Certificates does it really matter

troubleenuf

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"What gives my instructor credibility? His own promotion in his lineage: his instructor, Greg Fears, is not exactly unknown nationally; Mr. Fear's instructor, Joon Pye Choi, was a senior student of Byung Jik Ro, founder of one of the five original Kwans. That's the pedigree that counts, for me. "

I want to throw this in here in response... What does "lineage" have to do with making someone more creditable than certification? Its just the same as certfication... it only counts if the person/organization has some form of oversite. I have seen many instructors who come from ligitimate schools who cant teach. It has nothing to do with the certificate, but with the head instructor of a certain gym, who may or may not be able to pass on his knowledge to others.
 

exile

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"What gives my instructor credibility? His own promotion in his lineage: his instructor, Greg Fears, is not exactly unknown nationally; Mr. Fear's instructor, Joon Pye Choi, was a senior student of Byung Jik Ro, founder of one of the five original Kwans. That's the pedigree that counts, for me. "

I want to throw this in here in response... What does "lineage" have to do with making someone more creditable than certification? Its just the same as certfication... it only counts if the person/organization has some form of oversite. I have seen many instructors who come from ligitimate schools who cant teach. It has nothing to do with the certificate, but with the head instructor of a certain gym, who may or may not be able to pass on his knowledge to others.

What "lineage" has to do with making someone more credible than certification is the enforcement of standards that are vouched for, to the extent that that such assurances can be given at all, by the reputation of the particular, individual instructor. We operate on the assumption that a high quality practioner will not risk his or her own reputation by conferring advanced rank on someone who doesn't come up to scratch technically. And not just technically; my own instructor has me teach, at least in part, so he can assess my teaching ability and method. That kind of personal involvement is the closest we're going to get to an assurance of quality. There are, in fact, no guarantees, even where there are very demanding standardized: the best student at Harvard or Columbia or Johns Hopkins medical schools and the worst student who passes get the same degree; can you or anyone else tell the difference in advance? If it's absolutes you're looking for, you're not going to get them.

But at least, if the lineage is public and transparent, I know who has been judging whom, and whose name is at risk is someone turns out to be a complete (or even partial) dud. If I know the names and achievements of each step along the lineage tree—as I've taken care to do with my own dojang—I at least know who was scrutinizing whom, and what it was that was being taught; I know that Gm. Choi had to come up to scratch on the heavily Shotokan-based curriculum that Gm. Byung-Jik Ro taught, and so on down the line. None of that is entailed by KKW certification, where the names that go on the certificates are those of people that no one in the KKW central office has ever even seen, let alone watched perform.
 

Xue Sheng

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What "lineage" has to do with making someone more creditable than certification is the enforcement of standards that are vouched for, to the extent that that such assurances can be given at all, by the reputation of the particular, individual instructor. We operate on the assumption that a high quality practioner will not risk his or her own reputation by conferring advanced rank on someone who doesn't come up to scratch technically. And not just technically; my own instructor has me teach, at least in part, so he can assess my teaching ability and method. That kind of personal involvement is the closest we're going to get to an assurance of quality. There are, in fact, no guarantees, even where there are very demanding standardized: the best student at Harvard or Columbia or Johns Hopkins medical schools and the worst student who passes get the same degree; can you or anyone else tell the difference in advance? If it's absolutes you're looking for, you're not going to get them.

But at least, if the lineage is public and transparent, I know who has been judging whom, and whose name is at risk is someone turns out to be a complete (or even partial) dud. If I know the names and achievements of each step along the lineage treeas I've taken care to do with my own dojangI at least know who was scrutinizing whom, and what it was that was being taught; I know that Gm. Choi had to come up to scratch on the heavily Shotokan-based curriculum that Gm. Byung-Jik Ro taught, and so on down the line. None of that is entailed by KKW certification, where the names that go on the certificates are those of people that no one in the KKW central office has ever even seen, let alone watched perform.

Lineage leads me to a question; how does the average person know its real?

My TKD teacher was from Korea trained in Korea and has returned to Korea and opened a school there as well so I am assuming that his lineage claim is true. Now I am basing this on what I know of CMA. If you claim a lineage in China and you dont have it those that do will visit you and demand a public apology or there is option 2 a very private beating. And there are usually ways in China to check on lineage claims. But here in the US I know my first sifu, after I left his school, made a lineage claim to the Chen family that was not true and most of his students do not know it is not true. As a matter of fact I did not even know he had made the claim until I heard it from a member of the Chen family. This is also were I got the strong impression that in China he would be given 2 options, public apology or beating (several actually until he made the public apology). But being the US there is really nothing anyone can do. The only thing this Chen family member did was visit him and tell him to stop. But that is all he could legally do here.

Now I pretty much know who has lineage in Yang and Chen Taiji in my area and in some cases I can tell you if some making claims in other areas and other countries are real or fake but I am a bit obsessed when it comes to this stuff and the majority are not.

So how do you know if a lineage claim in TKD is real or not these days without a whole lot of investigation and how do you stop imposters?
 

Kwan Jang

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KKW certification SHOULD be a universal recognition of a minimum level of skill and competence in TKD. However, due to the watering down of requirements, scandals of selling of rank and the issue of rank to people who have not met the KKW's own criteria for it, this certification means a lot less to a lot of people nowdays. To many, it really only means anything if you are interested in WTF competition. ITF or other TKD orgs. certification is also a recognition of meeting the minimum standards set out by their organizations. IMO, the value of that certificate is directly based on how high the standards are set for an individual to achieve that minimum.

To me, rank is only as important as how much it made you have to grow to achieve it. If one org. will allow you to coast in with a token effort to 1st dan in 18-24 months and another forces you to grow geometrically for at least 4 years with no guarantee of passing, there is a huge difference in the value of each org/assn.'s certifications in my view. Going by lineage is only effective if you are familiar with that lineage. If you are, as Wade pointed out, unfamiliar with someone across the country or internationally, then this can be confusing. This is why I prefer to look instead at what requirements they have completed and had to meet.

When someone who was a black belt from another school or system wants to transfer to our school, I take the viewpoint that I did not issue their previous rank, so it is not my place to take it away from them. Their rank in Wado ryu, KKW TKD, ITF TKD, BJJ, Joey's McDojo, ect. is within that system and that orgs. requirements. When they join our school, I give them some time to learn our curriculum and then I will test them by our standards and place them where they belong. There was an old saying from medieval times that "true gold does not fear the test of the fire". In other words, if you are really that good, it doesn't matter who tests you, you'll be up to standard.

Our schools came from a traditional TKD base, but we are now really a comprehensive mix of TKD, JJ, Muay Thai, and Escrima. Not just a bit of this and a bit of that, but our black belts need to be very solid on the basics of each of these systems. Therefore, if someone comes in and is just a solid TKD guy or shotokan guy, they will likely have a good base, but may not be quite as good at the MT as our intermediates and may know little or nothing of the JJ or FMA's. If that's the case, I place them in our rank system where the curriculum will focus on what they need. If a BJJ black belt comes in, they may have a really strong base due to the high standards that their org. demanded from them, but they are going to have to broaden their base if they want to test for black under us.
 

Bodhisattva

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Like the title says does it really matter what certificate you have, if it is a KKW or an ITF or just some generic one that your school gives out. I mean if you our an Olympic hopeful and good enough and do not have a KKW you will by the time the Olympics come around. If you are an ITF person does it matter really which ITF because one org will not recognize another one .

This subject I am bringing up because I am sick and tired of good folks getting dupe by some instructor out there. They are there telling student that they are getting a WTF certificate my God folks they do not give out certs. but yet today I saw one that was just signed and cannot make out the name the date is February 26 2005 and the guy says he has all of his certs. from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation out of Soul Korea, I said you mean the KKW and I was wrong. He then goes on to tell me that I am full of **** and that his certs. and his GM are the most legit people in the world and that the reason people do not get WTF certs. is they cast $5000.00 US dollars and most people just do not have that type of money. I feel sorry for these gullible people and hope there training is better then that certificate.

Certificates, ribbons, belts, all outward signs of "level" are not important.

Performance is all that matters in martial art. "Can you perform?"
 
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terryl965

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Certificates, ribbons, belts, all outward signs of "level" are not important.

Performance is all that matters in martial art. "Can you perform?"

Well since this is deirected at me or at least I take it this way, I would say so. Been training for over forty years, been teaching over 25 and have trained with some of the best people in the world. Now how about you> Just kidding I do understand what you meant.
 
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