- Nov 7, 2007
- Reaction score
Why do you care so much about what the black piece of cloth means. Especially given that nobody seems to be able to agree upon its meaning in first place.
There's a lot of angst bound up in the idea. Rank is a very personal thing. It no doubt means more to some than others. Those that are invested in their belt or rank are naturally bothered when they perceive less serious practitioners nonetheless holding the nominally 'same' rank.
Taekwondoin aren't necessarily savvy about the differences between organizations. It can be a little disconcerting to learn that a BB can be very easy to achieve in some other dojang, in Korea or not with a period as little as one year and possibly with a very sparse amount of material to boot. MT and other similar sites are full of negative comments about mcdojang and programs that pass their students through the ranks easily. IMO, it shouldn't be hard to see the the correlation there. If you don't like short, easy programs, you probably won't like 1 yr. BB programs either.
Additionally, in the US, martial arts teachers often promulgate ethos like hard work, discipline, goal-setting, etc. Schools proudly proclaim 'We are a Black Belt School', indicating that the rank is something high, something desirable. This are good things in my opinion, yet in conflict with the reality that some are promoting students with as little as one year of practice to the rank. (yeah, I know we're back to 'it is a low rank'.)
And then there is that Korean/Asian thing, where wide-eyed westerners often buy into or are sold the myth that because something or someone came from Korea/Asia and therefore their level of skill must be great. This is an irrational perspective yet it is undoubtedly true that some continue to feed it.