When to switch from promoting for progress to promoting for merit?

Reading this thread reminds me of the argument on the Internet about which Martial Art is the best: everyone has their own opinion based upon their paradigm. In other words, what you've been exposed to and experienced permeates and forms your opinion about how it ought to be done. No one is right, except in their own mind. The focus has moved away from that word, "art."

In our dojang, testing is "available" every 2 months (at least 16 lessons) for the White thru Red belts. Our system has a stripe of the next color added to the previous color, which gives a total of 11 belts to get to Red. then, it slows down to where the student spends about 6 months at red to get to black stripe, and then at least another 6 months to get to black. It generally takes about 3 years to go from beginner to black. In each of the lower belts, there are tape stripes given to indicate terminology, technique and attendance. These all have to be in place before the student can test.

Just about anyone, whether a child or an adult, can earn the stripes for terminology and attendance. But, it is the instructor's prerogative to decide how to adjust the qualifications as to whether or not the student has mastered the material for that rank. This encompasses mental abilities as well as physical limitations.

We believe that by the time the student is a red belt you need to be proficient enough to teach another. After all, you're only two steps away from Black, and "yudanja" is a title of respect for the rank.

There's more to this discussion, but the end of it all boils down to one thing: What you are comfortable with as far as learning is concerned in your own school. I can't tell you that you are wrong or right, because I am not in your position.
Show them a few examples of how there are hidden movements in the forms (kata) if you open your mind and think flexibly. For example, our first form, Chon-ji, is all front stance, blocks, and basic punches. However there's a trip in there almost right away, if you look closely. :)
Just FYI, in several older threads, the OP has made it clear that he does not believe in those hidden moves.
I was digging thru my closet the other day and found a "can of worms" that might apply to this thread since it is related to merit and promotions: How young is too young for awarding a Black Belt?

I received my 1st dan a couple of months ago and now, training/learning for 2nd it is like I am starting all over again. I turn to my side and there is this 3 foot tall 1st dan right next to me. He might be 10 or 12 years old. Even with his hardest punch or kick I could pick him up by his belt and dump him in a trash can (remember, sarcasm here). I'm a big feller, over 200 lbs. and 6 feet tall. If I ever encounter a board in a dark alley, it'd be firewood! You watch videos on the Internet and you see tiny kids as "masters" and champions. As entertaining as the Karate Kid franchise may be, the reality of the movies is that these "kids" learn basically one form, become "black" in less than a year, and win the championship.

In our dojang, we have rules of conduct and tenets that we recite every class but I wonder if there is really a Black Belt "mentality" in the very young.
I was digging thru my closet the other day and found a "can of worms" that might apply to this thread since it is related to merit and promotions: How young is too young for awarding a Black Belt?
Been discussed a billion times, if you want to do a search.
Short version:
It depends on what "Black Belt" means in a particular school or system. In our branch of the Moo Duk Kwan, 1st Dan is considered a teaching rank. So the person is expected to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the curriculum up to their rank that they can be trusted to teach on their own. We do not have set in stone age limits. By actual count, we have had three students earn their 1st Dan while still minors. That's it. Those three are exceptional people, and had been training with us at least ten years.
I started training when I was about 7. I was awarded my first 1st Dan from the ITF at about 13. Different organization. Different standards. Different meanings for the rank.

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