Trying to balance out specialized classes

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Something our GM is very good at is not letting classes get stale. By in large, adult red belts & black belts have been exposed to curriculum beyond/far beyond their level. Much of it they do not get the first time around. Then as time goes by the material is circled back around to and most of the time the person sees it from a very different perspective. That little bit of exposure is a great learning tool for people who invest the time. For those that do not nothing is really lost on them from a time investment perspective.
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    "Wait, are you saying that the forms are basically exercise and have no martial value?"

    i think the jury is out on that one
    if all your doing is forms i think there is no martial benifit from them at all, beyons the gact that they are exercise, and exercise has martial benifits

    stuck in with some proper training, its hard to say they have no martial benifit, just possibly not very much, arts that dont do forms are certainly no less effective than those that do, ? and i think that is a resonabke test
     
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  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I cannot say I have ever seen a school that does only forms. It that were the case I could agree with you. The curriculum has to be comprehensive to work at all. IMHO
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't kept up, on this thread, but a few thoughts coime to mine from the posts I've read. First, on these:
    I like this idea for letting folks focus where they want, but having equivalent ranking. Someone may not want to spend a lot of time on X, so they put more time in Y. The one thing I would say is rank probably needs to require a minimum number of credits from each group.

    On to other ideas.

    What do you do with someone who just wants to do one area? I think this is a realistic question once you break things out. You may find someone who just really enjoys the forms and wants to be very good at them, but doesn't much care for sparring (or maybe for literally anything else). Doesn't sound like someone who'd be eligible for standard grading. So, do you just leave them un-ranked, or do you have some secondary ranking system they could earn in? Not sure one is better than the other. I'd tend toward the non-ranked option, but in a large enough school, it might be useful for other students to be able to recognize someone who's advanced in forms, even if they aren't in anything else.

    Also, and you've probably though about this and maybe even mentioned it here: be careful you don't over-segment. Things can be separated on paper, but it can be harder to keep them separate - while keeping the system integrated - in practice. At the very least, it would be necessary to combine topics at times, either in general classes or in some sort of cross-over class.
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like you're looking at the belt/rank as an indicator, rather than a reward. That's how I'm used to using them - you're just looking at having more than I'm used to. But it makes some sense if you think about all the ways we could ask a college student where they are in their curriculum. What year/semester are they in? What level (100/200/300/400) classes are they taking in a given subject? What is their grade point (general or in-discipline)? How many hours have they taken? How many hours do they need in their major?

    I'm not personally a fan of more belts/indicators, but if done well, I don't think it has to become a distracction. Just be aware that it could.
     
  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Fully agree. If things get overly dis-jointed from progression to progression you run the risk of a 'binge and purge' mindset where people purge what they have just learned to prepare for the next segment. It has to flow and all join together.
     
  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I do get the college comparison. And I do think most styles can disseminate their curriculum into some sort of comparative equal.
    Where the imperative lies is that in a singular style each level (100/200/300/400) builds off each other, whereas in a college environment many people have 100 level classes in 'this' subject, 200 in another subject and so on. My point being build a linear ranking system should be easier to follow.
     
  8. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well no neihher have i,( in the flesh) but its seem that those who concentrate and promote just on kata ability are not that rare, and more especially, the curriculum he is sugesting running in his club, contains only forms all the way to third dan( if you choose that route) , so if they dont exist now they will do when he starts
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I cannot say I have seen promotions ran that way as well. I do not think that is skribs plan either.
     
  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well you need to read his posts, it seems strange that your so confident in what he plans with out bothering ?
     
  11. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    What kind of school are you planning to open? I was under the assumption that you were planning to open a school that caters to children and adults (but primarily kids) like most Taekwondo schools. That doesn’t require a high rank or a fight record. I’ve yet to have anyone call or come in to my school asking about my credentials.

    Parents want to know if you’re a good fit with their kid, and they’d prefer if your school isn’t terribly far away from their house. Then they prefer if they can afford it. If you demonstrate enough value for them, they’ll find a way to afford it at almost any price you can think of.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    The way I see it right now, it's 5 credits per class, for a possible of 20 credits if you master everything. It would also probably take longer to get each credit in the same class (1 credit is just the introduction, while 5 credits is a complete understanding of the class).

    What I was thinking is have an escalating requirement to get higher dans. Originally I was thinking of squares (i.e. 1 for 1st Dan, 4 for 2nd, 9 for 3rd, 16 for 4th). Now I'm thinking something more like 1-3-6-10. Even with that last one, let's take a quick look at the options:

    1. To get 1st Dan, you would need 1 credit from any of the classes.
    2. To get 2nd Dan, you would need 3 credits in any class, 1 credit in 3 classes, or 2 credits in one class + 1 credit in another. You could be a generalist or a specialist.
    3. To get 3rd Dan, you would need to have at least 2 classes. It may be 5-1, or 2-2-1-1, or anything in between (that totals to 6).
    4. To get 4th Dan, you would need to have mastered 2 classes, or gotten a decent way through most of them. 5-5 or 3-3-2-2 are all possibilities.
    The higher numbers would be steeper, but the same concept. At some point, you will have needed to branch out into other areas in order to claim to have a better mastery of the art. I could do other things as well, like requiring a minimum rank in at least 1 class, or require a minimum number of classes, or require a different total depending on how many classes you're spread between (i.e. 8 points between 2 classes or 9 points between 3+ classes). This is all in its infancy.

    I've actually been of the belief that I could open up a generic "martial arts" school, and teach:
    • Forms class
    • Sparring class
    • Self-defense class
    And the students would think I was teaching 3 different arts.

    This is exactly it. The belt is seen as a reward by the students, but is seen as an indicator for the adults. For example, in my more comprehensive curriculum, this is how I have kicks organized by belt:
    • White & Yellow belts learn: Front Rising Kick, Roundhouse Kick, Side Kick, Pushing Kick, Stretching Kick
    • Purple & Orange belts learn: Turning Side Kick, Axe Kick, Basic Jumping Kicks, Basic Footwork
    • Green & Blue Belts Learn: Front Snap Kick, Turning Roundhouse Kick, Hook Kick, Intermediate Footwork
    • Red & Brown Belts Learn: Spinning Hook Kick, Check Kick, Crescent Kick, Tornado Kick, Back Kick, Advanced Footwork
    Someone who is a Yellow Belt isn't likely ready for the spinning hook kick or tornado kick, or the advanced footwork I'm teaching at those levels. Some might pick it up, but most beginners wouldn't be ready for it. These techniques build on each other.

    Similarly, the self-defense stuff increases in difficulty: both difficulty to execute, and difficulty to practice safely. When students have more experience and more control, they can learn the more difficult and dangerous techniques. The belt shows me they have the experience necessary to train the more advanced techniques.

    If it isn't Taekwondo, they're going to want to know what it is. Name recognition goes a long way.
     
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  13. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I kind of see Taekwondo as this disjointed thing, though. You can see in the post I just made replying to @gpseymour , I think if I were to teach different classes in "martial arts" that each focus on a different aspect of TKD, I could convince you I know 3 different martial arts, and 99% of my students wouldn't even think they all came from the same one.

    Keep in mind that promotion is rarely just about the test. Even if all I test are kata, it's the performance in class in the other things I teach that are going to earn them the right to test. If a student has learned their kata, but doesn't kick at the level I'd want them to at the next belt, then I wouldn't invite them to test until they improve their kicks.

    Under the plan in this thread, it isn't just kata that would be tested. The core class would include punches, kicks, blocks, kata, and some basic one-steps with a partner. That's the tests.

    In order to test for black belt, you'd need to have taken some time in a specialized class. In order to test for higher dans, you would need to have more experience in those classes. The goal is that those classes have objective requirements to earn your credits. The requirement for the forms class may be that you have perfected (or near-perfected) a long list of forms. Okay, that one might be promotion based primarily on kata.

    However, the others are less so:
    • Promotion through the sparring class is on your ability to apply the concepts within WT sparring
    • Promotion through the self-defense class is on your ability to properly apply each technique on an opponent when asked, as well as your ability to creatively apply them in a more alive situation (i.e. sparring)
    • Promotion through the demonstration class is on your ability to execute more difficult "trick kicks", or to perform the techniques with your partner in an entertaining way. It's based on execution within a group dynamic
    Not all of these are direct fighting ability, but they don't have to be. They each serve a purpose. These would be pre-requisites for higher rank. So yes, the only thing a 3rd Dan would have to learn from the core class is Taebaek (the third Kukkiwon form). But they would also have to demonstrate a greater mastery of 2-3 aspects of the art. Their ability to apply techniques on another person are going to be on display in getting those credits required to advance.
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I have considered this before; one of the big reasons I have stayed with the TKD I have been involved in is the diversity and openness to change and different material. And even with the available change I still tried other stuff.

    In you model I would be concerned about burnout from being too specific and rigid. And the 'binge & purge' mentality of something akin to the college curriculum style.
    That said drilling one-step technique is a very fun way to practice them and something I have only seen in a few schools.
    I look forward to hearing how you go forward.
     
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  15. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    The binge & purge mentality is what I'm trying to avoid by moving away from my Master's curriculum. He has so much in it, that every few belts you brain dump half of it to make room for the next stuff. That's one reason I want to get away from so much memorization.

    With that said, students are still able to use those techniques if asked to again (a lot better than when they first learned them). It's just they don't remember what's #1-5 punch defense for green belt test.

    That's why I want to go for lessons that have less memorization. If I teach someone a tornado kick, and they get it down, and then quit for a few years...they can quite often still do a tornado kick. I'm less concerned with a binge + purge in this case, because the technique and experience are still there, even if they don't remember every sequence.

    I actually have 3 curriculums I may choose from. The one described here, my more comprehensive curriculum...or I may even go with my Master's curriculum. I know it can lead to a successful school. My ideas aren't yet proven to work.
     
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  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Tae Kwon Skribs?;)
     
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  17. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Maybe Skribs-Ki-Do.
     
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  18. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Or Skribs Fu Do....maybe add a Te, too.

    Either way, I’m buying a patch.
     
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  19. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    What we do is to have class lessons that focus on different elements of the curriculum (like your specialized classes), and we rotate through these different lessons in our regular classes.

    The simplest way to do this is to have each week of the month have a different focus. Another way to do it is to have A and B weeks, and on week A, you do one topic on the first half of the week and then another topic the second half, and then on week B you do your third and fourth special topic.

    Then, if you wanted to have a couple of special classes every week for sparring or fitness or so forth that always teach the same thing, you could do that as well. If you wanted to require a certain amount of attendance at the special classes to be eligible for a black belt test, you could set up a Special Class attendance card for each student and track that.
     
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  20. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    You advertise based on the benefits that you can provide to the prospective student. They care surprisingly little about your rank or competition results, unless they're a high-rank already looking to continue their study, or they're trying to become a serious sport competitor. Most people are not either of these. Most people want to get some exercise, meet new people, gain confidence, defend themselves, etc.123
     
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