Certification advice requested

tkd_jen

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Ok, here is my question: How do you all feel about Black Belt Certification? Is WTF/Kukkiwon the way to go, or is your school's association certification sufficient? I know this is kind of a "loaded" question, just wanted your fine folks opinion on the topic.
 

terryl965

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tkd_jen said:
Ok, here is my question: How do you all feel about Black Belt Certification? Is WTF/Kukkiwon the way to go, or is your school's association certification sufficient? I know this is kind of a "loaded" question, just wanted your fine folks opinion on the topic.

TKD_jen it is all about what you want from it, if you plan on doing international or even the Olympics one day right now you need it. If your student base is not in that position then why? ITF or other organization most of the time will not even recognize the Kukkiwon rank and vise versa. If you ever plan on doing something then it is worth the seventy dollars plus testing fee's if not then it is just a piece of paper.
Terry
 

Jonathan Randall

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terryl965 said:
TKD_jen it is all about what you want from it, if you plan on doing international or even the Olympics one day right now you need it. If your student base is not in that position then why? ITF or other organization most of the time will not even recognize the Kukkiwon rank and vise versa. If you ever plan on doing something then it is worth the seventy dollars plus testing fee's if not then it is just a piece of paper.
Terry

Ditto.

Some of the best TKD stylists out there want absolutely nothing to do with the Kukkiwon (for their own reasons - not that I necessarily agree or disagree) or Association politics. This is their right and it doesn't diminish in any way their skill or the value of their training.

However; should you decide to teach or open your own dojang, the small fee may be worthwhile for marketing purposes.
 

Kacey

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I agree also - coming from a background in the ITF, Kukkiwon certification has never been an issue. All of my BB certificates, bar my IV Dan certificate, came from the ITF; in addition, I have an I Dan certificate from the USTF, and II - IV Dan from YomChi TKD. We left the ITF before I tested for IV Dan, and my only certificate is from YomChi.

If you want to compete at the international, and, in some cases, at the national level (for cross-association competition), then Kukkiwon certification will be required; for me, had I been interested in international competition (as my instructor was - he went to Worlds 3 times), then ITF certification would be necessary.

Otherwise, my opinion on it is this: the certificates I have that are signed by my instructor and testing instructors are worth more to me than certificates signed by someone at the ITF who has never seen me, and likely never will see me. The signatures from people I know, whose opinions I value, are worth more to me than the signature of the head of an association who, while very talented, signs (or stamps a signature on, has it stamped by an assistant) certificates based on the opinions of my instructors and testing instructors - which brings me back to where I started. I value the good opinion of the seniors who expressed their faith in me, my knowledge and abilities, by promoting me, far more than I value a piece of paper, no matter how fancy and no matter who signed it.
 

AceHBK

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I agree with all that was said above.
It is just another piece of paper, usually obtained to impress people more than anything else.

If you plan on opening your own dojang then it would be nice to have.
Otherwise, it really means nothing to me that is.
 
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tkd_jen

tkd_jen

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Kacey said:
Otherwise, my opinion on it is this: the certificates I have that are signed by my instructor and testing instructors are worth more to me than certificates signed by someone at the ITF who has never seen me, and likely never will see me. The signatures from people I know, whose opinions I value, are worth more to me than the signature of the head of an association who, while very talented, signs (or stamps a signature on, has it stamped by an assistant) certificates based on the opinions of my instructors and testing instructors - which brings me back to where I started. I value the good opinion of the seniors who expressed their faith in me, my knowledge and abilities, by promoting me, far more than I value a piece of paper, no matter how fancy and no matter who signed it.

Thanks for that, I agree with that wholeheartedly. My instructors opinions are worth more to me than any "official" from Korea.

Thank you all for your insight!!!
 
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tkd_jen

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Just to clarify, the certificate would not be for competition reasons, although I have recently caught the competition bug, I will never be at that level (not being negative here, just honest).

I think it may be an ego thing for me maybe? It just sounds cool to be a "WTF Kukkiwon certified Black Belt'. Although in my heart I agree with Kacey, my own instructors opinions are way more valuable to me than someone else's. Besides, I know what I've gone through to (hopefully) earn my belt, it shouldn't matter who certified it right?

As far as having it to open my own dojang...oh to dream...I would love that, but again, I have so much to learn before that even becomes a possibility.

Thanks for the replies, you all are great, positive people and I truly value your opinions.

Thank You!!!
 

terryl965

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tkd_jen said:
Just to clarify, the certificate would not be for competition reasons, although I have recently caught the competition bug, I will never be at that level (not being negative here, just honest).

I think it may be an ego thing for me maybe? It just sounds cool to be a "WTF Kukkiwon certified Black Belt'. Although in my heart I agree with Kacey, my own instructors opinions are way more valuable to me than someone else's. Besides, I know what I've gone through to (hopefully) earn my belt, it shouldn't matter who certified it right?

As far as having it to open my own dojang...oh to dream...I would love that, but again, I have so much to learn before that even becomes a possibility.

Thanks for the replies, you all are great, positive people and I truly value your opinions.

Thank You!!!

TKD_jen one thing to remember it is Kukkiwon not WTF they do not issue rank certificate at all. Just letting you know the Kukkiwon is the Governing body of TKD and the WTF is the govening body for sport TKD and the Olympics.
Terry
 

IcemanSK

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I guess I'm going to be sort of the decenting opinion (although not totally) & be all for getting the Kukkiwon certification. Jen, in my own experience, I've found my Kukkiwon certificate to be of great value. I received my 1st Dan (KKW) in 1985. My instructor moved away & went to an ITF school. I tested there for my 2nd Dan in 1988. 6 years later, I discovered that what I thought was a legit ITF certificate was no more a piece of paper. I've been lucky that places I've been since recognize my 2nd Dan anyway. But they don't have to. My point is, a school rank is just that...a school rank. It doesn't need to be recognized by the school you want to train at in another state when you move in 5 years.

A Kukkiwon certificate guarantees portability of your rank. You are a person who has mentioned how much you love the art of Taekwondo. Since you have the opportunity to be recognized by the Kukkiwon, I'd encourage you to take it. Regardless of what you do in your TKD career, you won't look back on getting it with regret.

JMO
 
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tkd_jen

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IcemanSK said:
Regardless of what you do in your TKD career, you won't look back on getting it with regret.

And that's what I keep coming back to as well, will I regret either decision? Arhhh!! Just when I think I've got my mind made up....:idunno:

Flip a coin, if you are happy with the result go with it, if not, then don't. Maybe I am just using this to distract me from my 'test anxiety?'
 

TigerWoman

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Yes, I agree with Iceman. My daughter wasn't recognized as a BB in AZ until I got her certification papers. They didn't know our instructor/school. Get the Kukkiwon certs for national/international standing. TW
 

Gemini

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I'm Kukkiwon cdertified and glad because of reasons already mentioned above. If it's available to you, get it. Your certification doesn't reflect on your abilities as a martial artist, but I've seen capable practitioners who didn't have it subjected to (IMO) unreasonable red tape because of it.
 

AceHBK

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Do all other arts have a way of certifying their MArtists?

I guess when it comes to certification, then corruption rears its ugly little head. People become more willing to do whatever it takes to get it. I have heard of some who point out to others "I have my KK cert and they don't"

I have heard stories of some people waiting years to get theirs from the Korean govt. They have paid but havent gotten anything back in the mail. ANyone gone thru this or known some who are still waiting on their certification?

With the amount of scrutiny TKD has gone under with the amount of illegal activites that has gone on, does it make some of you all skeptical about the whole "certificate" thing.
 

fireman00

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Just to toss my .02 in - Kukkiwon certification is recognized by ITF and WTF and is needed when entering most competitions. I got my Kukkiwon BB cert in 2000 and when I moved to a school with AAU/ ITF/ USAT affiliations they recognized my rank due to my certs.
 
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tkd_jen

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AceHBK said:
With the amount of scrutiny TKD has gone under with the amount of illegal activites that has gone on, does it make some of you all skeptical about the whole "certificate" thing.

Precisely why our association leaves it up to each individual. Also, we have a kid testing for poom belt who is competing at nationals and he doesn't need kukkiwon cert...
 

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The following is in no way meant to offend anyone, it's an attempt to reference an anology of sorts.

Your reviewing applicants for a position.......Nothing is referenced as to the status of the individual in their respective graduating classes.

#1 has a degree from Smith and Barneys College.
#2 has a degree from Harvard.

Which would you choose?

Your looking for training and you visit two dojangs. #1 shows a certification from the West Coast Martial Arts Guild and #2 shows certification from the World TaeKwonDo Federation - Kukkiwon. Which would get your attention?

My personal opinion, if you are able to afford both certifications (and I question any school that charges more than the Kukkiwon), then why not get both?
 

AceHBK

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Brad Dunne said:
The following is in no way meant to offend anyone, it's an attempt to reference an anology of sorts.

Your reviewing applicants for a position.......Nothing is referenced as to the status of the individual in their respective graduating classes.

#1 has a degree from Smith and Barneys College.
#2 has a degree from Harvard.

Which would you choose?

Your looking for training and you visit two dojangs. #1 shows a certification from the West Coast Martial Arts Guild and #2 shows certification from the World TaeKwonDo Federation - Kukkiwon. Which would get your attention?

My personal opinion, if you are able to afford both certifications (and I question any school that charges more than the Kukkiwon), then why not get both?

To the ordinary joe who visits a dojang, they wont know what all those certifications mean in the first place, it is all greek to them.

I see your reasoning with the comparison to a college degree but with TKD and knowledge it is flawed b/c you are trying to compare apples and oranges.
 

Last Fearner

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My professional opinion:

Absolutely! 100% - Get the Kukkiwon certificate. This has nothing to do with WTF as they are separate. Taekwondo is recognized as the Korean National Martial Art. It makes sense, even to the layperson, that credentials should be able to be traced back to Korea. Kukkiwon Headquarters is located in Seoul, South Korea.

Most new customers of mine don't have a clue what all this means, but if they are comparative shopping, and visit several Taekwondo Dojang, when they come to mine, it takes me about 30 minutes during their initial appointment to explain it to them. I can easily convince them, and prove the value of such credentials. Even if a person does not intend to get involved in the Olympics, they have certainly heard of the Olympics. They know the quality of athletes, and the credentials it takes to be an Olympic Coach or tournament official. Simply showing a customer the rule book that requires Kukkiwon Dan certification for coaches and referees backs up what I say to them, and makes the point in a short time.

More important than all this - - if you are seriously involved in Taekwondo.... for your future, and everything that can possibly go right in your career, get the Kukkiwon Dan Certificate now! Forget about the naysayers, and those who focus on the negative, it will provide much more benefit for you in the future. Rock Solid credentials from Korean Taekwondo Headquarters, and it doesn't cost that much!

That's my recommendation
Chief Master Eisenhart
 

cali_tkdbruin

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AceHBK said:
To the ordinary joe who visits a dojang, they wont know what all those certifications mean in the first place, it is all greek to them.

Exactly, unless you're a martial artist in general, and TKD practitioner specifically, the WTF, Kukkiwon, ITF, ATA, USTKDWon, etc., etc., and certification really doesn't mean too much. For the most part people don't know what's legit, or what certifications are more recognized unless you're more heavily involved in the art.
 
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