Youth Black Belts

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Gorilla, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    I just got started on this forum and I am just a parent. Albeit one who has invested a lot of time and $ in (WTF) TKD. I think that most would agree that a Black Belt should not be granted before 10 years old. Has anyone on this board ever seen a Black Belt under the age of 10 that deserved their Black Belt. I can think of few.

    This is the Criteria.

    1. They have to pass the adult test not a dumbed down test.
    2. The have to have the professional demeanor of a Black Belt.
    3. They must be able to train with adults.
    4. They must be able to assist in class.
    5. They must understand the responsibilities of a Black Belt.

    I can count 3 kids that I know that met this standard and 1 was 7 1/2 years old.

    I saw all three of them get promoted by KKW 9th degree. He did not compromise his standards. All 3 are currently still doing TKD and have been promoted to second degree.
     
  2. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Well let me just say a few things here, first off WTF does not issue any Black Belts only the KKW does and if they are under 16 they recieve a poom belt. I can also add I have seen alot of adults that are not true BB at all. They are terrible at poomsae and do not even know there material. Which org are you affiliated with?
     
  3. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    KKW and of course you are right they are poom belts
     
  4. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    Terry has already stated that there are no BBs under 16 years of age. However due to the fact that they did pass the same promotion test that many of the adults have done, many schools do give them a physical BB to wear, regardless of the rank of Poom.

    In Korea when you are a Poom you do not get a BB but rather a half red half black belt. This indicates that you have done all the physical and have a good understanding of the knowledge that goes with that as well. Poom rank still represents the fact that if the age of 15 you would be looked at as a BB therefore it is just a symbolic as a BB. Once you turn 15 the rank of Poom becomes Dan with no further testing so in essence there is no difference.

    OK...with all that said, both my kids are Pooms and both are good as far as techniques are concerned. However they lack the basic human life experiences to do much else other than demonstrate the technical skills they have developed. They can however teach you exactly what they were taught without much care or thought towards the individual. Put a 5 year old in front of them and they will teach him as if he were 15 or 55. Put a special needs person in front of them and there is not much difference. They will also lack the patients that are needed with such diverse cases.

    To sum up what I am saying is that yes they do deserve to display the fact that they can perform any technique and have the knowledge needed to understand when, why and how that techniques works. But they lack the life experience to be considered knowledgeable enough to fully be the head of anything.

    So to answer your question...Yes and No. Sorry but this is not a cut and dry answer.
     
  5. msmitht

    msmitht 2nd Black Belt

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    I agree with Terry and atc.
    You can teach them everything that you can teach an adult but they do not have the same mentality. The ability to teach is lost on many adults as well as children. Most children do not have the patience for teaching (I can think of 2 that do). Does this mean that they do not deserve poom/black? yes and no. If they are serious about training, know the techniques and can do them well...then yes. If they know the techniques but can not perform and have a poor attitude...then no.
    Sorry to go both ways on this but the answer is not/can not be cut and dry. Every student is different.
     
  6. NPTKD

    NPTKD Brown Belt

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    Do you practice any Martial art? I hear this kind of stuff alot from parents who don't.

    My answers to above

    1. The KKW requires adults & children to perform the same poomsaes. As for self defense, they are doing the same techniqes as adults but due to bodly delevopment the power level with children isn't the same. The breaking part is also the same standards, but the baord sizes are different. The power break is tile for children and brick for adults. They all write an essay and are held to the same standards for the physical fitness testing (running,push up, etc...)

    2. They have to have the professional demeanor of a Black Belt. Do you expect children to act the same as adults? I've seen adults that don't act like adults. I seen BB that I wouldn't want my children to act like.

    3. Why do they have to train with adults? Most schools, mine included we don't allow children and adults to train together. Why!!! For what benifit?

    4. Why... that is the instructor job. Not everyone can do it, adults included. You would understand if you were out on the mat. It is a different world when your out there infront of everyone and parents are watching you. There is alot of pressure.

    5. They would not have been able to test if they didn't.


    This is why a poom belt or poom status is giving. I have children that are better BB the some adults, by the mental side of beening a black belt isn't there yet because of there age. I as far as the three that met those standards ( are those your standards on what YOU think a BB should be) I am sure there instructor practiced ridged flexability with them also. at one time or another.
     
  7. TKD_Father

    TKD_Father Orange Belt

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    My son tested this past Saturday for his 1st Dan. He's 9 years old and has been attending class for 3 years. I guarantee he's deserving of his 1st Dan.

    Since beginning TKD he's been in about 15 competitions and won first place in forms each time. He's gotten one third place in sparring and all others were first.

    I'm not sure how you came up with your 5 requirements for a Black Belt, but I know my son is incredibly talented at TKD and exceeds every one.
     
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  8. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    TKD Father not trying to rain on the parade but if your son is 9, he would be a poom and not a Dan. Pooms are junior BB, there is a difference between adult and childern.

    I am sure your son has some talent mine too but three years is a little fast except he is training 6 days a week for two hours a day. I am an instructor and my sons took 8 year training everyday for two hours before I even thought about them being a poom or junior BB.

    What tournament has your son won, the Usat Junior Olympics or A.A.U. National anything big or just local tournaments?Not trying to be a hard *** about this but so many parent believe three year is forever.Let say he worksout for 3 day a week for one hour, that really equals about 30 minute of actual training time. So 1.5 hours times 3 equals 4.5 x 150 weeks that equals 675 hours of training time divided by 40 equals about 17 weeks on a job less than five months and most people are just getting to fully understanding there position. Like I said not trying to defend anybody but would you make someone the boss of a company if they had less than five months of training time. In my opinion it should take between 5-8 years for a child to reach BB, my opinion remember Teenager and adult have the advantage of having some common sense while trraining and are able to adapt to changes in a SD stituation, childern are just that a child.

    Does your child only do Olympic so they are just learning the sport and if so than I can see having a BB that quick, otherwise he really needs more time to be seasoned for real life.

    I hope nobody is offended and understand the concern of this post.
     
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  9. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    This why I posted this thread. I hear allot on BBS that under 10 year old Black Belts are not deserving. I think the the real answer is some are and some are not but the potential for younger BB to earn that rank is possible no matter what you call them(Poom or Dan).

    The reason some kids train with adults is because the youth level training is not enough.

    The criteria that i posted is to high. That why I posted it!!! To get the discussion going

    What is the correct criteria for a (Poom Belt or Black Belt) if you are going to give them to 10 year olds and not bring down the standards for Black Belts of TKD in general
     
  10. NPTKD

    NPTKD Brown Belt

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    If your not a higher Dan BB then you have no right to make judgements on who should be a BB.

    Just my opion,thats why there is a waiting room with newspapers and thing to keep you busy!
     
  11. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    NPTKD that why I would never be waiting in your waiting room just my opinion.

    That said just trying to get a conversation going!!! Maybe I could learn something from the higher black belts who humble enough to talk to a parent.

    If I came across as judgmental I am sorry not my intention.

    NPTKD you certainly judged me very quickly.
     
  12. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure that's a valid proposition. High dan belts created the situation we have today in the US where we see nonsense like 6 year old second dans.

    This is an frequent discussion on MT and I have no real answer that would be applicable to everyone, but it seems like the phrase "I know it when I see it" would apply with regard to child black belts. A black belt should look the part with clean, strong technique with a reasonable expectation of being able to apply their skills on the street against a determined attacker. For most children, the latter part just can't be true no matter how nice a side kick they can throw in the dojang.

    Just my opinion.
     
  13. TKD_Father

    TKD_Father Orange Belt

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    In whose eyes? Kukkiwon recognizes under 15 as a Poom, at his school he is a 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Not sure what the schools affiliation will put on his paperwork though. Have to wait a bit and see.

    No he doesn't train 6 days x 2 hours per week. How many black belts reading this now do that? Every child progresses at different rates. Prior to a state tournament last year he was doing 5 days x 4 hours which included 2 hours of conditioning and 2 hours of sparring drills. He won the tourny.

    State Open, local tournaments. *Added: What difference does it make? Many Black Belts don't compete at all. Are you saying you have to compete to become a Black Belt?

    Really?

    ... some math and stuff about a company boss comparison which have absolutely no bearing removed...

    He does Olympic style sparring and point sparring, basically whatever they offer at any tournament he can get in. He also enters ALL forms competitions, and as I said earlier, he has won them all.

    Trust me, I'm my son's worst critic. He has a work ethic that other's should aspire to attain. He'll finish class, get a drink and wipe off the sweat, then ask me if he can run "lines" in the Dojang. I kinda understand your concerns, and I've seen kids promoted who absolutely did not deserve the belt they are wearing, but I can say, without the "father" influence, that my son isn't one of those. EVERYONE at his school comment on just how good he is, and it's not just them. At the tournaments he attends Grand Master's remark about how well he performs.

    Yes - some kids should wait to get 1st Degree (Poom, Dan or whatever you want to call it), and some kids don't have to wait.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    I'm a karateka, not TKDist, so will defer to Terry and ATC on specific requirements for their organization.

    I am also a shodan-level black belt in my club who happens to be the father of a talented 10 year old karate student who has been taking classes and winning tournaments for 4 years (6 if you count a mini-ninja program that teaches some of the skills through storytelling... I don't).

    In spite of her physical talent (her kicks are better than mine, for instance), she is in absolutely no way ready for a black belt (physically, mentally, or emotionally), and she knows this as much as anyone else. Some of her friends have already received black belts in other styles; I'd happily put her up against any of them in kata and sparring and expect that she'd kick their butts pretty easily.

    If and when she does get her black belt (possibly around 16-17 if she pushes and trains hard for the next several years), it will be because she values the training and the teachings that have come along the way, not because of belt chasing. Hopefully this type of progression leads to less a feeling of "graduation" and more of "one more step on the path" of martial arts.
     
  15. mwd0818

    mwd0818 Green Belt

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    I'm not involved in TKD, but just have to share this:

    Rank only means something within the confines of the organization that bestows it.

    What is a Black Belt?

    If your organization, group, affiliation, etc., has rules about Black Belt, Poom, Junior BB, etc., that's fine. It is not for another person from another organization to assign it value.
     
  16. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    You are right and wrong at the same time. What about the layman's idea of what a black belt should be? Laymen would generally think that a black belt is some measure of fighting ability and I'm inclined to agree.
     
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    Congratulations. Assuming that you're being forthright here, then you have a natural on your hands with the potential to go far and do very well indeed in martial arts.

    That said, with only 3 years training, I wouldn't wrap a black belt around his waist. But my standards and expectations may be different than yours and your son's instructor.

    Quite simply, we disagree on this. I don't think having to wait for something has ever hurt someone, although our current culture of immediate consumption may argue otherwise. I think more time spent at intermediate belts, even for a very talented individual, can give more depth and appreciation for the art itself. Learning as a brown belt is different from learning as a black belt, and learning about yourself and your own ego can be a huge part of the journey.
     
  18. Jphtkd

    Jphtkd Orange Belt

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    I wish I had a dollar for every parent who thought their child deserved a black belt... and just to add some fuel to the fire...

    Tournament wins do not = good black belts
     
  19. mwd0818

    mwd0818 Green Belt

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    True, and the popular culture that surrounds us does have their own ideas. Unfortunately, if true fighting ability were the measure of a Black Belt, there would be a lot of ranks being rescinded.

    There is definitely a should but it ultimately comes back to the organization's purpose and definition. Black Belt is defined by the culture that awards it, and since each school and organization and style has their own culture, it is difficult at best to reach a conclusion. As evidenced here even within the confines of a single style (TKD) there is a lot of confusion and disagreement. Add in the hundreds of other arts, and you have Black Belts being awarded in 12 months in one TKD school, and another Black Belt being awarded in BJJ in 12 years. It's just a mark on a long journey, and it means as much, or as little, as people want to make of it.
     
  20. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    You should really think about changing the last two words to "many" ;-)
     

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