Kukkiwon Benefits

Monkey Turned Wolf

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r/martialarts yes. r/taekwondo no.
Which is more popular? Also, the amount of people that post there is very minimal compared to the amount of people that are actually checking out martial arts. It's a small enough population that is checking on reddit/quora for that and making the difference on that, I doubt that it would be worth the time/money if that's your only reason for being kukkiwon-certified.
 

skribs

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Which is more popular? Also, the amount of people that post there is very minimal compared to the amount of people that are actually checking out martial arts. It's a small enough population that is checking on reddit/quora for that and making the difference on that, I doubt that it would be worth the time/money if that's your only reason for being kukkiwon-certified.

But how many people are googling what is already asked?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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But how many people are googling what is already asked?
That's the 'checking' part I added. A lot of people might be, but in general it's not a make or break deal, if they don't understand what the organization is to begin with.
 

Dirty Dog

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They don't. But they post the question on reddit or quora, and those people know enough to know that if it doesn't say "kukkiwon" or "ITF", it's not one of the major organizations.

Which is pretty much meaningless. Because "it's not one of the major organizations" is a big "so what?" to people who know what they're talking about. And if your putative noob is taking advice from people who don't know what they're talking about...
 

andyjeffries

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However, it is the only organization I'm aware of that will issue black belts after only 2 years of training. Most traditional Korean, Japanese and Chinese arts that I'm aware of require a minimum of 4-5 years to earn a 1st Dan.

I just wanted to post that both Jigoro Kano and Gichin Funakoshi (founders of Judo and Shotokan Karate respectively) have recorded history of awarding Dan ranks in one year. If those early martial art founders considered that normal, surely it's a modern thing to suddenly believe a black belt is a hugely advanced rank that needs a long training time and a marathon test to prove worthiness...
 

Dirty Dog

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However, it is the only organization I'm aware of that will issue black belts after only 2 years of training.

They're not the only ones. While time-in-rank rules seem common for Dan ranks, I don't think it is at all common to have firm rules about geup/kyu time-in-rank. Natural ability, time devoted, other training (especially in similar arts) are all going to come into play. When I joined the Moo Duk Kwan, I went from white to black in something like 18 months, including some time off for medical issues. But I already held Dan rank in another art.

The only thing time-to-Dan averages can possibly tell you is maybe a hint about what 1st Dan means in that organization. In the KKW, 4th Dan is the lowest rank considered qualified to teach and promote. Lower ranks can teach when they're at least nominally under the supervision of a 4th Dan or higher, of course, but they aren't really supposed to be unsupervised, and they cannot promote. With their time in rank rules, and assuming 1 year to 1st Dan, getting to instructor level will take 7 years. So it's clearly reasonable to consider 1st Dan a beginner.

On the other hand, 1st Dan in our Moo Duk Kwan school has historically taken 6-8 years on average. But we consider a 1st Dan a teaching rank. We also don't have firm rules on time in rank. That 6-8 years is just typically how long it takes most people to learn the material to our standard.
 

gpseymour

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"They're not with any organization I've ever heard, so probably not."
I don't think that's as common in those threads as you think. And it's a pretty myopic view for those who do answer that way. The most we can say about membership is if they are a member of a known organization, they probably meet the standards of that organization (we all know they may not in rare cases). And if they aren't, they may or may not meet those standards. The lack of membership certainly doesn't give us any clue they aren't good.
 

gpseymour

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They don't. But they post the question on reddit or quora, and those people know enough to know that if it doesn't say "kukkiwon" or "ITF", it's not one of the major organizations.
IME, only a tiny minority of students ever do that much due dilligence. Most call or walk in, and make a decision based on what they see and hear - often based on too little knowledge to make the decision they need to make.
 

gpseymour

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But how many people are googling what is already asked?
Most folks are assessing a specific school/instructor. Unless the post in question is about that same school/instructor, it's unlikely they'll get much from it to sway their mind either way.
 

gpseymour

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I just wanted to post that both Jigoro Kano and Gichin Funakoshi (founders of Judo and Shotokan Karate respectively) have recorded history of awarding Dan ranks in one year. If those early martial art founders considered that normal, surely it's a modern thing to suddenly believe a black belt is a hugely advanced rank that needs a long training time and a marathon test to prove worthiness...
And Kano's definition of what BB meant isn't nearly the same as a lot of us here would have in our brains. He wasn't giving them early - it just didn't take all that long to reach the level he was using BB to indicate.
 

Jaeimseu

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Most folks are assessing a specific school/instructor. Unless the post in question is about that same school/instructor, it's unlikely they'll get much from it to sway their mind either way.

Agreed. Most people don’t even know what they don’t know. They make a decision based on a number of factors. For some it’s convenience. For some it’s price. For some it’s a gut feeling. For almost no one it’s what organization you got your certificate from.

I have my Kukkiwon certificates hanging on the wall in my office. No one has ever mentioned them. I have my M. Ed on display in my lobby. It gets more attention than the other certificates.


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gpseymour

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Agreed. Most people don’t even know what they don’t know. They make a decision based on a number of factors. For some it’s convenience. For some it’s price. For some it’s a gut feeling. For almost no one it’s what organization you got your certificate from.

I have my Kukkiwon certificates hanging on the wall in my office. No one has ever mentioned them. I have my M. Ed on display in my lobby. It gets more attention than the other certificates.


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I don't even put my certificate up anymore. I don't think I've ever been asked about my rank history or association membership, except by places I was trying to set up classes (YMCA, rec center). I've had some visitors ask about the style, because they had enough MA knowlege to wonder where NGA fits in, but students don't typically care until they're well into it.
 

Flying Crane

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I don't think that's as common in those threads as you think. And it's a pretty myopic view for those who do answer that way. The most we can say about membership is if they are a member of a known organization, they probably meet the standards of that organization (we all know they may not in rare cases). And if they aren't, they may or may not meet those standards. The lack of membership certainly doesn't give us any clue they aren't good.
And someone could just as easily start answering those inquiries with “OMG, a big org? STAY AWAY!!!!!”
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Agreed. Most people don’t even know what they don’t know. They make a decision based on a number of factors. For some it’s convenience. For some it’s price. For some it’s a gut feeling. For almost no one it’s what organization you got your certificate from.

I have my Kukkiwon certificates hanging on the wall in my office. No one has ever mentioned them. I have my M. Ed on display in my lobby. It gets more attention than the other certificates.


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Even among people who do know what they're looking for, those other factors might play a larger part. There are certain styles I wouldn't want to try. But..if a style I want to train in, with an accomplished person, is too expensive, is too far from me, and/or I get a bad feeling from the place, I won't train there. Meanwhile, if I can find a school right next door, that's reasonably priced/works with my schedule, even if the reputation/style has a bad rep, I'll give it a look. If the interaction there is positive, I'll try it out even if academically I would advise others against that style/branch/org/whatever. And that's coming from someone who knows what to look for..I can't imagine how much less important it is to someone who has no idea.
 

Jaeimseu

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Even among people who do know what they're looking for, those other factors might play a larger part. There are certain styles I wouldn't want to try. But..if a style I want to train in, with an accomplished person, is too expensive, is too far from me, and/or I get a bad feeling from the place, I won't train there. Meanwhile, if I can find a school right next door, that's reasonably priced/works with my schedule, even if the reputation/style has a bad rep, I'll give it a look. If the interaction there is positive, I'll try it out even if academically I would advise others against that style/branch/org/whatever. And that's coming from someone who knows what to look for..I can't imagine how much less important it is to someone who has no idea.

This is especially true given that lots of people are clueless even though they’ve trained for long periods of time. I talked to an instructor who told me their school used to practice Taegeuk poomsae but switched to Palgwae because it was official World Taekwondo Federation poomsae. They also assured me that their black belts were WTF certified (they weren’t).


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dvcochran

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And the response is normally that this isn't an issue with it. And they're more likely to get told to stay away from kukkiwon/wt on reddit, than they are to be told to go there, just due to reddits general hivemind.
I cannot bash reddit for a hivemind. It runs as large here as most MA sites.
 

dvcochran

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Hi All,

There has been a lot of discussion lately about Kukkiwon certification. I have been a part of an independent organization for the past 37 years. Although we are small, we have extremely high standards. I suppose because we are small we are able to better control the quality of belt promotions we issue. This is not meant as a Kukkiwon bashing thread, they are the biggest MA org in the world. They do have some fantastic athletes, they appear to have some great programs and resources for its members. However, it is the only organization I'm aware of that will issue black belts after only 2 years of training. Most traditional Korean, Japanese and Chinese arts that I'm aware of require a minimum of 4-5 years to earn a 1st Dan. Additionally, some of the sloppiest black belts I have ever met in my martial arts career have been Kukkiwon certified black belts. This is one of the reasons I have stayed clear of the Kukkiwon. I have not wanted to be associated with an organization that issues black belts after only 2 years of training and that produces such sloppy black belts (I'm not saying all Kukkiwon black belts are sloppy).

Other than having the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, are there any tangible benefits? We aren't interested in the Olympic style of fighting as we train to punch to the head and practice sweeping. We compete in the open Karate and kickboxing competitions. I don't view it as a place to receive "legitimate" promotions for the reasons I listed above. Just because I pay an annual fee to an organization to issue me a certificate from someone I've never met does not make it "legitimate" to me. To me, legitimate promotions come from people who know you, who have proven themselves as martial artists, etc.

Obviously there are some great resources for helping instructors structure classes, help in business strategies etc. as do most organizations out there. Why all the hype? Am I missing something? Is it just because they are so big that people view their certificates as "legitimate"?

Again, I'm not trying to slam the Kukkiwon, they do have some fantastic martial artists and a lot of great things going for them. I've just met too many terribly sloppy Kukkiwon certified schools that to me make the thought of a Kukkiwon certificate being "legitimate" as quite laughable.

I'm hoping someone can help shed some light on why anyone would want to seek a membership with them other than the Olympics. BTW, I have the exact same opinion of the ITF as well, but they don't have the Olympics as incentive.

Roughly 70 million practice TKD. Roughly 2/3rd's are Kukkiwon/WT. So, when you say you see a bunch of bad Kukkiwon black belts it is largely, at least partly because there are so many of them.
Even in the most obscure style you can think of there are "bad" black belts (or whatever they use). If you think of it as a ratio I would suspect the success rate for Kukkiwon schools is the highest, again by the sheer numbers.

To answer your question I would say transference is one of the big benefits. No, this does not automatically make you a great BB. I am one of the quickest people on this site to bash a purely Kukki/WT curriculum. One of the strengths to the philosophy it that schools are allowed variety in what they teach. The only place it really 'restricts' what you do is when competing. That said, I have seen systemic issues in schools that are 2-3 generations deep and either never learned anything else of dropped that part of their history.

If you do not already know, end roads are being made to include ITF under the same umbrella; at least in competition.
There are still multiple variants of TKD and I think this is a very, very good thing.
 

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