Red Flag for School?

JR 137

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But what if those are not requirements at a given school? I considered using red as one of my belt colors at one time, and it would have meant something entirely different (which might or might not have included the ability to kick at a resisting target). And what if black belt doesn't mean "any good", but "can do the basic moves"?

I have my personal bias about how I like ranks to be used, but I have to admit that others don't have to share that to be "right". Since I wouldn't be bothered by a school that uses no ranks, nor by a school that decided to use orange, red, and grey belts (colors I've never used in training) to mean whatever they want, I accept that they're also not wrong to use black, brown, purple, green, blue, or yellow to mean whatever they want.
While I agree, isn’t breaking pretty much a staple in TKD and the various Korean arts’ practice and rank tests? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a TKD or TSD test without a board breaking requirement. I don’t know enough about Hapkido to make a generalization. I’m not a fan of it being a testing requirement personally, but if their standards are X amount of boards using A,B, and C techniques for Z rank, then those standards should be evident whenever you see someone wearing Z belt. Maybe not every single person at every possible moment, but if you see a trend of people consistently not being able to do what they’ve allegedly been required to do and prove they’re capable of it along the way, then “Houston, we have a problem.” I mean, to an outsider such as myself, breaking seems to be one of their gold standards. They sell it as proving the power their strikes have without hitting each other with full power. I don’t know of any art that puts nearly as much emphasis on breaking as TKD and TSD.
 

pdg

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While I agree, isn’t breaking pretty much a staple in TKD and the various Korean arts’ practice and rank tests? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a TKD or TSD test without a board breaking requirement.


There's no board breaking requirement for colour belt (kup) rank tests in our TKD organisation.

There is for dan tests...
 

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Who is grading? I believe its a mix of a grading panel and the teacher together as I've seen the table and the other judges when the child was given his black belt title. Although I've never asked so I could be wrong.

Bad from - I suppose I'm basing that on my own expectations. Given me lack ok experience my expectations could be to high or completely off base. I just assumed a 2nd degree black belt would be able to preform kicks pretty spot on.

As for why I'm begin taught both TKD and Hapkido...thats a good question. From what I understand the teacher feels they intertwine well together and Hapkido can benefit from learning the kicks and such from the other. I liked it because I wanted to learn TKD and Hapkido so its nice I get some of the TKD mixed in.

Here is what his website says about his qualifications...
Attained a 5th DAN Certificate for Tae Kwon Do from President of Korea Tae Kwon Do Association and President of Kukkiwon.
Attained a 4th DAN Certificate for Hap Ki Do from Korea Hapki Martial Arts Federation

As for the last question, I was comparing kids to adults because I assumed they were learning the same curriculum and by looking at a black belt child im looking at what my skills might be when I reach such a stage.

Hope I answered all your questions sufficiently.


Sorry if you took it I was demanding answers that was not my intention

I asked the questions really to get you to ask yourself them.

As for grading tat was merely to ascertain that the Instructor was not the sole arbiter as I have seen that happen. Hopefully with a panel (depending on how that is made up and from where) it should be more balanced.

Yes form is important (basics) and most certainly a 2nd dan should be competent that way ...but don't look at kids as another poster said kids are kids and really imo don't base anything on them base your ideas of from and your goals on adults, they should be more consistent and give a better picture for you. Even if you are able to visit another school and look at their higher grades and dan ranks form etc.

Obviously your teacher is of the opinion that Hapkido is missing something that he is introducing TKD which is good and bad imo ...you being a beginner could get a bit confused as to what comes from what system. I'm not being critical at all but overload early on can be non-productive imo. I know very little of those arts but I would assume (dangerous word) that the stances could well be different, ok in the real world does that matter, possibly not, in the dojo and as far as form goes (grading etc) yes it does as any grading panel or teacher examining should pick that up and it could make the difference from attaining a grade and not! maybe I am being to nit picky but as a beginner you could get confused!

Your Instructors details I am not going to comment on as I will not disrespect any others ranks and I have not seen them "perform"

Lastly again don't look at kids no matter what their rank. I like some others do have issues with kids holding senior ranks ...Look at adults and not just the senior ranks but the middle to upper kyu grades that will give you a better idea and more of a goal (or not) to strive towards


good luck in your studies and I hope all goes well ...remember nothing comes instantly and the time patience has to be put in to attain the start of proficiency. I guess in plain speak you gotta do the hard yards!!!
 

WaterGal

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"Black belt" means different things in different styles and organizations. In TKD, it usually means that you understand the basic techniques, and is commonly earned after just a couple of years, there's really no minimum age, and it's very common to see kids as young as 8 or 9 getting them. (though kids under 16 get a different certificate called a "poom" certificate, and some schools give them a belt that's half red to reflect them being a "junior" black belt).

Hapkido also often has minors getting black belt rankings, though it's a less popular martial art among children overall compared with TKD, and often takes longer to earn rank.

All that being said, the only think you've said that I'd find inherently concerning is a 2nd degree black belt that can't do a roundhouse kick - especially if your school teaches TKD together with HKD, which presumably means you do a lot of kicking. Now, some kids in that tween age will hit a growth spurt where their center of mass changes, or their legs grow faster then the rest of them, and their balance goes all to **** for a while. Maybe that's what's going on. But if you notice a consistent pattern of high-ranking people being unable to perform relatively basic techniques, I'd start getting concerned.
 

pdg

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"Black belt" means different things in different styles and organizations. In TKD, it usually means that you understand the basic techniques, and is commonly earned after just a couple of years, there's really no minimum age, and it's very common to see kids as young as 8 or 9 getting them. (though kids under 16 get a different certificate called a "poom" certificate

Different TKD organisations have different rules...

In our ITF, there's no such thing as a poom, but there are minimum age limits for at least green (6th kup) and black (1st dan).

It's also impossible to attain first dan in "a couple of years" due to minimum time in grade.
 

gpseymour

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While I agree, isn’t breaking pretty much a staple in TKD and the various Korean arts’ practice and rank tests? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a TKD or TSD test without a board breaking requirement. I don’t know enough about Hapkido to make a generalization. I’m not a fan of it being a testing requirement personally, but if their standards are X amount of boards using A,B, and C techniques for Z rank, then those standards should be evident whenever you see someone wearing Z belt. Maybe not every single person at every possible moment, but if you see a trend of people consistently not being able to do what they’ve allegedly been required to do and prove they’re capable of it along the way, then “Houston, we have a problem.” I mean, to an outsider such as myself, breaking seems to be one of their gold standards. They sell it as proving the power their strikes have without hitting each other with full power. I don’t know of any art that puts nearly as much emphasis on breaking as TKD and TSD.
I think it is a standard testing requirement. My point was that - like a weight-bearing fitness requirement - perhaps it should actually be tied somehow to body size. A big guy can blast boards with less technical skill and get away with it, where the same wouldn't work for someone much smaller. So, I guess it's a matter of deciding what it's meant to test. If it's simply the ability to break boards of a certain strength, then it's not necessary to adjust for size (or age). If it's to test board-breaking skill (assuming that to require good technique) then it probably does make sense to adjust for size/strength. I don't know how you'd do that fairly, which points out a problem with figuring out where to set standards.

It's a lot like the sparring requirements present in many styles. If the requirement is to "hold your own" with X number of people of the rank you're testing for, should that be people selected at random, or matched to the size/age/fitness of the person testing? Again, it depends what you decide the purpose of that test is.
 

pdg

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perhaps it should actually be tied somehow to body size

Dan test board breaking for us is based on age, sex and weight.

A small late teen girl wouldn't be expected to make the same break as me.
 

wab25

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These discussions can get pretty rank, can't they... :happy:

This is thread is one of the reasons I like these boards... it made me think a bit deeper and refine my own thoughts / beliefs on this subject. Thats the whole point of participating here, right?

I have always been in the camp of "rank only means something to the school that awarded it and the organization to which the school belongs." Outside of that, it means nothing. However, the questions about consistency that were raised in this thread, made me rethink a bit. Rank does have a meaning.

For me the issue is one of context. As an individual martial artist, rank only means something to the school that awarded it and the organization to which the school belongs. This has not changed. But, there is another context. The school and organization. When a school awards a black belt, they are announcing to everyone, their standards. Whether they are awarding a kid or an adult, the school and organization are defining what their standards are. They may publish whatever standard they want, but their black belts will actually show everyone what the standard truly is.

People with no martial arts have one set of expectations. When they see a black belt from an organization, they will make up their mind whether that is good or bad and most importantly, whether they want to give their money to train or send their kids. Martial artists will look at that standard as well... we each make our own judgments about the standards we see in the other schools.

I don't think this changes much, for the individual martial artist. Rank still means nothing outside your school. But, if you are ever in a position, to award or recommend someone for black belt, it would be good to consider that your school, organization and art will be judged by people watching that black belt. It may or may not be right, but it is how the world works. When you award a black belt, your are saying something to everyone who comes in contact with this person, whether they study or not. Maybe we should consider what we are saying.
 

CB Jones

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While I agree, isn’t breaking pretty much a staple in TKD and the various Korean arts’ practice and rank tests? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a TKD or TSD test without a board breaking requirement.

My son’s school/org is a Korean Karate/TKD style and they do not do board breaking.
 

mrt2

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Board breaking is part of my TKD school's testing. They didn't make me break a board for my first test, but every test after they have. And, when I practiced Tang Soo Do, I had to break for every test after orange belt, and they got progressively harder. They included spinning kicks, high kicks, and speed breaks. Just looking at the curicullum, of my current school, won't have to do a break with a spinning or jumping kick until I get to high purple belt. That said, I wonder how some of the weaker high purples and brown belts among the little kids in our school did it, but as I said, I think they break thinner boards than the adults and bigger teens.
 

gpseymour

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Dan test board breaking for us is based on age, sex and weight.

A small late teen girl wouldn't be expected to make the same break as me.
How do you graduate it - what are the variations? I'm really just trying to get the concept, so if it's complicated you can give me the gist of it.
 

gpseymour

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These discussions can get pretty rank, can't they... :happy:

This is thread is one of the reasons I like these boards... it made me think a bit deeper and refine my own thoughts / beliefs on this subject. Thats the whole point of participating here, right?

I have always been in the camp of "rank only means something to the school that awarded it and the organization to which the school belongs." Outside of that, it means nothing. However, the questions about consistency that were raised in this thread, made me rethink a bit. Rank does have a meaning.

For me the issue is one of context. As an individual martial artist, rank only means something to the school that awarded it and the organization to which the school belongs. This has not changed. But, there is another context. The school and organization. When a school awards a black belt, they are announcing to everyone, their standards. Whether they are awarding a kid or an adult, the school and organization are defining what their standards are. They may publish whatever standard they want, but their black belts will actually show everyone what the standard truly is.

People with no martial arts have one set of expectations. When they see a black belt from an organization, they will make up their mind whether that is good or bad and most importantly, whether they want to give their money to train or send their kids. Martial artists will look at that standard as well... we each make our own judgments about the standards we see in the other schools.

I don't think this changes much, for the individual martial artist. Rank still means nothing outside your school. But, if you are ever in a position, to award or recommend someone for black belt, it would be good to consider that your school, organization and art will be judged by people watching that black belt. It may or may not be right, but it is how the world works. When you award a black belt, your are saying something to everyone who comes in contact with this person, whether they study or not. Maybe we should consider what we are saying.
I agree. I'll also say that we don't all draw the same conclusion from that person wearing the BB. I've heard people (who were watching classes or demos) talking about how it just takes so long to get a student to BB in a given school, and another school can do it faster. They seem to think it means the same thing both places, and the one who "gets them there" faster is better at teaching. This seems to reinforce your thought that people outside the community think of BB as equivalent, regardless of the source, and presents an entirely different result.
 

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Can I ask (probably a dumb question but pray humour me) why is such a big thing placed on breaking ?
 

mrt2

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Can I ask (probably a dumb question but pray humour me) why is such a big thing placed on breaking ?
It is mostly a test of accuracy and power, or alternately, accuracy and speed, if the test includes a speed break. It is a strange thing, though since we almost never practice breaking in regular classes, though we do paddle or target drills fairly often.
 

gpseymour

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Can I ask (probably a dumb question but pray humour me) why is such a big thing placed on breaking ?
The benefits I can think of (as someone who has never practiced breaks) include accuracy ("don't kick the holder!") and the difference between a "striking" kick and a "pushing" kick. A board held by a person will be much harder to break with a pushing kick.
 

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The benefits I can think of (as someone who has never practiced breaks) include accuracy ("don't kick the holder!") and the difference between a "striking" kick and a "pushing" kick. A board held by a person will be much harder to break with a pushing kick.

Thanks I don't come from that background and was just curious what you say makes sense tho
 

mrt2

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The benefits I can think of (as someone who has never practiced breaks) include accuracy ("don't kick the holder!") and the difference between a "striking" kick and a "pushing" kick. A board held by a person will be much harder to break with a pushing kick.
It also teaches people to snap the kick through the board. Put another way, when gauging distance, aim for a spot a few inches behind the board. On speed breaks (only held with one hand, either from the top or the bottom), you really have to focus on hitting the board not just hard, but fast, or the board will fall over, but not break.
 

gpseymour

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It also teaches people to snap the kick through the board. Put another way, when gauging distance, aim for a spot a few inches behind the board. On speed breaks (only held with one hand, either from the top or the bottom), you really have to focus on hitting the board not just hard, but fast, or the board will fall over, but not break.
I can see that about the penetration - I use a heavy bag or shield to teach that. The speed breaks would seem to be even more focused on the push-versus-strike issue. It's possible to push a heavy bag and make it look good, so people can think they're hitting hard when they aren't. Pushing a board just looks like you pushed a board - not so impressive. :D
 

mrt2

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I can see that about the penetration - I use a heavy bag or shield to teach that. The speed breaks would seem to be even more focused on the push-versus-strike issue. It's possible to push a heavy bag and make it look good, so people can think they're hitting hard when they aren't. Pushing a board just looks like you pushed a board - not so impressive. :D
Heavy bag drills and paddle, or target drills is what we usually do in class. The boards are only for the test.
 

JR 137

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Can I ask (probably a dumb question but pray humour me) why is such a big thing placed on breaking ?
My school doesn’t have any breaking in the curriculum nor testing (that I know of anyway). We do breaking every now and then, just to change things up. Some of us compete at our organization’s annual tournament, and breaking is an optional competition there. Just as a background for my experience with it, I guess...

Breaking teaches some pretty important lessons. Focus, timing, confidence, striking through the object, accuracy, hand (or other surface) position, and so on.

Breaking gives pretty honest feedback. A heavy bag is more forgiving of flaws in technique IMO. That doesn’t mean breaking is some huge feat to behold though.

Here’s some examples of why I like it...
The first time I tried to break boards with a knife hand strike, it hurt like hell. I felt the bones in my hand hit each other, and it gave me this odd vibration feeling; kind of like hitting a baseball with the wrong spot on an aluminum bat. Why? I didn’t hold my hand tight enough. I’ve got a heavy bag plenty of times with it and never felt that. When the hand is loose like that, you’re losing power. Breaking boards pointed it out real quick.

A friend was breaking a two stacks of boards simultaneously with hammer fist (so right hand broke a stack and left hand broke another stack at the same time). She couldn’t get through more than 3 on each side (yeah, first world country problem). Me watching at the right angle revealed exactly why - she was hitting with her hands at an angle rather than straight on. After a few conscientious tries to straighten out her hands, she finally got it - and through 6 boards on each side.

Breaking gives a different feedback. It’s not a be all, end all by any stretch. It also teaches great lessons (when you’ve got enough boards to make it pretty challenging). You could definitely get away with never doing it and be more than fine though.

And there’s nothing like punching through a bunch of boards that you didn’t think you could do. My teacher put 5 boards on the cinder blocks one night and said “give it a try. I know you can do it.” I honestly thought there was no way I was getting through all 5. I put everything out of my mind, silenced any doubts in my head, and committed with everything I had. I’ve got to admit it was a great feeling when I broke them. It wasn’t any record breaking feat by any means, but I outdid what I thought I could do.
 

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