The Value of a Kukkiwon Certificate

IcemanSK

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I know variations on this subject have been done to death,:deadhorse but I want to share my experience.

I received my 1st Dan KKW in 1985 from a Korean master who I thought the world of. My last name was misspelled on the cert.: but I revered him too much (I was 17) to correct him. He moved away before I could correct it.

I then went to what I thought was a legit ITF school (that wasn't) & received my 2nd Dan in 1988. I discovered that this was the case 6 years later when I walked into a 9th Dans office with my 2 cert. to speak to him about testing for 3rd Dan. He humillated me for my "worthless piece of paper" cert., opened his desk drawer & showed my what a real ITF cert. looked like & said he'd "retest me for 2nd Dan after a year of training with him.

Flash Forward 13 years from that chat. I was blessed enough to find a Grandmaster (GM Edward Sell) willing to accept my 2nd Dan (& me) on my own merits to run a school under him. While I'm testing under his organization (US Chung Do Kwan Assoc) for 3rd Dan, I'm also finally getting my 1st Dan cert. corrected & applying for my KKW 2nd Dan with his help.

I don't want this to be a gripe thread at all. There are certainly a lot of folks who promise a KKW cert. & don't deliver it, also (And usually for a lot of $$$) Heck, in my case, it was an alleged ITF instructor who lied to me. Whatever one decides to do (get a KKW, ITF, ATA, XYZ, cert.) make sure it's legit (for KKW, ask a BB from the same school for their cert. number & check it out on the KKW site.) & don't pay too much for it ($500 is too much). You may look back 20+ years from now & wish you'd done it differently.
 

wade

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See, it things like what happened to Iceman why I only issue KKW certificates. Child or adult, don't make no difference. When you get a school certificate a lot of times it is only good in that school or system, A KKW is accepted every where. Course ya gotta be careful here too.I've run into my share of fake KKW's and it is always heart breaking to tell some one their certificates aren't real.
 

fireman00

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Personally the cost of a certificate is relatively un-important, at my first dojang I paid 500 dollars for my first BB test 5 years ago, some went to to KKW some went to the Grand Master (who ran 6 schools) to pay for 4 other masters who reviewed the test and some went to the owner of my school. For that we got a KKW cert and a school cert with the Master's mark. Do I feel that I was "ripped off" ? No, the cost of testing was explained to me when I joined the dojang.

I currently belong to an AAU affliated dojang the testing cost is 250 dollars for both an AAU and a KKW certificate.
 
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IcemanSK

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See, it things like what happened to Iceman why I only issue KKW certificates. Child or adult, don't make no difference. When you get a school certificate a lot of times it is only good in that school or system, A KKW is accepted every where. Course ya gotta be careful here too.I've run into my share of fake KKW's and it is always heart breaking to tell some one their certificates aren't real.

This is very true, sir. The portability of a KKW cert. is great. One just has to make sure it's legit.

As far as the Chang Hon-style schools go, I'm betting there's a bit more flexibility. Meaning that since Gen. Choi died & the ITF split, the groups recognize each others certs. more readily, I'll bet. (I hope).
 
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IcemanSK

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Personally the cost of a certificate is relatively un-important, at my first dojang I paid 500 dollars for my first BB test 5 years ago, some went to to KKW some went to the Grand Master (who ran 6 schools) to pay for 4 other masters who reviewed the test and some went to the owner of my school. For that we got a KKW cert and a school cert with the Master's mark. Do I feel that I was "ripped off" ? No, the cost of testing was explained to me when I joined the dojang.

I currently belong to an AAU affliated dojang the testing cost is 250 dollars for both an AAU and a KKW certificate.

Here's the problem that I have with the big differences in prices folks charge for KKW certificates: It costs each instructor the same for the certificate no matter where you are. I realize its an issue of "what the market will bear" but there is making a profit & then there's gouging.

As a student, I look at it this way, say you want a degree from an Ivy League University (let's say Brown University). There are 100's of extension campus' for Brown all over the country. But they all charge different amounts for the degree. And many don't tell you how much it will cost until 2 weeks before your final exam your Senior year! The Billings Mont. campus charges $150, while the Los Angeles campus charges $500. Heck, another LA campus 5 miles from that charges $1000!

There need to be mark ups for costs to the instructor, but they need to be reasonable. I guess the guy with the wallett decides what "reasonable" is, huh?
 

wade

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When I changed over from my (small) style TKD system to the USTU/KKW I was reduced form 5th to 4th Dan. I gave the GM that tested me a certified check for $1500. In the KKW system you have to pay for all ranks you move up. Then when I tested for 5th I paid $600. When I tested for 6th I paid $700. Was it worth it to me, yes. Would I do it again, yes. With out the KKW certification I nor my students would be where they are today, in my mind, legitimate. Go ahead, buy the Honda Shadow, it is a great cruiser motorcycle, but....it will never be a Harley no mater how much you dress it up. Do I suggest you do this, no I don't. This was my choice, you have to make your own and then live with it.
 

TKDmel

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I don't want this to be a gripe thread at all. There are certainly a lot of folks who promise a KKW cert. & don't deliver it, also (And usually for a lot of $$$) Heck, in my case, it was an alleged ITF instructor who lied to me. Whatever one decides to do (get a KKW, ITF, ATA, XYZ, cert.) make sure it's legit (for KKW, ask a BB from the same school for their cert. number & check it out on the KKW site.) & don't pay too much for it ($500 is too much). You may look back 20+ years from now & wish you'd done it differently.

I think that Iceman makes a good point here, in that, some individuals in any org. see you coming and see the dollar signs. Its unfortunate but true. Maybe some day someone will start a grassroots movement to research the various schools and their fees and post them on the internet for people to use as a tool for deciding whether or not to enroll in a particular schools classes. The kind of cert. could also be posted. Wow...am I in a dream world! Oh well, in the mean time, let the buyer beware.
 

terryl965

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The only value I can see in them is if you have hopes of competng in Internatiobal or in the Olympics, just couse you have one does not mean you have earned one, just my opinion here. I have seen so many unqualified practitionors that have them because they where willing to pay big bucks for it.

Sorry not meant to offend anybody
 

TKDmel

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The only value I can see in them is if you have hopes of competng in Internatiobal or in the Olympics, just couse you have one does not mean you have earned one, just my opinion here. I have seen so many unqualified practitionors that have them because they where willing to pay big bucks for it.

Sorry not meant to offend anybody

I agree Terry. Along with the big bucks, its seems those individuals have big egos as well. I guess one breeds the other.
 
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IcemanSK

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The only value I can see in them is if you have hopes of competng in Internatiobal or in the Olympics, just couse you have one does not mean you have earned one, just my opinion here. I have seen so many unqualified practitionors that have them because they where willing to pay big bucks for it.

Sorry not meant to offend anybody


Not offense taken, Terry. You never put folks down when giving your opinion.

True there are a lot of unqualified folks w/ KKW certs. But there are unqualified folks with graduate degrees from Ivy League universities, too. Sadly, there really is no guarantee of competence.

I think it's ironic that if someone wins an Olympic Gold medal in TKD, one of the rewards is instant opportunity to test for the next KKW rank.:ultracool
 

terryl965

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Not offense taken, Terry. You never put folks down when giving your opinion.

True there are a lot of unqualified folks w/ KKW certs. But there are unqualified folks with graduate degrees from Ivy League universities, too. Sadly, there really is no guarantee of competence.

I think it's ironic that if someone wins an Olympic Gold medal in TKD, one of the rewards is instant opportunity to test for the next KKW rank.:ultracool


Any International event they can jump Dan ranking.
 
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IcemanSK

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Any International event they can jump Dan ranking.


HHmmm.....I wonder if I train 1/2 hour more a day, maybe I could.....Naaahh:ultracool

I would also add recognition as an important reason for getting the KKW cert. Portability is an important part of a KKW cert.(as Wade mentioned). If I have a student walk into my school with a school BB cert. (or no cert at all, which has happened) I'm going to be skeptical. But, if I have a student w/ a KKW (or a major ITF cert.) I have a reasonable expectation of what I can expect their skills/knowledge to be. It's not a guarantee, but the odds are better.
 

zDom

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I'm not knocking KKW certs if I had some extra money to spend I would probably go about getting one.

(btw, isn't KKW rank always or nearly always one dan rank below your kwan rank?)

But if in the unlikely event I DID move from this area, any school that wouldn't recognize my U.S. Chung Do Kwan rank (2nd dan) in TKD wouldn't meet MY criteria for a worthy dojang.

They either value my worth as a practitioner from a legitimate lineage or don't get me at all. I'd just as soon open my own school as shell out a bunch of money or "retest" for rank I've earned.
 
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IcemanSK

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I'm not knocking KKW certs if I had some extra money to spend I would probably go about getting one.

(btw, isn't KKW rank always or nearly always one dan rank below your kwan rank?)

But if in the unlikely event I DID move from this area, any school that wouldn't recognize my U.S. Chung Do Kwan rank (2nd dan) in TKD wouldn't meet MY criteria for a worthy dojang.

They either value my worth as a practitioner from a legitimate lineage or don't get me at all. I'd just as soon open my own school as shell out a bunch of money or "retest" for rank I've earned.

zdom:

You have the luxury of having the USCDKA rank. It also bears the signature of GM Uhm, Woon Kyu (the current president of the KKW). That would open a few more doors, I think.
 
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