WT-ITF Do I have to start over?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Coolsweetspiceoflife, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Coolsweetspiceoflife

    Coolsweetspiceoflife White Belt

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    What's up. I'm a 3rd Dan in World TaeKwonDo. I've been working on my boxing/kickboxing at my local gym. Although it's apparent that I am not a Thai Boxer, I enjoy sparring with KB/Muay Thai/Sanda rules and I see that TKD in fact works when used correctly against these guys.

    I want to continue in Tae Kwon Do. However here are some reasons I want to switch to ITF:

    ITF is the original TKD.
    Sparring with the hogu annoys me.
    No hands to the face is a bit crazy. (I want to teach and don't feel comfortable teaching it with that huge hole).
    Not full contact anymore. (I know they're trying to get it together, but i'm not a fan).
    No adults seem to stick with it. (i'm grown & always sparring teens and adult beginners doesn't appeal to me).
    Doesn't transfer well into competing with other arts. (I like sparring against Karate, KB, Thai boxing etc).

    Would I have to start over if I switch to ITF from WT; or would they just have me test in all the poomse, combination, breaking, self defense and sparring? Is there a governing rule for ITF or is it according to individual schools.
     
  2. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Just to be clear (and possibly start another flame fest) ITF is not the original TKD. The ITF was founded first out of the two but the KTA was before that and the KTA is affiliated with WT/KKW not ITF.

    On to your question at hand - I can't answer specifically, but I've found that WT/KKW schools (mine included) are happy to accept ITF students, cross them over to KKW rank and just test them when they know the correct syllabus and can perform it to the required standard. I can't answer for if ITF is so inclusive though.
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    No, you're not. There's no such thing as WTF TKD. By 3rd Dan, you really ought to know this.

    No it's not. There is no "original" TKD. The KTA was formed to unify the various Kwans and develop a combined curriculum. Gen Choi and his Oh Do Kwan split off and went their own way. But all of those Kwans are every bit as "original" as the ITF.

    So? Sparring under WTF rules is only one type of sparring taught by Kukkiwon schools. If your school doesn't do this, the problem lies with their sport TKD focus, but with TKD or even the Kukkiwon.

    What belt you wear would be up to the school. But bear in mind that it IS a different system, and you don't know the curriculum. Personally, I'd much rather wear a white belt and have people wonder why than wear a black belt and have people wonder why. You will likely feel quite the fool when lower ranked students ask you for help with a form and you don't know it.

    We're happy to let people with Dan ranks from other systems wear their rank in our Moo Duk Kwan school. But it's been my experience that the only ones who actual learn the curriculum are those who start over.
     
  4. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Focus on what you want to learn rather than the alphabet soup.
    What you have around your waist will be at the discretion of the school as well as the organization.
    If your physical skills are adequate you should be able to learn material more quickly than an unskilled person and move up the ranks more quickly.
    ITF is an organization(s) which governs Curriculum, Rank, and competition.. WTF is the sport org with it's closely related Sister" org the KKW setting curriculum and rank standards and practices.
    What someone considers "Original" TKD is often a matter of their perspective.
    ITF uses the Chang Hon System of TKD exclusively . This was the first new system to be called TKD. Some of the previously existing Korean systems later chose to adopt this name. Some did not. As such Chang Hon was the only original system with strong roots in prior Japanese / Okinawan systems also used by other Korean systems. So, from some perspectives Chang Hon was the first original born to the "TKD" moniker as opposed to something else already in existence. KKW initially accepted many systems under it's umbrella. but also developed another system beginning almost 20 years later.
    ITF using the Chang Hon system exclusively is often referred to as original TKD just as the WTF which is so strongly related to WTF is often referred to as WTF TKD.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    DD, what does "kwan" mean in this context? And is that the same "kwan" found in the name of the art?
     
  6. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    I understand Kwan as a hall or building. In the context of a martial arts it would be a particular group, clan, or school.
    Kwon I believe means hand or fist.
     
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  7. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    I'm not an expert, but:

    관 (k-oh-ah-n) = kwan can be "hall", but as Danny T points out, in this context it's more like school (not the physical school so much as the leadership and curriculum of the school).

    권 (k-oo-uh-n) = kwon, from the romanization of Chinese 拳 = fist. Reference: 拳 - Wiktionary

    Also, as I understand it, jang (장) can be "place", so dojang (도장, the place of the way) is the word used for the physical school (akin to Japanese dojo 道場).
     
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  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    In this context it refers to a school or system. Moo Duk Kwan, (one of the original kwan that formed the KTA) means "School of Martial Virtue" just as one example.
     
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  9. Coolsweetspiceoflife

    Coolsweetspiceoflife White Belt

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    Thanks for clarifying that.
     
  10. Coolsweetspiceoflife

    Coolsweetspiceoflife White Belt

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    Never called it WTF and I have zero reason to fabricate rank, but thanks for clarifying. I was unaware of the Kukkiwon having another form of sparring. Being active duty I move a lot internationally and have always seen schools operating and competing with Olympic rules. Perhaps I'll come across a different form of Kukkiwon sparring in the near future. Until then I'll just keep practicing forms, self defense and sparring MT/KB/Karate practitioners.

     
  11. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    While that is true, it is also the case that the TaeKwonDo encyklopedia referenced Chois Oh Do Kwan TKD patterns. So Choi did to TaeKwonDo what Funakoshi did to Shotokan... Even though Shotokan was not the first Karate style, it was the first one introduced internationally (as far as I know).
     
  12. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    For what it's worth, General Choi claims in a Youtube interview that a 4th Dan could start as a first degree black belt in ITF. But since you're a third dan, I guess you have to start all over!

    Seriously though, let us know what happened.
     
  13. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    By the way, your ability to go full contact is solely dependent on your partner and the instructor. I don't think the instructor would mind, but I suggest you make it clear that you want to spar full contact with a specific person.
     
  14. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    But his question was if he has to start all over? Would you seriously have a 3rd Dan start over as a white belt? The first Chon Ji pattern is not exactly "style dependent"...He should at the very least be able to grade for it right away IMO
     
  15. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I find it hard to believe that the majority of Kukkiwon Taekwondo instructors would require an ITF 3rd dan to start over at white belt. I know I wouldn't do that. However,I would be a little concerned if rank was the primary concern of a potential new student.


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  16. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    Yeah but the question is the reverse here:D It's not entirely certain that the ITF is as open-minded. If a red belt from an ITF-off-shoot (minus Sine Wave) had to start over as a white belt, despite being graded in the same patterns, then lord knows how a KKW would be treated: )
     
  17. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I wouldn't have thought the ITF was "big time" enough at this point to disregard a KKW cert, especially since KKW will convert an ITF dan.


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  18. Axiom

    Axiom Black Belt

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    But the difference is that he's a third degree black belt who has yet to spar face punching TKD. Everything the KKW does sparring-wise, an ITF black belt has done (roughly speaking), but not vice versa.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  19. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    That's probably a bit too general a statement. Anyway, I'm not sure what a sparring rule-set has to do with rank.


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  20. Coolsweetspiceoflife

    Coolsweetspiceoflife White Belt

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    Rank is definitely not the most important thing to me. I rarely get the motivation to test for promotion. I like for my abilities to be better than my rank and only wear a solid black belt with no stripes. I just think it's weird/predatory to go to another taekwondo school with over 20 years of experience and put a white belt, like I'm new. When I get back I'll check to see what's up. This is good convo. Thanks everyone. Pleased to see that my question didn't spark a lot of sassy replies.123
     

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