Another ATA 5 year old black belt

Bill Mattocks

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I'm going to introduce a set of training videos that beam the video and sound into the womb via ultrasound. That way, your child can be born a black belt. Why wait?
 

NSRTKD

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I'm going to introduce a set of training videos that beam the video and sound into the womb via ultrasound. That way, your child can be born a black belt. Why wait?
You could supplement that with calisthenic training and forms done by the mother while nursing, moving the babe's arms and legs while watching the instructional videos. Baby could be 2nd Dan by weaning.
 

Thesemindz

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On the one hand, I'm glad this kid's parents have him doing karate instead of eating doughnuts. Even if it's just ATA, at least he's moving around and staying active and learning how to be a better person from the very beginning. That could really have an incredibly positive effect on the rest of that kid's life. I'd much rather have kids doing questionable air karate with a healthy dose of respect/focus/self discipline/constant improvement than have kids sitting around on the couch sucking down high fructose corn syrup and being told that they're stupid and will never amount to anything.

On the other hand, I bet I could kick his little black belt *** in a fight. So you have to put it all in perspective.

Maybe this is just the beginning of a lifetime of study and practice and dedication to martial arts. I wish I'd started when I was five years old. His story isn't written yet, it's only beginning. Maybe seventy years from now he'll be the most respected TKD Master in the world. Personally, I wouldn't give a black belt to anyone under sixteen, and even then I don't really think they can begin to truly understand karate until they grow into their adult body. But it really depends on what "black belt" stands for. To me, it stands for "well educated bad ***," and I don't know any five year olds that fit either of those criteria. But with no universal standard, what it means to me has no bearing on what it means to another instructor. Maybe in that school it means "pays his dues on time."


-Rob
 

Buka

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His Senseis either no NOTHING about Martial Arts, or just don't care. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and guess the former.
 

ETinCYQX

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As much as this used to bug me, I find myself more and more indifferent. I know what my black belt means, I know what the belts I give out mean, I'm happy.
 

msmitht

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Wow. I never liked their particular approach to taekwondo. The schools are run well and well managed. The class schedules I have seen are well put together. The techniques I have seen are not kukkiwon, itf or older kwan system standards. The sparring now resembles a very poor naska point system and really, really bad mma. They are no longer worth my thoughts, time and words. They should not be allowed to call themselves taekwondo if they allow a 5 year old to wear a black belt. Sadly there are wtf/itf schools that do it as well....but not as many and not overseas. It devalues all martial arts ranking structure's when instructors do this.I'm done with posts about ATA!
 

DSMartialArts

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I agree with the fact of progression and earning another belt. He been studying for 2 years that is kinda quick for a black belt. I studied Tang Soon Do for almost 3 years and only earned green belt would have tested for red which is a step below black which you held for at least a year. If the kids earns 2nd Dan by age 6 it is ludicris. If his parents paid then for it they want to see results.

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Carol

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Kid earned a black belt in less than 2 years. At this rate he'll be a 2nd dan before he's six.
 

dancingalone

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Meh, not my cup of tea, but at least the owner is upfront about what black belt means in her school.

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[FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif][FONT=verdana, sans-serif]For ATA, she said achieving each new belt -- and eventually earning a black belt -- is all about personal progression.

"We don't say, 'The standard of a black belt is this' or 'In order to be a black belt, you must be able to do this,' " Prazer said. "Because then only a small part of the population would even be able to reach that."

Instead, she said it's about consistently reaching goals and progressing based on the individual's abilities.

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miguksaram

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Meh, not my cup of tea, but at least the owner is upfront about what black belt means in her school.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For ATA, she said achieving each new belt -- and eventually earning a black belt -- is all about personal progression.

"We don't say, 'The standard of a black belt is this' or 'In order to be a black belt, you must be able to do this,' " Prazer said. "Because then only a small part of the population would even be able to reach that."

Instead, she said it's about consistently reaching goals and progressing based on the individual's abilities.

One problem with this statement is what goals do you set for the kid after he obtains his black belt?
 

dancingalone

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One problem with this statement is what goals do you set for the kid after he obtains his black belt?

I imagine the same as with any other style that has multiple black belt ranks. The higher ranks provide a progression path if they are linked to some objective measure of achievement. Personally, I'd rather see schools deemphasize belt ranks in favor of actual physical performance, but we're well past that in the martial arts world unfortunately.
 

JohnEdward

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It is like having a kindergardener being awarded a high school diploma, after finishing. I say this based on the original intentions and design of the modern day belt ranking system of Jigoro Kano. A second grader who can

What are the possible consistent goals achieved that are expected a child earning a black belt represents? What level of personal progress is expect of a kid with a black belt and an adult with a black belt. Put that in real world terms, it is like saying a 5 year CEO can run a company as effectively as an experienced adult. Heck everyone is entitled to be a CEO, aren't they? Otherwise they aren't any. Once we past the BS, it really is about the appeasement of Uberparents willing to pay $$$$ to ornament their child further them as a parental project as being more special than the others,reflected in the parents personal issues. Many TKD dojangs have become nothing more than uberparent pandering operations. Teaching kids is now where the money is at, and thus the degradation of the art. Hell, for the right amount of $$$$ after 3 years award them Master rank. Because than a large population is able to reach it, even toddlers.
 

Cyriacus

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In some Ways, I Disagree with this.

In other Ways, I only Care because its Dangerous for the Practitioners.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Kid earned a black belt in less than 2 years. At this rate he'll be a 2nd dan before he's six.

No worries, in a few years he will quit and play soccer or some thing else. Then when he is at the bar in his twenties he will tell people hey I am a black belt I used to practice. (used being the opperative word here) If their standards are so low, so be it. However, they cannot expect the rest of us to honor them or their rank!
 

NSRTKD

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Does anyone actually know the requirements of making black belt for this particular 5 year old?

My 5 year old is about as graceful as a drunken giraffe, so I can't imagine her making a black belt before her teens, and that's not our "style" in our school anyways. My 5 year old has a striped yellow belt, and I have refused to let her test because in terms of technique, she's only at the level of a striped yellow belt, and barely, regardless of the fact that she remembers all the material. In our school, even a 5 year old has to retain all the previous forms and techniques taught and complete 13 one-steps plus know the meanings of all the forms and belts passed thus far. My daughter can do that, but because her kicks AT her belt level and below still look very beginner (I'm NOT saying this to be unsupportive and mean, and of course don't say things to her rudely, just being honest about the coordination of a 5 year old body) she hasn't earned a green belt, so I haven't let her test. I plan to let her test soon, since she is working hard and, now that she has mastered the forms, is very focused on technique (for a 5 year old), but if she earns her green belt (around the time she turns 6), she will stay there for quite a while, I imagine - possibly a year until I let her go for stripes, if she seems ready. She might surprise me, but it's my duty to hold her back when she wants to move faster than she is ready for, or when any instructor wants her to rank higher than she deserves.

What I'm getting at with this is that each child advances based on his/her ability, but I think it's also partly the parents' responsibility to teach their children NOT to get hung up on ranking at each testing, and encouraging the child to focus on correct technique before allowing the kid to test. As much as our instructors are in charge, ultimately, I'm the one who pays for testing, so if I pay for her to test clearly before she is ready, I'm partly at fault too, when she wears the next belt and faces endless frustration because she wasn't ready.

For my 5 year old, reverse side kicks are a huuuuge challenge. So would it be fair for me to let her test just because she can throw one successfully in front of the judges, or should I make her wait until she is confident in every (or most, at least) reverse side kick she throws, and no longer gets frustrated with herself over them?

My daughter is also a great singer, but should I put her in a broadway show or let her sing for the family at holidays? One will teach her that people love her performances and that she is awesome at it, and the other teaches her the very same thing without giving her nowhere "up from here" to go. I believe in equipping my children to make their own success when they are old enough to appreciate it, rather than giving them the illusion of success based on what I have paid for.

So while I guess, having not seen the requirements of the school and not seeing this particular "black belt" in action, I can't really say he doesn't deserve it for sure (although it's hard to say otherwise, really), I think it's important to remember that while the school is allowing this progression, the parents are obviously encouraging it too, and partly at fault. The public needs better education about what having a black belt means, and the parents need to think about not letting their children advance until they can comprehend the amount of work put into a black belt. This kid may (I have no crystal ball, it's just a guess) grow up and expect that he can earn everything faster and younger than everybody else, and be both disappointed in the world and disgruntled with his parents for providing him with false expectations.
 
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dancingalone

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As someone with a niece and nephew in the exact same organization, I wouldn't assume that the parents are ignorant about the nature of the school they have chosen.

I think the parents know what they are paying for: a fun physical activity for the little one with some reinforcement of positive character traits. They KNOW their kid isn't learning to be a hardened warrior, and they want it that way, frankly. They think of belt ranks like Cub Scout merit badges - this might be offensive to hard core martial artists like many of us are - but that's the reality of it, and honestly we're outnumbered at this point. The winners of any 'war' get to write the history, so who is to say the merit badge interpretation won't be the 'right' one in the future?

I mean we have 1 year black belt programs in Korea after all. It's fun to bash crap like this this, and I've done my share, but it really doesn't mean much unless we're willing to speak up when people in our own areas of influence do it themselves.
 
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