What should the criteria be for an 18 year old 4th Dan?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Gorilla, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Nor are they present in many adults who do have the rank. Most people are lacking in these areas, regardless of age, and for a variety of reasons.

    While I respect the position that a fourth dan should be older, the things said in support of that don't hold up under scrutiny.

    Common sense is so uncommon amongst adults of all ages that it should cease being called common.

    Respect is so lacking amongst adults of all ages that you'd think many have never made it out of high school. Go to any sporting event, turn on the television, or even read some of the insane posts on martial arts forums if you wish to see examples of this. I still remember an adult member of MT boasting about how he and his fellow student bullied new students who wore white tops with black bottoms.

    And what about that dojo owner who supervised the beating and possible killing of a mentally challenged man at his dojo? Or the shady and dishonest methods used by adult school owners to turn a profit.

    Clearly, age is not the issue.

    But I will argue the merits of your position:

    I have known many eighteen year olds who do have common sense and respect, often more than what their adult peers in the class demonstrate.

    What many eighteen year olds lack is the level of maturity and seasoning needed to step into a teaching grade, which a fourth dan traditionally is in Korean arts.

    By eighteen years of age, a young man or woman is still figuring out who they are and where they fit into the world. They may have common sense and have a respectful manner, but there are also many social elements that they have yet to master, elements that will come to the fore if they are placed into a professorial position.

    Also, eighteen year olds tend to be very confident in their opinions in a naïve way, which leads them (even sensible and respectful ones) to hold positions and to say things that they haven't fully thought through. Eighteen year olds are at the same time very passionate about their beliefs and positions, which can lead them into verbal conflict with others, particularly if they feel that their position is being attacked on the basis of their age rather than on its own merit.

    Because of this, eighteen year olds tend to have very cut and dry ways of looking at things, often missing the subtleties and social cues that an older adult might pick up on.

    Incidentally, this dynamic tends to last well into the twenties, and with males, frequently into their mid to late twenties, ages where many of us would be comfortable promoting a candidate to fourth degree.

    Unruly adults (and there are many) will often challenge their instructors, and few eighteen year olds have the experience to deal with challenges from older subordinates.

    Also, most eighteen year olds are getting ready to go off to college, which means in all likelihood that their presence at the dojang will be minimal or non existent.

    Those are the reasons that I would be hesitant to promote a student of only eighteen years to fourth dan.

    Personally, I feel that an eighteen year old can make a good fourth dan. But, like fourth dans of any age, those qualities need to be cultivated in the first, second, and third degrees. As I said, fourth dan is traditionally a teaching grade in Korean arts, and teaching is a skill that needs to be developed, and simply learning the technical requirements won't do that.

    Edit: The time commitments placed on a high school student often make developing a good fourth dan very challenging, and that process would need to begin in middle school or earlier, when students usually have even more homework and less maturity.

    Having said all that , a well developed eighteen year old fourth dan would be a good fit for young teen and tween classes, where students will look up to them and be less likely to challenge them for position. Also, an eighteen year old relate to those young teens and tweens, having been their age in his/her own recent memory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
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  2. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    Bingo! But here are some of the major problems. Few taekwondo teachers properly teach others how to teach, or even really encourage others to find places where they can learn how to teach and earn some teaching credentials. Often that's driven by fear of creating business rivals.
     
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  3. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Well, I think anyone going for a "master" level rank should have maturity, teaching ability, fitness, knowledge and skill. I don't think many 18-year olds have enough of those things to qualify, but that doesn't mean that none could be.

    I have known a few very mature and responsible people in their late teens and early 20s. And if you've been studying TKD for 10 years or whatever you should have pretty good skill by that point. As for fitness, late teens/early 20s is your body's peak time for physical fitness.
     
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  4. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    You know what's funny? Seeing a 13-year old beat up an adult. We had a dad in his 20s and his daughter sign up together for TKD a while back. The dad's first sparring class, he gets his butt kicked by an 11-year old 2nd(?) geup. Now, this boy's pretty tall and fit for a kid his age, but still, he was a 5th grader. That's what I think of whenever I hear "a kid shouldn't get a black belt because they couldn't beat up an adult"! :D
     
  5. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    And that should not be a criterion for first dan to begin with.
     
  6. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Thank you everyone for the great conversation!

    very positive!!!
     
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  7. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    This was a good post!!! Anad I think we all conclude that teens with high rank is something not good, so then we don't have to push the studentes or rush them to the next level if they are not prepared. One of my studentes (for me) has been rushed by my sambonim, he does not train regulary or ina three times per week minimu and his techs is not so good, he is very matured but he does not fully understanding yet the meaning of Taeguk 6 for example and sabonim rushes him to memorize Taeguk 7 to do test!

    Manny
     
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  8. Metal

    Metal Green Belt

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    This is not funny, but ********. And it also shows why kids shouldn't be rushed from rank to rank before they fully understand what they're doing.

    When sparring with a beginner it's absolutely unacceptable to beat that beginner up. Even just making him look like a fool is absolutely unacceptable.
     
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  9. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    I don't think that she meant it in the beat down since...I don't think she meant beat up literally! If he beat him up literally why didn't the older and more mature Master Instructor stop it and educate the 11 year old! My 17 year old 3rd Dan would have!

    i agree with you though if you are young promotable 3rd Dan and you are literally beating up adults in the Dojang because...you can you should not be promoted to the next level!

    That would not be the level of maturity needed !

    Thanks for the input!
     
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  10. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    While I agree with you, she did mention that the student in question was not a black belt. I also agree with Gorilla; I doubt that it was 'beat up' in the sense of a real fight; I took it to be idiomatic of the second geup controlling the bout.

    Agreed.
     
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  11. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    The 18 year old 4th Dan should be exceptional and rare and they would normally been judged ready by a GM in most cases...most likely they will have 10-14 years experience and will have already shown a level of dedication that would suggest a life long passion for the martial arts. It is a bit of a perfect storm but it happens!
     
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  12. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    I have met young people with the maturity and depth of knowledge to justify this rank. It's rare, and it only happens in a situation with excellent upbringing and the guidance of an excellent master. I don't think it's correct to say it should never happen, though I understand there being reservations because Taekwondoin at that age lack life experience that we assume older people have....but there's that 'assume' word...


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  13. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Part of the reason I started this thread is because my son is in this situation 17 year old 3rd Dan promotable to 4th Dan in 7 months. His Master a 7th Dan is saying that he is going to promote him to 4th Dan when he turns 18! He told me this about 6 months ago! I was skeptical...I also see it as a teaching grade/leadership grade and I felt he was lacking in some of these areas! The Master assured that he would be working with him and that he would be ready in a year!!! Over the last two weeks after 6 months the light went off! His ability to lead an entire class coach in the moment has increased dramatically! You can she that he is getting much more buy in from the students! The parents are buying in! His confidence as an athlete has increased! In the end he is becoming a more humble caring person! His conversations lately are starting to be centered around the other students and not him! It is very fun to see him mature into a young adult!
     
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  14. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Congrats to your son on the upcoming promotion and on his growing confidence and ability to see the group as the important aspect of teaching
     
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  15. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Come on - do you really think I meant the kid bashed the guy's head in and sent him home in a wheelchair? I'm talking about an red belt kid soundly defeating an adult in WTF sport sparring. I don't think that's "********" at all. I think the guy appreciated the challenge and gained respect for the skills you get from studying TKD (before that he seemed to just view it as something do with his kid). If anyone was actually being hurt, we would've stopped it immediately. And while I did think it was funny and laughed about it later in private, I wouldn't have tolerated anybody laughing at the adult during class.

    Edit: I want to reiterate the point about getting respect for martial arts skills. In my experience, some guys in their 20s that start TMAs have kind of an attitude, like because they watch some UFC matches on TV or got into some scraps as teenagers that they know everything or think TMAs are BS. Sometimes they need a little humbling before they can open their mind to learn anything. I see that a lot in Hapkido, and when I'm working with a beginner man usually have to prove myself. But having a woman that's like 6 inches shorter and 80 lbs lighter than them throw them or put them in a joint lock they can't get out tends to get them to have some respect for what we're trying to teach them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  16. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    It reads like the 7th dan master sees a valuable addition to the world of masters, and it looks like his thinking is well founded.


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  17. Archtkd

    Archtkd 3rd Black Belt

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    You are being very modest by leaving out so much of what Charlie has done and what makes him special. At his young age, he is an internationally recognized competitor who has put in more hours of training than most people who post on this board. He was competing at the national level when he was only eight. He has trained under various taekwondo teachers who are very good at what they do -- and learned many other things besides competition taekwondo. He also holds blackbelt ranking in Shotokan karate.
     
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  18. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    QFT!


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  19. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    ArchTkd!!!!Thank you sir!!!123
     

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