From Okinawa to Korea

TrueJim

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All your comments were very helpful, thank you....

I'm awesome! :D

But seriously, there was one other point that I wanted to make yesterday, but I ran out of time (I had to run as I was typing).

We had this one teen in our school who had horrible 360 tornado kicks. Just awful. And none of the instructors ever corrected his technique! They just kept letting him perform horrible 360 kicks, week after week, month after month. As a new student, I found this very confusing. Why did nobody pull this kid aside and try to improve his technique?

And then, one day, suddenly his kicks were good! It was...like magic. Without any additional instruction, he somehow mysteriously self-corrected? What the....!!!

From that point forward, I started paying closer attention to this phenomenon. I saw that same pattern repeated with a lot of children. Sloppy technique, week after week, with minimal correction from the instructors, sloppy sloppy sloppy...and then one day -- it's as if a lightbulb goes off over the head. Suddenly the kid "gets it". Suddenly the technique is looking crisp.

I don't have a good understanding of this phenomenon. Is it that children are natural mimics? Is it that their motor skills finally caught-up with the movements that their brains had been signaling the whole time? I don't know. What I learned from this is that humans don't seem to learn the way I thought they learned. I guess teaching more "advanced" techniques early (before prior techniques are fully mastered) gives kids' brains the chance to play with the advanced techniques for a longer period of time, so the end result is faster progress?

Bottom line: I agree with you; I too found modern taekwondo teaching fairly "weird" compared to what I was used to from my old-school days, but it actually seems to work remarkably well.

 

Earl Weiss

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Yes, there is a development issue with children. It often falls into proprioception issues. The brains ability to know where the limbs are without looking. Everyone has this issue to some extent but it develops in us over time. There is also a musculor development issue. The only problem with letting someone do something wrong over a period of time is the potential for ingraining the neural pathways sometimes referred to as muscle memory, which the takes time to correct.
 

TrueJim

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The only problem with letting someone do something wrong over a period of time is the potential for ingraining the neural pathways sometimes referred to as muscle memory, which the takes time to correct.

Yes sir! That would have been my supposition too. I often thought, "Why are they letting these kids develop wrong muscle memory?" But then, as I said, some magic occurs, and suddenly the techniques look good. 簪\_()_/簪 I'm as surprised as anyone that the "Don't correct them much, but make them repeat the technique even if incorrectly a lot" teaching technique somehow seems to yield good results. To your point, I still find it mystifying that this actually works.
 

_Simon_

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Yes sir! That would have been my supposition too. I often thought, "Why are they letting these kids develop wrong muscle memory?" But then, as I said, some magic occurs, and suddenly the techniques look good. 簪\_()_/簪 I'm as surprised as anyone that the "Don't correct them much, but make them repeat the technique even if incorrectly a lot" teaching technique somehow seems to yield good results. To your point, I still find it mystifying that this actually works.
Yeah that is an interesting thought hey! So commonly are we told "perfect practice makes perfect", perhaps in some cases it is just "practice makes perfect". But still I guess it's important to teach and emphasise good technique, but we can't be at every single person critiquing every single millimetre of movement that's incorrect (and bound to happen). May be a proprioception thing that eventually clicks after all!
 

Jaeimseu

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Yeah that is an interesting thought hey! So commonly are we told "perfect practice makes perfect", perhaps in some cases it is just "practice makes perfect". But still I guess it's important to teach and emphasise good technique, but we can't be at every single person critiquing every single millimetre of movement that's incorrect (and bound to happen). May be a proprioception thing that eventually clicks after all!

I think in many cases the student is simply incapable of performing the movement correctly. In this case its not necessarily a lack of understanding of the technique causing mistakes. At some point the mechanics click and the student can do it with confidence and without thinking.


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Michele123

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So I think the first video in this tread: TMA and fighting.
TMA and fighting. really pinpoints what I find missing in Taekwando. And granted, maybe it is just where I study (though I really love the gym and the people). But when I studied Shutokan in my teen years, we learned the why of stuff and practiced it. The outside-inside block the guy in the video mentions being an armlock. We learned that and practiced it as both a block and an armlock. Same with the down block, up block, the inside-outside block, and so many more. They are all more than just blocks. Even strikes had more drtailed applications. Thats why in my old style they were very particular about the cover for the block. Because its really more than a cover. Ive asked about the cover for blocks and strikes in Taekwando and people look at me blankly. Is this just something Taekwando leaves out? Or do they not address it until much later?


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pdg

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It's been mentioned before, but I have to do it again - it's TaekwOndo (with or without various hyphenation)...

As to the actual question:

Application and interpretation varies from school to school, instructor to instructor and student to student.

I think the most prevalent though is "there is one application, here it is".

To go deeper into it (i.e. a block can be an attack, a strike isn't always a strike, some things translate to the ground) you need to find the right instructor or another like minded student - or you're on your own.

I do think that some branches of karate are more willing to view the techniques as concepts with variable interpretation than most of the tkd world, but even then it varies.

I've had the same blank stares, and I've had meaningful discussions about this very subject, so I really don't think it's a "higher rank" thing, it's more personal than that.
 
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Michele123

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It's been mentioned before, but I have to do it again - it's TaekwOndo (with or without various hyphenation)...

Oh my! Thank you! I thought people were telling me no hyphen last time. My phone always put the a and I just assumed it was correct...

Taekwondo. Ill remember that now.


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Dirty Dog

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I think the most prevalent though is "there is one application, here it is".

If anyone with instructor rank actually believes there is only one application for any movement used in TKD (and I'm including the chambers, when they're done properly) then run away. They're idiots.

Oh my! Thank you! I thought people were telling me no hyphen last time. My phone always put the a and I just assumed it was correct...

Taekwondo. Ill remember that now.

Literally, Tae (hand) Kwon (foot) Do (way) - the hand-foot way, or the Way (or Art) of Kicking and Punching.
Kwan means school or gym, and let's face it; the Hand Gym Way sounds like something that would involve spandex and shake weights.

Hyphenation is generally (though not always) a function of the org you're connected to. General Choi and his ITF always romanized it as Taekwon-Do, and the KKW typically uses Taekwondo. But Tae Kwon Do is also common, and I've seen Tae Kwon-Do more than once.

I would say the hyphenation is really inconsequential (unless it's being used to signify connection to a given org). But the difference between kwon and kwan IS significant.

Just for fun.... the native Koreans I know pronunce it Tay, not Tie.

And to further add to the confusion of romanizing Hangul...
On our rank certificates, MDK is MooDukKwan. One word, but capitalized as three words.
 

_Simon_

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And just another thought here, it is great when there are multiple applications for specific movements, but at the same time if they're not actually drilled then to me it would just cause severe confusion. I've been told that certain blocks could be this, that, a strike, a block, a lock, a break out, and whilst that's great, these alternates were never drilled.

In this case I'd say that it is much better to have a technique with a sole purpose to eliminate confusion and direct your attention towards a single intention with a technique to actually make it laser focused and more effective. And one that you're actually using more on a frequent basis in training.

I've seen people spout the wonders of a particular technique just for wow factor of how many applications it has (shuto uke or shuto mawashi uke). We were excited to hear that, but it was just left at that. So obviously it depends on the school and whether applications are drilled.

But sometimes a single direct focus for a movement might be for the best.. just a thought :)
 

WaterGal

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Just for fun.... the native Koreans I know pronunce it Tay, not Tie.

Yeah, is more like "teh/tey" than "tie/thai". But that's not an intuitive pronounciation for native English speakers, for whatever reason.
 

pdg

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Yeah, is more like "teh/tey" than "tie/thai". But that's not an intuitive pronounciation for native English speakers, for whatever reason.

But oddly, I can't think of an 'English' word that contains "ae" that's pronounced as in "tie".

Algae, aero(space/plane/bic), aeon, aesthetic, aeciospores, flea, haemorrhage, haemoglobin, patellae, tracheal, urethra...


Dammit, maestro :confused:
 

Dirty Dog

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And just another thought here, it is great when there are multiple applications for specific movements, but at the same time if they're not actually drilled then to me it would just cause severe confusion. I've been told that certain blocks could be this, that, a strike, a block, a lock, a break out, and whilst that's great, these alternates were never drilled.

That's normal for beginners. It's because you have not yet grasped the underlying principles for the movements.
You simply can't drill all the applications for a given movement. Because they're unlimited.
Moving beyond techniques to an understanding and application of the principles of balance, timing, distancing, leverage, etc underlying them is one of the most difficult steps any student will ever take, in my experience. And many will never do so, for various reasons. To my mind, that step could well be the answer to the oft debated question of 'what makes a person a master.'
 
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Michele123

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We had our tournament.

I think some of my concerns are put to rest from watching the demo team and the higher ranks compete. Im now wondering if my perception of the competency level of students in my old style isnt colored by the fact that I was among black belts when I left there? Watching the upper ranks compete, there were definitely some good martial artists there. Even several of the poums (spelling? They are basically Jr. Black belts) had good, clean, and crisp techniques. Looking around, it seemed to be a mixed bag until 2nd/3rd dan. From there on up it was clear they really knew their stuff. So maybe some of the stuff I miss from karate will return to me when I get to higher ranks in Taekwondo. Obviously the takedowns, falling, & grappling wont. But maybe someday I can afford to cross-train with some form of jujitsu.

-
Anyhow, I thought Id share how the tournament went for my daughter and I.

It was a great experience. My daughter worked harder on her pattern this time and won 1st place in her division (of three). When it came to breaking, she didnt get any of her breaks though and ended up in tears. Then they all had to do push-ups. The lady black belt actually look and talked to my daughter (from afar it seriously looked like she was examining my daughters face) then called for everyone to do push-ups. My daughter thinks its because she was crying about not breaking that the lady made all the kids do push-ups. Apparently the lady didnt actually give a verbal reason for the push-ups though. Im not happy if my daughter was punished for crying from disappointment. Shes six for crying out loud!

My daughter did ok in sparing. She runs toward her opponent but doesnt kick much so she gets scored on a lot. She did manage to get one point during one of her matches and she was very excited about that. Since there were only three competing in her group she got third place.


I feel pretty pleased with how I did in the tournament overall. There were only three colored belts competing but I still got to push myself in each category. Forms were first. I did Taeguek Yi Jang, which Id only learned a week and a half ago. Ive practiced it a lot since then on my own and, while it was far from perfect, I still did pretty good all things considering. My biggest failing was that my stances were a bit off, according to the head judge. I think I accidentally did crescent walk several times during the form (which is residual from my old style). I nailed all the techniques and had good power and whatnot, according to the judge. I managed to still get first place, ahead of another 7th gup and ahead of a 2nd gup. I wish my husband had been able to be there to video my form again because Id love to go back and watch it to figure out more about the "stances need work" feedback from the judge. But my youngest two kids just couldnt sit that long.

Next event was breaking. Up through 5 gup were supposed to have a set two breaks (same as the last tournament, turning side kick through two boards on one side, run to other side and do the same thing). The 4th - 1st gup were supposed to have eight boards spread through four stations and get to pick their own breaks. Since there were only the three of us total, we all had to do the four stations and eight boards thing.

I was terrified. Im not known for my flexibility. I had mentally and physically prepared for the breaks I expected to do. Now I have to come up with four different stations to break a total of eight boards. Im also not the most creative person. We had about two minutes to decide what we wanted to do. A third dan talked with us a bit to try and give ideas.

In the end, for my first station I took his suggestion. I broke one board punching forward and one behind me on the chamber (so an elbow). My second station I did the turning side kick through two boards. My third station I did a regular side kick through two boards. Finally I had two boards set on concrete blocks to break with an elbow swing down. This last one is the only one I didnt break. My knee hit the ground before my elbow it the board and it took all the power out. Id never done the break before and thought it was a matter of dropping my weight into it. I guess I needed to bend over more than drop.

Im still pleased with how I did. The whole situation was a stretch for me and I really didnt want to do it but I did it anyway. Im please that I hit the board correctly on the punch (first two knuckles) as it can be hard to tell on bags sometimes. Im pleased I broke the double boards with my kicks. Last tournament my aim was completely off as I had not been taught how to line up for a turn side kick. Both of the kicking breaks are the ones I did for my double test, but my test was single boards. So Im pleased I was able to get past the mental block of two boards. I dont mind getting third (last) place as I had no expectations going in, especially once the breaks were changed. Before the tournament I just wanted to be able to break the double boards with my turn side kick. I feel like I accomplished this and more.

Lastly was sparing. Apparently they do not have men and women spar each other. There were no other colored belt women there. There was one other woman there to spar, a 1st dan (who just received her invitation to test for 2nd dan). Since she had no one else to spar ether they paired us up. Sparring was never my best subject in karate and I havent really sparred since then (except briefly at a seminar in February). Anyhow, to be paired with a black belt was intimidating. Im a 7th gup going against a 1st dan, who is also half my age. (Actually slightly less than half my age. Shes not quite 18).

I was nervous but one thing that came back to me this week when thinking and practicing was dancing around. You know, not staying in the same spot, sliding to the outside of an opponent. Anyhow, Im in slightly better shape so I dance around quite a bit. I try to wait until she commits to a technique and get around it to throw mine. At the very least, I exhausted us both! A few times when I blocked her kicks from the side, she somehow leaned into me knocking me down. Neither of those scored a point though, just a pause on the timer. In the end, I actually managed to score more points than she did. I dont know the actual score, but from their calling point, Im pretty sure I got nearly two points to each of her points. Im guessing they were being easier on me because of the rank difference. Still, it felt pretty great to perform so well when I had been so nervous.

Its funny, I may have gotten first in forms but that is the category I am least satisfied with. I feel like I could have done so much better if someone in my school had looked at my form at all after the first day they taught it to me. I feel much more accomplished in my other two categories where I was stretched and challenged more, both mentally and physically.


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_Simon_

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We had our tournament.

I think some of my concerns are put to rest from watching the demo team and the higher ranks compete. Im now wondering if my perception of the competency level of students in my old style isnt colored by the fact that I was among black belts when I left there? Watching the upper ranks compete, there were definitely some good martial artists there. Even several of the poums (spelling? They are basically Jr. Black belts) had good, clean, and crisp techniques. Looking around, it seemed to be a mixed bag until 2nd/3rd dan. From there on up it was clear they really knew their stuff. So maybe some of the stuff I miss from karate will return to me when I get to higher ranks in Taekwondo. Obviously the takedowns, falling, & grappling wont. But maybe someday I can afford to cross-train with some form of jujitsu.

-
Anyhow, I thought Id share how the tournament went for my daughter and I.

It was a great experience. My daughter worked harder on her pattern this time and won 1st place in her division (of three). When it came to breaking, she didnt get any of her breaks though and ended up in tears. Then they all had to do push-ups. The lady black belt actually look and talked to my daughter (from afar it seriously looked like she was examining my daughters face) then called for everyone to do push-ups. My daughter thinks its because she was crying about not breaking that the lady made all the kids do push-ups. Apparently the lady didnt actually give a verbal reason for the push-ups though. Im not happy if my daughter was punished for crying from disappointment. Shes six for crying out loud!

My daughter did ok in sparing. She runs toward her opponent but doesnt kick much so she gets scored on a lot. She did manage to get one point during one of her matches and she was very excited about that. Since there were only three competing in her group she got third place.


I feel pretty pleased with how I did in the tournament overall. There were only three colored belts competing but I still got to push myself in each category. Forms were first. I did Taeguek Yi Jang, which Id only learned a week and a half ago. Ive practiced it a lot since then on my own and, while it was far from perfect, I still did pretty good all things considering. My biggest failing was that my stances were a bit off, according to the head judge. I think I accidentally did crescent walk several times during the form (which is residual from my old style). I nailed all the techniques and had good power and whatnot, according to the judge. I managed to still get first place, ahead of another 7th gup and ahead of a 2nd gup. I wish my husband had been able to be there to video my form again because Id love to go back and watch it to figure out more about the "stances need work" feedback from the judge. But my youngest two kids just couldnt sit that long.

Next event was breaking. Up through 5 gup were supposed to have a set two breaks (same as the last tournament, turning side kick through two boards on one side, run to other side and do the same thing). The 4th - 1st gup were supposed to have eight boards spread through four stations and get to pick their own breaks. Since there were only the three of us total, we all had to do the four stations and eight boards thing.

I was terrified. Im not known for my flexibility. I had mentally and physically prepared for the breaks I expected to do. Now I have to come up with four different stations to break a total of eight boards. Im also not the most creative person. We had about two minutes to decide what we wanted to do. A third dan talked with us a bit to try and give ideas.

In the end, for my first station I took his suggestion. I broke one board punching forward and one behind me on the chamber (so an elbow). My second station I did the turning side kick through two boards. My third station I did a regular side kick through two boards. Finally I had two boards set on concrete blocks to break with an elbow swing down. This last one is the only one I didnt break. My knee hit the ground before my elbow it the board and it took all the power out. Id never done the break before and thought it was a matter of dropping my weight into it. I guess I needed to bend over more than drop.

Im still pleased with how I did. The whole situation was a stretch for me and I really didnt want to do it but I did it anyway. Im please that I hit the board correctly on the punch (first two knuckles) as it can be hard to tell on bags sometimes. Im pleased I broke the double boards with my kicks. Last tournament my aim was completely off as I had not been taught how to line up for a turn side kick. Both of the kicking breaks are the ones I did for my double test, but my test was single boards. So Im pleased I was able to get past the mental block of two boards. I dont mind getting third (last) place as I had no expectations going in, especially once the breaks were changed. Before the tournament I just wanted to be able to break the double boards with my turn side kick. I feel like I accomplished this and more.

Lastly was sparing. Apparently they do not have men and women spar each other. There were no other colored belt women there. There was one other woman there to spar, a 1st dan (who just received her invitation to test for 2nd dan). Since she had no one else to spar ether they paired us up. Sparring was never my best subject in karate and I havent really sparred since then (except briefly at a seminar in February). Anyhow, to be paired with a black belt was intimidating. Im a 7th gup going against a 1st dan, who is also half my age. (Actually slightly less than half my age. Shes not quite 18).

I was nervous but one thing that came back to me this week when thinking and practicing was dancing around. You know, not staying in the same spot, sliding to the outside of an opponent. Anyhow, Im in slightly better shape so I dance around quite a bit. I try to wait until she commits to a technique and get around it to throw mine. At the very least, I exhausted us both! A few times when I blocked her kicks from the side, she somehow leaned into me knocking me down. Neither of those scored a point though, just a pause on the timer. In the end, I actually managed to score more points than she did. I dont know the actual score, but from their calling point, Im pretty sure I got nearly two points to each of her points. Im guessing they were being easier on me because of the rank difference. Still, it felt pretty great to perform so well when I had been so nervous.

Its funny, I may have gotten first in forms but that is the category I am least satisfied with. I feel like I could have done so much better if someone in my school had looked at my form at all after the first day they taught it to me. I feel much more accomplished in my other two categories where I was stretched and challenged more, both mentally and physically.


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That's just awesome, congrats guys on a great result!!! You must be stoked about that!

Yes strange about the pushups for the kids...let alone doing that at a tournament, doesn't really make sense. She was clearly upset, so some encouragement and kind words you'd think would be beneficial... but first in forms that's amazing, a credit to her and you :).

Awesome about the forms, especially as you had only just learned it, must have really put in some work with it :). Ahhh yes the crescent walk, that took me soooo long to get out of that habit when I changed karate styles awhile back. Became such a habit haha...

Wow that would have been quite daunting the breaking section... especially going into it thinking it would not be that format for you guys! But awesome that you rose to the challenge and did freakin awesome, you'd be thrilled! Sometimes tournaments can throw you quite a curveball like that.

And facing a 1st dan would have been intimidating, but clearly you held your own there! Good point about moving around, it's really interesting watching other people's styles hey, some move around alot and stay super light on their feet, shuffle around the opponent and aren't so linear, then you have some more rooted, grounded and not as much movement, but really patient and working on perfect timing.

Yeah I'm still working on the nerves part having only done a handful of tournaments, but it does feel like it gets that slight bit easier every time. You're getting me real excited about my tournament now this weekend hehe.

Well done Michele a fantastic result :)
 

TrueJim

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Punishment pushups at a tournament?

Its-getting-weird-b98rpi.0.0.jpg
 
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Michele123

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Some of that may be because of your prior experience. Some of that is probably the school. Some of that is probably the style - KKW TKD tends to view black belt as, like, "you've got a good handle on the fundamentals", while many other arts view it as a very high rank. So KKW TKD schools often move through the color belt ranks more quickly than some other styles do, to try to get you to black belt where you do the "good stuff".

I wanted to revisit this. After our tournament this weekend and watching the black belts, I think this is absolutely the crux of the difference. In my karate school, 1st Dan meant you were high enough to teach and open a school (which I did briefly). It seems that my old style 1st Dan is roughly equivalent to KKW 3rd Dan. Seeing it that way makes everything fall into place better. Rather than comparing kyu - gup and Dan to Dan, when I adjust for this difference in what the belts mean everything fits. I guess I never realized that 1st Dan had different meanings in different styles.

Ive also come to grips with the idea that this school is focused solely on taekwondo, which is primarily kicking. If I want other aspects of Martial Arts Ill have to cross train.

I want to thank you and everyone who commented before. I feel 100% better about things and excited about studying taekwondo again.
 

pdg

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Ive also come to grips with the idea that this school is focused solely on taekwondo, which is primarily kicking

How much depends on the style and how it's taught...

We do almost as much with hands (and to a lesser extent elbows and knees) as direct kicking.
 

mrt2

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I wanted to revisit this. After our tournament this weekend and watching the black belts, I think this is absolutely the crux of the difference. In my karate school, 1st Dan meant you were high enough to teach and open a school (which I did briefly). It seems that my old style 1st Dan is roughly equivalent to KKW 3rd Dan. Seeing it that way makes everything fall into place better. Rather than comparing kyu - gup and Dan to Dan, when I adjust for this difference in what the belts mean everything fits. I guess I never realized that 1st Dan had different meanings in different styles.

Ive also come to grips with the idea that this school is focused solely on taekwondo, which is primarily kicking. If I want other aspects of Martial Arts Ill have to cross train.

I want to thank you and everyone who commented before. I feel 100% better about things and excited about studying taekwondo again.
Hi Michele123. Like you, I studied a different martial art, Tang Soo Do, in the past, and am now doing TKD. I am on a similar journey, starting at the beginning, but finding a lot of similarities between TKD and my former style.

I had a similar epiphany a few weeks ago when one of the black belts told me she was training for her black belt test. Confused, I asked what she meant, since she already had her black belt. She had her provisional black belt. And it finally hit me. That was the rank I had attained in Tang Soo Do, which they called Cho Dan Bo, or Black Belt Candidate. In my current style you test from high brown to provisional black, then test for black belt 6 to 12 months later. In TSD, you test from high red to cho dan bo, but you still wear your red belt until you test for black belt. I wondered how it was possible that I trained for almost 3 years in TSD and only made it to red belt whereas theoretically, it is possible to test for provisional black belt in just 2 years in TKD.
 

pdg

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whereas theoretically, it is possible to test for provisional black belt in just 2 years in TKD.

Again, depends on the system.

I've been doing TKD for just over 2 years and I'm 3rd kup. I've tested each time at the minimum time in grade.

If I carry on at the same 'speed' it's another year at the minimum (and two tests) before I'm 1st kup, then another year before being able to be recommended for BB testing.

So, the quickest you can get to BB is 4 years - we don't have a 'provisional' or 'candidate' BB.
 
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