Break from your instructor..where do you go?

IcemanSK

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I've been thinking about schools that break from their instructor or organization & teach on their own. Where does that person go to test for higher rank? Say someone is a 6th dan & breaks away from his/her instructor. How could they (legitimately) test for 7th?

I hear of folks like this all the time. We've all heard of those who self-promote. But can it be done legitimately? Would that person gather a group of higher-ranking folks in order to test?

Many of TKD's pioneers chose to not afflilate themselves with an organization & had no contact with their instructor. They were the only game in town. (Late 60's & 70's). I think of GM Woojin Jang, publisher of TKDTimes, who is not affliliated with anyone & is a 9th dan.

Have you heard of how progressing in rank for these folks is possible?

I hope I'm making myself clearly understood.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I dont know from personal experience , but I know a lot of clubs where grading for 7th dan is honarary , as long as the student has continued training for the required amount of time then they are presented with their 7 th , 8th or 9th dan without requirements for grading. I know of other clubs where you can be graded by anyone of a higher rank which would also provide some loopholes for continuing to grade.
 

NPTKD

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I do, I went thru it. After I tested for my 5thI ask my grandmaster I something were to happen to him ( he is up there in years) who would test me? I was told his son would. But seeing how he is also a 5th it didn't make since to me. Keep in mind I was learning a system that he brought over from Korea with him. Not Kukki or anything well known. I had to think about my future and my students. So I learned all of the Kukkiwon Poomsae and retested for my AAU 5th so that I could convert it to a USAT 5th so that I could test for the Kukkiwon 5th. It was a lpng process and expensive one but I am glad that I did it. My grandmaster and I still talk, but I think that he isn't please with my path.
 

NPTKD

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Foot note: He is also Kukkiwon and was around for the gathering of the kwans. Native korean, and still has alot of bad feelings for the past. I can understand it.
 
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IcemanSK

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NPTKD,

You did a very difficult thing in breaking with your instructor & choosing your own path. You did it by joining an organization.

What about those who choose to stay independent? How is that legitimately done in TKD?
 

Shaderon

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We are independant and our Master is an 8th Dan but his Instructor is still alive and he graded with him.

His instructor is not independant and has another association, in fact we are rival associations I understand but the rivalry is friendly and our Master still trains with his Grandmaster (Rhee Ki Ha) as much as possible.

When our 4th Degrees and over grade they go abroad and grade with other Masters that we have agreements with in other countries. I don't know who they are mainly because I can't remember the names which have been mentioned but I don't think they are famous or anything.

I think it's important not to burn your bridges and keep friends in different associations. I don't think it matters if you grade with someone outside your association. It's only like a company getting traiing from an outside source isn't it?
 

NPTKD

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NPTKD,

You did a very difficult thing in breaking with your instructor & choosing your own path. You did it by joining an organization.

What about those who choose to stay independent? How is that legitimately done in TKD?


Thanks.... Its hard to say. I think people have a differeance of opion on what being legitimate is. Some feel they need the big org. behind them, while other feel there skills are enough. I think both is better, but thats me.
 

chrispillertkd

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I've been thinking about schools that break from their instructor or organization & teach on their own. Where does that person go to test for higher rank? Say someone is a 6th dan & breaks away from his/her instructor. How could they (legitimately) test for 7th?

Well, they could find someone else in their style who agrees to test them. This is, in fact, one of the benefits of belonging to an organization. You might leave your individual instructor but there are at least other potential instructors who do things the way you do, have the same expectations, etc. Some organizations also have black belt tests in association with seminars and instructor courses. Even if you leave your instructor you could go to one of these tests and try to promote in front of a testing panel.

So, I'd say yes it's absolutely possible to test for further rank after leaving your instructor.

I hear of folks like this all the time. We've all heard of those who self-promote. But can it be done legitimately? Would that person gather a group of higher-ranking folks in order to test?

It depends, I suppose. They certainly could. But if they are gathering people to test them it's possible the outcome is a foregone conclusion. How many times have you heard of someone doing this and failing to be promoted? Not often, I bet ;)

On the other hand, Grand Master C. K. Choi promoted himself to IX dan after Gen. Choi died. He was promoted to VIII dan by Gen. Choi in 1981 and could've easily self-promoted or joined the Kukkiwon after leaving Gen. Choi but he didn't. He stayed the same rank for over 20 years and only promoted after Gen. Choi died because he didn't want to assume the rank of the person he still considered to be his instructor.

I don't know of anyone who would say Grand Master C. K. Choi isn't a legitimate IX dan.

Many of TKD's pioneers chose to not afflilate themselves with an organization & had no contact with their instructor. They were the only game in town. (Late 60's & 70's). I think of GM Woojin Jang, publisher of TKDTimes, who is not affliliated with anyone & is a 9th dan.

GM Woo Jin Jung's was promoted to IX dan by Gen. Choi before he passed away. He is still a big supporter of ITF-NK under Chang Ung. You can see him listed on their "Masters" page at http://www.itftkd.org/?Content=Masters

Good questions!

Pax,

Chris
 
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IcemanSK

IcemanSK

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Well, they could find someone else in their style who agrees to test them. This is, in fact, one of the benefits of belonging to an organization. You might leave your individual instructor but there are at least other potential instructors who do things the way you do, have the same expectations, etc. Some organizations also have black belt tests in association with seminars and instructor courses. Even if you leave your instructor you could go to one of these tests and try to promote in front of a testing panel.

So, I'd say yes it's absolutely possible to test for further rank after leaving your instructor.



It depends, I suppose. They certainly could. But if they are gathering people to test them it's possible the outcome is a foregone conclusion. How many times have you heard of someone doing this and failing to be promoted? Not often, I bet ;)

On the other hand, Grand Master C. K. Choi promoted himself to IX dan after Gen. Choi died. He was promoted to VIII dan by Gen. Choi in 1981 and could've easily self-promoted or joined the Kukkiwon after leaving Gen. Choi but he didn't. He stayed the same rank for over 20 years and only promoted after Gen. Choi died because he didn't want to assume the rank of the person he still considered to be his instructor.

I don't know of anyone who would say Grand Master C. K. Choi isn't a legitimate IX dan.



GM Woo Jin Jung's was promoted to IX dan by Gen. Choi before he passed away. He is still a big supporter of ITF-NK under Chang Ung. You can see him listed on their "Masters" page at http://www.itftkd.org/?Content=Masters

Good questions!

Pax,

Chris

My apologies, it is GM Woojin Jung. In his book "Best Instructor + Best School = Best Life" he stated a few times that he was neither ITF nor WTF. That he was independent. It doesn't surprise me that the Gen. promoted him, however. I don't doubt his ability or his worthiness to hold that rank.

Thanks for filling in that missing piece of that puzzle, Chris!
 

Miles

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I've seen a number of students who have broken from their instructors over the years. Sometimes they catch on with another organization, sometimes they just stay independent, so to speak.

The US CDK Assn used to advertise in TKD Times about abused instructors who might be looking for a new home. There are other organizations which may not be so well known, which also offer membership with the prospect of dan testing.
 

GM Steiner

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With us, the student must first show their credentials and get on the floor with me after which there is a 6 month probationary period before any advancement in rank.

GM Steiner
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Flying Crane

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Here's a little different perspective: at what point does it no longer matter? I suppose the answer would be unique to the person. But once someone reaches, say, 4th or 5th, would it matter if they never ranked higher than that? How much "credibility" in the martial arts world is really gained by grading higher than that? A fourth ought to be very solid in his training and knowledge. I think if he keeps training but never grades again, what would it really matter? Does rank above that level really carry any significance?

If someone at that level went solo, would there really be any problem with that? Does someone always need to have an affiliation, a source of potential higher rank? Is that really important?
 

StuartA

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Its just a case of finding someone (or someones) credible that is willing to test you fairly.. the problem lies with the 'associations' getting grumpy about seniors doing stuff 'outside' of them!

But if they are gathering people to test them it's possible the outcome is a foregone conclusion. How many times have you heard of someone doing this and failing to be promoted? Not often, I bet ;)
Funnily enough.. I feel/see the same within organisations.. vary rarely doesnt someone fail a 5th/6th degree within their org.. in fact, i dont ever think I've heard of it!

I know of a now ITF 7th dan, who graded with the chief instructor of another org.. personally i thought it was risky because theres a lot of £££ involved at those levels (well, there was in this case) and I wasnt sure he would get a fair assesment as he wasnt from that org (Bearing in mind I knew the personallity of the Chief Instructor).. but luckily he did.

We have tested people at our Dan gardings who were not from our club.. they paid the same as my students and were tested the same.. and failed the same when required! I fact one tested, failed with us.. moved away from his instructor and joined an ITF club and passed 3 months later (there was no way he would have made the improvements he needed in 3 months, as they were things that were ingrained in all he did ie. the way he moved etc.)!


I have to be honest.. its harder for independant instructors than those in orgs.. but as Flying Crane says.. at those levels, it hardly matters anymore. My contempories that are still within big orgs, that I graded to 1st dan with are 5th (some close to 6th) dans now.. because they simply test/promote on the minimum timelines like many do.. that doesnt work so well on the outside.. however, after a few dan grades, it doesnt really matter much TBH, as its the ability and knowledge that counts if the Martial (or even the art) side is why you train!

Stuart
Ps. I dont even wear a rank on my belt anymore.. it has a saying from Ghandi (in hangul) on it instead :)
 

StuartA

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With us, the student must first show their credentials and get on the floor with me after which there is a 6 month probationary period before any advancement in rank.

GM Steiner
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Sir,
Out of interest, what would happen if say a 5th dan (with a proven track record/history) contacted you and asked if he could grade under you, but didnt want to join your org? Would you grade him?

Stuart
 

chrispillertkd

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Funnily enough.. I feel/see the same within organisations.. vary rarely doesnt someone fail a 5th/6th degree within their org.. in fact, i dont ever think I've heard of it!

Oh, I have. And fairly recently. Some fairly senior ranks didn't pass their promotions for various dan ranks, one being very senior. All had to retest later.

I have to be honest.. its harder for independant instructors than those in orgs.. but as Flying Crane says.. at those levels, it hardly matters anymore. My contempories that are still within big orgs, that I graded to 1st dan with are 5th (some close to 6th) dans now.. because they simply test/promote on the minimum timelines like many do.. that doesnt work so well on the outside.. however, after a few dan grades, it doesnt really matter much TBH, as its the ability and knowledge that counts if the Martial (or even the art) side is why you train!

On the other hand, I know some people who have left organizations because they weren't being tested as soon as their time requirements were up or, in a few cases, were denied early promotions.

Pax,

Chris
 

Miles

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I have to be honest.. its harder for independant instructors than those in orgs.. but as Flying Crane says.. at those levels, it hardly matters anymore. My contempories that are still within big orgs, that I graded to 1st dan with are 5th (some close to 6th) dans now.. because they simply test/promote on the minimum timelines like many do.. that doesnt work so well on the outside.. however, after a few dan grades, it doesnt really matter much TBH, as its the ability and knowledge that counts if the Martial (or even the art) side is why you train!

Stuart
Ps. I dont even wear a rank on my belt anymore.. it has a saying from Ghandi (in hangul) on it instead :)

Stuart,

I am not sure I understand your statement about rank advancement being harder for independant instructors...for 2 reasons.

First, I think most of us are independent in the sense that no one tells us what to teach in our classes or whether we have to stay in a particular organization.

Second, because many organizations have certain time-in-grade requirements, people who are looking to grade can (and in a few cases of which I am personally aware) join with the intention of getting a rank increase. I've seen a guy jump from organization to organization going from a 2nd dan (with albeit commensurate skill) to a 5th dan.

I used to get all bent out of shape when I'd see someone who I knew started training well after me all of a sudden surpass me in rank. Then I got a little older and decided that if some fool wanted to hold himself out as a 15th dan, it didn't really affect me at all.
 

Flying Crane

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Here's another thought: if you decide to break from your instructor/org., and also decide to NOT join with another, why would you ever look to another source for promotions anyway? On the one hand, you have decided to stand on your own two feet, and I applaud that. I think too few people are willing to do that. But then you turn around and need to seek promotion with someone else? I don't think you can really have it both ways. Either you belong to an org and you get promotions thru them, or you stand alone and don't worry about promotions ever again, unless you are comfortable giving them to yourself.
 

StuartA

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Oh, I have. And fairly recently. Some fairly senior ranks didn't pass their promotions for various dan ranks, one being very senior. All had to retest later.
Oh.. Im sure theres some, just that I havnt seen it myself (as i said). I guess in this case, theres 4 sides to the coin!


On the other hand, I know some people who have left organizations because they weren't being tested as soon as their time requirements were up or, in a few cases, were denied early promotions.
As well as those that have joined orgs and gained a rank advancement for doing so! 4 sides as I said. I have been solo for 10 years and in that time have twice been offer a rank promotion if I joined certain (different) orgs.. needless to say, Im still solo!

Stuart
 

StuartA

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Stuart,

I am not sure I understand your statement about rank advancement being harder for independant instructors...for 2 reasons.
To explain further. Most high ranks (at least here in the UK) are a member of an organisation.. very few run solo. Most big orgs have higher ranks, so after your time, if you know your stuff you can test. Being 'outsie' of a big org, means less available higher grades that can (or will) test you.. just a matter of numbers really!

First, I think most of us are independent in the sense that no one tells us what to teach in our classes or whether we have to stay in a particular organization.
Well yes.. but while in it, there a testings avaialble when ready, outside of an org, they are not.

I used to get all bent out of shape when I'd see someone who I knew started training well after me all of a sudden surpass me in rank. Then I got a little older and decided that if some fool wanted to hold himself out as a 15th dan, it didn't really affect me at all.
Its never really bothered me that much, Ive always believed its whats behind the belt that matters most anyway.

Stuart
 

StuartA

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Here's another thought: if you decide to break from your instructor/org., and also decide to NOT join with another, why would you ever look to another source for promotions anyway? On the one hand, you have decided to stand on your own two feet, and I applaud that. I think too few people are willing to do that. But then you turn around and need to seek promotion with someone else? I don't think you can really have it both ways. Either you belong to an org and you get promotions thru them, or you stand alone and don't worry about promotions ever again, unless you are comfortable giving them to yourself.

From an instructors POV its not as simply as that. When I graded to 2nd dan I felt there was no point in grading further as the costs were extremly high and all you get is to learn a few more patterns - however, as an instructor (with which I make my living) things change slightly - I guess its a case of two things:
1. Keeping up with the Jones - as in my area, theres TKD clubs a plenty.. many with 5th, 6th dans etc (both WTF & ITF based/ITF) - so from a business POV you gotta keep up
2. the main reason however if for your students - you need to keep training and therefore grade, because your students need to grade. My most senior students are now 2nd dans - the grade at which, at one point I thought Id never go beyond.

Does it matter personally.. no, but there is some reasoning in needing to promote and if I gotta, Id rather do it properly, but dont wanna have to bend and scrape to do so - Im happy to pay, pass or fail - as long as its fair.

Stuart
 

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