Earning a Black Belt

Master K

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I am curious about how the instructors and school owners feel about students that join their school/club and whether they will be able to earn a black belt. I am also curious to hear the students point of view as well.

Do you feel anyone that joins your school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel most people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel that just over half the people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel only one in one hundred students that join will earn a black belt?
Do you feel it will be even fewer than the ratio of one in one hundred?

I appreciate your thoughts and answers regarding this topic.

Respectfully,
K
 

dancingalone

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Do you feel anyone that joins your school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel most people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel that just over half the people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?

No. Even the McDojos don't achieve this rate of promotion. People drop out for a variety of reasons. Even in a generous environment of promotion where one could earn a BB in 2 years, it's rare that someone actually lasts that long.

Do you feel only one in one hundred students that join will earn a black belt?
Just purely by anecdotal evidence, I'd say most schools eventually promote about 5-15% of the students that enroll to BB.

Do you feel it will be even fewer than the ratio of one in one hundred?
Only in highly selective schools. To be frank, the average TKD curriculum is not so comprehensive that a BB promotion rate would be < 1%.
 

Cirdan

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Do you feel anyone that joins your school can earn a Black Belt?

Yes, if they put their mind to it.

Do you feel it will be even fewer than the ratio of one in one hundred?

Unfortunately this is the reality.

"The difference beteewn the possible and the impossible lies only in your Will"
 

StudentCarl

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DISCLAIMER: I do not have a black belt yet.

It depends:
-on who walks through your door
-how you teach to build on the student's initial commitment
-the structure of your curriculum and how you teach to insure quality learning

My day job is as a public high school teacher. The students I get are the very best ones their parents have, but the truth is that they are all different in what they bring. You can control two of the three above, but even with what you can control, you can't control how the student reacts to what you do.

I teach people, not just subjects. It's about respect, high positive expectations and relationship, not just content and skill. There's an old cliche that 'Students don't care what you know 'til they know that you care,' and it's true. And even then, some students are dealing with so much outside baggage that graduating from high school isn't what matters right then.

I don't think numbers tell the story with black belts either. I would be interested in a discussion of the difference--what you expect to see in a black belt (vs. colored belt) and what you don't expect to see in a black belt. Is promotion just a matter of time and skill mastery at a certain level, or is there some level of maturity and/or other traits you expect?

Carl
 
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terryl965

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Do you feel anyone that joins your school can earn a Black Belt?
Absolutely not, some people just do not have what it takes physically and mentally.

Do you feel most people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Once again no to many will not stay long enough to earn one

Do you feel that just over half the people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Again no I believe that trying to put a number into an equation that has no merit is impossible.

Do you feel only one in one hundred students that join will earn a black belt?
I feel that only certain people can get to a level of being a true BB

Do you feel it will be even fewer than the ratio of one in one hundred?

I have been training people for over thirty years and I have only turned out less than a hundred BB's some say that is not much but I know my BB's are there for a reason and not a belf.
 

granfire

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Define 'earned'

I think everybody can achieve BB walking through our doors.

Does that mean they have athletic ability? Not at all, but sticking it out is part of it.

Will everybody get their BB - of course not.

Most drop out at Yellow, at Blue is another plateau...(around brown - before red - the contract usually runs out)

Of course our standards are different than other schools.
 

Earl Weiss

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I think if someone has the physical ability to eat with silverware and ride a bicycle they have the physical ability to earn a black belt.

The rest of the formula is just class attendance and hard work.
 

Miles

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I think if someone has the physical ability to eat with silverware and ride a bicycle they have the physical ability to earn a black belt.

The rest of the formula is just class attendance and hard work.

To this excellent post I would add to Master Weiss' formula: proper attitude.

I've had several folks who physically could be black belts but mentally were not there. One young man was a 1st guep for about 3yrs before dropping out. Too bad as his older sister was a very good student and Mom figured it was both or neither....
 

dortiz

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"I think if someone has the physical ability to eat with silverware and ride a bicycle "

Not to sidetrack but I have seen a monkey in diapers do both of these things.

Saying we can walk everyone through a program is a bit towards the watering down side of things. To be fair maybe we need to go back to what a Black Belt is or should be to answer this then.

Not to stir anything up...
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I am curious about how the instructors and school owners feel about students that join their school/club and whether they will be able to earn a black belt. I am also curious to hear the students point of view as well.

Do you feel anyone that joins your school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel most people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel that just over half the people that join a school can earn a Black Belt?
Do you feel only one in one hundred students that join will earn a black belt?
Do you feel it will be even fewer than the ratio of one in one hundred?

I appreciate your thoughts and answers regarding this topic.

Respectfully,
K
Can? Yes in most cases.

Will? No in most cases.

By the time you factor in drop off and a small number of people who just don't seem interested in testing for BB but continue to train, I would estimate just over half for most commercial schools.

Knock out pum ranks and junior black belts (I do not personally consider them black-belts, no offense to anyone or their kids) and you're down to the one in a hundred, especially given that probably at least 80% of those who get a pum quit the moment they get their belt.

Daniel
 

dortiz

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First of all it would be the person who when knocked down gets up again.
it would be the student whos teacher did not pass them and then decided to try harder and get it right instead of cry and wait for their parents to talk to someone or the adult that quit frustrated because they paid and showed up so they should pass anyway.
It should be the student that is glad their teacher has standards and holds them to higher bar.
The student who when hurt (yes we get hurt once in a while in Martial Arts) looks forward to healing to come back even stronger vs complain about how dangerous this is.
Etc. Etc.

The average person does not feel this way. One in XXX does and they push through and strive harder. They should be BBelts. Too many schools though now push through the other huge percent and therfore dillute the spirit of the Martial Artist.

Not everyone but many do.
 

KELLYG

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If you think that a black belt is being familiar with most aspects of the art ,yes I think that most people that join a club can be a black belt. A lot of this depends on the individual. I think that a some students don't have the will, the mind over matter, that is necessary to earn a black belt. Most of these will quit before they even get close. There is a few that will be winnowed out due to poor attitude and and things of that nature. Some will stay just long enough and work just barely hard enough to test. At that point they think that they know everything and will be gone. I feel that a true black belt is one that stays, long after the Black Belt test and grows into their belt and continue diligently in their training and see the value of doing so.
 

granfire

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First of all it would be the person who when knocked down gets up again.
it would be the student whos teacher did not pass them and then decided to try harder and get it right instead of cry and wait for their parents to talk to someone or the adult that quit frustrated because they paid and showed up so they should pass anyway.
It should be the student that is glad their teacher has standards and holds them to higher bar.
The student who when hurt (yes we get hurt once in a while in Martial Arts) looks forward to healing to come back even stronger vs complain about how dangerous this is.
Etc. Etc.

The average person does not feel this way. One in XXX does and they push through and strive harder. They should be BBelts. Too many schools though now push through the other huge percent and therfore dillute the spirit of the Martial Artist.

Not everyone but many do.


Well, I agree for most parts.

I just found that the next drop out spike hits after the first BB is reached.
Leaves the rest of the class to get serious about continued training.

I found my BB to be like a driver's license: I knew the techniques but now I had to learn to really apply it.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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To be fair maybe we need to go back to what a Black Belt is or should be to answer this then.
Perhaps we should get back to what a black belt represents.

The term has become a title. "I'm a black belt" where really,it means only one thing: that they have learned and are (one hopes) proficient in the geub/kyu grade material and (again, one hopes) are able to fight using the style in which they have earned a dan grade. That is really about it.

Once one leaves his or her own school, their black belt looked at less by others than what the wearer's level of skill is. Some systems are more grueling than others in their approach, and some schools more grueling in their approach within a given system.

If I see a person from a school not my own with a black belt in taekwondo, all that I can reasonably expect is that the person knows their geub rank forms, has good stances, can execute their techniques with reasonable snap and power, and can demonstrate proficiency in sparring in whatever rule set their school uses, which may or may not be the same as where I learned. There is also a degree of maturity that I expect but have resigned myself to not always seeing.

Now, there are a lot of things that I feel that a first dan student should be. But I have come to accept that not everyone out there agrees with me beyond what I have stated above.

Daniel
 

cmassman

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I think everyone has the potential of earning a Black Belt, but very few have the drive to.
 

Manny

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Tobecome a black belt the person/student must to have the following things: commitment,attitude,perseverance,hardwork,humility,loyalty,respect,soul and heart.

If a student have all the above and has learned all the stuff of his/hers MA has in the curriculum he will become a good black belt.

Manny
 

dancingalone

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Tobecome a black belt the person/student must to have the following things: commitment,attitude,perseverance,hardwork,humility,loyalty,respect,soul and heart.

If a student have all the above and has learned all the stuff of his/hers MA has in the curriculum he will become a good black belt.

Manny

Not directed at you personally, Manny, but whatever happened to talent and physical ability?
 

ralphmcpherson

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Getting a black belt is like so many other things people persue. It takes time and effort. Unfortunately like learning the guitar , getting a uni degree or learning anything that takes time people generally dont have the patience and cant stick it out. For this reason I think most people have the physical abilities to achieve a black belt but it is their mindset that lets them down.
 

Cirdan

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Not directed at you personally, Manny, but whatever happened to talent and physical ability?

The talented still have to train hard, they might actually have a harder time when they reach the point where it is no longer easy to progress. Of course there are the extremely talented ones that progress both fast and far but they are extremely rare like one in a thousand.

Physical ability comes with training too. Strength, balance, coordination, stamina etc. Too many use the excuse "I am not fit enough to train MA" to never start training. Bah! Start now, just dont start too hard.
 
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