One small step closer...

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by serietah, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Congratulations! Tournaments should always be fun, unless sparring. ;) If you are receiving your BB soon, what is the level 1 test?
     
  2. Bruce7

    Bruce7 Brown Belt

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    thank you
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    A fund raising tool that a lot of schools use. They have lots of 'mini-tests' between the actual tests.
     
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  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You said that very politely.
     
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, there's nothing inherently wrong with it. Commercial schools have bills to pay, so they do what they must.
    Now, personally, I wouldn't do it. I'd just charge a price that allows me to pay the bills without nickle and dimeing students. At least I think that is what I would do. I've never run a commercial school, so it's possible I might decide that I have no choice but to offer low class fees and then sneak in extra bills. I don't think I would, but never having been in that position, I have to admit it's possible.
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That has been my view, too, though I've heard some well-reasoned arguments that it's just as fair with the testing fees, and probably a bit less expensive for folks like me who are slower than usual passing through the ranks (so testing less frequently). I actually went farther and kept prices static for each individual student (easy to do with a small program), so that newer students paid whatever the current price was, but long-term students paid the price they entered on.

    But I never really had to worry about paying bills (either the school's or my own), so I had some leeway to do whatever I wanted with it. I'll be interested to see if my thoughts change now that I'll be teaching inside an ostensibly commercial dojo (the owner doesn't really care if she makes money with it, but still has all the bills of a storefront, etc.).
     
  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    In all fairness, some places don’t charge for that. They’re the exception and not the norm, but they’re out there.

    My former organization did in-between kyu promotions testing. You got an electrical tape strip on your belt if you passed the kata test, and another one for other standardized stuff. 2 strips and you were eligible to promote. No charge. That works at the kyu level. I don’t know how I’d feel at the dan level. We didn’t have them at dan levels. My current organization doesn’t do any in-between testing at any rank.

    There’s a local TKD chain who has a re-certification test for black belt every 6 months or so. And yes, they collect a fee every time. And yes, their tuition is also the highest in the area. And yes, the level of instruction and standards are awful.
     
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  8. Azulx

    Azulx Black Belt

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    There's a commercial chain TKD by me that does testing every two months and has about 18 Gup/Kyu Ranks before first dan. Then 1st dan has like 3 levels etc. Alot of testings.....
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    More often than not schools like these taint the overall pool of MA. The material taught should be the same for any given style. For example, if there are two Shotokan schools, they should both teach the same material. Yes, things will deviate with instructors, experience, etc... but there should be some inherent similarities.
    An instructor or chain may choose a more visual progression system (stripes/start/ribbons). As long as the material taught is of high quality and is not dragged out forever I have no major problem with it, even though I would not go that route. It has merit in keeping progression more organized.
    Commercially teaching Martial Arts is a service driven industry so the end product is the test. Yes this is subjective; each person will have differences in what they perceive as satisfaction. But we should all be able to test what we have been taught to other schools of similar style and feel good about our effort. That really is the bottom line.
     
  10. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    FWIW, testing fees aside, breaking a dan ranking down into a few geup levels can help to keep students motivated and moving forwards on their black belt curriculum training, much like how the different color belt rankings help keep students moving forward towards their black belt.
     
  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I like your post and hate it at the same time. :)

    By the time they get to black belt and have been at it for more than a few months at most, shouldn’t they realize that rank is and should be a side effect of working hard rather than a reason to work hard? A black belt isn’t a kyu rank anymore. When does the difference in mentality change? Should someone with the experience commensurate with 1st dan really need mini tests to prove that training is worth it? Shouldn’t they realize by that point it’s about the journey and the process and not the destination and color of fabric around their waist?

    I chased rank during my first stint in karate. Looking back, I had black belt on a pedestal and thought I’d be some sort of badass once I had it; I thought I’d be a part of some inner circle club of sorts. I went to my first black belt class all proud of myself. About 5 minutes after warmups, I realized I was still JR. I still got beat up the same way the seniors always beat me up. I was still better than the people I was better than before the promotion, and still not as good as the people that were better than me before the promotion. I was like the dog who finally caught the car he’s been chasing all those years. You know, that whole “now what the hell am I supposed to do with it?” look. I stopped chasing rank and started chasing improvement. Genuine improvement.

    I guess it’s my long-winded way of saying a black belt shouldn’t need a carrot dangling on a string in front of them to keep them going.
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Very well said. A BB should be through a certain stage of maturation. No they are not expected to be "all knowing" but they should not have to be spoon fed either.
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I can see doing this with kids who are black belts. But then again, I’m not big on kids with black belts, so it’s really a non-starter anyway. Give them a gray belt instead.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    While I agree, I can see where some folks might still appreciate the mini-tests. I think some of the difference in attitude is simply what we're used to. I find all the mid-rank testing, stripes, etc. (including in BJJ) unnecessary, but that's mostly because that's not how I trained. Our ranks got progressively harder to reach (thus, taking longer each time). By the time we got to shodan (which takes a bare minimum of a year, and closer to two for most folks), we were simply used to staying at a rank for a long time, so those pursuing nidan (which takes a minimum of 3 years) weren't phased by the wait.

    But if someone trains in a system where tests (and the indicators earned in them) are more frequent, it might be useful to maintain some frequency even at the dan levels.
     
  15. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    That's not quite what I meant. What I meant (but clearly didn't express clearly) is that I think that having the dan level material broken down into chunks can help make it seem more manageable and less intimidating, and being able to basically check off "I did this bit, I did that bit" can help keep you motivated and moving along. Just like how, if you have a big task ahead of you, making a to-do that breaks it down into steps with different deadlines can help keep you moving forward on the task, instead of procrastinating or getting intimidated & giving up.

    However, also, most TKD black belt earners are children or teens, and are not always the most self-motivated. So they may need that external push, even if as adults we may think someone that's been doing martial arts for a few years should be able to make that "to do list" themselves. A 12-year old may still be learning that skill.
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    A 12-year old should not be getting a black belt, largely for the reason you mention. They are not mentally ready.
     
  17. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That depends on what you consider a black belt to mean. There's no standard out there for what it means, so it doesn't really matter what you think a black belt means vs. what I think one means.

    The one exception to this is an either 3rd or 4th degree TKD black belt 10/11 year old that I had in my old boy scout troop. He was the least mature out of all the new scouts that came in that year. I don't care what black belt means to you, that boy should not have been a 3rd/4th degree anything.
     
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  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You are making my point. It sounds like he should not have been a black belt at all.
    Curious, did you try to use his rank as a means to point out his maturity discretions?
     
  19. serietah

    serietah Green Belt

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    Thanks everyone! It's always neat to come back after a few days and see an entire discussion has taken place that the site didn't email me about lol.

    So our black belt curriculum, for going from 1st dan to 2nd dan, has 8 levels. This isn't to collect testing fees but so there is a clear progression for each black belt. You start at level 0, the day you pass the test and receive the poom belt. From then, you start learning Koryo. Once Koryo is memorized, we start redoing Taegeuk 1. More detail, more accuracy, more sharp, and with a flowing rhythm rather than counting each move. To me, it's like putting the forms to my own internal music. I love it.

    After Taegeuk 1, we learn Palgwe 1. Then we learn Hapkido. there are 3 hapkido techniques for each level, replacing the one step sparring and self defense we learned as color belts. Each level also has its own 3 station board breaking. After a minimum of 3 months at level 0, we are eligible to test for level 1 (when we will redo Taegeuk 2, learn Palgwe 2, continue improving Koryo, and learn new hapkido and breaking). Rinse, repeat. Level 8 is for prepping for 2nd dan testing.

    As others have mentioned, even adults need some motivation sometimes too. Tips and belts and level tests aren't the actual progress, but having "something" to earn as a result of your progress feels good. Even as an adult. I have no idea what other schools tech their 1st dan black belts, but with a totally different curriculum, I could see levels not being useful. I'm not even going to join the argument over whether kids should have black belts or not.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I like that approach - start the form with distinct segments, then later learn to let it flow more.
     

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