An 8 year old black belt walks into your school.....

IcemanSK

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True story. I had an 8 year old & his mom walk in last night for the 1st night of class. He is a black belt from another school in town. (Mom said that after 3 years, it got too expensive,there). I asked about a KKW certificate & mom said that it was "coming in December." My cynicism tells me that if a student leaves a school before getting his cert. his instructor won't send it in. The child has the respectful attitude of a child who has spent 3 years in a dojang, but I got blank stare when I mentioned forms (Tae Guek, Pal Gue or Koryo).

I've got a call into my instructor to discuss how to handle this, but I'm curious. Have any of you instructors/school owners come across this? What did you do? If you haven't yet, how would you handle it?
 

searcher

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None that young, but I would work it the same as if they were an adult. They can have their rank "recognized" but after 1 year of observation. They have the option to start over, if they wish. I will not let just anybody walk in and wear their rank, unless they are invited by me for a particular reason. Not every BB has had their rank recognized after 1 year, but most "true" BB's do. They still don't have rank with me, but they still have that option.
 

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Unless they have verifiable rank through a recognized Federation (Kukkiwon, ITF etc.), they get to start over as a white belt. They probably have too many bad habits for me to really recognize them as a black belt student anyway. And having a certificate from some third rate organization doesn't cut it either. It'll be good for their ego anyway.
The other exception, aside from recognized Federation, would be an Instructor my Instructor knows and can vouch for.
 

exile

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True story. I had an 8 year old & his mom walk in last night for the 1st night of class. He is a black belt from another school in town. (Mom said that after 3 years, it got too expensive,there). I asked about a KKW certificate & mom said that it was "coming in December." My cynicism tells me that if a student leaves a school before getting his cert. his instructor won't send it in. The child has the respectful attitude of a child who has spent 3 years in a dojang, but I got blank stare when I mentioned forms (Tae Guek, Pal Gue or Koryo).

I've got a call into my instructor to discuss how to handle this, but I'm curious. Have any of you instructors/school owners come across this? What did you do? If you haven't yet, how would you handle it?

Iceman---this is a genuine `adult' belt, a dan? It's not a---what do they call it?---a `poom' grade? I know that there's supposed to be a distinction, and a lot of schools won't give a dan below a certain age (16 or whatever), but do give a poom, and when the child reaches the minimum age, s/he gets to test for a full dan BB. That's not what's going on with this young student, I take it... [?]
 

Flying Crane

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Personally, I'd just have the kid put on a white belt. Just tell him that things are different here, what he will be learning is different, and while he may have a black belt in his other school, in your school he is a white belt.
 

rmclain

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The child has the respectful attitude of a child who has spent 3 years in a dojang, but I got blank stare when I mentioned forms (Tae Guek, Pal Gue or Koryo). quote]

I wouldn't worry about this too much unless the child wants to keep his rank. (I'm still amazed at instructors awarding a black belt at such a young age). I've met many adult "black belts" from other schools (karate or Taekwondo), that resulted in the same result when asking about their forms.

If they want rank in your school, they need to adhere to your requirements to achieve a black belt. If rank is not an issue, just instruct him like any other student in your school.

R. McLain
 

Kacey

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I agree with the statements made by others. The one thing I would check is if the boy knows a different form set - say, the Ch'ang H'on patterns. If he does know them up to black belt, then I would let him keep his rank, but make it clear that he has to learn everything color belts in your school learn to become black belts, and he won't be testing until he does - could be several years.

If he knows no patterns at all, then I agree with FC - tell him the requirements are different, that he has to start over because so many things are different, and possibly consider multiple gup gradings if he shows knowledge of the techniques that comprise the patterns while not knowing the patterns themselves; if that's the case, then learning the actual patterns shouldn't take long. Otherwise, he'll have to start over. I've done the same thing with adults - I had one student who was a 1st gup in the WTF who joined my class as a white belt and worked his way back up; he tested for BB last year.

If the child (or the parent) objects, then suggest a list of other places he can train. The fact that mom moved him because it was getting too expensive is suggestive of other potential problems.
 
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IcemanSK

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If the child (or the parent) objects, then suggest a list of other places he can train. The fact that mom moved him because it was getting too expensive is suggestive of other potential problems.


I would agree with you (about other problems) under other circumstances. The school he left is a comericial school with a lot of "extras" for students of higher rank. Mine is a non-profit school out of a community center. I don't think these folks have a lot of money. However, given the circumstances in which they came to me, I have my eyes wide open for things to not be as they appear. In regards to the possiblity of him knowing the Chang Hon Forms, I didn't broach that subject cuz he said he was WTF & wore a WTF dobok.
 

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True story. I had an 8 year old & his mom walk in last night for the 1st night of class. He is a black belt from another school in town. (Mom said that after 3 years, it got too expensive,there). I asked about a KKW certificate & mom said that it was "coming in December." My cynicism tells me that if a student leaves a school before getting his cert. his instructor won't send it in. The child has the respectful attitude of a child who has spent 3 years in a dojang, but I got blank stare when I mentioned forms (Tae Guek, Pal Gue or Koryo).

I've got a call into my instructor to discuss how to handle this, but I'm curious. Have any of you instructors/school owners come across this? What did you do? If you haven't yet, how would you handle it?

Are the TKD forms pretty universal or do they vary from org. to org.? I ask this because if they do vary, that could be the reason for the blank stare. Is it normal for the certificate to come later or is it something that is given at the time of the BB test?

I guess you could do it either way. You could have him start at white belt and move on from there, or you could have him still wear the BB, but tell him that he has to go back and learn things from the beginning, the way that you do them at your school.

Mike
 

Kacey

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I would agree with you (about other problems) under other circumstances. The school he left is a comericial school with a lot of "extras" for students of higher rank. Mine is a non-profit school out of a community center. I don't think these folks have a lot of money. However, given the circumstances in which they came to me, I have my eyes wide open for things to not be as they appear. In regards to the possiblity of him knowing the Chang Hon Forms, I didn't broach that subject cuz he said he was WTF & wore a WTF dobok.

The reason I say this is because a fair number of WTF dojangs use the Ch'an H'on forms, either as an additional set or as the only set; so do a fair number of places that teach what they call "karate" - because when they started no one knew what TKD was, so they called it karate, instead. I knew a student like that; he was in a karate class (it said so on the patch) but when I asked him to show me a form, it turned out to be Won-Hyo; his instructor had taken the Ch'ang H'on patterns he liked, modified some of them a little, and dropped the ones he didn't like - and then called the whole thing karate.
 
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IcemanSK

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Are the TKD forms pretty universal or do they vary from org. to org.? I ask this because if they do vary, that could be the reason for the blank stare. Is it normal for the certificate to come later or is it something that is given at the time of the BB test?

I guess you could do it either way. You could have him start at white belt and move on from there, or you could have him still wear the BB, but tell him that he has to go back and learn things from the beginning, the way that you do them at your school.

Mike

For the most part (there are exceptions, of course) a school under the WTF banner, would do either the Tae Guek or Pal Gue forms. As far as the certicate from the Kukkiwon (WTF's parent) they come after the test, generally. I have a feeling that the mom paid the money for the test, the child was tested, & then mom was told, "Black belt classes are more than under belt classes." (And it was more than she could afford).
 
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IcemanSK

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The reason I say this is because a fair number of WTF dojangs use the Ch'an H'on forms, either as an additional set or as the only set; so do a fair number of places that teach what they call "karate" - because when they started no one knew what TKD was, so they called it karate, instead. I knew a student like that; he was in a karate class (it said so on the patch) but when I asked him to show me a form, it turned out to be Won-Hyo; his instructor had taken the Ch'ang H'on patterns he liked, modified some of them a little, and dropped the ones he didn't like - and then called the whole thing karate.

I hear what you're saying, Kacey. But it was at the point at which I said "forms" that he looked puzzled. This kid's patches were plentiful & all WTF. I will test him on what he knows (even as far as kicks) to see what he knows. He actually said to me, "It's been 3 months, I'm not sure I remember how to tie my belt." His "unlearning phase should more difficult than most kids white belt stages.
 

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Personally, I'd just have the kid put on a white belt. Just tell him that things are different here, what he will be learning is different, and while he may have a black belt in his other school, in your school he is a white belt.

I'm with you Crane...
 

exile

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I hear what you're saying, Kacey. But it was at the point at which I said "forms" that he looked puzzled. This kid's patches were plentiful & all WTF. I will test him on what he knows (even as far as kicks) to see what he knows. He actually said to me, "It's been 3 months, I'm not sure I remember how to tie my belt." His "unlearning phase should more difficult than most kids white belt stages.

It's very strange. It's possible that the word `form' wasn't used at his old school---maybe the instructors there just called them poomsae or hyung?---but he should have at least recognized Taegeuk or Palgwe...

Do you know anything about this other school in terms of their requirements? What kind of reputation do they have? There's something that strikes me as kind of dodgey in awarding a child that young a BB in the first place; that's why I was wondering earlier if it was supposed to be a poom rather than a dan rank. Does the KKW have poom-level certificates?

It might be better to try to get more information about just what went on there before making a decision. My first thought, like Flying Crane and Drac, was to just start him over at white. But if it turns out it was a poom or junior BB or whatever they call it, it might just a well to say, sure, you can keep the belt, but you have to go through the training from the white belt requirements on up.
 

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Maybe if you start him at white, but be willing to advance him faster if he learns faster due to his experience. Just let him prove that to you first, before doing it. This way you give him credit for any legitimate training he might have had, but you aren't just taking his and his mom's word for it.

If he has forgotten how to tie his belt after 3 months away from training, then I suggest he might not have really learned much at all in 3 years at the other school. He is probably a legitimate white belt anyway.

I kind of have a problem with giving a kid that age a Black Belt, anyway. I just have a lot of skepticism over that kind of thing, I think it's unrealistic and inappropriate.
 

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My grandmaster has a kid come in on thursday's. She is a red belt from another school. This would equal our blue belt. Because she is a little kid she cant do the forms after being out for a year. However, she wears a white belt and stands in front of the green belts in line. The green belts, myself and another adult friend are ok with it.

The little kid works hard and has a great attitude, otherwise we would make her stand at the end.
 

searcher

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We definately don't want to drop our standards as many have already. Just observe the kid for a period of time to get your own assessment of his level. Even if he is truly a BB in another school, he may not be up to your standard. Award rank according to where you think he fits.
 
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IcemanSK

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Maybe if you start him at white, but be willing to advance him faster if he learns faster due to his experience. Just let him prove that to you first, before doing it. This way you give him credit for any legitimate training he might have had, but you aren't just taking his and his mom's word for it.

If he has forgotten how to tie his belt after 3 months away from training, then I suggest he might not have really learned much at all in 3 years at the other school. He is probably a legitimate white belt anyway.

I kind of have a problem with giving a kid that age a Black Belt, anyway. I just have a lot of skepticism over that kind of thing, I think it's unrealistic and inappropriate.

I hear what you & Exile are saying, & I don't disagree with your thoughts. As exile said, I need to get more information. I know very little about his former instructor or what he taught this kid. I would assume the rank would have been poom, rather than Dan rank. If the mom can't find out anything about the boy's certificate, I'll talk to his instructor. Her English isn't great & the instructor is Korean. I need to know than I do now. If I can't find out from them, I'll find out from the instructor.
 

exile

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I kind of have a problem with giving a kid that age a Black Belt, anyway. I just have a lot of skepticism over that kind of thing, I think it's unrealistic and inappropriate.

It is unrealistic and inappropriate. And I really wonder, does the KKW actually recognize BB awards to children that young? There was a longish thread in the TKD some time ago about this very point---it got pretty heated---and I have this memory trace of someone saying they had looked up the KKW rules and something about a minimum age for full BB certification. The thread had a lot of backing-and-forthing about the wisdom of the poom/jr. BB rank, whether this was a McDojang invention to help increase revenue, and so on... but it might be worth checking out whether this other place actually can award that young a child a full BB... it just doesn't make any sense.
 

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I kind of have a problem with giving a kid that age a Black Belt, anyway. I just have a lot of skepticism over that kind of thing, I think it's unrealistic and inappropriate.

Again I must agree with Crane, an 8 yr old Black Belt....
 

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