Dan Ranks: A Comparison of Ideologies

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
How many instructors are approved at a time for these courses? Are they listed somewhere?
Gooood question!

So I don't know specifically what you mean by "approved", I can see two potential meanings:

1. Approved to take the course - there's an application process, although as I understand it almost everyone that's qualified enough is allowed. So when I took the course in 2013, there were approximately 150 international masters. The hall was SLAMMED busy! This was about the limit for Kukkiwon in my opinion. Taekwondowon has bigger halls so could potentially take more, however, I worry that many more would make for lower quality education - even with assistants, there's only so much teaching you can do to such a big group. When I went back in 2016 I think there were about the same total number, but they then split it in to 3rd Class in one group and 2nd/1st Class in a second group. This helped a lot.

2. Approved/qualified as masters afterwards - I don't know the official stats, but anecdotally I've heard that the pass rate is about 50-60% of candidates. I certainly personally know people that have failed Kukkiwon courses, so it's definitely not a rubber stamp.

Given that as of last year (or the year before?) it's a requirement for Kukkiwon Membership System (Dan promotion system) application, I'd imagine more people will be doing it.

Regarding listing somewhere, not that I know of. For some reason Kukkiwon seems to not like doing this (I've never asked why). There is an online page at wta.kukkiwon.or.kr that lists the record of the person logging in (so you can check your results, etc) but you can't search for other people. In case people haven't seen this page/site and it's of interest, here's a screenshot (not trying to brag/boast and my certs are already online - but thought as not everyone has access it may be nice for some to see it):

Screenshot 2021-05-10 at 15.02.10.png


(WTA is "World Taekwondo Academy", not the best naming as to me it implies affiliation with "World Taekwondo" rather than Kukkiwon, but it's basically the instructor/judge educational department within Kukkiwon)
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2021-05-10 at 15.00.17.png
    Screenshot 2021-05-10 at 15.00.17.png
    81.9 KB · Views: 28

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
Errr, I disagree mostly with what you wrote, but it's just my 2p worth opinion.

I think there have been some small changes over the years with standards, but Korea has been pretty unified for the past 30 years, so I think most of the problems with international instructors feeling the standards aren't well defined comes from not learning from official Kukkiwon instructors. There are a lot of people who learn from their instructor, who learn from theirs, etc up the chain and in reality the top people either didn't keep attending courses with official instructors over the decades or decided their own way was best. So their version of Taekwondo has now digressed (or remains stuck in time) through their lineage and people see that they have Kukkiwon (WHATEVER) Dan and therefore their way is current and correct. It's often not the case, but then the student learns from someone else and suddenly there are changes or vagueness.

I first learnt from Kukkiwon instructors in 2012 and can say that through to my last time training with one in 2018 (was due back in 2020, but y'know, Covid) all of the instructors were consistent, all of them did things the same way, there was no vagueness. However...

Self-defence is one area though that it's a moving target, Kukkiwon is working hard to develop a decent self-defence curriculum and hasn't done the best of jobs at disseminating that information yet. However, when I first saw the whole syllabus on a video on the 2016 course, it's been consistently talked about since then.

The Kwans are definitely most established and consistent internationally, because as I wrote above, lots of instructors that consider themselves (WHATEVER) Kwan, still do things that have been passed down through generations and never been kept up to date. If you visit the Kwan HQ in Korea and train with the senior instructors there, you'll often find that it's 100% consistent with Kukkiwon Taekwondo. I know my Kwan President is vice-chairman of the Kukkiwon High Dan Testing Panel, so he's definitely Kukkiwon standard :)

Anyway, I understand your point, but it feels very different from my viewpoint.


I have to say I fully disagree with your post. It is completely written from the viewpoint of someone with only a snapshot of experience with Kukkiwon/WT.

My first experience with Kukkiwon and full Korean instructors was in 1984. Believe me when I tell you I have seen and experienced multiple moving targets in organizational philosophy, competition sparring and forms dissemination, not to mention the gross lacking in presenting a unified, complete martial art. This is in particular to your SD reference. It has been almost 50 years and the political bickering and jockeying is still prohibiting Kukkiwon from presenting a full package. This has affected me both in business and in my competition phase. It is very real and still present. So your comment came off more as uninformed covering for KKW than anything else.
Respectfully, your opinion is narrow and somewhat blind to the realities. It is great that you have had some training in Korea, it truly is. But to think all others countries are somehow lacking and incorrect simply speaks to the systemic problems within KKW.
I have been trained only by full Korean instructors; not 2nd, 3rd lineage. The exception is in MDK where my GM was a student of Hwang Kee. I will take that all day.
I am writing this from my phone and the new site is doing some weird stuff. I hope you get the whole message. Some of it displays as if it was written by you so read the whole thread carefully.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
My first experience with Kukkiwon and full Korean instructors was in 1984. Believe me when I tell you I have seen and experienced multiple moving targets in organizational philosophy, competition sparring and forms dissemination, not to mention the gross lacking in presenting a unified, complete martial art. This is in particular to your SD reference. It has been almost 50 years and the political bickering and jockeying is still prohibiting Kukkiwon from presenting a full package. This has affected me both in business and in my competition phase. It is very real and still present. So your comment came off more as uninformed covering for KKW than anything else.

Respectfully, your opinion is narrow and somewhat blind to the realities. It is great that you have had some training in Korea, it truly is. But to think all others countries are somehow lacking and incorrect simply speaks to the systemic problems within KKW.

I have been trained only by full Korean instructors; not 2nd, 3rd lineage. The exception is in MDK where my GM was a student of Hwang Kee. I will take that all day.

I am writing this from my phone and the new site is doing some weird stuff. I hope you get the whole message. Some of it displays as if it was written by you so read the whole thread carefully.
Just to be clear, I don't think "all other countries are somehow lacking and incorrect" is not something I think or said. My own instructor wasn't Korean. I'm an active Kwan member, although my Kwan 100% supports Kukkiwon standards.

I have trained alongside masters from pretty much every country in the world and I would say a good 70-80% of things don't do things Kukkiwon standard way. Now, if they want to label what they do as "Traditional Taekwondo", or "X Kwan Taekwondo" that's fine. I genuinely don't care and it's not my place to judge. If they say they do Kukkiwon Taekwondo (and aren't doing it according to current standards), then I care. If they say "I'm doing one of the original 9 kwans style of Taekwondo, as still exists in Korea, and am current with it", then they're incorrect as all the Kwans in Korea follow Kukkiwon Taekwondo standards.

To be clear though, when I was talking about 2nd/3rd lineage it wasn't about distance from Korea or Korean people, but in terms of how up to date each link has remained. Again, my instructor wasn't Korean and the example I spell out below doesn't matter what nationality people are BUT how they are exposed to Taekwondo and changes in standards...

For example (and I hope you agree), Taekwondo was very different from the 1950's/1960's to now, right? Now imagine an instructor from that era left Korea, set up in another country and started teaching. Every so often he would go back to Korea, get higher rank (and most of the people there would respect him as a senior and not tell him "hey, we don't do it that way any more, it's changed to this"). So now he's a high dan, LOTS of years in it, but is quite removed from current standards. By now he also has his own master students that also do things "the correct way, from Korea, I'm one of the seniors of this style". They have their own students and pass on the same methods to.

And hopefully now you can imagine now how people think they are doing things correctly, there are constantly changes in Kukkiwon style, whereas in fact it is more that whereas there are some changes over time, too many links in the chain didn't keep up with them, so now it seems like a lot.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you trained with a student of one of the Kwan founders, I love that you're potentially keeping that distinct style alive. I'm not in a position to be qualified if you're doing it right or wrong. What I can say as a certified Kukkiwon master (and accuracy nut, although my wife labels it other things), what Kukkiwon standards are.
 

WaterGal

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,734
Reaction score
556
I'm going to agree with Andy here. When Mr WaterGal did the Master Course, he discovered that our old Korean immigrant teacher had been teaching some things in the Taegeuk forms the way that he learned growing up in Korea in the 80s, and hadn't really kept up with what KKW was doing since. So we had to make some tweaks to what we were teaching. And apparently there were a number of instructors taking the class that were barely familiar with the Taegeuk forms at all.

I think that the requirement that you do the course before joining KMS will, at very least, help a lot with getting everybody on the same page with the basics (or weeding out people who are giving out KKW certs who aren't actually teaching KKW TKD).
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
Just to be clear, I don't think "all other countries are somehow lacking and incorrect" is not something I think or said. My own instructor wasn't Korean. I'm an active Kwan member, although my Kwan 100% supports Kukkiwon standards.

I have trained alongside masters from pretty much every country in the world and I would say a good 70-80% of things don't do things Kukkiwon standard way. Now, if they want to label what they do as "Traditional Taekwondo", or "X Kwan Taekwondo" that's fine. I genuinely don't care and it's not my place to judge. If they say they do Kukkiwon Taekwondo (and aren't doing it according to current standards), then I care. If they say "I'm doing one of the original 9 kwans style of Taekwondo, as still exists in Korea, and am current with it", then they're incorrect as all the Kwans in Korea follow Kukkiwon Taekwondo standards.

To be clear though, when I was talking about 2nd/3rd lineage it wasn't about distance from Korea or Korean people, but in terms of how up to date each link has remained. Again, my instructor wasn't Korean and the example I spell out below doesn't matter what nationality people are BUT how they are exposed to Taekwondo and changes in standards...

For example (and I hope you agree), Taekwondo was very different from the 1950's/1960's to now, right? Now imagine an instructor from that era left Korea, set up in another country and started teaching. Every so often he would go back to Korea, get higher rank (and most of the people there would respect him as a senior and not tell him "hey, we don't do it that way any more, it's changed to this"). So now he's a high dan, LOTS of years in it, but is quite removed from current standards. By now he also has his own master students that also do things "the correct way, from Korea, I'm one of the seniors of this style". They have their own students and pass on the same methods to.

And hopefully now you can imagine now how people think they are doing things correctly, there are constantly changes in Kukkiwon style, whereas in fact it is more that whereas there are some changes over time, too many links in the chain didn't keep up with them, so now it seems like a lot.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that you trained with a student of one of the Kwan founders, I love that you're potentially keeping that distinct style alive. I'm not in a position to be qualified if you're doing it right or wrong. What I can say as a certified Kukkiwon master (and accuracy nut, although my wife labels it other things), what Kukkiwon standards are.
Contradictions aside, most of the Kwan's are fully intact, even in Korea albeit in more of a historical form there. You are actively part of an original Kwan as I understand it so I do not get the 'outdated information' references. What do you think the Kukkiwon was established from if not from the Kwan's? Ignoring them is truly like trying to erase someone's personal history.
I have also worked with Korean Masters from all over the world from my competition days but more importantly and impressively because Masters come from all over the world to work with Grand Master Shin on a regular basis.
I think you are overselling the KKW standard as a standard. Especially in today's ease of information. It is truly an open format database; anyone can access the 'correct way' to do patterns, tournament rules and such. So saying 70%-80% of TKD schools don't follow the curriculum after all these years should really, really be saying something to you; loudly. Where it is and always has been lacking is in a true school curriculum. This is where being affiliated with a Kwan like you and I carries fantastic weight and merit.
Of course TKD is very different today from the 50's & 60's, it was an infant at that time. It was and still is growing up.
I guessing you have never been in a steering committee or rules meeting with a room full of full blooded Koreans; it is anything but polite the whole time. There Will be a good amount of ego flexing before the meeting is over. Yes, in public they are most often cordial; that is in their culture. But don't think they will not flex their high rank muscles. I have left meetings where blood was shed on more than one occasion. And one of these was an IOC meeting.

I have said many times that KKW/WT has been very, very good to me personally and professionally. Being heavily involved in the early years of Olympic competition are some of the most cherished memories of my life. Where I differ is that after my Olympic run I got very involved in and am belted in other style MA's and TKD. Something I cannot recommend strongly enough to anyone working out. It takes a great deal of time and commitment and a great deal of things have to fall or be forced your way but I would not change any part of my MA's life.
It gives a person a much fuller, more robust, and more knowledgeable perspective on TKD and MA's. How it has influenced me and how I have been able to become an influencer is simply an unspeakable privilege.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
most of the Kwan's are fully intact, even in Korea albeit in more of a historical form there. You are actively part of an original Kwan as I understand it so I do not get the 'outdated information' references. What do you think the Kukkiwon was established from if not from the Kwan's? Ignoring them is truly like trying to erase someone's personal history.
I apparently am not writing very clearly (or at least the meaning behind my words isn't coming through). I'll try again...

I am actively part of a Kwan (Changmookwan). When I refer to outdated practices, there are a lot of people who label what they do as "X Kwan Taekwondo" and still practice what "X Kwan" did in the 50's/60's/70's/etc, rather than keeping up to date with what the "X Kwan HQ in Korea" does, which is 100% Kukkiwon. They claim to be doing "X Kwan", but really it's "outdated X Kwan" not current.

It's not ignoring the Kwans, I fully appreciate and love them, and they full appreciate, love and support Kukkiwon as the central authority for defining Taekwondo standards.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
I think you are overselling the KKW standard as a standard. Especially in today's ease of information. It is truly an open format database; anyone can access the 'correct way' to do patterns, tournament rules and such. So saying 70%-80% of TKD schools don't follow the curriculum after all these years should really, really be saying something to you; loudly. Where it is and always has been lacking is in a true school curriculum. This is where being affiliated with a Kwan like you and I carries fantastic weight and merit.
It says something to me loudly, but maybe it says something different to you.

What it says to me is that lots of masters keep doing things the way they've always been done, rather than engage in Continued Professional Development (to borrow a work-based term) and go to the people that the seniors at the top of their tree/lineage agree are the people responsible for defining the standards.

I think Kukkiwon Taekwondo does have a full curriculum for use in dojangs, what people choose to do with that information (use it or ignore it) or add to it, is up to them.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
Contradictions aside
By the way, if you feel there are any contradictions you feel I wrote that I haven't already explained to clarify, feel free to specifically call them out and I'll try to explain in a different way. These conversations are often better in a pub over a beer, or a Korean restaurant over some bulgogi and sometimes meanings get lost when translating thoughts to writing. Happy to keep trying though, in my head they are clear, so it's likely my writing skills that are at fault ;-)
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,080
Reaction score
4,932
Location
Pueblo West, CO
I apparently am not writing very clearly (or at least the meaning behind my words isn't coming through). I'll try again...

I am actively part of a Kwan (Changmookwan). When I refer to outdated practices, there are a lot of people who label what they do as "X Kwan Taekwondo" and still practice what "X Kwan" did in the 50's/60's/70's/etc, rather than keeping up to date with what the "X Kwan HQ in Korea" does, which is 100% Kukkiwon. They claim to be doing "X Kwan", but really it's "outdated X Kwan" not current.

It's not ignoring the Kwans, I fully appreciate and love them, and they full appreciate, love and support Kukkiwon as the central authority for defining Taekwondo standards.
If your X Kwan is still a part of the Kwan in Korea, then I can understand this view. However, if you're part of a group that has split off then it's not outdated. It's just X Kwan. Our org is the American MooDukKwan Taekwondo Association. Our curriculum is not outdated. It's just our curriculum. We do teach the KKW curriculum as well, and most of the Master and Grandmaster level people hold rank in both. To be graded for MDK rank, you're tested on the MDK curriculum. For KKW, you're tested on the KKW material.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
It says something to me loudly, but maybe it says something different to you.

What it says to me is that lots of masters keep doing things the way they've always been done, rather than engage in Continued Professional Development (to borrow a work-based term) and go to the people that the seniors at the top of their tree/lineage agree are the people responsible for defining the standards.

I think Kukkiwon Taekwondo does have a full curriculum for use in dojangs, what people choose to do with that information (use it or ignore it) or add to it, is up to them.
CPD is a common term that should be applied in personal life as well as professional business. Never have I seen it applied in the progression of KKW in it's intended model. More it has always been a 'kicking and screaming' contest between the powers in charge at the time (also a revolving door). That group has always had a hard time finding consensus. Again, this is a big reason that after 50 years they still have not finalized the patterns agreed upon in the beginning. Like you say, they are ever changing. I feel your history in this matter is lacking.

This idea that KKW has a complete curriculum is patently wrong and very dangerous water to tread on as a school owner or business person. SO much is missing to be able to offer a full and robust school curriculum. If you feel learning the KKW poomsae in order and learning how to WT spar is a curriculum that is your prerogative. But I will stand firm on the belief that promoting this idea is the leading edge of the deterioration of TKD. Get your head out of the KKW sand and you will see the considerable slip that is happening all over the world.
People today are more educated to MA's and so much information is instantly available. So they come in knowing more than they did 10-20 years ago. It has created a positive bias. Many people are seeing that the KKW/WT product is not complete even before they sign up. Most good instructors have figured out that it is can be a Great compliment to an existing quality program to offer a broader competition component. This is why so many schools jump on board. But fewer and fewer people are attracted to this KKW/WT level of competition and end up scratching their head asking "now what am I supposed to do"?
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
By the way, if you feel there are any contradictions you feel I wrote that I haven't already explained to clarify, feel free to specifically call them out and I'll try to explain in a different way. These conversations are often better in a pub over a beer, or a Korean restaurant over some bulgogi and sometimes meanings get lost when translating thoughts to writing. Happy to keep trying though, in my head they are clear, so it's likely my writing skills that are at fault ;-)

Thank you, I would enjoy have a beer with you but we are pretty far apart so it will have to wait.
Believe me when I say I Love to debate. My wife has said many times I would argue with a rock. I always tell her I disagree because the rock cannot argue back.
In this conversation I have the advantage of age and direct experience. And my experience is very broad, not tainted by being purely immersed in one vein of thinking.
I am not trying to kill KKW/WT. I love it and like I said earlier it has been very good to me. But the reality is that the 70%-80% of the schools you mentioned earlier have already figured out what I have been arguing during this thread and choose to use KKW/WT as a complimentary addition to their school and not as a standard.

To be sure, it is a very big, very powerful body. An international sport that deserves acknowledgement and respect. Outside of the competition arena it has not earned deference and I do not think it has ever intended to.
It is not, never has been and I believe never intends to be a Martial Art. Strategically, it leaves that to the co-joined schools.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
It says something to me loudly, but maybe it says something different to you.

What it says to me is that lots of masters keep doing things the way they've always been done, rather than engage in Continued Professional Development (to borrow a work-based term) and go to the people that the seniors at the top of their tree/lineage agree are the people responsible for defining the standards.

I think Kukkiwon Taekwondo does have a full curriculum for use in dojangs, what people choose to do with that information (use it or ignore it) or add to it, is up to them.
Oh, you mean the program where you pay money for a few days of training? And this magically makes someone a qualified instructor? Hmm?

I am quite curious what is says to you.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,602
Reaction score
2,031
Location
Southeast U.S.
I apparently am not writing very clearly (or at least the meaning behind my words isn't coming through). I'll try again...

I am actively part of a Kwan (Changmookwan). When I refer to outdated practices, there are a lot of people who label what they do as "X Kwan Taekwondo" and still practice what "X Kwan" did in the 50's/60's/70's/etc, rather than keeping up to date with what the "X Kwan HQ in Korea" does, which is 100% Kukkiwon. They claim to be doing "X Kwan", but really it's "outdated X Kwan" not current.

It's not ignoring the Kwans, I fully appreciate and love them, and they full appreciate, love and support Kukkiwon as the central authority for defining Taekwondo standards.
Using my Kwan (MDK) as the example, we practice an established set of Hyungs (poomsae) that are older than the KKW form set. This in no way makes them outdated. Just different. To infer otherwise is propaganda thinking fed to you by KKW.
That said, do you feel your CMK forms are outdated?
 

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,089
Reaction score
4,764
Location
Lexington, KY
What it says to me is that lots of masters keep doing things the way they've always been done, rather than engage in Continued Professional Development (to borrow a work-based term) and go to the people that the seniors at the top of their tree/lineage agree are the people responsible for defining the standards.
I've got a question regarding the material you learn at these KKW courses.

Are you primarily learning functional improvements to your skills? I.e., do you come back from the seminar having discovered details that seem to significantly improve the percentage with which you land your side kick, the reliability of your blocks, the power of your punches, etc?

Or are you learning updates to the "official standard", i.e. when performing form X, you must point your toe at this precise angle and turn your hips exactly this much, because the people in charge have decreed that this is the official correct method?

If it's primarily the former, then how does the functional information compare to what you've learned from other, non-KKW courses? IF it's primarily the latter, then how important do you consider it to use your CPD time keeping up with whatever the folks at the top of the hierarchy have currently defined as correct?
 

angelariz

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
134
Reaction score
29
Location
CT
So let me start by saying, this is in no way intended to be inflammatory. I am very interested in the discussion and hearing various views on the subject... and why you feel that way.

In TKD (and most traditional 'kick/punch' MA) the road to the higher Dan ranks is paved in grueling sweat and blood. I've seen YouTube clips of people testing for 9th Dan. While other times, the higher BB ranks are often awarded for service to the MA and experience.

Conversely, BJJ handles things in the completely opposite way. My understanding is that after receiving your 1st Dan; ALL future rank advancements are given through lineage for time and contributions... with no further gradings.

Now, I understand that it is comparing dissimilar things in some ways. It takes an average of 10-15 years for most people to get their BJJ black belt... while it is (unfortunately in my opinion) all to common for TKD students to obtain theirs in as little as 2 years. (My own road there took 5.5 years).

I am not suggesting that TKD should adopt the no more grading practice... the arts are too different. I do wonder though; why the fixation on aggressive grading requirements for black belts that are often past their physical prime.
While my personal views tend toward knowledge and experience being more important than high flying physical skills; I would love to learn more from a more broad section of our population on the topic. At what point do you think it should change to a recognition model?
Thanks.

(Ps. We all come from different places and experiences, so lets please keep that 1st Tenet in mind while we discuss this loaded topic. 'We can disagree in the end; but we can still be friends').
I dont give out rank.
We are a PFS school.
If people want rank, I send them to other teachers. We only care about training and making the ranges flow together.
 

WaterGal

Master of Arts
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
1,734
Reaction score
556
I think Kukkiwon Taekwondo does have a full curriculum for use in dojangs, what people choose to do with that information (use it or ignore it) or add to it, is up to them.

Mmm.... this may depend on what one means by a "full curriculum". I would argue that a "full curriculum" includes things like lesson plans and instructional methods, and as far as I've seen, KKW doesn't provide that in any of their official textbooks or other material. They provide a basic framework for what students should learn, but the how is left up to the instructor.
 

Dirty Dog

MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
18,080
Reaction score
4,932
Location
Pueblo West, CO
Mmm.... this may depend on what one means by a "full curriculum". I would argue that a "full curriculum" includes things like lesson plans and instructional methods, and as far as I've seen, KKW doesn't provide that in any of their official textbooks or other material. They provide a basic framework for what students should learn, but the how is left up to the instructor.
As it should be. Different people learn best in different ways. Different people teach best in different ways. Trying to dictate the HOW strikes me as more than a bit unreasonable.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
If your X Kwan is still a part of the Kwan in Korea, then I can understand this view. However, if you're part of a group that has split off then it's not outdated. It's just X Kwan. Our org is the American MooDukKwan Taekwondo Association. Our curriculum is not outdated. It's just our curriculum. We do teach the KKW curriculum as well, and most of the Master and Grandmaster level people hold rank in both. To be graded for MDK rank, you're tested on the MDK curriculum. For KKW, you're tested on the KKW material.
I agree as long as either the Kwan is dissolved/inactive or one specifies the split off group.

For example, I have absolutely no problem with "I'm an AMDKTA member and our curriculum is X", only with "I'm a (e.g.) Chungdokwan member and our curriculum is X, it's not the same as Kukkiwon's".
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
I've got a question regarding the material you learn at these KKW courses.

Go for it, always happy to answer questions if I can.

Are you primarily learning functional improvements to your skills? I.e., do you come back from the seminar having discovered details that seem to significantly improve the percentage with which you land your side kick, the reliability of your blocks, the power of your punches, etc?

The first time, definitely yes. I was developing power incorrectly, using a lot of brute force and tension rather than acceleration. This was corrected on the course and has definitely improved blocking and punching.

Or are you learning updates to the "official standard", i.e. when performing form X, you must point your toe at this precise angle and turn your hips exactly this much, because the people in charge have decreed that this is the official correct method?

Definitely a lot of that too. Which to me is valuable.

If it's primarily the former, then how does the functional information compare to what you've learned from other, non-KKW courses? IF it's primarily the latter, then how important do you consider it to use your CPD time keeping up with whatever the folks at the top of the hierarchy have currently defined as correct?
I would say it's mostly the latter, but some of the former. So I'll answer both questions.

The functional side has been shown on other courses too (including by a Korean master I brought to the UK), but I think it's great that I learnt it on the "official KKW course" too.

I consider it very important keeping up with the top of the hierarchy's definition of correct. I personally believe that for Kukkiwon Taekwondo, the Kukkiwon defines the standard. I identify (for want of a better phrasing) as a Kukkiwon Taekwondoin and a Changmookwan Taekwondoin (which 100% supports Kukkiwon). My role in Taekwondo has been to learn as accurately as I can and pass it on as accurately as I can, without watering it down. If people don't want to learn Kukkiwon Taekwondo, they feel there are better styles out there, all power to them - but I personally want to just be an accurate reflection of upstream and pass it on to my students that way.
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
271
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
Mmm.... this may depend on what one means by a "full curriculum". I would argue that a "full curriculum" includes things like lesson plans and instructional methods, and as far as I've seen, KKW doesn't provide that in any of their official textbooks or other material. They provide a basic framework for what students should learn, but the how is left up to the instructor.
It's a fair point. The course in 2016 covered this to some extent. For example, from my diary of the course:

This morning our first lecture was on Taekwondo Education by Dr Son, Cheontaik of the Kukkiwon Research Institute. He went through some information on psychology including Mavlovs Hierarchy of Needs and Freuds Basic Instincts. Then went in to planning a Taekwondo programme, composed of units in quite some detail. He explained about using Block Time to consider each lesson as 15 minute blocks to be filled of one area of Taekwondo learning. Then each grade has a certain number of each blocks to be completed before they move to the next grade. E.g. White belts may need more etiquette and basic motions, but black belts may need more advanced kicking, sparring and poomsae. I asked about how this works in dojangs with mixed grade lessons (ours has white belts to 5th Dan training in the same class), he replied that the way to handle this is to use Stations so that different groups of grades can work on different things in different areas of the dojang.

Dr Son taught the history portion on the previous course, happens to be from the same Kwan as me, so obviously I have a lot of respect for him.
 
Top