Breaking Requirements for Testing Change

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Tae Kwon Doughboy

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I don't always get hints very well but I don't have to read between the lines to come to a conclusion here. If they have a personal vendetta against you I have to wonder why you are still there?

I left Soo Bahk Do seven months ago because the one way respect the master subscribed to. I had a 50/50 chance of leaving class frustrated each time. I have no doubt that I would still be a white belt if I stayed. I would also have a really bad attitude! Life is too short for me to stay in frustrating situations when attempts to resolve them fail.

I knew I had made the right choice when I learned more in my first two TKD classes than I did in four months with the previous school.
 

MichiganTKD

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Tigerwoman,

No offense, but I get the impression your Instructor didn't do a very good job working with you on breaks that suit your abilities and level. No one should have to suffer physically that much just to break some boards; certainly not because their Instructor is making them. Your Instructor apparently failed to realize that injuring yourself while breaking (or doing any part of Tae Kwon Do) is going to mean a substantial change in your life (loss of income etc.) while you heal. Aside from the possibility you may never completely heal.
It's one thing for a 20 year old to injure himself. Being young with not a whole lot of responsibility, they won't suffer as much. It's quite another when someone who's older is made to do these breaks and injures herself. Is your Instructor going to pay your medical bills? He at least should give you choices rather than saying "You're going to do these breaks and break these patio blocks."
 
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TigerWoman

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To MichTKD:

I was never offered any different breaks coming up through the ranks. A couple of other women tested for 1st dan before me but were younger and had to do those breaks too. They have quit after 1st. But the issue I have is blatant favoritism. He could have offered me a easier break way earlier but instead made me go 14 months on this jumpback2,/jumpspinheel1/combination. I have other female issues that he was not aware. I didn't figure he was interested in knowing when he would rather that I quit anyway. I would stay late after practice and do that jbjsh or go into the dojang on extra days but he would never offer help. I had devised a cardboard bungeed target over a bag to practice it by myself since he would seldom let me practice it IN class. But doing it on an unstable knee which allowed little explosive jump is really my undoing. He knew well about my knee. But since his son's baby's grandmother has been given helps to get through 1st dan, why not make the 2nd dan test coming up for her easy as well. He needed to change the requirements NOW so she would train. She won't have to do this kick or knife through concrete -for that matter she can't do any hand technique-at least try or train for it. But she would lead class over me later because she will pass the test. No I just quit. Life is too short. I can't take the easy blindfold jumpspin heel and respect myself. Nor can I keep going - I just have lost heart for a goal that isn't there anymore-he has just devalued it. He finally figured out a way to get me out. I can't teach unless I defy him and open my own class. Even if I went for exercise, I can't hold up the line nor keep jumping. There has got to be a kindler/gentler TKD for the over 50's people who love the art, the forms, the kicking, sparring but can't do the jumping anymore. I tried to start that class, but his favorite was asked right in front of me to teach instead. She has taught the regular TKD. One good thing though, the highest dan 2nd, also in Karate 2nd, who I wrote to, did want me to come back but he doesn't have a regular class. Betwixt and between. Sigh! TW
 
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Gary Crawford

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Wow,that's too bad.I hate that for you.Inner school politics can really leave a bad taste in you mouth.I've been there with all of my kids and my wife is learning first hand how frustrating it can be.Maybe you can look at your schools old enrollement records to find other students who left and start a small workout group.I have a three diferent groups that I workout with,One is a group of older TKD people(35-60) and another is beginner adults(I'm the youngest there(41) and an old instructor of mine with various guests.It took a long time to get these groups going,but it has paid off.I like doing this a lot more than training at a regular MA school,at lot more fun.
 

Rob Broad

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Should all students be judged on the exact same criteria? Some will say yes, others will say no. I look at like this, no two people are the same, so why should tehir testing requirements be exactly the same. As long as the level of skill is comparable what should it matter whathe requirements.

Tiger Woman does it effect your rank that this woman has different requirements than you? Does it make your rank any less valid?

I wouldn't worry about it, there could be mitigating circumstances such a medical concerns that have prompted the nstructor to use different breaking techniques for her. Or maybe he is making the requirements a little easier so that he can have more high ranking students. If you feel you have earned your rank then it should not matter what others have to do to wear the same belt as you.
 

Ceicei

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Rob Broad said:
Should all students be judged on the exact same criteria? Some will say yes, others will say no. I look at like this, no two people are the same, so why should tehir testing requirements be exactly the same. As long as the level of skill is comparable what should it matter whathe requirements.

Tiger Woman does it effect your rank that this woman has different requirements than you? Does it make your rank any less valid?

I wouldn't worry about it, there could be mitigating circumstances such a medical concerns that have prompted the nstructor to use different breaking techniques for her. Or maybe he is making the requirements a little easier so that he can have more high ranking students. If you feel you have earned your rank then it should not matter what others have to do to wear the same belt as you.
I am impressed with your viewpoint on this.

- Ceicei
 
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TigerWoman

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Rob Broad said:
Should all students be judged on the exact same criteria? Some will say yes, others will say no. I look at like this, no two people are the same, so why should tehir testing requirements be exactly the same. As long as the level of skill is comparable what should it matter whathe requirements.

If you would have read all the posts, you would probably have understood better. I would agree not everyone has the same capabilities. The master has had this same test in place for some 20+ years for 2nd dan. Changed it for ONE woman who can't hack the breaking - hasn't even practiced one IOTA for it. Skill level is not comparable because of all the "breaks" she has been given so far to get to 1st dan.

Tiger Woman does it effect your rank that this woman has different requirements than you? Does it make your rank any less valid?

It will when she leads the class because I can't do the harder break and go to 2nd dan. It also makes getting to the rank valueless because he has made it too easy. Hey anybody can have two stripes now, just go through the motions.

I wouldn't worry about it, there could be mitigating circumstances such a medical concerns that have prompted the nstructor to use different breaking techniques for her.

Sure there is mitigating circumstances, they are relatives and he has given easier foot techniques as well as hand techniques for her already otherwise she wouldn't have passed to lst dan. No medical, her wrists and pushups are stronger than mine but still she doesn't have to do a hand technique.

Or maybe he is making the requirements a little easier so that he can have more high ranking students.

Yes, BINGO, the next bunch of 5 to be 2nd deg. are all in the same family all related to him now. They are his principle supporters-NOW. They were starting to fade on working on the forms.

If you feel you have earned your rank then it should not matter what others have to do to wear the same belt as you.

I felt I earned it a long time ago, but he will not give it unless I do the hard combination break or now, the easy bail out and do a simple jump spin heel. I cannot opt for the easy break and feel its done. THAT is my dilemma.

So far I have quit, not having much reason to go back and certainly not to get another stripe on my belt. TW
 

Rob Broad

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Tiger Woman

I did read the entire series of posts or thought I had until I wen back and checked. I woud suggest a different school for you. There are a lot of good schools out there, and maybe it is time for a change. Maybe a new school, or even a new style may be exactly what you need to get rejuvinated. I am a little biased, and would sugget trying out a kenpo school, but anything is better than going to a school that is controlled by one families interests. I have been in that situation in the past, and know that no good can come from it. The other alternative is to open your own school and teach the way you think it should be done, you can also look into conatcting the association that your previous instructor is with and let them know of what is going on. But again I would suggest you try another school.
 
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TigerWoman

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I have investigated a branch of his old school network, but he's outlawed from them and I would have to start over. At 55 nearly, not doable. I need a new martial art to practice actually to keep me going something not jumping. But I'm in a small town and not much even within an hour. Not good in Minnesota. I actually have been thinking about starting my own school here but am unsure contractually if I would get into trouble. Probably. I have left the school, third week. I will have to practice by myself but not much room. Nothing is easy. Thanks for your reply. TW
 
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Tae Kwon Doughboy

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How long have you been 1st dan? When did you fulfill the time requirement for 2nd dan?

Is it possible that he, seeing your monumental effort on that one break over the last 14 months, was considering changing the requirements for you? The family may have just provided support for this change. It sounds like there is more going on than that but the thought crossed my mind.

I may be overly simplistic here but if you feel you have earned it why not take the break and the rank and be on your way. Maybe a moot point since you have already left that school. Did you burn any bridges? If you start your own school that 2nd dan rank may be of more value.

Our school and another one I know of have had black belts come from other styles and allow them to wear their belts for one year. Then they are tested at the level the instructor feels they are at in our style.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

terryl965

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Tiger Woman I would highly recommend that you sit down with your instructor and air out your differences, explain your feelings and express your concerns. Most times a instructor,(like myself) will have family members around alot and sometimes we go a little easier on them, but not on purpose/evry once in awhile I work my kids real hard in the afternoon just by ourselfs and when class starts they are wornout from that intense training we just did, normally other kids can't handle that hard training for two hours, so it looks like they are going through the motion (90%) but you have to take into the whole picture. My point got off track is have a sit down with him and air out your differences before it's to late or has it hit that point already.. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR Dilima
 

jfarnsworth

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TigerWoman said:
At 55 nearly, not doable. I need a new martial art to practice actually to keep me going something not jumping.

I have to agree with Mr. Broad on this and say that a kenpo studio would fit your needs to the "T". :asian:
 

Marginal

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Might look into alternate styles of TKD as well. Quite a few will honor your earned ranking, and not all focus on jumping kicks. Even in a smallish area, there should be a few other options. Switching orgs might even have the side benefit of ditching the associated politics that are causing so much of the trouble.

One of my instructors likes to say, "There's a fine line between valor and stupidity. Which side of the line are you on?" Comes up a lot when he's running the class through floor exercises and the 50+ people (or anyone coming back from an injury etc) are trying to keep up. Some can, but the question's intended to draw a self-evaluation rather than imply that the instructor thinks that they shoudln't be doing the activity. There's no shame in not jumping if it's just going to wreck your knees. Crippling yourself is poor self-defense and not an especially good demonstration of the ideal of self-improvement and so on.
 

Touch Of Death

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jfarnsworth said:
I have to agree with Mr. Broad on this and say that a kenpo studio would fit your needs to the "T". :asian:
BAM! I agree. Imagine never having to jump again. :asian:
Sean
 

glad2bhere

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OK, you folks may roast me for this but this is not the first string I have read on the matter of TKD requirements and I think I would feel better if I got something off of my chest. I know this particular string is examining the role of breaking techniques but my thought goes a bit farther beyond. Please bear with me.

Over the years I have been privy to many reports by KMA practitioners who have reported chronic back pain, repetitive injury, bad knees, bad ankles, cornified knuckles and arthritic hands. Usually the report is part of an overall discussion of past experiences and includes such phrases as ".... and we used to do hundreds of ________ in a class" or "....... and he had us do them until we puked/passed-out." Now, call me silly, but if you are involved in an activity which is incurring abreactions from participants and is demonstrated to produce long-term, and sustained damage to the integrity of the body--- what part of "stop" don't you understand? The career length of a Thai kickboxer is about 5 years and this is a result of the terrible beatings and sustained tough training the Muay Thai advocates follow but at least they have a chance at a purse. Am I to understand that people are paying money to have some guy brow-beat and cajole folks into tearing their bodies up? I know of at least one case of a HKD teacher who had his students do back-falls off of a shipping dock to the mat below. Does anyone other than ME see ANYTHING wrong with this? I know of a teacher who is fond of having his students do wind-sprints up and down the parkinglot in their bare feet---- in the winter. Does anyone else hear the word "extreme" poping up in the back of their heads?

Sometime later there will be strings in which some person starts asking for advice on what to do about his "bad knees" or "bad hips" and I suggest before we get to that juncture that folks take a page from the old Reagan Drug Program and "just say NO". FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
 

Martial Tucker

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glad2bhere said:
OK, you folks may roast me for this but this is not the first string I have read on the matter of TKD requirements and I think I would feel better if I got something off of my chest. I know this particular string is examining the role of breaking techniques but my thought goes a bit farther beyond. Please bear with me.

Over the years I have been privy to many reports by KMA practitioners who have reported chronic back pain, repetitive injury, bad knees, bad ankles, cornified knuckles and arthritic hands. Usually the report is part of an overall discussion of past experiences and includes such phrases as ".... and we used to do hundreds of ________ in a class" or "....... and he had us do them until we puked/passed-out." Now, call me silly, but if you are involved in an activity which is incurring abreactions from participants and is demonstrated to produce long-term, and sustained damage to the integrity of the body--- what part of "stop" don't you understand? The career length of a Thai kickboxer is about 5 years and this is a result of the terrible beatings and sustained tough training the Muay Thai advocates follow but at least they have a chance at a purse. Am I to understand that people are paying money to have some guy brow-beat and cajole folks into tearing their bodies up? I know of at least one case of a HKD teacher who had his students do back-falls off of a shipping dock to the mat below. Does anyone other than ME see ANYTHING wrong with this? I know of a teacher who is fond of having his students do wind-sprints up and down the parkinglot in their bare feet---- in the winter. Does anyone else hear the word "extreme" poping up in the back of their heads?

Sometime later there will be strings in which some person starts asking for advice on what to do about his "bad knees" or "bad hips" and I suggest before we get to that juncture that folks take a page from the old Reagan Drug Program and "just say NO". FWIW.

Best Wishes,

Bruce


BRAVO!!


I have only been practicing TKD and more recently, HKD for about 8 years, so my experience and expertise on the matter is shorter than many in this forum. But, I have always felt that the only benefit from breaking is learning to focus and clear your mind. IMHO, the ability to break a pile of "stuff" proves nothing as to your ability to defend yourself if you are a traditionalist, or win a competition, if you are more "sport-oriented". And, while I believe that any serious martial artist should keep himself in good condition, the crazy stuff that Bruce referred to has no place in a school run by a responsible teacher.
Maybe some teachers are insecure enough with the quality of their curriculum
or their own abilities that they feel a need to run an insane "boot camp" to impress people, but I know from personal experience that you can get a high quality martial education AND be in great shape without that abusive crap.
At my school, we break occasionally for fun and focus, but it is not part of our testing. Our curriculum is otherwise pretty traditional and self-defense oriented, and our teacher makes ALL of us, no matter what rank, practice the basics regularly and stringently. As he says, if you master the basics, and your technique has a good foundation, when the ***** hits the fan, everything else will take care of itself, including the power that is supposedly demonstrated by breaking stationary boards/bricks/whatever...
 
D

Disco

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Bruce, it really is mind boggling that educated people allow themselves to undergo such treatment in this day and age. Years ago, when as a collective "we" didn't honestly know any better, because of the "Eastern Mystic mindset", we naturally followed blindly because that's the way it was. There is way to much information available today for anyone to subject themselves to something debilitating, unless they chose to do so of their own accord. Any instructor worth his or her salt should not subject a student to possible harm. :asian:
 

MichiganTKD

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There is a difference between pushing students to be the best they can be, taking into account different levels and ages, and just being a drill sergeant/hardass. I have a student who pushes himself far past what the average student would do, regardless of what I say. I also have students who just want to stay in good physical shape.
If someone wants to run windsprints barefoot on their own time, against my recommendations, fine. But I would never lead drills like that.
 
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