Have you ever tested and not told your students?

andyjeffries

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I think I have a differing opinion to most people on here. It was taken out of my hands earlier this year because my Grandmaster tested me in front of my senior students (he very much has a "we have nothing to hide" point of view), so the senior grades all knew anyway.

However, I happily discuss my rank, qualifications with anyone that wants to know and do tell people when I advance in rank or other qualifications. The reason is that I want my students to see that we all are still learning, and that I am not above working towards improvement and getting the "rewards" (new rank, etc) for it.
 

Jaeimseu

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I think I have a differing opinion to most people on here. It was taken out of my hands earlier this year because my Grandmaster tested me in front of my senior students (he very much has a "we have nothing to hide" point of view), so the senior grades all knew anyway.

However, I happily discuss my rank, qualifications with anyone that wants to know and do tell people when I advance in rank or other qualifications. The reason is that I want my students to see that we all are still learning, and that I am not above working towards improvement and getting the "rewards" (new rank, etc) for it.
I remember when I met Andy. He told me, "I just received a promotion to 6th Dan. You have to call me Master Jeffries."

Only kidding, of course. He was quite humble in person!
 

andyjeffries

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Mate, there are going to be people now that have doubts about how much you were kidding! ;-)

Then again, there were people on there and the previous event in Korea I went to that insisted that people use their title (even in a room full of masters/grandmasters) and introduced themselves as such. Very strange...
 

Archtkd

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Then again, there were people on there and the previous event in Korea I went to that insisted that people use their title (even in a room full of masters/grandmasters) and introduced themselves as such. Very strange...
Those are the same folks who insist on wearing belts with a zillion bars and doboks with all kinds of bling. I once saw multiple gold stars on a collar -- in a Kukkiwon event -- even when it was very clear the Kukkiwon teachers frown on such stuff. Such people often confuse what they do in their own dojang (with children) with the larger outside world.
 

Balrog

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Never. I am a student, just like everyone else. I try to lead by example, so when my students see me going to test for my next rank, it motivates them to test for theirs.
 

Archtkd

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What if the issue simply not telling one's students because one doesn't want to make a big deal of it? Looking at your case that you mentioned: if you went Kukkiwon and tested for 6th Dan but didn't mention it or told only your highest ranked students in passing. (I know you well enough to know you wouldn't make a huge production out of it. But what if you said little to nothing and only to a few?) You would still be able to test your students to 5th Dan as planned.

I'm not advocating for one idea over another. I don't think either, that something odd would be going on , necessarily, if one didn't tell their students about their own testing. As I mentioned, I didn't know the rank of my first instructor (nor the rank of any other the BBs I trained with at my school) only because it wasn't mentioned. I only BB "X" was higher ranked than BB "Y" because of where they lined up for class.

It is a personal choice and each are valid.

I think this is be a martial arts style or individual school deal, but it makes me wonder: Do the teachers/dojang owners who test quitely -- with no witnesses from their schools, or the knowledge of students -- ever display their certifications in the dojang or mention rank in any marketing materials, bios, web sites, etc?
 

andyjeffries

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Those are the same folks who insist on wearing belts with a zillion bars and doboks with all kinds of bling. I once saw multiple gold stars on a collar -- in a Kukkiwon event -- even when it was very clear the Kukkiwon teachers frown on such stuff. Such people often confuse what they do in their own dojang (with children) with the larger outside world.

This is a very good point. My belt that I wear in the dojang has our club logo on it, dan bars, etc as we all wear the same*. When I go to Korea I take my plain belt that just has my name and "Great Britain Taekwondo" in Korean on it, with no dan bars.

* That said the belt I wear current has 5 dan bars on it, even though I recently tested for 7th I didn't get it updated when I got my 6th Dan and haven't started wearing my new belt which has 7 bars on it yet either.
 
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I think this is be a martial arts style or individual school deal, but it makes me wonder: Do the teachers/dojang owners who test quitely -- with no witnesses from their schools, or the knowledge of students -- ever display their certifications in the dojang or mention rank in any marketing materials, bios, web sites, etc?

I can see what you're saying. I can see it (and many of us have) if an instructor had a 2nd Dan, but claimed master rank/title and was very vague. But most of the folks I've seen who do that manufacture certificates and proudly display them along with rank stripes on belts, and their websites. The more it's mentioned, the easier it becomes to hide the lie.

I bring up my first master again as an example of not telling students out of genuine humility. When he was at the school where I trained, his rank was not an issue for him. Years later he moved away and bought a school in another state. With much resistance from him, his wife convinced him to display his 7th Dan Kukkiwon after he tested there for his students (and prospective students) to see.
 

Dirty Dog

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I think this is be a martial arts style or individual school deal, but it makes me wonder: Do the teachers/dojang owners who test quitely -- with no witnesses from their schools, or the knowledge of students -- ever display their certifications in the dojang or mention rank in any marketing materials, bios, web sites, etc?

It's not that the rank is a secret, it's just not made an issue of.
In our case, there is no display of certificates or such. There is a flyer in the Y's stand, and it does mention ranks. But that's 1 line of a double sided flyer. It's just not an issue.


Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Not TapaTalk. Really.
 

Blindside

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I think this is be a martial arts style or individual school deal, but it makes me wonder: Do the teachers/dojang owners who test quitely -- with no witnesses from their schools, or the knowledge of students -- ever display their certifications in the dojang or mention rank in any marketing materials, bios, web sites, etc?

I just looked at my website, and I do have my most recent rank recorded in my instructor bio, so some time since last summer I updated it. But we don't use any visible sign of rank and we go by first name in the group, so there really isn't anything to talk about in the class. I did make a big deal about the promotion of one of my students to "lakan guro/apprentice instructor," because well, that first hurdle is a big deal, and he should be lauded for the accomplishment. That rank is the first rank I give out for what was more than three years of hard work, he should be recognized. But for me my promotion is just another stripe on a figurative belt, whoopdie-freaking-do, lets spend our time on about important things like training.
 

Buka

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I just looked at my website, and I do have my most recent rank recorded in my instructor bio, so some time since last summer I updated it. But we don't use any visible sign of rank and we go by first name in the group, so there really isn't anything to talk about in the class. I did make a big deal about the promotion of one of my students to "lakan guro/apprentice instructor," because well, that first hurdle is a big deal, and he should be lauded for the accomplishment. That rank is the first rank I give out for what was more than three years of hard work, he should be recognized. But for me my promotion is just another stripe on a figurative belt, whoopdie-freaking-do, lets spend our time on about important things like training.

I love that post.
 

tshadowchaser

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My instructors have given me certain ranks or position within their organizations but I rarely discuss it unless with someone I respect or know.
A couple years ago I tested a student in front of friends from another system and during the test he was asked what my rank was. His answer " I don't know he never states what it is"
I teach at a Salvation Army for free but I have no certificates on their walls.
 

Archtkd

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Those are all very interesting replies to my query. I was trying to figure out how different teachers and dojang owners reconcile humility with the necessity to genuinely market themselves in a brutal business environment.

In our (my dojang) all copies of my taekwondo and higher education certifications are hang on the wall for anybody walking into the dojang to see. Few ever look. My rank and experience is detailed on our web site and brochures. We do not wear dan rank stripes on our belts in our dojang and all blackbelts wear he same white - black collar uniforms. I sometimes wear a Mooto Pride dobok, which has black stripes on shoulders and side of pants -- more because I really like the material it's made from and the cut of the dobok, than for show of rank or authority.

While dan rank is rarely talked about in our dojang it determines who can teach. Only adults who are 2nd dan and also possess refereeing or coaching certification can formally instruct in the dojang. Some teaching/competition experience and refereeing or coaching certification is required for anyone seeking 3rd dan certification and above.

I underwent my most recent test -- 5th dan -- in 2012, in front of/along with my students. The event was somewhat unique because it marked the 1st Kukkiwon dan testing of my own students, judged by the same teacher who had tested me for my 1st dan 19 years earlier. My then 7-year old son, a 1st gup at the time -- witnessed the event as prepartion for his onw 1st poom test.
 

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