it's relevant the dan ranks??

Manny

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Sorry to ask this. It's relevant the dan ranking? well don't know if you recalla many years back when some one ask Bill Super Foot Wallace what dan he was, he told he was a black belt fighter.

I know high rank black belts that are not good and also I know fisrth or second black belts that are awesome.

I'm very oncer about the second degree black belt examn as you may know so my brother asked me the other day:

Manny, wahta are you training for? what's your goal? and I told him, my firsth goal was the gain stamina and good health, the second goal was to develop or improve good self defense skills and I retook TKD cause I love it, but maybe not thinking about promotions.

A'm I wrong?

Manny
 

bluekey88

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Wel,, first, you're not wrong. I think that there is a significant portion of the "meaning" of black belt that is very personal. It's something that goes beyond the system and the school and is not transferable from student to student.

In my school, I can think of several people who are no longer seeking rank. One person was one of our higher ranked instructors. She got her 3rd Dan, then stopped advancing, preferring to teach. She was older and had some health issues and just didn't feel the need to physically challenge herself in that way anymore. She's recently retired from teaching as well to pursue other things after 15 years of training. It's what she needed to do and i respect her for it.

We have another fellow who stopped advancing after his 1st dan. He still comes on Monday nights to teach a couple of the youth classes and participate in the conditioning class. Again, he's not intersted in the material for 2nd and 3rd dan right now.

For me, I don't care so much about the actual rank as I do the material. I like to challenge myself and I like to learn new stuff so as not to get bored. So i keep testing up and have every intention of going through our school's entire curriculum should my life circumstances and health allow. If I could do that without ranking up I might even consider it. However, to learn new stuff you have to get the rank. That's how it is at our school.

Other folks really want the rank and that's their goal. It's different for everybody.

In your situation, you seem to know what you want out of training. Given that, you can then look at what's going on in your school and make a sound decision based on that. Do what you you've got to do and don't sweat the small stuff. :) Good luck.

Peace,
Erik
 

IcemanSK

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Sorry to ask this. It's relevant the dan ranking? well don't know if you recalla many years back when some one ask Bill Super Foot Wallace what dan he was, he told he was a black belt fighter.

I know high rank black belts that are not good and also I know fisrth or second black belts that are awesome.

I'm very oncer about the second degree black belt examn as you may know so my brother asked me the other day:

Manny, wahta are you training for? what's your goal? and I told him, my firsth goal was the gain stamina and good health, the second goal was to develop or improve good self defense skills and I retook TKD cause I love it, but maybe not thinking about promotions.

A'm I wrong?

Manny


There are a few good reasons to test for higher rank beside the honor of the higher rank. To test yourself & your abilities is a great reason. Wearing a certain rank means little if one doesn't train. If you're trainiing & improving THAT is what matters most. It seems to me that preparing for your test is a help toward that goal for you. If that is the case, aim to test for your second Dan. If it's not moving you toward that goal, don't do it.

I hope that helps. All my best, Manny.
 

terryl965

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He is my thouhgt rank is just that rank, it does not ever mean skill. In today Martial Art world if you stay long enough the rank will be there. A Black Belt is someone that needs not be told he is a BB but understand the inner circle those wanting the highest rank are those not certain of themself and need someone to comfrim there own abilities.

I went 14 years between testing for my fourth and only did for my own personnal reason, i have been ask to accept rank because of my tenue and I politely refused. I train for me and me only, my students train for there own reason and my jobs lets me do this because I have choosen too.

Manny do what is best for you and nobody else, pleaseing one self will make everyone around you more pleasant.

Thanks
Terry
 

Flying Crane

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Manny, wahta are you training for? what's your goal?

personally, I am not a believer that having tangible or specific "goals" is necessary. It works for some people, but not for everyone, so don't let someone else push you into thinking you must have goals if you don't think you need or want them.

and I told him, my firsth goal was the gain stamina and good health, the second goal was to develop or improve good self defense skills...

these are good reasons to train martial arts, altho as goals, I think they are nebulous and difficult to accurately measure


...and I retook TKD cause I love it, but maybe not thinking about promotions.

now THIS is why you ought to be training. Here is the real reason: because you love it. Nothing else matters, not promotions, not tournament winnings, none of that stuff. You do it because you love it. You need no other reason than this. Everything else is a fortunate benefit on the side, but not the real reason.
 
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Manny

Manny

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WOW thank you all, it seems you understand my point of view here!!

Let me tell you this, a degree examination means nothing per se for me, I don''t have to prove nothing in an examn, I do prove myself every time I step into the dojans matt/floor, I do my best everyclass, some days better than others but even in a examination for a second or a third degree black belt things can go wrong, for example you forgot some move in the poomse, that day your kicks wasn't good enough, and so on.

Would I like to have a second degree black belt? YES but it's no crucial to have it next july or in three years if I am not confident myself to do the examination right now cause I know I need more training, more workout and more control. Besides I don't have the money to do the promotion test and probably mentally I'm not prepared for it too.

Theres are a copule of things I'm gona do, firsth is atending to tkd training and improve my skills and second I will star to saving for the exmanination, don't know if I will do it in july, so I will not presing myself in this.

Thank you for you words and please continue answering this tread please.

Manny
 

KELLYG

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I think that if i never tested for a higher rank again it would be OK with me. I don't primarily train for rankings. I train because I enjoy it. I also think that at some point martial arts becomes a way of life and the exterior rewards don't matter much anymore. One of the reasons test for a higher rank would be if there was different techniques available to learn at the higher level.
 

Deaf Smith

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Manny,

The Dan rank means you know the basics very well along with the customs, history, language (some, not a huge amount), and theory of how it all fits together. They know and understand the values of the system and can explain them. Those 'masters' do know so much about the whole art and the techniques that it overcomes their lack of technical skills.

Yes there are some real hot 1st and 2nd Dans, and I've seen some 'masters' that, well, wouldn't stand a chance in a street fight. But keep in mind those hot little dans are only good at their 'trick' specialies. Usually they are very good with a limited set of attacks.

And there are some high ranking Dan belts that are spooky. Way way ahead of a hot little Dan belt. Don't think there are not!

Deaf
 
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Manny

Manny

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Hey Deaf you are right in some ways, and believe me I'm not against ranking, no sir. I have a little dilema to fix, I'm a guy who demands the best from the martial arts, I will rather e a good black belt with no high ranking that a flopy 3rd dan black belt.

My situatios is that I'm returning afther 18 years of desk work far away from training, in my golden days I wasn't the best but was quite good believe me, I could move very well, kick high even did a very good spining kicks but that's no more for me.

Cardiovascular conditioning has been a hell for me believe me, and it seems I'm not improving I have my demons inside my head yelling me I can't overcome this but in some ways this is the only sport /work out I love and that's why no matter I felt swore, and all my body aches I go at least twice per week to the dojan.

My samboknim is a 7th degree black belt and is very capable believe me but TKD is his job so he must to be an exelent teacher, I do not do TKD 8 hours per day I work in an office trying to erarn my money and I'm good in what I do for living.

I need to burn more fat, get a little flexibility and gain some stamina before do a degree black belt examn, at least this is the way I feel, I want to do a good examination to earn with pride the second degree black belt.

I had to relearn taeguk 5,6,7,8,Koryo and Kungam in a short time and believe some times I get confused.

Oh boy I knew it will be no easy to return but I'm trying believe me.

Manny
 

StuartA

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Interesting thread. Heres my thoughts FWIW.

Dan rankings arnt really an essential part of martial arts, its whats behind the belt that counts. However, they are useful for a number of reasons even though these reasons are, in mnay cases, not the reasons they are used for.

1. As a recognition for those who have served their art teaching for a long time. As an example, my instructor has been training in TKD for 40 years +.. he is a 6th degree. IMO, his rank is deserved. 40 years is a long time and he has kept his integrity throughout.

2. For instructors to keep ahead of the pack. As shallow as it might seem, its a nessesary evil. Before I ran a club I decided that I wouldnt grade beyond my 2nd degree.. because the learning level is much lower and the cost involved in my old org was expensive and thus utimatly pointless. However, as an instructor I need to keep at least a step ahead and this is achieve via dan ranking. In a perfect world, it wouldnt be required as everything would be based on experience, skill and knowledge, but we dont live in that one sadly.

However, the above two aside they are utimatly pointless for a student and dan ranks have been so abused over the years to mean virtually nothing as for many they are about ego and power. Hence why in both IAOMAS and the new Pioneer TKD Association all are equal, no matter what the rank.

If you have done the time, have something to teach or have a decent skill level, you have my respect.. if not, no matter what dan you are.. you dont! Its that simple.

Stuart
 

Kacey

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Let me tell you this, a degree examination means nothing per se for me, I don''t have to prove nothing in an examn, I do prove myself every time I step into the dojans matt/floor, I do my best everyclass, some days better than others but even in a examination for a second or a third degree black belt things can go wrong, for example you forgot some move in the poomse, that day your kicks wasn't good enough, and so on.
The part I have marked in bold is, I think, the key factor. What you wear around your waist (if anything) matters considerably less than what you have in your head and what you demonstrate in the dojang - not so much physical ability (although that's part of it) - rather, the key factor is attitude. Do you try your hardest all the time, or do you give 75% in case it gets harder later in the class?

A test is merely a public demonstration of what you have been doing in the dojang all along; if you can't demonstrate the requisite skills in the dojang, why would your instructor expect you to be able to demonstrate them in a testing situation?
 

Deaf Smith

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Manny,

I need to burn more fat, get a little flexibility and gain some stamina before do a degree black belt examn.

Do that first!! I know what you are going through.

I'm 53! I'm a computer programmer by trade (from the old COBOL/CICS/PCS/ADS/JS2 to ASP.NET/VB.NET/SQL.) I also sit in a cubial 8 hrs a day.

Happly I workout 5 to 6 days a week (and sometimes 7). What I do is I go to World Gym right after work. Do 45 min to 1 hr on weights twice a week. Then TKD one day, and SBD another (yes two arts!) Sometimes I do LSD (no not THAT LSD, but 'Long Slow Distance' running. 4 miles on a treadmill. Then my workout buddy, a 3d dan (and a SHE), and I get to gether and do pure SD for at least an hour. Lots of boxing with it.

I used to weigh 185+, but now down to 165 (and for a 5 ft 8 inch height that's about right!.)

I 'retired' after owning my own school for 5 years. Sold the school, which is still in business, cause I got married. The retirement lasted 17 years. Just a few years ago I decided I hated having a pot belly so I started working out again and re-joined my old Grand Masters school. Well, one thing led to another and 5th dan (which I didn't want at first but ego creapt in) is where I'm at.

If you want to kick high again, cold, I really recommend PNF streaching methods. I use them and they do work. Takes a few months but you can definalty kick at head level, no warmups, with that method.

Deaf
 

dortiz

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Personally I think we have dilluted the Dans.

Used to be getting a Black Belt was the ultimate. Everyone I knew was happy being a Black belt forever and competing as one. More like the Bill wallace era.

The higher Dans were for tenure and more importantly for those that wanted to teach. Yeah sounds crazy right doesnt everyone want to teach.... no. Plenty of folks are happy Black Belt training.

back to my original point the problem is everyone has 6th degrees now and its just crap.

Just train hard!
 

newGuy12

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Not everyone wishes to progress in rank. Some even end up going "sideways". That is, they may investigate some second Martial Art, such as the American Kenpo. This is a personal choice.

Any Student who wishes to eventually be an Assistant Instructor should be mindful of rank, though, I would think. After all, it is almost expected that a Head Instructor would be 4th Degree. That takes a long time to accomplish.

But in order to enjoy the TKD, no, you can just stay 1 Dan forever and still enjoy it very much. That is how I see it, you can take it for what that's worth. I am not nearly as serious about this study now. I have resigned to practice much more "recreationally" (I don't mean disrespect by that, though). No more going to class every day, I cannot give that much time or devotion.
 

britcanbulldogtkd

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the movie karate kid there is a line in that goes something like "do you have a black belt" the reply came "yes J C penny..... "
My own view of the black belt ranking and is it nessecary is "yes" for reasons of the challange to improve but thats my own mind set
We all start as martial artists to acheive something if it be fitness loose wieght or to become an olympic champion. everybody thoughts and wishes are there own and as much as the idea of attaining 3rd then 4th dan is in my mind (maybe its an ego thing and something i can be proud of) and is important to me. There is a side of me which says "all I am is a white belt who hasn't quit"
Any of the martial arts are like life its a learning curve a process of continue learning. not only from instructors and peers but also from fellow students/colleauges
If the idea of attaining another belt/dan encourages u to train harder and become better then thats an incentive that works for you. After all anything that we achieve in life we achieve through an incentive. Because that is the nature of the human
 

Kwan Jang

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I feel that there is only any real value to higher dan ranks if there is more curriculum to be learned and if the next rank pushes you to grow and evolve. If it is just a "gimme over time", then IMO it has little value. I hold dan rankings in systems that do "token testing" (WTF TKD, Hapkido, among others) and those rankings honestly mean very little to me

In our assn., you can look at the different dans as a group and see a notable difference between 1st, 2nd's, 3rd's, 4th's, 5th's and 6th's (the highest rank used in our system is 7th dan and that is held by my instructors/our founders). There may be some variation due to natural ability, injuries, ect., but taken as a group, the difference is observable. All levels are tested with a very demanding test that candidates are forced to seriously prep and train for (for 4th and up for at least a year of regimented and serious nutrition, cardio, weight training, conditioning, sparring, grappling, ect.) and is more demanding than the last.
 

Kwan Jang

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He/we left traditional TKD a long time ago and have evolved into a MMA system over the years using a comprehensive blend of TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ, Escrima, and NHB. The highest rank our system currently uses is 7th dan and our founders, KJN Ernie and KJN Tony Thompson (they came up the ranks as peers under the same instructor nearly 40 years ago) hold that rank.
 
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Manny

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God post isn't it? Well I think the dan ranking is a good thing but one's have to work for it, if one's not prepared then better not have it. I'm returning, even afther one year of my comeback my body aches every day (don't know why) because the lactic acid and because I'm out of shape.

I was taught the hard way, you want it? earn it tru alot of training, sweat and in some cases pain. Right now I'm out of shape, too slow, too stiff, with cero stamina and these things keep me telling me I don't deserve the second dan.

I know with confidence, good work, getting in shape, gaining more speed and acuracy I will cry for my second dan blak belt, but right now this is not posssible to me.

Now I really need to train more, I train twice or three times per week but my food intaque is pretty big, I need to reduce my meals and do them healty and do exercise at least 5 days per week, maybe three times per week TKD training and two days per week some light jogging.

Ohhh boy it's not easy climbing the mountain again.

Manny
 
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