Testing For Instructors/School Owners

RobertS

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I am looking for some information that I'm hoping someone on these forums can help me with. My basic question is: Do any of the Tae Kwon Do organizations have a system in place by which an instructor (who does not have access to the direct teaching of higher belts on a regular basis) can test for higher degrees and can continue to progress?

I will soon have a 2nd dan and have been studying Tae Kwon Do (Palgwe forms/WTF) under a Grand Master, but I am considering leaving his school. I have the opportunity to start a Martial Arts school with a Jiu-Jitsu instructor friend of mine. I would be teaching TKD and the idea would be to provide students with the whole package of striking and grappling. My master will most likely not condone this and I am not interested in running a branch school for him. Setting aside the ethics of going against my master's wishes (this isn't all about $ so please don't assume that), one of my concerns is figuring out how I will be able to continue to advance my own knowledge. I'm trying to learn more about what some of the organizations out there offer and figure out if there is a viable option for me to not give up my own advancement if I take this opportunity. Any info or advice?
 

terrylamar

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My personal opinion is that you should stick with your current GM until you reach your 4th Dan. At that point, you are considered to have mastered the style and can teach on your own.

Having said that, you are free to do what you want in the United States. You can teach without achieving any level of expertise. I hope your conscience guides you.

I am in a similar situation, with other variables, in Hapkido. I decided to offer classes. There are many people who disagreed with my approach. I listened to them and am getting validation on any technique before I teach it.

In any case, a continued relationship with your GM will be the best approach.

I wish you luck.
 

granfire

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Well, it is always a bad idea to burn bridges.

However...


Open the phonebook and you are likely to find as many organizations as there are schools in town.

I don't know if a rank advancement is needed, but the continued workout with other high ranking practitioners certainly is.

As to the particular problem, have lunch with your GM or a cup of coffee and talk things over.

This lineage thing is big, and your students are part of his get as well. I know it's the girly thing to do but I am sure a compromise can be found in there somewhere.

I hope I was somewhat coherant...I have a monster head ache and head cold..
 

terryl965

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I have tested people that have not had a teacher to say because of breakups. I tend to let people know what I would like to see and if they are willing to travel and pay for the test and past then I am willing to help those. I was like that for a while in my life.
 
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RobertS

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Thanks for the responses. Terrylamar, I should double check this but I believe it would be an additional 10-12 years for me to reach 4th dan in my school. (4 years between 2nd and 3rd and 6 or 8 years between 3rd and 4th.) I'm happy to put in that time but the opportunity I'm facing won't wait.

Granfire, I don't wish to burn bridges but I don't think my GM will compromise on anything. However, that's not really the issue that I want to get into here.

I want to know what options are out there if I'm on my own and would like to continue to learn in some capacity and test again at some point. Are there national/international organizations that provide for this sort of thing? terryl965, what did you do when you were in this sort of situation?
 

terryl965

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I knew a person like me that became my mentor sort of, that helped huide me in the direction I wanted to go and was there for support and testing. He only charged me a monthly fee it was something like 50.00 and then testing fee's of course. He would come and see me twice a year and of course I paid for his hotel and travel, but it was worth it to not be affiliated with someone. I went to see him every other month and worked out for the weekend and he always gave me material to work on and had some videos done for me to watch and learn on my own. It was actually some of the best training I ever had because I got to do thing and try thing out for myself/ He was always there on the phone or by video to help with everything. If I could do this again I would, right now my GM is across the country for me to continue my training and it has been beneficial all this time.
 

MasterWright

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I agree that it might pay to stay with you Gm until reaching 4th Dan, however I don't know your situation.

Contact your State Association Vp or Secretary. They may have a panel to test independent BB's because there are some schools run by 2nd or third Dans. The fees may be high.
 

terryl965

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AAU and USAT does testing at the National events if that helps at all.
 

YoungMan

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There are many unsavory and unethival instructors who would be willing to test and promote you, a non-student of theirs, to higher Dan. Legitimate instructors tend to shy away from this as it causes more problems than it is worth.
If your instructor has not died or in some other way left Taekwondo, it would be a serious breach of Taekwondo ethics to approach another instructor to recommend you for higher Dan. It would definitely cause friction, and he might conceivably cut you. I don't recommend it. You have freedom of choice, but there are other factors at work here.
 

BrandonLucas

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I don't know a whole lot about the orgs and stuff, but I'm just throwing this out there:

If you're affiliated with the WTF, then why not try to contact the org itself and address your concern?

I do agree that you shouldn't just assume that your GM is going to react a certain way. You should extend the courtesy of at least discussing your situation with your GM, and even if he/she doesn't understand or condone what's going on, at least it's out there.

It wouldn't be right to just up and leave your GM to try to earn rank from another instructor just because you're fairly certain of the GM's reaction...

But, assuming that you do, in fact, talk to your GM and he/she disagrees with what's going on, I would venture to say that these types of situations are what an organization would be useful for.

I could be wrong, and others here that are part of the WTF org can correct me if I am wrong, but I would just figure you could try to talk to someone. It never hurts to ask.
 
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RobertS

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Thanks for everyone's input. Right now I'm in an information gathering/decision making phase. If I decide that I am going to pursue opening a school, I will definitely try to do so with the most integrity possible. I won't just assume my GM will react in a certain way, I'm just not ready to have that talk yet. I posted here not for ethical advice as much as just practical knowledge that some of you might have. TerryL965's responses are the kind of thing I'm looking for. If anyone has experience testing through a national event put on by the AAU or USAT or any other group, I would love to hear more about that good or bad.
 

granfire

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well, I am too low on the totem pole to know all the ins and outs.

But in the last couple of years several schools from our organization have left and joined another one.

I am not sure how it works independently (or how the Big Guys in the Organization test since they are the highest ranking ones, who judges them...)

But I am sure you'll work it out.
 

miguksaram

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My personal opinion is that you should stick with your current GM until you reach your 4th Dan. At that point, you are considered to have mastered the style and can teach on your own.

You might want to reword that. A 4th dan only allows promotes you as a master instructor. That doesn't mean you mastered the system. If that was true then why bother going on to 5th or higher? It sort of like being promoted from a Teacher's aide to a teacher.

Having said that, you are free to do what you want in the United States. You can teach without achieving any level of expertise. I hope your conscience guides you.

Very true. Robert, do you feel you have logged enough teaching time at your school that you can honestly say you can handle your own students? You will find that it is not as easy as you may think.

In any case, a continued relationship with your GM will be the best approach.

I agree. You should discuss this with your instructor. By going behind his back you will burn the bridge, especially if he is a traditional Korean teacher. Talk with him and if he doesn't think you are ready then perhaps you should listen and take his advice above ours. He's known you for your whole martial art life, we've known you long enough to give you a quick reply.
 

SA_BJJ

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Sounds likse you have an ethical dilema on your hands. IMO you should stay, talk to your GM about wanting to open another school. If he says no then you should obey his wishes. All goes back to morals.
 

miguksaram

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If you're affiliated with the WTF, then why not try to contact the org itself and address your concern?

WTF does not issue rank. Kukkiwon is responsible for that. They will not issue you any rank without a recommendation from a higher rank. If you are in America then United States of America Taekwondo (USAT) is the org you will want to contact if you wish to look into rank promotion. However, they should be following KKW guidlines which brings you right back to needing the higher rank recommendation.
 

BrandonLucas

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WTF does not issue rank. Kukkiwon is responsible for that. They will not issue you any rank without a recommendation from a higher rank. If you are in America then United States of America Taekwondo (USAT) is the org you will want to contact if you wish to look into rank promotion. However, they should be following KKW guidlines which brings you right back to needing the higher rank recommendation.

I read that in another thread on here this morning, actually, so thanks for the correction.

So, would the best thing for the OP to do be to speak directly to the GM?
 
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RobertS

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I just want to say thanks again!

Miguksaram, yes, I feel ready. I've been teaching at a branch school for a couple of years now with another instructor. I have been offered my own branch school in the recent past and I have declined the opportunity. I respect my GM greatly but there are issues there that I don't wish to discuss on the forums.

The reason for my post was just to gain some information on what my options might be. Several of you have been very helpful in that regard.

Drac, thanks for the links. That first one was given to me privately and is of great interest to me. The second link doesn't seem to work, is this http://www.tkd.org/Default.aspx the right thing?

Thanks.
 

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