probationary black belts usually test for 1st Dan 6 months after making probationary black belt. Rarely, students extend that to a year. At this point, if I got my old rank back, in theory, I would be expected to test for 1st Dan by December, and I don't think I would be ready to do that yet. So I am fine moving up the ranks fairly quickly. At my current rate, I will make 4th Gup by November, 3rd Gup by the end of the year or early next year, and Brown belt by the Spring, or about 14 to 15 months out from when I first started back. At that point, I will need to see where I am at. I can see a path to Brown belt, as I already can hold my own in sparring against some of the adult brown belts at our school. But I have a lot of work to do to get to the black belt level. My self evaluation tells me I am not there yet.
     
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  13. mrt2

    mrt2 Blue Belt

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    My current school doesn't do it either.
     
  14. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    Sounds like we are in similar positions. :)


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  15. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm really surprised by that. Why don't they? Seems like if you're going to have rank, it's worth a nickle to document it.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Black Belt

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    So if you test as a color belt, do you automatically advance? I know certificates may seem a little cheesy for adults nowadays but the kids love them. I think they are a legitimate marker for a school and the affiliated organization. I did not start MA until my 20's and appreciated each certificate. Did your old school have certificates? I am curious how others on the forum feel?
     
  17. Michele123

    Michele123 Green Belt

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    No. You don’t automatically advance. However, whichever parts of your test you fail, you can try again the following week. You don’t pass until you pass every part of your test.

    My old school was a karate school, not Taekwondo. At that one, yes there were certificates. I used to hang the current one on my bedroom wall (I was a teenager at the time). When I joined this one, I didn’t even notice the lack of certificates until my second test. I have no issue not having a certificate. I guess they used to do certificates but stopped because people didn’t seem to care.


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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    We get kyu rank certificates in my organization and my former organization. I never really cared for them. Mainly I guess because I never really knew what to do with them. I don’t and never did display them; I’d feel bad throwing them out for some reason, yet do I really need to keep them?

    I don’t know where my old ones are from my former organization, including my 1st dan certificate. Probably in a box somewhere in my parents’ basement, along with my high school yearbook and other stuff that wouldn’t bother me one bit if they went away.

    Some people like them, and I’ve got no problem with that. Some people display them; I’m not a hater. To each their own.

    The only certificate I really need is my current belt around my waist during class. Unless I’m going to an affiliated dojo or a group workout with people from different places so the instructor can know where I stand in the curriculum, I really don’t even really need my belt either. My immediate teachers and I all know where I’m at.

    Last night I took class at our founder’s dojo. When I checked in, the woman who checked me in saw my brown belt and chuckled saying “I’ll change your rank from white belt to brown belt in the computer” so I guess the belt is good for that too?
     
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  19. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Black Belt

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    (Apologies for the slight threadjacking here, I won't be long!)

    Ah wow, so did you train with Kaicho or Nidaime? How was it? That's so awesome that you live that close...
     
  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It went great, thanks for asking. It was Kaicho’s class at his second dojo (not honbu). It’s about a 2.5 hour drive. I’m going to go to honbu sometime soon.

    The World Seido Karate Organization in New York City

    It was my first class with Kaicho (other than a mass workout), so I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if he’d be a drill sergeant, hardass, etc.; if it would be a brutal workout physically, mentally, etc.

    Kaicho’s a great guy. He’s very personable, has a great sense of humor, and gets people to work hard and focus with while keeping a smile on his face and everyone else’s. Or at least that’s how he was last night.

    Here’s an example - we had to lay down on our back, hold our arms and legs off the floor, then lift our back off the floor and hold it. Everyone in the dojo had to count backwards from 10 in Japanese before we stopped. There were about 25 or 30 of us in class. I couldn’t get my back too far off the floor, so he stands right next to me and puts his foot under my back, with his heel on the floor and his toes pointed up. He’s laughing and saying “come on, I help you out!” Then it’s my turn to count, and of course I’ve never counted backwards in Japanese and butchered it 3 times before I got it right, and he’s laughing the entire time and saying “take your time and get it right.” We finish, and he quietly says to me “great job not giving up.”

    He was like that with everyone. I’d imagine he’d be quite different if someone gave up, got disrespectful, etc. And he’s probably more intense during testing :)

    It was a great experience. I did a one hour general class, which had every kyu rank (no yellow belts were there) and several 5th and 6th dans, and a half hour kumite class immediately afterwards with a lot of the same people.

    Sorry for the side track :)
     
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