Kukkiwon certification

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by J. Pickard, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. J. Pickard

    J. Pickard White Belt

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    Looking to get Kukkiwon certified and be able to help my students do the same. A little background: I have trainined Chung Do Kwan TKD for 20 years and my school is primarily a CDK TKD school that incorporates concepts of other systems I currently train or have trained in the past. We focus on the practical side of martial arts and not so much on sport; we allow trips, takedowns, and punches to the head when free sparring above 7th gup. We follow Kukki poomsae (taegeuk) but incorporate some karate Kata from back in the early days of Chung Do Kwan such as Bassai (balsek), Empi (yumbee), and Kushanku (Kosokun). I have been certified By Chung Do Kwan up to 4th dan but never opted for Kukkiwon certification when it was offered for no reason other than the extra cost and I had no additional money. Due to what I felt was a growing cult mentality, declining standards, and a very closed mindset my school left the Chung Do Kwan last year. Now The only certificates I can offer my students are our own schools certificates (which seems to be fine for our students) but I would like to be able to offer our black belts the opportunity to get international recognition through Kukkiwon certification if they want it.

    Hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Here is the Kukkiwon main website: World Taekwondo Headquarters (kukkiwon.or.kr)
    I believe it is Watergal that has experience in this so will hopefully chime in.
    I feel certain you would have to go this route or something similar: http://www.kukkiwon.or.kr/front/pageView.action?cmd=/eng/evaluate/promotion_test
    Is there a Kukkiwon school reasonably close to you? Preferably one with an older Korean instructor of higher rank than yourself? They should be a good source of information and may be a much easier path to utilize them through the transference.

    But I have to ask, why not try to move into the ITF vein? Correct me it I am wrong but is it not similar to your Chung Do Kwan background? May be an easier transition.

    I have a deep WT/Kukkiwon background but we are rather eclectic, similar to your description less some of the forms you mention. We are historically Moo Duk Kwan and closer align this way over pure WT/Kukki schools.
    All that to say I hope and encourage you to keep your CDK roots and not change you way of teaching. I think we all realize the biggest impact WT/Kukkiwon has had is in the competition side of things. But I will rather loudly tell you beyond that I find it lacking. It is slowly getting better but has a long way to go. It is just such a big machine that is very hard to get around and still say you are TKD anymore.

    Welcome to the forum. I hope you stay in touch.

    If you are in the southeast I may be able to help me. PM me if you wish.
     
  3. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    FAQs

    Chung Do Kwon is listed as one of the available Kwons you can transfer in. However, the highest you can transfer in at is 3rd Dan. After that, This is better than if you were with ITF, ATA, etc., where you would probably need to start at 1st Dan with KKW. It appears you can then test for 4th Dan, but that might be a skip dan test.

    You would also then need to take the Kukkiwon Master License Course.

    Keep in mind that this website does not appear to have been updated since 2017, so it is possible the information is out-of-date.
     
  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    @skribs , is this information from the Kukkiwon website? If so, this is another good reason the OP may be better off getting with a local KKW school and working it out that way.
     
  5. J. Pickard

    J. Pickard White Belt

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    We already do Kukki TKD poomsae (taegeuk poomsae and kukki yudanja) and the head of the Chung Do Kwan association I was a part of also worked directly with Kukkiwon so I am more familiar with them than ITF.

    Thanks for all the info everyone.
     
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  6. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Kukkiwon does, or at least did as of a few years ago, offer special transfer/assimilation testing for people in circumstances like yours. You'd take a test in front of a panel of KKW masters, and if you're successful, you'd get your non-KKW TKD rank "transferred" into a similar KKW rank. My other half took the Kukkiwon Master Instructor course in Denver a few years back, and they were offering this test at the same event.

    I did a quick google search, and I'm honestly not sure if this is still available. There's an American group called the WTMU that organizes some TKD instructor/ref/etc training events, and they do show on their website that "Kukkiwon Assimilation Test" is is something they offer, but they don't have any upcoming events listed (possibly for obvious reasons). You can check out their site here: https://www.wtmu.org/programs. It would probably be worth dropping them a line.

    You'll also want to take the Kukkiwon Master instructor course. Kukkiwon is going to start requiring that you have passed this class in order to promote students to black belt, I think starting later this year. It's basically a 3 day class that goes over the Kukkiwon curriculum, to make sure everyone's on the same page, and some other things like history and standards and such. When Mr WaterGal did it, they had a Korean army general teach some self-defense techniques that he was trying to get made into part of the KKW curriculum, but I'm not sure if that's a standard part of it.

    Once you get your KKW 4th dan and master's license, you can register on the Kukkiwon Member System (KMS) website, which is a site that lets you submit black belt certs for your students online.

    Edit: I realized that I'm assuming, here, that you're American. If you're not, you may want to contact your national organization for KKW TKD. My understanding is that in a lot of countries, the national organization handles these things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  7. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    The information is from the link at the top of my post.
     
  8. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    The Kukkiwon Kwan transfer information posted above is correct. The reason it's limited is (in my guess) it's very common to have Kwan ranks be one rank higher than your Kukkiwon, so if they allow transfer ranks from Kwans in that case people can jump to higher ranks without testing (as sometimes Kwan rank is given as a friendship rank, rather than tested for - the Kwan HQs want it to be tested for, but that's not what always happens).

    I'm a Changmookwan 7th Dan which I tested for under my late instructor, but if the Kukkiwon allowed crossover of higher dan Kwan ranks, I could jump to 7th Dan Kukkiwon and then I'm sure there's someone out there that would give me my Changmookwan 8th Dan as a friendship rank. Now, personally, I wouldn't do that - but I can imagine some people would.

    So they won't let you crossover to master rank. So the OP would be able to cross over to 3rd Dan Kukkiwon, but therefore not promote anyone to Kukkiwon rank. When they get to 4th Dan they could, but as @WaterGal correctly said, they are bringing in the requirement to have a Kukkiwon Master certificate (which is a 5 day course if taken in Korea) so you'd need that in place too.

    The self-defence syllabus is part of current Kukkiwon syllabus (at least we were told so at the course in Korea in 2016), but the official professionally produced video isn't available yet. I took a video of the rough-cut of the entire syllabus (filmed in a few masters' dojangs).

    Hope this helps fill in any gaps, if not, I'm happy to answer where I can or find out if I can't answer

    (Kukkiwon-certified 3rd and 2nd Class Master, Kukkiwon 6th Dan and Kukkiwon-certified Poom/Dan Examiner)
     
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  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Informative.
    To be clear; the International Taekwondo Master Course outlined on the kukkiwon.org website and the courses outlined on the WTMU.org website are two different thing. Correct?
     
  10. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    The master course should be the same thing, it's just that the WTMU is organizing them in the US so Americans don't have to fly to Korea to take it.
     
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  11. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Oh, I almost forgot! I saw a video from Kukkiwon a few months ago, which said that Kukkiwon is going to start offering the lecture part of the Master course over the internet. So you could take most of the class that way, and then there will be some other part that you need to go do in-person after.

    I'm looking at the Kukkiwon website now, and it does look like they're hyping this online course now.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I hope you can pass what you find along.
     
  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, I just love the dogpile of helpfulness in this thread. Well done, all.
     
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  14. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I wasn't aware there was an official Kukkiwon self-defense syllabus. As far as I was aware, the requirements basically boiled down to: Taegeuks (and Yudanja for black belts), WT sparring, and then whatever the Master wants to do for everything else.
     
  15. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Oh hell no!

    The self-defence syllabus includes "traditional" Taekwondo self defence like wrist releases, collar releases, wrist locks, elbow locks and knife defence, but definitely now officially has:

    * More realistic applications of traditional Taekwondo blocks and strikes
    * Breakfalls
    * Takedowns (and takedown defences)
    * Chokes (guillotine, arm triangle and rear naked)
    * Ground positional changes (e.g. from being in full guard to side control)
    * Ground submissions (e.g. armbar, Americana)

    They showed us a video of the masters involved demonstrating every element, but they were shot in different dojangs and had lots of background noise. They said to not share the video as they are going to produce a professional one and they didn't want their "rough version" being people's official view of Kukkiwon, but as we were master course attendees it was fine. They were OK with me videoing it on my iPad for personal use too, so I have the detail on video still.

    Also, they changed the way one-step sparring is done - it always used to be that the attacker went back in to a long stance low block, shouted, then waited for the defender before punching. More recently a lot of dojangs did the attack and defence from Junbi (joonbee), with the same warning shouts going on. The current standard is both are in a right foot back sparring stance, at the start of the "set"/"session" the attacker shouts, the defender shouts and then no more warning shouts before each attack during the pairing. They take it in turns to attack and should be switched-on enough to know after they've just tried to attack, their opponent will be coming next without needing a warning shout. The shouts right at the start of the set are to ensure both partners are focused and aware of what they're doing. If there was no warning shout at the very start, one of them could have heard "one step sparring" and the other was turning to the master to say "sorry sir, I missed that, what drill are we doing?" and get punched in the head.

    Only right hand punch attacks are done. I questioned this on the master course in 2016, whether it was definitely right hand only and if so why; and they said "yes, right hand only. 95% of attacks on the street are a right hand punch, so we train 100% of the time for the common attack. If we didn't, we'd have to split 50:50 to get both sides trained well, and then we're training too much for an uncommon attack for it to be natural. Also, if someone attacks left handed, you'll naturally deal with it, even with basic techniques, once you've got used to someone trying to punch you and defending it, even if you're used to the other hand".
     
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  16. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    For those wanting to learn more about the master course, the WTA website is the official place. WTA stands for World Taekwondo Academy and is a department of Kukkiwon (although I believe the WTA offices are now in the Taekwondowon building, although they may have changed back recently - I believe there's some politics involved there). http://wta.kukkiwon.or.kr/en/trainingProcess/masterCourse?menuid=1073&topMenuid=1072

    I attended the course in Korea twice - 3rd Class as a 5th Dan in 2013, and 2nd Class as a 6th Dan in 2016. My next time to qualify won't be until I get my Kukkiwon 8th dan many years away :) I may do a "refresher course" between now and then though, just to stay up to date. The same course, but no final written exam or physical test.

    I kept diaries of each of my time on the courses, if anyone wants to read more:

    Diary of Foreign Taekwondo Masters Training Course, Korea 2013
    International Master Instructor Course, Korea 2016
     
  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Politics in KKW TKD? Shocking!!!

    The 'vagueness' and indeterminate nature of things not specifically involved with competition (forms/sparring) has been an ongoing theme which I have never understood it.
     
  18. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I'm curious now how my Master's curriculum, or the one I'm developing, compares to the official one. Although this is still the first I've heard of there being an official self-defense curriculum.

    We don't have any ground-fighting in our curriculum, nor do we have collar releases. We don't have much in the way of chokes, either. (I have a few more in mine than my Master does in his). We do have a lot of wristlocks and arm locks, and a few situations you didn't mention (i.e. body grabs, gun defense).

    I do disagree that you would "figure out" how to do left-hand punch defense on the fly. I do agree it's easier to learn once you know right handed, but that's something to figure out in the safe environment of training, instead of on the street. I also find it odd for Taekwondo, since we train 50:50 in kicks and punches ourselves.
     
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  19. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I thought about that a lot after being told it, and where I came down to is this:

    Let's assume we wanted to train to defend either side punch we'd need to split the time 50:50. That gives us equal chances with either hand. Now, let's assume only one defence technique - we train them equally and all is well. However, students would get very bored very quickly and wouldn't bother (or masters wouldn't make them). So we have to have a good variety of them to stave off boredom. So now we're at "many" techniques and 50:50 split. If practicing a given technique many times makes it more natural/fluid, then we'd be wasting 45% of them on a hand that's unlikely to come. Given that an inward block (with either blocking hand to either striking hand) followed by a straight punch works, a 5% chance of a left hand defence has a working counter, and doesn't need the variety the other hand got so you don't just practice that one for many many hours. In reality the best defence to a punch is something super simple - parry and strike (and strike again if needed), all the other techniques are for interest and avoiding boredom.

    So I kinda got on board... Even practicing 100% right handed will give you the reaction speed for a left hand punch coming, the most basic defence will come naturally, so no need to waste 45% of time, or reduce the syllabus lots in order to train both hands equally (given X hours in class you can fit in Y defence techniques if one handed defending or 1/2 of Y defence techniques if you want both hands equally).
     
  20. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    My plan is to start with right-side only defenses, and then around red or brown belt to add in left-side defense. Personally, I find the 95% number suspect as well, because many people are trained in arts that include the jab.

    There is one thing that worries me about this conversation: am I going to fail the Master course because I don't know how to do an Americana or ground-fighting position changes? Since my goal is to become a Master and open my own school, I kind of feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm not going to qualify.123
     

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