Kukkiwon – do we really need it?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Markku P, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I have been thinking about this for some time now. Do we really need the Kukkiwon anymore? Just think about it. What is its purpose? What can a normal Taekwondo student get from it? Perhaps it would be better if we would have just one main organization like WTF and everything else would be subordinated to it. Let me explain what I mean. Most of us (instructors) have black belt tests for our students, then we file application forms for the black belts, we pay and send all the papers and photos to the Kukkiwon. After a couple of months we get our certificates.
    What’s wrong with this picture?

    They don’t know anything about my students, what their technical level is or for how long they have trained in Taekwondo. They just send certificates and get money.

    I personally feel that there is something wrong with this. What happens with all the money? Is our money helping the development of Taekwondo?

    I don’t think so…

    Also, the Kukkiwon has rules on how you should conduct a black belt test and what the minimum requirements are. But I know for a fact that in many cases they have not followed those requirements. They say that you have to know the forms and do some breaking, but I know many black belts who don’t know any poomsae or haven’t done any breaking at all.

    Now some might argue that it’s impossible to control the student’s technical level. Really? With modern technology we can do many things. We can send some videos freely via the Internet, send DVDs or some of the instructors from the Kukkiwon can do random tests.

    [​IMG]

    Now you might, again, argue that it will take too much money and man power. But…we are sending lot of money to Korea so they should be able todo something!

    Even just random checking…

    I can take some examples from my home country Finland. There are quite many black belts and some high ranking black belts who didn’t need to doany physical test for their Dan tests! (even high Dan tests) Their Instructor who lives in Korea just sent the papers to them! Then I hear them comments that “our teacher knows our level” or “He knows what is best for us”.

    Well.. There is one small problem. The Kukkiwon rules clearly say that you have to do a PHYSICAL test for your Dan test…(or at least it was mandatory at that time. I don’t know what the rules say today because for some reason I can’t get access to their web-site as I write this.)
    OK, I just don’t understand why we have to send so much money to an organization located in Korea, and if we are completely honest they are notdoing much for the development of Taekwondo. I know they arrange some seminars etc. But we still have to pay a lot of money and all that money that they are getting from all over the world should be used to do much more for Taekwondo.

    My conclusion is that the Kukkiwon should really make some big changes and not be afraid to make some really radical developments. I know there are some really great masters and grandmasters there but the direction in which we are going is just destroying Taekwondo as a martial art.



    Yours,

    Markku P.
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Personally, i like the concept of what the Kukkiwon does. But i do not believe the Kukkiwon needs to be more than an Organisation. Right now, its a glorious building. I see little need for such a thing, unless im missing the point. There needs to be SOMEONE setting the Standards, but... Theres many sides to this, actually. Ill leave it at that, and allow people who function partly with the KKW to answer - This is more their debate
     
  3. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    This is a topic that has been done to death. Why rehash it again?

    The KKW establishes the core curriculum of the style of TKD. It helps provides a certification process for instructors to expand their knowledge of the art itself. WTF only provides a rules and regulations for the sport itself. Seperate of the two is a good thing. WTF at its core should only be focusing on the progression of the sport itself. However, it seems more and more that WTF wants to over step its bounds in trying establish standards in forms.

    If there is something wrong with the picture, get prettier students. :) Seriously though what problem do you have with the process? Some tech & vocational schools do the same thing. They train students, give them their test and then send the paperwork off to a certification center to have the students certified. Why not just have them do their own thing?

    They don’t know anything about my students, what their technical level is or for how long they have trained in Taekwondo. They just send certificates and get money.

    Why?

    Now you might, again, argue that it will take too much money and man power. But…we are sending lot of money to Korea so they should be able to do something![/quote]

    Seriously? Let's low ball a figure and say that within one week you, the KKW, would receive 300,000 videos via snail mail, e-mail, skype, etc...requesting review of testing. How do propose to handle all of this? Keep in mind that this is not a one time a year thing, but to be constantly bombarded with such items on a weekly basis. Any server you choose to use would most likely crash and you would have to higher a two shift staff just to attempt to keep up in judging these things. And how many testings can you honestly sit through in one day without your mind turning in slush?

    Are you willing to pay for the KKW instructors to come over and do "random" testings?

    Can I ask you how much you pay for your KKW membership? Oh wait...KKW doesn't have a membership. How much do you pay for your WTF membership?

    Also how much do you pay for your certifications? If you pay KKW prices then you know as well as I that there is not much money to be made there. One 1st Dan certification is roughly $50.00. This gives you the cert, a card and a listing in the database. This also provides for the mailing to get it back. So again, let's low ball the estimate in putting this together. You have the paper and the id card probably costs them $10.00 at most. Then you have to higher someone to do data entry so lets say $.50 of fee goes to that (since you are looking at lot of these to be processed). Finally to ship it back is around $10.00. So now your "profit" is $50-20.50= 29.50. So TKD will make a total profit of $29.50 per 1st dan. Naturally I did not include other expenses such as utilities, other personnel, etc.

    This also does not include such things as the World Hanmadang in which you are only require to pay for your trip to get to the place and I believe they foot the bill for your stay.

    Then that is the fault of the instructor, not the KKW. Now if these people were to actually go to the KKW and test, they would find themselves in a world of hurt when they fail.

    The answer is simple. If you are unhappy and feel that there is no recourse to satisfy your discontent, then leave. Do not test your people under KKW TKD. Rip up your KKW certs since they obviously are meaningless to you and move on and do your own thing. And no I'm not trying to be a smart *** here. I am simply stating that if you are doing something that makes you unhappy, then stop doing it.

    People destroy things. Inanimate entities like the KKW do not. The blame you are looking to place should be towards individuals.
     
  4. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    Thank you for your post. I will make more comments little later but for this I can answer now. For using Kukkiwon Certificates I don't have any other choices. We are member of national federation and they only accept ITF or Kukkiwon certificates. ( we have to be a member if we wish to get money from goverment or city )

    /Markku P.
     
  5. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    Actually I am ready to pay :) if we can also arrange "mini seminar or something like that... In the past I have paid 1000-3000USD ( + traveling, hotels etc. )for instructors.

    /Markku P.
     
  6. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    Just curious: Why do you need money from the government or city to run your own dojang? In essence, are your country's taxpayer's being forced to support you? If so, why?
     
  7. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I don't need money but I would be foolish to say No. We can get money for competitions, rents (50-80%), sometimes we can hire instructors as full or part part time. We can get some small money from each class we held. Downside is that our personal Tax rate is quite high..( but that I don't mind, we have free education and health care etc.)

    Every sport can get money from government and the city. In the long run it will be cheaper because all the health benefits of training.

    /Markku P.
     
  8. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I don't know how many people are working for Kukkiwon so I don't know what kind of manpower they have..but if they get 300 000 request in one week or month, then they should have enough money to hire people?

    I also mentioned that I don't know the answers and perhaps we should find it? Also, if you have rules and regulations, then you should have some way to control that people will follow those?

    I am very curious how much money Kukkiwon is getting world wide? Why this is information is not public? I would like to see how many people are getting their Dan certificates via Kukkiwon per year?

    By the way,( Any server problems then answer is Amazon S3..I think )

    /Markku P.
     
  9. MAist25

    MAist25 Blue Belt

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    Nobody's forcing you to send your money to the Kukkiwon... If you don't want to then dont, it's pretty simple.
     
  10. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    It's not so simple..just read my previous answer. I am forced to pay to Kukkiwon and if I wish my students to attend certain international tournaments then they need Kukkiwon certificates. ( I have some students who are fighting in International tournaments )

    /Markku P.
     
  11. miguksaram

    miguksaram Master of Arts

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    Why do you feel that putting everything under WTF would be better? You are still sending your money to the same org. The difference is the acronym being used.
     
  12. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I think today WTF is more open and more democratic than Kukkiwon. ( but I have to say WTF has been lately quite "unprofessional" )

    /Markku P.
     
  13. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    We broke away from the kukkiwon many years ago, for many reasons but mainly because there was just no real reason to be a member that the club could see. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength and now has thousands of members and is flourishing. Im not saying anyone should quit the kukkiwon but just that they are not the be all and end all, you can exist quite successfully without being involved in the kukkiwon. If your club wishes to compete at the olympics then its necessary otherwise I dont see any real advantage to being a member.
     
  14. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    interesting.
     
  15. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    As I haven't posted on this thread yet, I thought I'd share my opinion. Do we need Kukkiwon - short answer "no". Longer answer...

    I have Kukkiwon certification and wouldn't think about giving my students anything different. While the certificate is very much honour-based (the KKW trusts their high ranks to promote people to high ranks to promote people to lower ranks - all without having seen most of them), it's better than the alternative - no standard certification at all.

    The educational opportunities of the Kukkiwon (FIC as well as other training sessions that can be attended by visitors) are outstanding.

    I also like Kukkiwon certification as it's a way of donating money to support our art. Sure I could donate money to any other cause, but Taekwondo is something I love and it's nice to be able to support in some small way and pay back for the joy and changes it's made in my life.

    So, do we need it? No. But I wouldn't want to change or drop it... I particularly wouldn't like to abolish it and move everything under the WTF as the WTF really does seem to have a very sport-based attitude rather than a martial art-based one (I'm not talking about what they're responsible for, but the way they act - WTF is for the good of recognition of the sport, KKW is for the good of the art/people in it).

    As an aside, there was a rumour circulating a while ago that the KKW was considering changing the rules so only KKW certified instructors could recommend for promotion. That would possibly be a good step in trying to ensure everyone is closer to the standards. Personally I wouldn't like to see it happen just yet as I'm not a KKW certified instructor (yet) and have only just reached a rank where I can recommend people for KKW certification ;-)
     
  16. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    very good answer. I agree. and like Miguksaram said, this has been discussed before, but, it still comes up everynow and then even within the same individual. I know I have found myself asking myself "what for?". I know i could make my own certificates and pocket the profit instead of supporting the Korean GDP (dont be fooled, it is a gross domestic product of the country and a HUGE export to the world...)

    But we have to remember as Instructors, it is OUR responsibilty to ensure the person we are promoting "meets" KKW standards. So the blame is not on the KKW. the instructors who promote also represent the KKW and are to blame if not following the standards.

    Eliminating the KKW would only move us (taekwondo) closer into a SPORT ONLY and no longer help standardize what is taught. Instead we would all be testing based off of competition skill and experience if we even tested at all.

    I think the real question is: when taekwondo looses Olympic status, will we need the WTF anymore?
     
  17. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    I personally don't have anything against Kukkiwon but I hope they can be more open. How they select members of board, statistics, finance etc.
    Because they are getting lot of money all over the world. I also feel we have to continue with our conversations (about Kukkiwon) for sake of openness.
    ( Sorry all my mistakes with my English, normally I ask my wife to check everything..:) )

    /Markku P.

    PS: I still feel it's wrong to demand that you need to have Kukkiwon certificates WTF sanctioned competitions.
     
  18. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I think it is absolutely ridiculous that someone needs a kukkiwon cert to compete. As long as someone shows up to the event and competes within the ruleset, then why should they need a kukkiwon cert? I couldnt care less if they've never done a days tkd training in their life, provided they play by the rules they should be allowed to compete. I am competing in a marathon in a couple of months and I dont need certification from a "marathon running org" to be allowed to compete. Me thinks money plays a part here.
     
  19. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    and they can. at any open or local event.

    however to compete at a WTF Sanctioned event, 1 must have a KKW. just imagine if every homemade basketball team showed up at March madness, without being a sanctioned College team. How can 1 enforce a ruleset if there is no "certified standard" to play by. so the AND1 boys and city streetball crews would play against the TOP college teams with no basis for rules or consequences.
     
  20. Markku P

    Markku P Blue Belt

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    Like most people know Dr. Un Young Kim was the President of Both the Kukkiwon and WTF at same time, perhaps it had something to do with it? :angel:
    When I spoke people who are involved a national sport federation, they felt it was really weird that people have to pay money to separate organization (aka Kukkiwon Dan certificate) to be able to compete..

    /Markku P.123
     

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