Ideas for when I finally open a school!

Xue Sheng

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White - 3 yellow stripes
Yellow - 3 green stripes
green - 3 blue stripes
Blue - 3 red stripes
Red - 3 black stripes
Recommended Black (black belt with red stripe in middle)
1st dan.

First, I am old and have been at this for awhile, second my training for the last 17 years has been in CMA without belts so I am likely not getting this whole importance of belts thing and the problem with stripes on them but when I started in Jujitsu we had not that many belt colors (4) and things seemed to go fine and there were no testing fees either but there was also no set schedule for testing. When Sensei thought there was someone ready to be tested there was a test. And each and every stripe meant a test, none were just handed out.

Belts
White
White 1st (one stripe)
White 2nd (2 stripes)
Green
Green 1st
Green 2nd
Green 3rd (but to be honest I am not sure there was a green 3rd)
Brown
Brown 1st
Brown 2nd
Brown 3rd
Brown 4th
Black

Classes were Children and Adult
Children to 15
Adult 16 and older.
 
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Sylo

Sylo

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First, I am old and have been at this for awhile, second my training for the last 17 years has been in CMA without belts so I am likely not getting this whole importance of belts thing and the problem with stripes on them but when I started in Jujitsu we had not that many belt colors (4) and things seemed to go fine and there were no testing fees either but there was also no set schedule for testing. When Sensei thought there was someone ready to be tested there was a test. And each and every stripe meant a test, none were just handed out.

Belts
White
White 1st (one stripe)
White 2nd (2 stripes)
Green
Green 1st
Green 2nd
Green 3rd (but to be honest I am not sure there was a green 3rd)
Brown
Brown 1st
Brown 2nd
Brown 3rd
Brown 4th
Black

Classes were Children and Adult
Children to 15
Adult 16 and older.


The ranking system I have chosen is a stem from the ITF ranking system, with only slight variations.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Hey Guys.

My goal in all of this, is to one day in the not so distant future.. open and run my own Tae Kwon Do/martial arts school. I want to share what I have learned with others. I've never had a firm grasp on what I wanted to do once my dreams of becoming a rock star were over, but I think I have finally found a common ground between having a normal job, and doing something extroardinary. I've been tossing around ideas, with another instructor friend of mine, and another friend who studies TKD with me as well (1st dan, we are talking about doing this as partners).

I'm wanting to open the school in a town about 30 minutes from where our current school is. There used to be a school there years ago, but since then.. nothing. The school did well in those days, except for the instructor angering parents being too rough with his students (I started there).

Anyway, here are a few of the ideas I have right now that I am gonna start compiling out in a notebook to keep track of. I plan to teach as an assistant instructor at my own school before any of this happens, but its fun to plan ahead and research how "I" would do things if it were me.

Here goes..

Belt Structure

(between each belt level. Students would have that chance to earn 3 stripes. These stripes would represent a part of the curriculum that the student has excelled at. Sparring, Self Defense, or Form. They must get all 3 stripes to test for the next color belt.)

White - 3 yellow stripes
Yellow - 3 green stripes
green - 3 blue stripes
Blue - 3 red stripes
Red - 3 black stripes
Recommended Black (black belt with red stripe in middle)
1st dan.
I'm liking the fact that there are only six actual belts, though I'll touch on the half belt in a moment.

The tape stripes: Not a big fan of them. I think that they look sloppy (my opinion) and are unnecessary. On the other hand, they can be a good teaching tool and a good motivator, and since you indicate that there will be no charge for the tape stripes, if you like it then do it.

I'm not sure that a 'recommended' blackbelt needs an additional belt between red and black. I've always seen this as an unnecessary test and another fee. I'd save the halvsy belt for the kids. And speaking of kids...

Class Structure

Adults - Adults are considered age 12+.
Kids - The kids class will consist of kids ages 8-12. I thought about starting them earlier. But there are very few kids out there who can grasp what needs to be grasped.. THAT early. The belt structure for the kids class would be the same as the adults. With the exception of the grading. Once the child reaches Black Belt he will be granted a "JR BLACK BELT" which will basically be a black belt with "JR BLACK BELT" embroirdered in white on the end. Basically this signifies that this student has completed the curriculum as it is taught to those under the age of 12. Once the student attains JR BLACK BELT. He or she has the option to join the adults class (even if younger than 12, which won't be likely). Once in the adults class, the student will then begin a review of all the material covered in the kids version of the class, on an adult level. The grading scale will increase, and the child will then have to perfect what one has learned. After they have achieved a level of "adult" learning, They will test for 1st dan black belt as an adult. If the JR BLACK BELT is not 12 years old, and wishes to remain in the kids class. They can do so and continue to do the curriculum but will not test again until they are moved to the adult class.
...this is where a halvsy belt should be used. Junior blackbelt is another blackbelt that needs to be explained. I would stick with the halvsy red/black belt. The rest of it is fine. Once again, if you're comfortable with having junior blackbelts, that is up to you. Some very good schools use them. Personally, I feel that it muddies the waters.

Testings

I would like to schedule testings at set intervals. Testing for belt colors of all ranks, would be done on a weekend. Preferably during the evening. I would like to make a big deal about it when students test. I want them to feel like they have earned something, and not just another belt. Almost like a graduation ceremony. Maybe some speakers, special guest instructors/testers, demonstrations and refreshements. etc.
One of the advantages you have with only five colored belts and one half belt is that you won't be testing so frequently that such occasions become so common that they become commonplace. Also, special guests and parties are more financially feasible with the limited belt number you mention, so this is a good idea.

What do you guys think so far?
I think that you have a good start with putting together your structure. Sounds like you have your curriculum picked out. I would strongly suggest keeping the curriculum as focused as possible. Your ITF taekwondo curriculum and nothing more would be my suggestion. If you want to add some practical SD techniques, that is okay, but not any more than that. No matter how well intentioned, the larger the curriculum becomes, generally, the less skill the students have in each piece of it because they're trying to learn too much.

Best wishes to you!

Daniel
 

Kacey

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Honestly? Except for kids under 10-12, I wouldn't bother with 3 stripes. Adults and teens should be able to track their own progress without the visual being on their belts. If you want a visual, have a check list for each rank where students can demonstrate whatever range of techniques they need in each area for a student "x" level above them signs off that the student has performed at the required level for the rank (say, a couple of gup ranks, maybe, or a couple of belt colors - which keeps your senior gup ranks involved, and in class, too, and helps them understand the differences between ability/performance at each rank); when they have all the required signatures, and you have given them permission, they can test. I would be careful, though, that they know that just having the signatures does not equate to permission to test - there's going to be a range of who will sign what, and you'll need to observe them before making a final decision.
 

Kwanjang

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Sylo, when you do open your school remember this my friend, Students come first, martial arts second. I try to remember- people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. I made a lot of mistakes when I open my 1st school in 96, and I made a lot of mistakes when I opened my second school in 99. Like others have said make sure to have operating expenses covered. Plan, plan and plan some more. I believe your heart to be in the right place, and that's the first start. I wish you the best in your endeavor. I've enjoyed the lion share of the market in my neck of the woods. To grow a school takes time and dedication. I just wanted to teach martial arts, unfortunately the "Business" side always rears its ugly head. Be ready for that my friend.
 

YoungMan

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Blue belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do? Don't even worry about opening a school at this point. You/ve got too many other things to think about. Like getting black belt down the road. Even that's something you can think about when the time comes.
Run your school the way your instructor wants you to.
 
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Sylo

Sylo

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Blue belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do? Don't even worry about opening a school at this point. You/ve got too many other things to think about. Like getting black belt down the road. Even that's something you can think about when the time comes.
Run your school the way your instructor wants you to.


DING DING DING!!!

you win the prize youngman.

I was just brain storming for the future. I still have a ways to go. But its fun to come up with plans or visions.
 

YoungMan

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I've never met a blue belt that was even thinking about opening a school. They just wanted to make it to the next level.
 
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Sylo

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I've never met a blue belt that was even thinking about opening a school. They just wanted to make it to the next level.


Your right, most blue belts I know. Come to class like once a week, (I go 3-4), Most blue belts I know.. don't know any of the forms below blue belt.. since they forget them the moment they move to the next belt. Most blue belts I know, still call what we do "Karate" and believe it 100%. Most blue belts I know, practice at the dojang only. Most blue belts I know, will quit training as soon as they hit black belt.

What I am getting at here.. I'm not planning on opening a school as a blue belt, or even the minute I turn black belt. Thats not what my post was about. It was harmless "day dreaming". Where I was coming up with ideas, for how I would do it if it was my school. Of course, I'd be black belt.. and of course I'd have experience teaching etc. before any of this were to take place.

My rank is of little relevance to this, because I'm not talking about going out and doing this tomorrow. A couple of years down the road maybe. Who knows what might happen between now and then. Teaching probably never crosses the minds of average students. But I like to set goals, and have dreams. I'm not your average student. I think differently than others. I dream "BIG". Sometimes this might be bad.. but when your really dedicated to something.. it kind of just happens.

Don't worry.. won't be no blue belts opening a school.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Your right, most blue belts I know. Come to class like once a week, (I go 3-4), Most blue belts I know.. don't know any of the forms below blue belt.. since they forget them the moment they move to the next belt. Most blue belts I know, still call what we do "Karate" and believe it 100%. Most blue belts I know, practice at the dojang only. Most blue belts I know, will quit training as soon as they hit black belt.
Ugh. I wish I could get on here and tell you that you were mistaken, but sadly, it is the truth. Most taekwondo students only learn the material that they must to get a belt and then forget it, relearning that which they must for a blackbelt test, then quitting and forgetting it all permanently after they have gotten their Cracker Jack prize.

Daniel
 
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Sylo

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Ugh. I wish I could get on here and tell you that you were mistaken, but sadly, it is the truth. Most taekwondo students only learn the material that they must to get a belt and then forget it, relearning that which they must for a blackbelt test, then quitting and forgetting it all permanently after they have gotten their Cracker Jack prize.

Daniel


Yeah, thats it in a nutshell.

I see it every day.

I might be just a lowly blue belt.. but thats what sets me apart from everyone else in my class.. even some of the black belts. To them it just something to kill time with, or something to let of steam. And, those reasons are fine for them. But these things, are what seperates the "men from the boys" for a lack of a better term. I work on my forms at home. I work on my kicking at the most odd times (I was working on my right round house kick while playing with my son last night.). I read up on different forms of martial arts, I post on forums about it. I get the century catalog at my house, so I can keep up with the latest and greatest gear. I watch martial arts movies constantly. I talk to my 2nd dan friend all day at work about it, and then I go to class 3-4 times a week to practice it. We are a rare breed. That is also the reason why I have the urge to teach, and open a school.. it would be the culmination of my learning. Like going to college for 7 years to be a doctor, or playing guitar for 8 years to be in a popular band.

Most people don't have the same mindset as I do with martial arts.
 

Kwanjang

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Yeah, thats it in a nutshell.

I see it every day.

I might be just a lowly blue belt.. but thats what sets me apart from everyone else in my class.. even some of the black belts. To them it just something to kill time with, or something to let of steam. And, those reasons are fine for them. But these things, are what seperates the "men from the boys" for a lack of a better term. I work on my forms at home. I work on my kicking at the most odd times (I was working on my right round house kick while playing with my son last night.). I read up on different forms of martial arts, I post on forums about it. I get the century catalog at my house, so I can keep up with the latest and greatest gear. I watch martial arts movies constantly. I talk to my 2nd dan friend all day at work about it, and then I go to class 3-4 times a week to practice it. We are a rare breed. That is also the reason why I have the urge to teach, and open a school.. it would be the culmination of my learning. Like going to college for 7 years to be a doctor, or playing guitar for 8 years to be in a popular band.

Most people don't have the same mindset as I do with martial arts.

Me thinks the Martial Art "OCD" bug has bitten you! May you be infected by it the rest of your Life. :cheers:
 
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Sylo

Sylo

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Me thinks the Martial Art "OCD" bug has bitten you! May you be infected by it the rest of your Life. :cheers:
I've had martial arts OCD for a long time..
life just got in the way a few times.
 
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