I would like your input on a practice common in Dc, Md, NoVa. Tkd schools and hapkido schools have created gup ranks in between Dan levels. These are KKW certification issuing schools. While the KKW has no such requirement, in my experience, masters are not exactly forthcoming that the practice is a creation of the school. It allows the school the generate testing fees every month or two on top of the contractual monthly fee. The cost for black belts increases with each Dan level. In this area first Dan is about $450-$600. Although I could easily be a third Dan by now under KKW standards, I refuse to pay these fees, which I find outrageous. What do these "dan gup tests" consist of? Schools teach various weapons forms (copying Chinese and Japanese staff katas, etc.). While nice to learn, it is not KKW TKD. Students should be given the option. However, that is not the case and Dan tests are essential held hostage. Taekwon dinero.