Black Belts and Poor Kicks

Gwai Lo Dan

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How high of a KUKKIWON black belt can a person be at your school and still have poor kicks? I see alot of kids and older adults getting first poom / dan and have poor kicks. I do see it in higher dans but to a lesser extent.

At your school, can a person never have a decent kick (e.g., a basic tornado kick against a pad, not even in competition) and still rise to a higher black belt (2nd, 3rd, or 4th)? Does age factor in at your school? I read on the forums here previously that KKW starts to get serious about the testing at 4th dan - how about your school?
 
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WC_lun

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Yes they can rise to black level without really strong kicks, but our system doesn't stress kicks, especially fancy one. I suppose it depends upon why you are studying. If your school is focused on the physical ability and wonderful kicks, then a black belt should do what is required of the system. If something like self defense is the focus, can that person defend themselves using the tenants of the system?
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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Good point about the martial art system. I mean KKW black belt - I'll edit the 1st post.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Good point about the martial art system. I mean KKW black belt - I'll edit the 1st post.

Touching on the original post where KKW wasn't specified, it would depend on the definition you're using for 'poor' kicks. Would it mean sloppy, executed improperly, not high enough etc. It also would depend upon the goal of the school i.e. sport or self-defense.

Using your edited example of KKW TKD, then we can narrow it down. KKW TKD is a sport. No one take offense please, but it is a sport and not to be considered as realistic self-defense. Nothing wrong with it being a sport, just clarifying what side of the arts it is on. Now with this in mind, the kicks are designed to be refined motor skilled, flashy and high (for demonstration) and medium to high for sparring. Therefore if this is the goal of the school then it would be hard to justify someone not meeting those standards gaining black belt or more specifically master status i.e. 4th Dan and up. If their kicks are poor and we're talking specifically about KKW TKD...what other 'main' standards are they being tested on?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I find it really odd that a KKW black belt can have poor kicks, so a few questions. How are they poor? are they, as Kong Soo Do said, sloppy, executed improperly, not high enough, or is it more that they don't throw them at the right time, never use them to set up/only use them to set up future attacks, are they too predictable?
Also, do you study KKW? If not, it's possible that what you're interpreting as poor is more stylistic differences then actual improper technique or implementation of technique.
Finally, at the schools where you see this, how good is the instructor, and how long does it take people to become black belt? I hesitate to say this, just because TKD gets blamed for it so much, but it's certainly possible the schools near you are McDojos, which would explain why their kicks are so bad Especially if the higher dans also have somewhat poor kicks.
 

Fusion Taekwondo LLC

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Everybody is on a different journey. I know black belts that could not do a jumping kick of any kind to save their life but I have the utmost respect for them. This is because their strengths lay (lie? sp?) in a different aspect of tkd. Also, you have to take into consideration their age, ability/disability, etc.... Just my 2 cents.
 
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WC_lun

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Something to consider as well is do you trust the instructor making that promotion? If you do, then you must trust that he is doing what is best for the system, the school, and the individual. If not, then there are many more issues than one black belt not able to perform kicks to your satisfaction.
 

Manny

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My sambonim is a 7h dan black belt in KKW, he is almost 60 years old and he has a very nice pic of him in his affice when he was very young performin g a wonderful kawi chagi (sissors kick), he does not do that kick anymore because of age and because even he is in relative good shape he does not train anymore to the degree need it to do FANTASTIC,FLANBOYANT AND OUT OF SPACE KICKS!!!! However my sambonim is one of the best in my country, he has lots of knowledge and he is one of the top international referee/judge in my country and he is a super teacher.

Now, myself.... well I'am a 45 years old second dan black belt with some bacon aroud my stomach, my feet are concave and I had fascitis plantar, my ankles hurts and yes for me it's very dificult to perform tornado kicks for example, even the regular jumping/spining hook kick it's painful so you can say my rasenal of falmboyant kicks is not existent but in the other hand my peetchagui, my dolyo chagui, my yop chagui and back kick are very nice, my hand techs are very good and my blocks are strong and painful so please tell me... Because I can't jump/spin doing aerial kicks I am not a black belt? or worthless as a black belt becuase of this?

Manny
 

jda

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I'll be testing for my third dan next month and a lot of my kicks are not what they used to be. I think that not all kicks need to be high to be considered good quality. Some of my kicks are a little clumsy. Anything involving a jump and spin is not as good as some of our younger students, but I can do it well enough to teach it. I'm almost fifty years old and could not roundhouse kick you in the head. I'm smarter than that and not limber enough any more. What I can do is a heel kick to back of your knee and when you fall then I'll roundhouse kick your head. Because I cannot do a good jumping, spinning, reverse crescent does that make me a bad black belt and not deserve to be promoted if I do well enough?
 

Touch Of Death

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How high of a KUKKIWON black belt can a person be at your school and still have poor kicks? I see alot of kids and older adults getting first poom / dan and have poor kicks. I do see it in higher dans but to a lesser extent.

At your school, can a person never have a decent kick (e.g., a basic tornado kick against a pad, not even in competition) and still rise to a higher black belt (2nd, 3rd, or 4th)? Does age factor in at your school? I read on the forums here previously that KKW starts to get serious about the testing at 4th dan - how about your school?
I haven't seen your kicks, but if i were to perform them exactly as you do, I would be accused of bad kicking. What I mean by this is, your criteria may be vastly different than the school down the road.
Sean
 

Tez3

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I'll be testing for my third dan next month and a lot of my kicks are not what they used to be. I think that not all kicks need to be high to be considered good quality. Some of my kicks are a little clumsy. Anything involving a jump and spin is not as good as some of our younger students, but I can do it well enough to teach it. I'm almost fifty years old and could not roundhouse kick you in the head. I'm smarter than that and not limber enough any more. What I can do is a heel kick to back of your knee and when you fall then I'll roundhouse kick your head. Because I cannot do a good jumping, spinning, reverse crescent does that make me a bad black belt and not deserve to be promoted if I do well enough?

It certainly doesn't make you a bad black belt and I love the kick to the knee then roundhouse once they are down! Sometimes the young uns need to remember that old and sneaky will beat young and fit every time! :wink1:
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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.... Would it mean sloppy, executed improperly, not high enough etc. ...... it would be hard to justify someone not meeting those standards gaining black belt or more specifically master status i.e. 4th Dan and up. If their kicks are poor and we're talking specifically about KKW TKD...what other 'main' standards are they being tested on?

I mean coordinated, reasonably quick, relatively high (at least stomach height). Believe it or not, I'm not trying to insult anyone. I really am curious how high a person can go with poor kicks, perhaps due to age, injury issues, or just being very unathletic.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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.... Because I cannot do a good jumping, spinning, reverse crescent does that make me a bad black belt and not deserve to be promoted if I do well enough?
Yes, that's my question. Or to put it another way, "does your school impose mandatory elements for a test (e.g., spinning hook kick breaking 1 thick board) that is a "must do"?
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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..... Because I can't jump/spin doing aerial kicks I am not a black belt?
Yup, that's my question! Let's take the age out of the equation. If a guy was simply uncoordinated, could he rise to 3rd 4th,5th, etc.. black belt with poor kicks?
 

Dirty Dog

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I'm 51 years old. I can still put a foot to your head, with pretty good power. I can't do tornado kicks, nor do I feel a need to do kicks that are, essentially, more for show than function.
Our school does have mandatory breaks for geup ranks.
Dan ranks can choose their own breaks. At my last test, I did a 4-station break - 2" with a foward knee strike, 2" with a rear elbow strike, 2" with a standing side kick and 1" with a head butt. I also did a power break of 5 16x8x2" pavers.
Do my kicks look as pretty as some? Absolutely not. Do I think I can employ them effectively? Absolutely.
 

ralphmcpherson

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our curriculum does not require students to know many "flashy" kicks but the kicks we are required to know must be performed technically correct with speed, accuracy and power if you want to get much past about second dan.
 

terryl965

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I will come at this from another way, I will promote someone to any high dan if they are serious, dedicated and commited to the process of teaching TKD and know how to teach the KKW curriculum. What I mean by this is sometimes when we get older, slower and just can't seem to do all those flashy kicks but we have the desire to continue our journey of giving back to the sport/art that we love than it is all good. I take into account age, medical and physical ability along with there mental ability to promote and teach the sport/art of TKD.
 

ACJ

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A student's kicks can be absolutely terrible and be promoted to nearly any level. Why? Because the belt system is a tool for me and other instructors to use to motivate, delineate the syllabus and group students. There is no need to hold back any student that would impinge on their ability to learn and be educated.

Belts aren't for other people at my school.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I will come at this from another way, I will promote someone to any high dan if they are serious, dedicated and commited to the process of teaching TKD and know how to teach the KKW curriculum. What I mean by this is sometimes when we get older, slower and just can't seem to do all those flashy kicks but we have the desire to continue our journey of giving back to the sport/art that we love than it is all good. I take into account age, medical and physical ability along with there mental ability to promote and teach the sport/art of TKD.
To me, that's the best way to do it :) it's impossible to ask some people to do the more physically demanding stuff. Heck, my own sensei can't throw a kick to my head simply because he's older now, had an injury, and doesn't have the flexibility he used to. The dedication is the most important part to me.
 

Tez3

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To me, that's the best way to do it :) it's impossible to ask some people to do the more physically demanding stuff. Heck, my own sensei can't throw a kick to my head simply because he's older now, had an injury, and doesn't have the flexibility he used to. The dedication is the most important part to me.

I bet he can drop you in a lot of other ways than a kick to the head though. Experience is probably one of the best tools you can have, coupled with dedication you have the perfect teacher.
 

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