Why is WTF/KKW TKD More Expensive Than Other Arts?

skribs

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Taekwondo also includes grappling skills and self defense techniques. The ones we do in TKD class are different than the ones we do in Hapkido class (although there is a lot of overlap). Granted, most schools only teach one or two punches, several kicks, forms, and sparring, but that doesn't cover the complete scope of what TKD is.

Most arts actually have a little bit of everything, but most schools focus on certain aspects of the art.
 

WaterGal

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No, just KKW syllabus so that it works and is applicable. The difference is we teach people to understand the fundamental principles behind what they are doing rather than just repeating it parrot fashion. We enable improvisation, not just in sparring but in every aspect.

As do we. It's essential to me that students understand what they're doing when they do a form. Otherwise it's just a dance move or waving your arms around. And as you get more advanced, of course, you'll see details and applications that you missed a year or two or five ago.

Again, I disagree respectfully. The further you go, the more you see. I'm still working on kicks now that I thought I had down at 1st Dan. I'm able to see issues now that I couldn't see then.

You absolutely get better at kicks and get more out of them the more you do them, not arguing with that. We start teaching jump kicks at yellow belt for that exact reason, so they get lots and lots of time to practice them. And of course, the learning process doesn't ever stop.
 

WaterGal

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Okay, so I feel like I should say this. I don't know any of you people, have never been to your schools or seen your students. Those of you that spend 3-5 years on color belts may be teaching your students some really great stuff and they might all be really awesome. I'm sorry if that came across as me insulting your school.

I'm just speaking from my own experiences. The TKD or TSD schools I'm personally familiar with (based on working with their ex-students, seeing demos or competitions, etc) that have that kind of time frame are absolutely, unquestionably ripping off their students. Even after 3-5 years, their students aren't what I would consider "black belt material".
 

Rumy73

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Okay, so I feel like I should say this. I don't know any of you people, have never been to your schools or seen your students. Those of you that spend 3-5 years on color belts may be teaching your students some really great stuff and they might all be really awesome. I'm sorry if that came across as me insulting your school.

I'm just speaking from my own experiences. The TKD or TSD schools I'm personally familiar with (based on working with their ex-students, seeing demos or competitions, etc) that have that kind of time frame are absolutely, unquestionably ripping off their students. Even after 3-5 years, their students aren't what I would consider "black belt material".

And what is black belt material?
 

wimwag

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Okay, so I feel like I should say this. I don't know any of you people, have never been to your schools or seen your students. Those of you that spend 3-5 years on color belts may be teaching your students some really great stuff and they might all be really awesome. I'm sorry if that came across as me insulting your school.

I'm just speaking from my own experiences. The TKD or TSD schools I'm personally familiar with (based on working with their ex-students, seeing demos or competitions, etc) that have that kind of time frame are absolutely, unquestionably ripping off their students. Even after 3-5 years, their students aren't what I would consider "black belt material".


I see what you're saying, but...and its a big but (pun intended?)...although you may be of a certain skill level, martial arts isn't something that everyone does the same. It's an individual journey and some may be better competitors/fighters, while others are great teachers. Not all 1st dans will be instant draws when placed into a steel cage. I think you're putting the cart before the horse here.

There are some bad schools, but I don't think that all schools of a certain style should be lumped together. Depending on whether or not the student makes martial arts a lifestyle, they may appear to be of a higher or lower skill level than others of the same rank. Some people drift in and out of the dojos over the years depending on work schedules, family, health etc...

Just food for thought.
 

andyjeffries

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I'm just speaking from my own experiences. The TKD or TSD schools I'm personally familiar with (based on working with their ex-students, seeing demos or competitions, etc) that have that kind of time frame are absolutely, unquestionably ripping off their students. Even after 3-5 years, their students aren't what I would consider "black belt material".

I think that may be though because you've been caught up in the Western view of a black belt ("complete ninja, ready to kill someone as easily as look at them, expert") rather than the Asian view ("well done, you've learnt the basics and are now competent enough to get on with the rest of your studies"). Remember in Korea, it's standard to get to 1st Poom in a year of training (and contrary to our view in the west, not all Taekwondo instructors in Korea are expert wisened old men that know Taekwondo perfectly).

The other side of it aside from expectations/meaning is is the more practical side. There are inevitable peaks and troughs in any athletic progression (and Taekwondo even as a martial art, not sport, is still a physical athletic ability and training programme). Without the regular training up for gradings and competitions and other events you don't experience the peaks. It's those peaks that push your ability, the focus period where you're nailing details to prepare for an event/grading.

So, I understand what you mean, but consider how good the guy who got his black belt in 3-5 years would be if he'd only graded 4 times in that period instead. Grading him "fast" has enabled him to improve considerably.

My view on this has now changed over the years, so I understand where you're coming from. I now want my black belts to be comparatively good compared to those produced by my peers, but I'm not caught up in they have to be perfect to get to 1st Dan. Now when I promote people to 4th/5th Dan that's a bit different... ;-)
 

Rumy73

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I think that may be though because you've been caught up in the Western view of a black belt ("complete ninja, ready to kill someone as easily as look at them, expert") rather than the Asian view ("well done, you've learnt the basics and are now competent enough to get on with the rest of your studies"). Remember in Korea, it's standard to get to 1st Poom in a year of training (and contrary to our view in the west, not all Taekwondo instructors in Korea are expert wisened old men that know Taekwondo perfectly).

The other side of it aside from expectations/meaning is is the more practical side. There are inevitable peaks and troughs in any athletic progression (and Taekwondo even as a martial art, not sport, is still a physical athletic ability and training programme). Without the regular training up for gradings and competitions and other events you don't experience the peaks. It's those peaks that push your ability, the focus period where you're nailing details to prepare for an event/grading.

So, I understand what you mean, but consider how good the guy who got his black belt in 3-5 years would be if he'd only graded 4 times in that period instead. Grading him "fast" has enabled him to improve considerably.

My view on this has now changed over the years, so I understand where you're coming from. I now want my black belts to be comparatively good compared to those produced by my peers, but I'm not caught up in they have to be perfect to get to 1st Dan. Now when I promote people to 4th/5th Dan that's a bit different... ;-)

Probably the soberest and most convincing argument on this topic I have read in a long time. Thanks, Andy.
 

WaterGal

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And what is black belt material?

To me, for TKD, it's having a good attitude and toughness, being able to spar well, knowing a wide variety of striking techniques and being able to do them with accuracy and power, being able to perform all their forms precisely and with power, and being at least moderately in shape.

Somebody that gets winded after one sparring match against a 10-year old, has no accuracy with their kicks, can't remember all of their old forms, and can't do a jump back kick is not someone we'd give a black belt. But it's someone our main competitors will apparently give at least a red belt to, after 3-5 years. It seems like the schools around here that do that are just grading and training people really slowly so they can get tuition money from them for longer, which is why I've gotten pretty cynical about it.

But maybe that's just that these particular schools are just not very good and coincidently also have that training time requirement - I'm willing to accept that I was being unfair in generalizing that to all TKD schools with that time frame.
 
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skribs

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Hey, the 10 year olds wear me out more than the adults when I'm sparring them!
 

WaterGal

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I think that may be though because you've been caught up in the Western view of a black belt ("complete ninja, ready to kill someone as easily as look at them, expert") rather than the Asian view ("well done, you've learnt the basics and are now competent enough to get on with the rest of your studies"). Remember in Korea, it's standard to get to 1st Poom in a year of training (and contrary to our view in the west, not all Taekwondo instructors in Korea are expert wisened old men that know Taekwondo perfectly).

The other side of it aside from expectations/meaning is is the more practical side. There are inevitable peaks and troughs in any athletic progression (and Taekwondo even as a martial art, not sport, is still a physical athletic ability and training programme). Without the regular training up for gradings and competitions and other events you don't experience the peaks. It's those peaks that push your ability, the focus period where you're nailing details to prepare for an event/grading.

So, I understand what you mean, but consider how good the guy who got his black belt in 3-5 years would be if he'd only graded 4 times in that period instead. Grading him "fast" has enabled him to improve considerably.

My view on this has now changed over the years, so I understand where you're coming from. I now want my black belts to be comparatively good compared to those produced by my peers, but I'm not caught up in they have to be perfect to get to 1st Dan. Now when I promote people to 4th/5th Dan that's a bit different... ;-)

I think either I was very unclear in my posts, or you've mixed up my posts with someone else's, because we actually agree on quite a lot there. I do think along the lines of the "Korean way" of thinking of a black belt, which is why I think 2 years is generally sufficient. (I do think 1 year is rushed.)

I've been very cynical on this thread because I've seen a number of schools that teach less in 3-5 years than what I was taught as a color belt in 2, so I tend to assume that all TKD schools that take that long and only grade every 4-6 months are just stretching the same material out over a longer period and so are bilking their students. And that was unfair of me. Probably, many are not that way, and instead think of a black belt in the "American way", like you say, and expect more precision and understanding from a 1st dan/poom than we would.
 

skribs

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I've been very cynical on this thread because I've seen a number of schools that teach less in 3-5 years than what I was taught as a color belt in 2, so I tend to assume that all TKD schools that take that long and only grade every 4-6 months are just stretching the same material out over a longer period and so are bilking their students.

Unless you're planning on quitting at black belt, this is actually cheaper. It's 3-5 years before you start paying the large sums for black belt testing instead of 2 years. That's an extra 1-3 years of paying less for testing fees. Personally, I don't plan on quitting when I hit black belt. So if I got my 1st Dan at 2 years and 2nd Dan somewhere in the 5 year range my pocket would be a lot lighter than just getting 1st Dan at around the 5 year mark.
 

Rumy73

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To me, for TKD, it's having a good attitude and toughness, being able to spar well, knowing a wide variety of striking techniques and being able to do them with accuracy and power, being able to perform all their forms precisely and with power, and being at least moderately in shape.

Somebody that gets winded after one sparring match against a 10-year old, has no accuracy with their kicks, can't remember all of their old forms, and can't do a jump back kick is not someone we'd give a black belt. But it's someone our main competitors will apparently give at least a red belt to, after 3-5 years. It seems like the schools around here that do that are just grading and training people really slowly so they can get tuition money from them for longer, which is why I've gotten pretty cynical about it.

But maybe that's just that these particular schools are just not very good and coincidently also have that training time requirement - I'm willing to accept that I was being unfair in generalizing that to all TKD schools with that time frame.

What do you say to someone like me, I cannot remember the forms, and frankly lost interest in doing them. I prefer to avoid jumping kicks and rarely sport spar anymore. Am I no longer a blackbelt? That being said, I kick with lots power and flexibility, remain in good shape, and incorporate pieces or forms to something I find useful.
 
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You have to be recommended by a KKW 4th dan or higher to grade for 1st dan...To grade for 4th or higher, you have to recommended by a member of the NGB board.
Do these people charge for "recommending" you?
 

Gnarlie

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Do these people charge for "recommending" you?

No, they do not. But, no 4th dan is going to risk you humiliating them at a grading with poor performance, so they will want you to train with them for a while to show them what you can do.

Gnarlie
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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No, they do not. But, no 4th dan is going to risk you humiliating them at a grading with poor performance, so they will want you to train with them for a while to show them what you can do.

Gnarlie
Makes sense, thanks.
 

WaterGal

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Unless you're planning on quitting at black belt, this is actually cheaper. It's 3-5 years before you start paying the large sums for black belt testing instead of 2 years. That's an extra 1-3 years of paying less for testing fees. Personally, I don't plan on quitting when I hit black belt. So if I got my 1st Dan at 2 years and 2nd Dan somewhere in the 5 year range my pocket would be a lot lighter than just getting 1st Dan at around the 5 year mark.

Mmm, I don't know. Let's break it down. Let's say you're paying $100/month in tuition and $40 each for 10 color belt tests, $300 for 1st dan, and $450 for 2nd dan.

If you took exactly 3 years to get to 2nd dan, you've spent $4750 to get your 2nd dan. If you took 5 years to get to 2nd dan, you've spent $7150 to get the same rank. That's what I was talking about. But you're right that at 3 years, the person at the longer-in-rank school will have paid somewhat less because they've done fewer tests.
 

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