Then vs. Now Differences

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

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd guess there is some proportionality. If 5% (for argument) of each dan make it to each next dan, then an overall increase in numbers should result in a proportional increase at all dan levels over time.
     
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  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    very similar, but we have no experience with the blackbelt group, although I do remember seeing it and thinking how can they guarantee a belt in a specified period of time

    Also there was a special group, that was incredibly athletic, but they were doing the real flashy stuff, the breaking of boards by doing a back flip kind of thing. And they had tournament trophies, a lot of them. Then I discovered it was a "his students" only tournament that he actually held, the year I was there, in the rather large arena in the capital city near us. Also saw some ground work being taught by a teenage boy. But it was nothing special. The big kahuna there rarely teaches. His kids taught a lot and a few of his "senior students". Did get a chance to see a group of black belts train and I had to ask myself, how can you get a black belt and still not be able to throw a proper kick, and there were several in that group that couldn't throw a kick wall at all
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Black belt plan doesn’t guarantee you you’ll have any belt in any amount of time. It’s a flat fee and you train until you earn your black belt.

    Let’s say the black belt plan is $3k and you pay in cash. That covers tuition and testing fees until you pass your black belt test. If it takes you 12 months or 12 years, it’s the one time $3k payment. On paper that’s your best bet. If you calculate the $3k over 4 years and the cost of all tests, you’re saving money going that way. And if you take longer to get to black belt, then you’re saving more money. I’ve seen the numbers at that place and the other place. If you’re going to train long term and get your black belt in the quoted average of 4/5 years, the black belt plan makes financial sense.

    The problem is no one on the plan takes the the alleged average time. Once they’ve got your money, they’re not getting more tuition until your next contract. So lower the standards and speed up the pace, promote you to 1st dan, then give you a 2nd dan contract. And so on.

    The only guarantee is they want to get you into a new contract as quickly as possible without you catching on.
     
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  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Yes, but can they all throw a proper kick :D

    Interesting, but not at all surprising, based on my experience with the organization being discussed. Contracts are very VERY important to them. The only contract I ever dealt with in my over 40 years of training was with them, for the youngest. I was very happy when the year was up and I was not renewing no matter how much they wanted me to.
     
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  5. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Additionally, the parents of most of the young kids there are entirely clueless and are ecstatic, just as long as their child gets a new rank with every test.


    But with that all said, there are worse things a young child od a teenager can be involved in that that TKD school. So, although I would not recommend it, it can serve a positive purpose....but at a rather high price financially.
     
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  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Everything’s got its time and place. My issue is it’s daycare billed as a TKD place. It should be billed as a daycare/after school place with TKD.

    If you’re going to call yourself a TKD school and have those banners up with the catchphrases like SD, self confidence, et al, then make the quality of instruction your primary objective.

    The additional stuff like picking the kids up from school and bringing them to there (I’ve seen the van), homework time, playground time, et al should be a bonus.

    Deliver on the quality of actual TKD instruction, and throw in all the other stuff, and I’m not going to bash anything. In fact I’ll give them the utmost respect. With quality TKD instruction and the other stuff, the tuition is easily worth it if you can afford it. Let’s say your daughter’s Aikido school taught exactly what and how they’re teaching, but added all this stuff and charged you what the TKD school is charging; do you have any complaints? You’d definitely be getting your money’s worth. If the MA instruction is crap, there’s no way to shine it.

    Everyone’s got their thing. It’s a little cheaper than daycare, and they’re getting their black belt while they’re there ;) It’s no wonder the soccer moms are all over it. I just find it funny when they start talking to me about how good their kids are at TKD and how great the teachers are. I’ve heard that quite a few times.

    And I find it hilarious when one of my 5th grade students is a 2nd dan and it only took him or her 4 years to get to 2nd dan instead of 7 or 8 years like everyone else. I’ve seen plenty of posed pictures with nunchucks, trophies, etc. They’re the same type of pictures like little league baseball or pop warner football. Seriously. As long as they’re having fun, getting exercise, and building character, it’s all good. Just don’t take your actual skills too seriously. And don’t talk doo-doo to the wrong kid thinking you’re a real 2nd dan, because you’re in for a rude awakening.
     
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  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Hey, I come from a day when getting a Dan rank at less that 18 years old was both highly suspicious as well as damn impressive; See Benny "the Jet" Urquidez.

    I agree with what you are saying and have often wondered about how effective an elementary school black belt actually was
     
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  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I’d really like to spar with one of my 6th grade black belt students. I don’t think it would go over well with the parents and administration though :) Maybe after I type up my resignation letter and right before I hand it to my principal :)
     
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  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I am more in the "old school" camp with Dan promotions. That said we are a TKD school that promotes closer to the more modern rates. So I do feel there are some people who are not a solid Dan belt holder until 2nd Dan. I would not say it to their face but it taints the accomplishment IMHO.
    I fully support my GM so I just keep my lips tight in class unless I am approach about the matter, and do everything I can to teach them up for Dan testing.
     
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  10. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Hmm. When I started in the late 90s as a teen, we did very little sparring, and mostly kicked sheets of x-ray paper or the air. Now, we do lots of sparring and kick on foam shields and punching bags.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, I'll bite. Why x-ray paper??
     
  12. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    I guess I would say the 1st Dan then vs. 2nd Dan now is kind of a wash. When I first started and I saw all these 1st Dans and probationary black belts, I thought, wow, this is going to be a tough class. But actually it isn't so, especially since so many of them are children and even among the children, the skill level varies widely. Some of those kids can't fight their way out of a paper bag, others look crisp and have everything you would expect from an adult black belt, except for the power, which is completely expected.

    I would refine it further and say that the 1st Dan rank probably has the greatest variability in skill levels. They all had to train for the black belt test, so every black belt at my school has my respect for passing the black belt test. And it is a lot harder than, say, an advanced colored belt test. The test is physically and mentally more difficult. There is a physical fitness part that pre exhausts the students. All the forms must be performed, and they are done out of order, sometimes blindfolded, and sometimes with the first movement done the opposite direction ("to the right" is how they usually call that out). And sparring is a requirement for black belt. So if a person is slacking, they often drop out before they make black belt.

    That said, some people noticeably back off their training after making black belt, while others (sadly not a majority) push ahead and continue to get better. And some people just sort of flat line somewhere between probationary black belt and 1st Dan while others keep going. I have seen it. Don't know if folks met the limits of their talent, or just lost the drive to get better. I fully expect I will reach some end point like this some day, probably somewhere between 1st and 2nd Dan, but we will see. I am only a few months into my second year of training. The last time around, I lost that drive to improve about halfway into my third year of training, but that was ages ago.

    On a side note, there is a guy who comes to class and his 10 year old daughter trains, too. They are both probationary black belts. He told me his daughter wants to quit. Funny thing is, I could tell even before he told me. What do you do in this situation? I would probably let her quit, whether or not she makes 1st Dan. Because I don't think she is very good, even accounting for her age, and apparently she is aware enough to know that as well. Way back in my past, a department head used to say, if it isn't worth doing, it isn't worth doing well. I would reverse that and say that if it isn't worth doing well, it isn't worth doing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    With the way kids come and go and never learn how to stick with something to the end, I would encourage the daughter to stick it out. Teaching kids is really tough at times, especially when the shine has worn off a little and things get a little tougher at the advanced levels. Hopefully that would also be motivation for the dad as well.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Man, I haven't thought about kicking x-ray paper in a while. Good times.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this is very situational. If the kid has no real interest, there's not much harm in them quitting. If they quit because it gets hard, because they get discouraged, or because they're not good (even though they have interest) that might be more problematic.
     
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  16. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    This was from the time before the "Double Paddle" type which make a nice sound if you hit the right. X Ray paper can make a nice sound when you hit it correctly.
     
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  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    In my youth kids were sometimes told "if you start something, you will finish it". What are your thoughts on this ideality?
     
  18. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Master of Arts

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    It's cos you never, EVER know whether there's an x-ray paper waiting for you round the street corner.....
     
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  19. mrt2

    mrt2 Purple Belt

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    But what does that mean in the context of martial arts? In other activities such as school, or team sports, you tell your kid to stick it out till the end of the season, or finish the class. But in Martial arts, where a kid has already done it for a couple of years, or maybe even 4 or 5 years, and is ready to move on? Stick it out till 1st Dan? 2nd Dan? There is no end point. And as we discussed in the "when will you quit?" thread, almost everybody eventually quits.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    For our school back when we used them, the roughly 8"x14" x-ray papers were free. They are light and easy to hold, and as others have said, make a certain when you hit them correctly.
     

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