Then vs. Now Differences

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by dvcochran, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If being a student in a class run by someone younger/less experienced/lower ranked bothers you, then yes, there is ego.
    And, the way the OP was written, it certainly implies some sort of issue with this situation. Ergo, an ego problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think he was saying having a problem with a less-tenured instructor would be a show of ego.
     
  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Likely. It is not the time in grade so much as what/how they teach. Just frustrating for this old man sometimes. The same techniques can be taught but with such a different flavor.
     
  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Had to disagree. It is more lamenting and worrying about the future. While I am there I feel a responsibility to effort change if needed. Looking for perspective to make sure I am seeing what I think I am. If you see that as ego, we disagree.
     
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  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    The OP was written very general hoping to get a broad range of ideas. You seem to have fixated on it implying there is an issue with younger students. None what so ever and not the point of the post. Please do not try to derail it. If you feel the post heading needs rewording then please say so. Again, looking for ideas.
    Since you are unaware I have the highest rank and am one of the oldest students in our schools, therefore making it seldom I get to enjoy working out with higher rank/older students, I can understand your general viewpoint. That is also irrelevant; Just looking for ideas.
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a note: you loook like you’re talking to yourself. :cool:
     
  7. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    1. I didn't do TKD 36 years ago, but I did practice Tang Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwan and my teacher was a Korean born master. I currently study ITF style TKD.
    2. I do not have a problem taking classes with a less tenured instructor. My head instructor now is Master with over 40 years experience, and he is pretty careful to train his instructors to teach to his standards. To the extent that, his son sometimes adds to the curicullum with, for example, boxing and MMA techniques, that is all beneficial in my mind, not because it will help me on my next grading, but because from the point of view of self defense, there is nothing wrong with learning to use, and defend against punches.
    3. Then vs. Now.
    Then - Classes were almost 2 hours long.
    Now - classes are just 1 hour long.
    Then - The senior student starts the class off 20 to 30 minutes of calisthenics and stretch.
    Now - Students do whatever warm up they choose before class. In actual class, the warm up generally pretty brief, since the instructors need to use most of the time to teach curicullum.
    Then - We spent a lot of time on basic punches, kicks, and blocks.
    Now - We spend a moderate amount of time of basic punches, kicks and blocks.
    Then - We rarely spent much time on the heavy bag, though we did do partner drills with pads.
    Now - We do drills on the heavy bag almost every class.
    Then - Sparring was done with minimal or no protection to the head, chest, or even groin. Also, sparring was done every class.
    Now - We spar with gloves, chest protector, head protection.shin and instep guards, and protective cups. Because of the amount of time it takes to get all padded up, we do not spar every class.
     
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  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I’ll give you somewhat or a then vs now from my uncle’s perspective. I didn’t ask him directly for this, but I’ve spoken to him about it in the past. And I’ve posted some of it here at MT. He trained TKD in Beirut, Lebanon in the 60s-70s, earning a 2nd or 3rd dan; then trained here in the late 90s-early 2000s, earning a 1st dan (perhaps unofficially? It’ll make sense)...

    Then: No kids’ classes. Most students were late teens-mid 40s.
    Now: All ages, and he felt the teachers taught everyone except the very youngest kids the same way.

    Then: They did the jumping/spinning/flashy kicks during line drills against the air for agility training purposes only. And every now and then with boards for demo purposes.
    Now: They taught those techniques as sparring and even SD techniques.

    Then: They kicked above the knee to rib and chest height regularly, and head height occasionally.
    Now: They were to try to kick head height regularly and rib/chest height occasionally. Nothing below the belt.

    Then: The dojo owner taught just about every class. A senior student would run warmup and help with beginners or full in when the head guy couldn’t teach.
    Now: The head guy isn’t much more than a name and picture. He shows up occasionally and waves to the crowd, walks a few laps around the floor during a class when he’s there, and directs black belt tests. And it’s like it’s an honor to be in the same room as the guy. Classes are taught by a bunch of different people a bunch of different ages and ranks. Teens teach some classes.

    Then: You paid a tuition rate every month that helped keep the place open and in good repair, and the head guy profited a few bucks from everyone, making it worth his time, but not making it a full time career.
    Now: Long term contracts that aren’t cheap by any means, requirements to buy new stuff constantly, in-house tournaments that cost more money, and being nickled and dimed every time you turn around. He signed a contract that was supposed to cover all fees including 1st dan (tuition and tests for a flat rate regardless of how long it took). But every few promotions required a new uniform that wasn’t included and had to be bought through them, weapons that had to be bought through them, etc. Then he passes his 1st dan test. They wanted $200 for the belt. He reminded them he was on the “black belt plan” and their reply was the belt itself isn’t included because it’s part of the uniform. He told them to keep it and never went back.

    Then: 1st dan took 5-10 years. Some people took longer than 10 years. You had to be able to fight.
    Now: They say average time is 5 years. Everyone on the black belt plan gets theirs in about 2 years. And no, they’re not getting additional nor more specialized training. They have your money and aren’t getting more, so they’re hurrying you through to get you into the next contact.

    Then: Many people failed tests. And multiple times for the same rank.
    Now: No one fails and everyone tests on time. The black belt plan people are somehow better than others and typically double promote a few times, especially earlier on.

    Then: There were 3 trophies for a competition - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. And competition was once or twice a year tops.
    Now: there’s more trophies than competitors. And there’s a tournament every month or two.

    Some of this is dojo vs dojo rather than then vs now. But there’s far, far more of the “now” people than the “then” people nowadays. I can’t speak for everywhere, but certainly everywhere I’ve been.

    Every art has this, but TKD for some reason is the standard for this. It’s called “Take My Dough” around here for a reason. And that’s not other MA stylists saying that; it’s the general public. Quite sad IMO.
     
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  9. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    Much of what you say is true, but not all. Again, my experience in the past was with Tang Soo Do, which is sort of a cousin to TKD, and Karate.

    1. Contracts. Actually, I do remember those back in the day, as well as testing fees, and tournament fees. It wasn't unreasonable, but it wasn't cheap, either.

    2. Time to black belt. For sure, there were not as many black belts then as there are now. Testing was on a 3 month schedule, and while lots of people took longer, especially as people got up to the higher ranks of red belt, and Cho Dan Bo. , it was almost unheard of to test more often. And the skill level expected for black belt back then was higher. My recollection is, testing from Cho Dan Bo to 1st Dan was anything but automatic. I would say there were a few rock stars who trained constantly who got to black belt in 3 years, but 4, or 5 years was probably more typical. I trained for 3 years and did not make black belt. By contrast now, while lots of folks drop out of TKD, most of those who stick with it make 1st Dan somewhere between 2 and 3 years. 2nd Dan takes much longer, and from what I can see, my current school's 2nd Dans are skill wise, where my former school's 1st Dans were.

    3. I don't remember a lot of folks failing tests then. And I have seen students fail now. (actually made me feel better about my current place, knowing they did have standards and would fail students if they failed to demonstrate the curriculum)

    4. Trophy inflation. yes, that is true. If you want participation souvenirs, maybe just hand out ribbons or T Shirts. I walked out of my first and only tournament since I came back with two trophies and a medal, and frankly, it was not necessary. I am sure it makes little kids feel good about themselves, but after age 7 or 8, they must realize it means nothing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Nail on the head for the most part. With the exception of BB plans and belts. It is appalling that they tried to charge him for a $10 belt after paying for a plan. Very sad. We do test every 3-4 months though not everyone test. Our GM is older but is physically there every class although does not engage with every class. He certainly isn't like the head guy you described. He is an 84 year old very educated Korean but very approachable.
     
  11. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Your #2 bullet makes some very good points. How do you feel about the 1st Dan then vs. 2nd Dan now comparison? I would say there are a close number of 2nd Dan's now compared to 1st Dan's then so is it a wash? Does this make it ok in your opinion? To the outsider this can be misleading. Korean arts in general do seem to have the ability to advance at a faster pace, but like you said few people do it as fast as possible.
    Completely agree with #4. Why an adult needs even a ribbon is beyond me. I think a teaching point in class is being missed if that is their motivation.
     
  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Yep. And to anyone else who can offer advise on the subject. It is usually how I noodle things out.
    I am usually on the back side of my busy season but was talked into taking on two additional projects, one of which has expanded and I am being asked to do more. A good amount of money to be made but it also comes at a steep price in regards to time spent the way I desire it, or any free time for that matter. So I am stressing a little across the board. When my GM intimated about classes it put me in high gear.
     
  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure counting the number of people at a given rank is useful for comparison. If the art does well, you'd expect the number of people holding any given rank to rise over time - without needing any change in standards. That not happening is likely a sign of stagnation or decline.
     
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  14. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Yup, except we did not have competitions 40 years ago, and you tended to past tests, however you also only tested when the head of the school thought you were ready. It was not based on the amount of time you were at the school or how many classes you had taken, only on what the head guy thought. Things could be very different with him now, he is still teaching, but I can only go by what I experienced.

    Another thing, Olympic TKD was on the horizon and a group an the school was interested and wanted protective gear. Mr Kim thought that was pretty funny, because there was no padding in a fight. But he did split the class to those who were interested in the possible Olympic stuff and those that were interested in the regular stuff. It was the choice of the student.
     
  15. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    Drink breaks, we added drink breaks in classes, Didn't have them 30 years ago.
     
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  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It’s dojo to dojo, and both are extreme opposites, but that was his experience.

    But his then and now are closer to the norm overall than away from it IMO. Just what I’ve seen. Maybe I’m living in a vacuum, maybe not.
     
  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    You know the “now” place I’m referring to, and many of the others around here either came from that place or are using their tricks.

    How far off is his “now” in your experience?
     
  18. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    How far is Seoul, South Korea from Washington DC.

    Never once, when I was in TKD, did they ever give a belt, based on your good deed points and deny you a belt because you don't have those good deed points.... of course there were no kids classes to do that in either.
     
  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Agree, but there is a significant drop-off between 1st & 2nd in any style I can think of so it would not stay proportional. TKD in particular skews the numbers. If the number at all ranks do not increase I agree that would indicate decline.
     
  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I think you misunderstood my question. I meant how similar was my uncle’s experience at the local school to your daughter’s experience at that same local school.

    I know the answer from our chat elsewhere. Just clarifying for those who are reading this.
     

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