From Okinawa to Korea

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

  1. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    336
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Virginia
    There are more Kukkiwon poomsae after 4th dan of course, but it's not clear to me that there's much significant new technique after 4th dan? I guess my larger point is: if you showed me a 5th or 6th dan doing (say) a Side Kick vs. a 4th dan doing the same technique -- I'm not sure I could tell the difference between a 6th dan performance and a 4th dan performance. So to Andy's comment, what makes a 5th dan a "real" master in some people's eyes, but a 4th dan only a "junior" master?

    To JR137's point, you could argue that the difference is how much you've contributed to the art. To Dirty Dog's point, you could argue that the difference is one's depth of understanding.

    I'm not saying I disagree with these distinctions (because I don't disagree), I'm saying: I'm not sure why somebody would view 5th dan as necessarily being more "masterly" than 4th dan. For example, a 4th dan dojang owner is probably contributing more and thinking more about the art than a 5th dan hobbyist.
     
  2. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    Stevenage, Herts, UK
    I would say because "Master" isn't the top title. A master craftsman doesn't necessarily know everything.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,936
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    I think this would depend in part (at least for many systems) in how you define "the entire syllabus." We (like many systems) have new forms for each rank up through 9th Dan. But, frankly, there's no new material in them. They're movements and techniques that you will already know linked together in a new way, but they're not new techniques.
    I would assume (hope) that the individuals understanding of these movements would continue to improve, as would their ability to teach them, but I think it might be a stretch to consider that part of the syllabus.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,936
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    Make it more difficult... how about comparing a 25 year old 2nd Dan who competes at the national level in forms competition vs a 65 year old 7th Dan with arthritic hips.
    I think it's probably easy to guess who is likely to have the prettier kick. But I'd rather train under the guy with a deeper knowledge.
     
  5. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    43
    True, but at what point is deeper knowledge guaranteed? My impression is that in KKW TKD, pretty much anyone can get to 4th dan by showing up and trying, but beyond that, you have to be decent (in knowledge and ability) and have made some sort of contribution. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    As an aside, the "trainer for you" of course depends on your goals. If your goal is "to be a national competitor", then I think you will agree that the answer may be different that if your goal is "to learn martial arts" in general.
     
  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,936
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    I'd say... never. But I'd like to think that the odds get progressively better as rank increases.

    That's pretty much the impression I have, though I can't say from personal experience. I stopped KKW after 2nd Dan.
    I also have the impression that you can transfer rank from similar systems to the KKW, as long as you agree to teach the KKW curriculum. Although how you're supposed to have learned the KKW curriculum is a mystery to me. Combine that with their skip dan program, and the whole thing becomes a great big confusing mish mash.
     
  7. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    336
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Virginia
    I don't know that this is generally true, but certainly I'd agree that there are some masters who will promote with little rigor (or who will promote for compensation). So I agree, anybody can get a 4th dan...if one "shops around" for the right tester.

    That having been said, I don't know that most masters would promote to 4th dan merely for showing up. But there are likely some who do.

    I think that if a person has "shopped around" to find a master who will promote you to 4th dan, that same tester would be willing to promote you to 5th dan. I suspect that the testers who have low standards have low standards all around, and probably don't make a distinction between 4th dan and 5th dan.
     
  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
     
  9. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    123
    As I understand it, to transfer your rank from another TKD organization, you have to do a "special dan test", which is basically a regular dan test for that rank, done in front of a panel.

    Mr WaterGal went to the Master Instructor course they did in Denver last year, and they had some guys out from KKW offering a "special dan test" and a skip dan test the same week. Apparently, doing the instructor course was a requirement for doing a special or skip test past a certain rank, though I don't know if that's generally true, or just something they did for that event to get more people to do the Master Instructor course.

    Anyway, however you learn the KKW curriculum, you theoretically do have to demonstrate some level of proficiency in it in order to pass the test & get your rank transferred. How strict or comprehensive they are about it.... I dunno.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,936
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    The highlighted is the part I have doubts about. In the past, we've had KKW 8th and 9th Dans on this forum offering to transfer rank (I refer to it as "assimilation rank" in honor of the KKW's Borg-like nature) for just the registration fee (which is, what, $100?). As I recall (though I do not claim an eidetic memory...) no mention was made of any special tests.
    I do personally know one fellow who was a MDK 2nd Dan and did a skip dan to KKW 4th Dan without ever holding any other KKW rank. As you said, he did the KKW 4th Dan material and nothing else. I can personally vouch for his knowledge of the KKW curriculum, but he was never tested on it.
    He now runs a KKW-ish school. I say -ish because he awards KKW rank but does not teach the KKW curriculum; he still teaches the MDK curriculum.
     
  11. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Yeah, there's definitely some less than awesome promotions that have gone on.

    Now, I haven't really been following any KKW developments in the last 6 months because.... life, but I get the impression that KKW is trying to find some ways to tighten up standards on these things without making things difficult for school owners. I think that's why the master instructor course was required for the special testers - so even if you went into the special test only knowing, say, the yudanja forms through Shipjin and having some basic competency in Olympic sparring and whatever you learned in the ATA or MDK or whatever, you'd come out the end of the week having done a crash course in the minute details of all the Taegeuk forms, the history of KKW, some basic self-defense techniques(*), etc.

    (*Edit: THIS was something I found exciting - that KKW is, apparently, developing a self-defense curriculum that's not BS. I'm trying to remember the details on this, but the guy putting it together is, IIRC, the guy that heads up the program to teach TKD to the Korean Army, and he was the one that came out to Denver and taught that part of the course.)

    Edit 2: I think that requiring transfer/skip testers to test in front of an official panel, and requiring high-level transfers/skips to do the Master Instructor course, is a good compromise between "anyone can do whatever" and the severe logistical difficulty of requiring panel testing for everything above 2nd dan like they were suggesting a couple years ago. I don't know if that's something mandated by KKW, or was something decided for this event, but I'm a fan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  12. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,690
    Likes Received:
    124
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    Stevenage, Herts, UK
    We were shown a rough video (low production quality, but the entire syllabus) on the Master Instructor Course before we had our self-defence physical lesson at Kukkiwon in 2016. It really is a large syllabus of self-defence and grappling movements. I recorded it on my iPad so I have it for reference.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. skribs

    skribs 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    My Master was a martial arts instructor in the Korean Special Forces. He has a lot of non-BS self defense in his curriculum.
     
  14. Michele123

    Michele123 Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thank you to those that responded about tournaments. I decided to sign both myself and my daughter up. I’m hoping it goes well because she does have some sensory auditory stuff but our instructor assured me it doesn’t usually get too noisy. I’m looking forward to experiencing a tournament for the first time! Y daughter & I are both white belts so I’m hoping that means low-pressure. :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,936
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    He said tournaments aren't noisy? That certainly does not match my experience.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    Ah best of luck Michele! Let us know how you go, excited for ya :D
     
  17. Michele123

    Michele123 Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Tournament is scheduled for this weekend. I’ll let you know how we do.

    In the meantime I got to break boards for the first time! When I studied karate, the school I studied was all about self defense and saw board breaking as gimmicky so we didn’t do it. So this was my first experience. I was shocked at how easy it was. Like you don’t even feel the board, you just hear it snap. Crazy. I would’ve thought there was more to it than that. In any case it was pretty cool.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. TrueJim

    TrueJim 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    336
    Trophy Points:
    78
    Location:
    Virginia
    I think board breaking mostly comes in two flavors: either (1) well that was shockingly easy, or (2) it didn't break ow ow ow ow.
     
  19. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,828
    Likes Received:
    3,944
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I hadn't read any of this thread until last night. What a great read. Love it.
     
  20. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    That's awesome, well done! Every time I've broken boards I've found it to actually be harder than I thought (I could definitely feel the board..), maybe your technique is far better than mine Michele! ;)

    And I really think board breaking has massive benefits... and don't think it's gimmicky at all. Of course it's a primary demonstration tool that's used, but actually doing the break requires so much: focus, accuracy, technique, power, good stance, overcoming fear and doubt, COMMITMENT... I love it.. and would jump at the chance to do more of it.
     

Share This Page