student/instructor

Cirdan

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Hello

I heard on an other forum that you are not considered an instructor in TKD until you have reached 4th Dan. Is this the common practice or is it the same way teachers in some schools of traditional Japanese styles will not be called sensei until 3rd or 5th Dan?

How long does it take on average to reach 1. Dan in TKD? And for 4th Dan?

(NOT here to bash. :asian: Peace )
 

Miles

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One can teach at black belt...actually, it is pretty dependent upon the school-some dojangs have gueps teaching which is wrong IMHO.

One is always a student no matter what the color of the belt.

In Korea, in order to qualify as an instructor to get a business license, one must hold a 4th dan and pass the Instructor Course. Outside of Korea, it is up to the local goverment whether one holds the qualifications to teach. Unfortunately, this means that there are unqualified people holding themselves out as being qualified to teach. In my State, anyone can get a business license and open up a school. I suspect that is the case in many areas.

As far as how long it takes to progress to 1st dan...typically 3-5 years. To 4th dan would take at least 10 years and typically more than 15.

Miles
 

PrayingMantis

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While I am not as up on the traditions in Korea as I should be, I can say how my organization handles this.

As for becoming an instructor, my organization ideally would have someone attain 1st Dan before taking on a class of students - though that being said, to my understanding anyone is able to 'rank' a student up to their own rank. So if a 4th Gup would technically be able to rank a new student up through 4th Gup - but I agree that this is not advisable (under normal circumstances). If a Gup ranked student of mine was interested in teaching, I would involve them in demonstrations for the class - or have them lead small groups in focused work - but would (normally) ask that they not 'take on students' until they were a 1st Dan.

Of course, this is my opinion as a 1st Dan who took over his 3rd Dan-Instructor's club - and I know that my experience is not going to be the same as someone who forges out on their own; or as someone who has been at this longer than myself.

At 4th Dan, in our organization, is when we begin calling a gentleman or lady "Master" - but we do not hold it as a requirement to teach.

Typically it takes about 3 years for a student to reach 1st Dan, and then a number of years equal to the next rank is the training period before a student can qualify to rank again. (i.e. 2 years as 1st Dan to qualify to test for 2nd, 4 years as 3rd to qualify to test for 4th, etc.)

It seems to work well within our federation. By our system, it would take someone 12 years of training to qualify to test for 4th Dan. This does not mean that after 12 years you would be 4th Dan, just that it is the soonest possible - if that is a good way to word it.
 

matt.m

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As I understand, in Moo Sul Kwan it takes 4-5 yrs. for 1st dan in tae kwon do, longer in hapkido. Afterwards, to be considered for 2nd dan in TKD it takes at least two years of activity, three years after 2nd to be considered for 3rd etc.

I have a few friends in different schools that test at half way points so they have a stripe in their belt. So ten tests for blue and only five for me. When going on a (White, yellow, orange, green, blue.....etc.) belt scheme or the schools equivilant.
 

TraditionalTKD

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Within the Kukkiwon/WTF, you are considered an Assistant Instructor from 1st-3rd Dan. You may teach, with permission, under the auspices of your Instructor, and are subject to his regulations. Your students are still considered part of his club. The term for this is Kyo Sa Nim.
From 4th-6th Dan, you are considered a Master Instructor, and may teach your own class which you are responsible for. You are still responsible to your Master/Grandmaster, but you may officially recommend students to test and judge other students. You also have more freedom in how you run your class. You are a Sa Bum Nim.
 

Touch Of Death

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When I took TKD the school owner was very harsh on the idea of American students opening up a school down the road from his or any other authentic Korean school. I suppose this is the danger with any martial art, but it was in the fore-front with that particular TKD school. The higher rank for instructor title would seem to fit the same idea.
Sean
 

Last Fearner

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Hello

I heard on an other forum that you are not considered an instructor in TKD until you have reached 4th Dan. Is this the common practice or is it the same way teachers in some schools of traditional Japanese styles will not be called sensei until 3rd or 5th Dan?

How long does it take on average to reach 1. Dan in TKD? And for 4th Dan?

(NOT here to bash. :asian: Peace )

While requirements vary between organizations, and depending on what country in which you are training/teaching, there is one important issue to consider. In most well-established, or Korean based Taekwondo organizations, rank is separate from teaching credentials.

Although there are typically minimum rank requirements to teach, as others have mentioned here, the common incorrect assumption made by the general public, or beginner students, is that a Black Belt rank automatically means you are qualified to teach. That would be like saying that a person who just graduated from High School can get a job in the public schools as a teacher.

The concept of a color belt (geup rank) teaching, or giving rank to anyone up to their own rank is not an authorized procedure. While independent instructors, who open their own free-lance schools, can do whatever they want, this is not a practice traditionally supported by the Korean Martial Art of Taekwondo.

Any ranked student is considered senior to a junior belt, and my be called upon in class to help "guide" junior students by reminding them of what they have already been taught. High ranking color belts (Red or Brown / 3rd, 2nd, or 1st geup) are considered class senior students, and often lead exercises, and supervise small groups within a class. They are typically not permitted to teach a student new techniques for the first time, and are not authorized to open a school.

Also, while many 1st and 2nd Dan Black Belts do teach classes at their instructor's Dojang, many do so without actually having passed an instructor's training course, or been certified as an assistant instructor. A Black Belt who assists in teaching should be specifically trained on how to teach, and is labeled as a "Chyo kyo nim" (assistant instructor).

1st or 2nd Degree Black Belts, who have been properly trained and certified as "Instructors," are still not qualified to open their own Taekwondo Dojang. They either teach classes at the school of a certified Sabeomnim, or they run smaller programs at local churches, public schools, or health clubs under the direct supervision of their Sabeomnim (I spell it this way because it is more accurate to the Korean Hangul and correct pronunciation 사범 ).

Even a 3rd or 4th Dan who has not completed an Instructor's course should not be considered a Kyo sa nim (Instructor), or Sa beom nim (Master Instructor). A certified Instructor who is a 3rd Dan, does not automatically become a "Mater Instructor" when they test for 4th Dan. There is typically further training, and certification, separate from rank, to be awarded the title of Master Instructor.

As far as governmental restrictions for teaching, in Korea, there are rank requirements and association approval before you can open a Dojang and proclaim to be a "Taekwondo Instructor," let alone a Master. In the United States, to my knowledge, there are no such restrictions in any state. So long as you do not "falsely advertise," or "defraud or endanger the public," free enterprise allows just about anyone to "teach" whatever it is they think they know about most any subject. As it goes - a white belt could drop out of his Taekwondo school after failing the test for yellow, then open a "Taekwondo" school or general "self defense" class and teach the unsuspecting public.

Personally, I think this is fraudulent, but it comes down to "buyer beware." Therefore, in my opinion, the public should do their research, and spend their time and money with an instructor who can prove years of training and certification with a large, well-accredited organization. Even if that instructor is no longer associated with an organization, and has gone independent (some downside to that as well) at least they can prove they had the credentials and training to qualify them to teach in the first place.

I believe we need more strict standards within the Martial Art community, and better education for the public to know the difference. Unfortunately, there will always be some people who will join the "white-belt master academy" because it is the cheapest in town, and talks up a good game!

CM D.J. Eisenhart
 
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