black belt club

PhotonGuy

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I've seen some Tae Kwon Do schools that run this thing called the Black Belt Club. I've seen it at a bunch of Tae Kwon Do schools. Does anybody here run or attend such a school that has that?
 

arnisador

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I think it's mostly an advertising/sales gimmick--pay for three years' worth of classes in advance, say, and you can keep training as long as it takes you to make black belt, plus they'll get occasional extra classes, etc.
 

Dirty Dog

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No, we do not. They are essentially nothing more than a way to generate extra income, and you'll find them in commercial schools of all types. Commercial schools have to constantly try to find new ways to increase cash flow if they're going to stay open. Happily, as a non-commercial school we don't have that problem.
 

tshadowchaser

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as has been said it is a way to generate money. They also give an elitist feeling to those in them because they are higher and better than the rest ( or so they think).
It dose give the lower ranks something to shoot for but I should think just becoming a black belt and learning the material should be enough without this club.
 

Buka

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A student of mine does this in his school. It's mostly for the younger kids, teenagers and such. It's not to generate income because he doesn't charge them. He doesn't charge for belt testing, either. If you pass a belt test, you pay the wholesale cost of the new belt, which used to be four bucks but it's probably ten now, I dunno'. But his class focuses on what they need to work on. From what I've seen, which isn't much because I'm seldom there and never really paid attention to it much, it sort of works. My guess is twenty percent of those signed up for the "black belt club" might actually achieve it some day. Which is much higher than the percentage of his whole school.

IMO, Black Belt shouldn't be a rank anyone can achieve just because they show up once in a while. Or even every night.
 

TrueJim

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The school my son and I attend has a Black Belt club. I put my son into it. It's true...a Black Belt club is just a way to generate a guaranteed revenue stream. (Gotta pay the rent somehow!) But if you're sure that you or your child is going to be attending taekwondo for X number of years anyway, sometimes the Black Belt club can be an okay deal. At the school we go to:
* The monthly cost of being at the school doesn't go up at all, you're just committing to going for X number of months. So it's not as if the Black Belt club costs extra money.
* On the other hand, being in the Black Belt club does give you a discount on the price of uniforms and equipment. So if you know you're going to be going for X number of years anyway, the Black Belt club actually saves you money.
* From the school's point-of-view, the advantage is that they have a guaranteed level of cash flow for a certain amount of time. It's not that they make more money, it's just that they have better stability in their financial planning.
* Plus, Black Belt club members get to attend some classes that other students don't attend, these special classes are more one-on-one (since there are fewer students in the class), and so my son tends to learn a lot more in these classes.
* Plus, the school we attend retroactively counts the months you've already been attending as part of your Black Belt club commitment, which is nice.

Bottom line: it depends on the school. At some schools, if you know you're committed to attending for X number of months/years anyway, there's no reason not to join really. But you have to check to see what the deal is at your specific school. At some schools it might be an okay deal, at other schools it might be a raw deal.

Black Belt Club - Taekwondo Wiki
 
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PhotonGuy

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I once spoke to an instructor at a Tae Kwon Do school about the black belt club. I don't remember if he said anything about any additional costs to join but basically what he said was this. In the black belt club a student will attend an extra class per week as opposed to regular students. Also, students in the black belt club would sometimes stay after class to further review and practice the material that was taught in class. As a result they would usually make black belt sooner than students who weren't in the club, but the tradeoff is they had to work harder and attend more classes.
 

Balrog

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It's a marketing tool, helps new members make the commitment to long term training.

It takes about three years to make 1st Degree Black Belt in our style. So in my school, the BBC is 36 months training. It is our core curriculum and training program. We don't have a Basic program, everyone goes onto BBC from day one. When they make Black Belt (or sooner, by instructor invitation), they move into the Leadership program, which gives them extra classes and material.
 
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PhotonGuy

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I see. Well how about a student who trains harder and takes more classes? Such a student will most likely progress up the ranks quicker and get a black belt sooner than if the student were to train not as hard and not as often. Training harder and more often means faster progression. Makes sense doesn't it? The same way that a college student who studies harder and takes more classes per semester than the standard number of classes will get their degree sooner.
 

TrueJim

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Training harder and more often means faster progression...

You'll get no argument from me. That reminds me, one bullet I forgot to include in my previous note on this topic: at our school's Black Belt club there's also no limit on how many classes per week you can take. So yah...faster advancement, assuming you take advantage of the extra classes available.
 

terryl965

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Photonguy most commercial school has testing schedule and minimum time you must do before you can test, so working harder may not always equal the harder working student. What it does secure is the understanding of the materials
 

OnlyAnEgg

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I see. Well how about a student who trains harder and takes more classes? Such a student will most likely progress up the ranks quicker and get a black belt sooner than if the student were to train not as hard and not as often.

Training harder and more often does not, necessarily equate to training correctly and more deeply; two things I feel contribute to an advanced understanding of a process, leading to a culmination more quickly.
 

Dirty Dog

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I see. Well how about a student who trains harder and takes more classes? Such a student will most likely progress up the ranks quicker and get a black belt sooner than if the student were to train not as hard and not as often. Training harder and more often means faster progression. Makes sense doesn't it? The same way that a college student who studies harder and takes more classes per semester than the standard number of classes will get their degree sooner.

Not necessarily. Sometimes it means being overwhelmed and confused and getting lower grades.
 

Tames D

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So, to be clear, There are no Black Belts in the "Black Belt Club"? Only future possible Black Belts? Hmmm
 

mango.man

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For many schools it is probably a way for the dojang owner to collect a lot of money upfront so that one night soon, he/she can lock up after classes are done and head to the airport on a permanent vacation to Korea.
 

JJK HKD

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Good question and I'm sure it means different things to different people at different schools. Black Belt Club at my school means that you have a longer commitment to the program and therefore are eligible to attend more classes and there are some other discounts and opportunities as well. It does not guarantee a black belt, and in fact, one would not be able to get a black belt in the two years that person signs up for to join the BBC.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Photonguy most commercial school has testing schedule and minimum time you must do before you can test, so working harder may not always equal the harder working student. What it does secure is the understanding of the materials

Well that's what it does, a harder working student will learn the techniques and develop the techniques faster than a student who doesn't work as hard. Developing the techniques better can mean faster advancement in rank. At my dojo they have promotion tests every three to four months so they do have a testing schedule but a harder working student might go up a belt in four months as opposed to a student who doesn't work as hard in which case it might take eight months for that student to advance.
 
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PhotonGuy

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Not necessarily. Sometimes it means being overwhelmed and confused and getting lower grades.

That's why you also got to work smart, or train smart or study smart, however you want to put it. The fact of the matter is you have to work both hard and smart if you want to advance in the martial arts or advance in college but it is doable. I've got a cousin who got an M.D. and a Ph.D. at the same time. He would more or less study 8+ hours a day.
 

Master Dan

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Yes it starts on different levels from as simple as putting nice 8x10 pictures displayed at the home association Do Jang to actual marketing such as a contract that lays out a total cost and payment plan for all training and the cost for certification to 1st Dan. Our home Association Do Jang must have at least 1,000 Black belts now and we supplied the only American Referee to the Olympics in China. I had the very nice opportunity to be with him at the International Masters Teaching License in Oakland 2009. The abuse that has been brought up at this seminar and others is that some Masters charge huge fees over as long as 20 year periods and never gave any certification from KKW and now these people do not have a recourse to take part in rank or continuing education based on experience.
 

Master Dan

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I do like the non financial encouragement of the Black Belt club to new students of ordering and displaying their 1st Dan belt to be awarded to them upon completion of testing and certification from KKW.
 
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