What should a TKD Black Belt know? What should a TKD Black Belt learn?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a philosophy I followed as a student (I'd hang out a while after getting all the material, then test, rather than testing as soon as possible), and fits what I think testing "should" be...which is purely my opinion, of course.
     
  2. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That progression works well. Essentially, you've introduced (and started testing) early. The real test comes later, as you expect each level to show more development of the technique. That's in line with what I was saying - I just might not test it formally the first time (though I do have some things I test early that way). Mainly, I don't like to see things just prepared for a test. I like to see the emphasis on the class and progression, and the test is just verification.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    One thing I've done in my testing is add sparring at every level. The sparring requirements progress, which lets me see the progression of their skills. This goes along with the arm-flapping requirements (thanks @wab25 - I'll be using that for a long time!), which still exist, even with my approach. I really assess 3 things:
    1. Technical progress (this is partly correct arm-flapping, partly actual understanding of the principles)
    2. Fighting/defensive progress (this is mainly in the sparring and in simulation defense lines)
    3. Personal progress (everyone has to progress every rank, even if they were good enough 2 ranks ago to pass this one)
    A strength in one area can offset a weakness in another. "Just good enough" in all 3, isn't quite good enough. And yeah, that's very subjective.
     
  4. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    How do you handle the sparring requirements?
     
  5. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    In my opinion....


    What should a TKD Black Belt know?


    How to fight and how to kick.

    What should a TKD Black Belt learn?

    Everything else that they possibly can.

     
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  6. paitingman

    paitingman Purple Belt

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    Belts should reflect a level of competency.
    If you get bogged down on curriculum-based belt progressions, students progress but get caught just learning new material (new forms, new techniques, new step sparring, whatever you can come up with).
    White belts should learn the basic stances and kicks, and once they have shown proficiency, you give them a yellow belt and they started doing the same kicks as everyone else.
    All train roundhouse and sidekick together, and all practice 360 roundhouse and back kick together. Everybody spars together.
    By the time you are brown belt or black belt, you have a great 360 or a great back kick. And you are comfortable sparring.

    Every rank you learn a new form, new step sparring, but the punching/kicking and sparring training are the same as everyone else.
    While lower ranks are still training their kicks, upper ranks can delve into details of kicking and sparring or work on wrist lock and throwing techniques (other elements to fighting).

    Black belts should be able to show their knowledge of the material (forms, step sparring, etc.) and really just show a level of proficiency that reflects how they have been training these same kicks for the number of years they've put in.
    Your sparring should look like you've been sparring for years. lol.
    That's really all for us.
     
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  7. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    This can depend on the size of your school. My old school, this is how we did things, because we had 1 class with about 20 people in it. The school I'm at right now has somewhere in the range of 150-200 students, split into 10 different classes based on age and rank. So our blue belts are only training with blue belts, our red belts only with red belts.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    At a few weeks in (supposed to be 5-10 weeks in, but varies by need), there's a test I call "foundation". There's no belt for this test, I just won't progress to the formal NGA curriculum until they pass it. Part of this test is two 30-second rounds of "defensive sparring". That means no offense, just controlling space and angle by blocks, jamming, and footwork - the other person is in constant "attack" mode, but very light and technical.

    For yellow, it's the other side of the same test. This should be about a year in, so they have plenty of time to get there. It's a test for being able to maintain pressure with reasonable attacks (rather than flailing aimlessly) and with lots of control.

    From there, each rank (blue, green, purple, and brown) adds a level of difficulty. First it's full sparring, then we add grappling, then ground rounds. For black - if I ever get anyone there - it's 10 1-minute rounds of moderate MMA-style sparring (it can go to the ground).
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not a fan of upper ranks never training with lower ranks (it robs the lower ranks of the experience), but it's good for upper ranks to have time together. That can be hard to do in smaller schools, and larger schools it gets hard to manage mixed classes.
     
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  10. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Well, if you are going to use it, get it right. It was arm and leg flapping requirements. ;)
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, sir.
     
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  12. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    The "Junior Black Belts" (Red 2-stripe, the belt right before black belts) and black belts assist with the classes, so there is a little bit of that going on. And we do have make-up classes on the weekends which are a catch-all. But we have way too many people to try and just randomly sort them into different classes.

    The other side is that we start kids as young as 4. Where most classes are by "kid" and "teen + adult", the white and yellow belts are further broken up into "little kid" and "big kid". Those 4 & 5 year olds are often intimidated by the 10 & 12 year olds in the big kids class, or intimidated by all the higher belts when they first start. The same thing happens when they move into purple belt, which is now 4-12 years old, and the 4 & 5 year olds are scared to join the class with the bigger kids. (At that point, they just have to get over it).
     
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  13. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    To me, a Black Belt indicates that the individual has learned the curriculum of the style and has performed it in a testing environment before higher ranks.

    I also equate earning 1st Degree to graduating from high school. You have learned the basics, now it's time to go to college and do some serious studying.
     
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  14. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Does that mean there's no curriculum past your first dan test?
    What do you study when you "go to college"?
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Per your original question; a BB should be aware of the rules of sparring at every level if that is a requirement of their school/system. Beyond that, only the rules that apply specifically to them would be relevant. This would be very far down on my list of requirements.
     
  16. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Where my son trains....all the techniques are learned for 1st dan. After first dan it is more about perfecting the use of the techniques and accomplishments in the art (teaching, competing, judging, reffing, years of dedication, etc...)
     
  17. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    You're looking at this one backwards. It's not about knowing the things that came before. It's about whether as a colored belt they should be practicing for their level, or for the changes ahead.
     
  18. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Are there new footwork and strategies introduced, or is it purely about improving what you already know?
     
  19. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Basic footwork and strategy is learned with the techniques leading up to 1st dan. After that the BB continues to figure out their own "individual style" regarding footwork and strategy.

    Also, they are encouraged to take techniques and strategies from other schools or styles of karate that will work for them.

    The org/lineage consists of 10 or 11 different schools so at the advance levels there are variations in strategies and individual styles.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    You have to ask that question? If your promotions are so easy someone can be working for the Next level, something is amiss. Most styles have techniques that "run over", a front kick for example; a TKD student will do this kick nearly every class they attend for as long as they practice, regardless of their rank. A person has to actively work on improving the kick for the same length of time. That is a very hard thing for some people to wrap their head around and they get disenfranchised with the practice and may end up quitting. This reality of repetition is one of the hardest things for an instructor to learn how to help students deal with.123
     
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