Certification / Instructor Opinion!

Spookey

Purple Belt
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Dear Guys,

This question is primarily for the Instructors on the forum, but I certainly welcome the input of the 2nd and 3rd Degrees that may soon be making these decisions themselves.

My question is How important is a certificate when welcoming a new students into your dojang. I am not referencing a competition standpoint, but rather your determination of rank placement.

If the students has no verifiable certification from any major organization and a relatively unknown instructor but has significant quality for his rank is that good enough?

On the flip side, if you are an organizational affiliate and the student has proper paperwork, but seriously lacks technical ability for his rank would you honor that certificate, or would you file a complaint with the organization and request the student start your club at a more appropriate rank?

Just how much does a certificate mean to you?

TAE-KWON!
 

Kong Soo Do

IKSDA Director
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Good question. I'd like to break this down;

If the students has no verifiable certification from any major organization and a relatively unknown instructor but has significant quality for his rank is that good enough?
TAE-KWON!

Having a certification from a major organization really doesn't mean very much because most have very low accountability. So, using your example above as a reference point, if a student doesn't have a major org cert and an 'unknown' instructor but has significant quality for the rank in question...what does that tell you? An instructor doesn't need web-presence to be a great instructor. An instructor doesn't need to belong to a major organization to be a great instructor. So if the prospective student can 'walk the walk' then that is really the only thing that is a viable consideration isn't it? Rank him according to his ability.

On the flip side, if you are an organizational affiliate and the student has proper paperwork, but seriously lacks technical ability for his rank would you honor that certificate, or would you file a complaint with the organization and request the student start your club at a more appropriate rank?

Just as with my first comments, rank him according to his ability. A cert and a fancy belt is one thing...being able to perform on deck is the ONLY thing.
 

troubleenuf

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When a student comes into my gym I rank him/her based upon ability. I dont care anymore what certificate they have.
 

MAist25

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I definitely think rank should be justified by skill, not a piece of paper. This way everything is fair to everybody; everyone has the opportunity to show what level they are at and somebody with a certificate doesnt get any free-bees while the student with no certificate doesnt get gypped. The only time a certificate should hold merit is if the student is a part of the same organization as you. For me, I got my Kukkiwon certification at one school and then went to another and my rank was honored without question. When a part of the same organization it is usually safe to assume where the student is at and what skill level they are at. You should honor their rank out of respect for them as a fellow member of the same organization as well as the organization itself, unless the student is absolutely horrible and you cant in good conscious honor that rank.
 

troubleenuf

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Thats the problem... Last year I had a Kukkiwon certified 1st Dan show up at my college class who was from a Nationally known coach. Since she was not from his "team" members but from what I call his "pay the bills" class she got absolutely NO help. After her first class this was what she said to me and I quote "Thank you for your help.... no one has EVER corrected me before!" Now this girl is never going to be a national champion but she certainly has the ability and the want to be better than she is. But she was never given the opportunity because in that school she was not deemed worth the time. Yet she was promoted and certified. The certificate she has.... not worth the paper it was written on. She now feels cheated by her other instructor and realizes how he took advantage of her. And these type of things happen all the time.


I definitely think rank should be justified by skill, not a piece of paper. This way everything is fair to everybody; everyone has the opportunity to show what level they are at and somebody with a certificate doesnt get any free-bees while the student with no certificate doesnt get gypped. The only time a certificate should hold merit is if the student is a part of the same organization as you. For me, I got my Kukkiwon certification at one school and then went to another and my rank was honored without question. When a part of the same organization it is usually safe to assume where the student is at and what skill level they are at. You should honor their rank out of respect for them as a fellow member of the same organization as well as the organization itself, unless the student is absolutely horrible and you cant in good conscious honor that rank.
 

MAist25

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@troubleenuf

Hmm wow, thats a real shame. What did you end up doing? I probably would have honored her rank and just worked extra hard with her to get her up to speed. Its a real shame to see what little effort some instructors put into their students. I hope you were able to open up her eyes as to what a real teacher is.
 

thelegendxp

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I personally see it sort of as a resume, but definitely, not the whole picture. Discipline, experience, skill, mindset, etc. are all very important, and cases have to be anaylsed individually. I personally see certs. and training history as a place to begin with, then I usually have a training period during which the person displays skill, mindset, etc. which each play into the equation.
 

granfire

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Aside from the time and money the person sinks into the certificate, it does not make you an instructor 9you know, talent, ability)
it only shows you have some basic ideas on how to structure a class (hopefully) and maybe that you submit yourself to a yearly renewal of the first aid certification.

However, I do like the principle of certification: beat any yahoo who bought a Black belt from opening the doors and call himself an 'instructor'

In theory anyhow....
 

msmitht

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Interesting. I guess it depends on the level of the practitioner. As a kkw certified master I allow any kkw poom/dan. I will help where needed, be it poomsae, kyroogi or kibon. If they are colored belt I have them join the class for their "level" and see how they do. If they are overwhelmed I have them attend a lower level class and belt grade them after 1 month(decide where to put them).Itf blackbelt transfers keep dan level. They must learn divverent methods of kicking, kibon and sparring(rules) before they can apply for kkw poom/dan.Honestly never let ata blackbelt transfer keep dan rank. Was fair with trial periods, had 6-7 over the years that I put at red until their sparring, side kick, back kick and spin hook were up to scratch. Horrible basics except for one.
 

Miles

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I've had just a handful of black belts join, none of whom had KKW certification. I let them keep their belt and convert them to the KKW methodology before certifying them. I don't tell them that they are doing anything wrong, it is just different than what I do. If they have developed what would be generally considered bad habits (i.e. bent back leg in a front stance), I blame the prior instructor, not the student. But I keep my opinion on the prior instructor to myself. Once they are performing satisfactorily, I will certify them through the KKW.
 

Earl Weiss

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Dear Guys,

. My question is How important is a certificate when welcoming a new students into your dojang. I am not referencing a competition standpoint, but rather your determination of rank placement.

If the students has no verifiable certification from any major organization and a relatively unknown instructor but has significant quality for his rank is that good enough?

. On the flip side, if you are an organizational affiliate and the student has proper paperwork, but seriously lacks technical ability for his rank would you honor that certificate, or would you file a complaint with the organization and request the student start your club at a more appropriate rank?

Just how much does a certificate mean to you?

TAE-KWON!

Every case is different.

1. I am USTF and have been for almost 40 years. If a student walks in with a USTF certificate, (Unless they have been inactive for quite some time, then I already know what they know. They fit right in like a hand in a glove. Similarly with ITF Black Belts.
I am near o'hare airport and get lots of visitors. Had a non affiliated chang Hon stylist visit for a workout. He knew his technical standards were different which was not important because I welcome visitors with this in mind. But, I asked him to watch a group do a pattern, and afteword I asked them to each say where they had learned it. The answers were, (Aside from my students) Conneticut, Holland, Siberia, Canada, Poland, and the Czech Republic. He said that if he did not have this information he would have thought they all learned it from me. So, in short. Some established groups the cert. is an accurate reflection of the minimum standards.
2. For students with certs from orgs i am not fmiliar with, students must demonstrate knowledge and abilities on par with students of that rank in the orgs I belong to. There have been precious few (but there were 1 or 2) that were up to this.
 

Archtkd

3rd Black Belt
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Dear Guys,

This question is primarily for the Instructors on the forum, but I certainly welcome the input of the 2nd and 3rd Degrees that may soon be making these decisions themselves.

My question is How important is a certificate when welcoming a new students into your dojang. I am not referencing a competition standpoint, but rather your determination of rank placement.

If the students has no verifiable certification from any major organization and a relatively unknown instructor but has significant quality for his rank is that good enough?

On the flip side, if you are an organizational affiliate and the student has proper paperwork, but seriously lacks technical ability for his rank would you honor that certificate, or would you file a complaint with the organization and request the student start your club at a more appropriate rank?

Just how much does a certificate mean to you?

TAE-KWON!

The dojang floor often tells me all I need to know. Certificates -- pum and dan -- rarely mean anything if a new member cannot perform at or close to the level of our dojang's members of equal rank. I also take previous instructor, lineage and age of new member into consideration to decide where to place them.
 

Jaeimseu

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I have always found a certificate useful in forecasting a transfer student's knowledge. Knowing what orginization a student comes from can tell you a lot about what to expect from them. You will know if their forms/poomse match up, what type of sparring they are accustomed to, etc. I generally would allow someone to keep their rank if the taekwondo they have practiced is not too different from the style practiced at my school. If the student is not "up to snuff" then they would need to spend a longer than normal time at their current rank, or I would give them material to learn and have them do a "retest."
 
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