How long does it really take to get a black belt?

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do Resources' started by Lafhastum, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Zerodauto

    Zerodauto Valued Member

    My master is like that, the prices are 95 dollars a month for a year contract, or 85 dollars a month for a three year contract.

    When we are in class he makes sure that everything and I do mean everything that we learn can be adapted for real life situations. I recall one day when doing three step sparing i was moving from the block to the strike too slow and he got mad and come over to us. He yelled at me and told me to move faster because in real life my attacker wont give me the time to counter attack. So we broke it down into just the last strike and block and practiced that way for the rest of class.
    He also wants us to come at least 3 or 4 times per week out of the 6 days the school is open, we can come all six if we want, but he wants our minimum to be 3 to 4 days. He is a great teacher also. If I had never seen him teach a class, I'd still hate TKD at this point instead of loving it.
  2. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Babel on. On another note:

    How is Nashville doing?
  3. Ranzan

    Ranzan Valued Member

    Nashville is sucking it up, this entire region is pretty much Fubar right now.
  4. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Reminds me much like Katrina for the Gulf South
  5. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    I don't think that there should be a set time as to when you get your black belt. You should get your black belt when you have reached the required skill level to get your black belt. For some people that time may come sooner or may come later. Some people pick it up faster than others, and some people struggle to pick it up at all. I don't think that you can give a general time for when a person should get a black belt because it varies from practitioner to practitioner. What if someone spends 3-5 years in the art and still isn't at a skill level that merits a black belt? What if someone picks everything up so fast and performs so well that they reach the skill level in 1-2 years? Will the person who has been training for 3-5 years still be considered a legit black belt just because of the amount of time they put in? Will the person who has been training for 1-2 years but is exceptionally good be considered an illegitimate black belt or a belt mill student just because of the relatively shorter time that it took them to reach the required skill level to merit a black belt? I understand that most schools follow a testing schedule, but I don't think that you can put a timeline on skill acquisition because we all pick up at a different rate.
  6. Murdog

    Murdog Valued Member

    My thoughts exactly. But, praise God, there weren't as many casualties (however, just one is too many).

    When I'm crossing the Cumberland to come to work, its so weird to see streets that I'm used to looking down as I go by completely submurged with just tops of cars and vans sticking out.
  7. Murdog

    Murdog Valued Member

    Good point(s). Don't get me wrong, there was never a time frame where a student was expected to test, or get a specific rank. I think its a good idea to keep the tests in mind so one could stay motivated and keep training and get prepared. Honestly, I've seen blue and brown and red belts that I thought were better than me technically. They were smooth and fast! However, to stay focused and be patient towards a goal--whatever that goal may be--is paramount.

    There are more to being a Black Belt than just wearing a Black Belt, right?...

    I mean...
    Grace, Style, Restraint, Leadership, Honor, Respect... I believe these are just a few things that make Black Belts who they are. Color belt students are learning these qualities as they train, from day one. Of course, just because one is a Black Belt doesn't mean he has these things down pat. 1st Degree BB is just the beginning. Just a humble opinion. Have a great day.
  8. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    Yes indeed, great post! The way that martial arts is taught today within the class structure, there must be an even testing schedule that everybody follows to be fair and to avoid giving the impression of favoritism. Learning patience and grace is also very important. I don't think that any way is perfect, and there are going to be cons to every approach, however, I believe that the current system is the best that we've got at this point. I just wish that so much weight wasn't put on the time that it takes one to reach black belt. I mean, it is almost as if a person is being punished and/or marginalized if they happen to be of exceptional skill and they earn their black belt sooner than others. 1st degree black belt only means that you have a firm grasp of the basics and that you are ready to start learning the meat and potatoes of the art. I am in agreement with you, and I wish you a great day, too :cool:.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  9. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    What do you guys think of something like this?

    Let's ignore the obvious (but funny) jokes about how it's TKD, so you don't really need arms anyway... :D

    On the one hand (no pun intended), you have to applaud the intrepid spirit of the woman. On the other... 3 years and she's testing for black belt in spite of having no arms. If you wonder aloud whether this is legit, you're a jerk. If you don't wonder whether it's legit; you're naive. Rock and a hard place.

    Regardless of what the reality is, people presume that this woman is a badass. Reading through the comments, folks are applauding her resolve, largely presuming that she has equivalent skill in spite of her disability. In the minds of the commenters, her testing for black belt directly equates to martial skill. How many people here, knowing what we do about martial arts, honestly believes that this woman is qualified to test for 1st dan? That she actually has equivalent skill regardless of her disability?

    The woman who commented that her 7 year old son could kick an adult's butt just about made me cry.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  10. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Obviously without seeing this woman train it is difficult to pass comment, but taking her Instructor at his word then I see nothing wrong with it.
    Lets say for the sake of arguement that a black belt is obtained by reaching as far as you can physically,mentally and spritually without then going on and training 5 times a week, going to seminars, crosstraining and so on. Then if that is the case why can't this woman get a black belt?
  11. Murdog

    Murdog Valued Member

    I think its great that this woman is working through her adversity. Obviously, she has obtained the tools to live her life well and be independant. But, I bet it didn't come easily. Just like MA skill in whatever system or style, this stuff is worth while and worth learning--but won't come easy. Easier for some, maybe, but not easy as a whole.

    On the other side of the spectrum, if seen Martial Artists spar from wheelchairs, for TKD has many-many hand techniques... arguably, more than kicking techniques. I studied with a guy who was just as good at blocking with his feet as he was at kicking. He was amazing to watch-frustrating to spar with! lol

    I was a musician by trade for the majority of my life and people tell me all the time how they would like to take up an instrument. I say "its never too late--go for it!!" Then they follow up with "I can't be very good, though." And, they never taste the oppertunity to ever play a note--sad.

    I'd be willing to bet that 2/3 of the Black Belts on this forum could wipe the floor with me on technique, power, whatever. But, the fact remains that I love to practice TKD, regardless how good I am/am not, compared to someone else. I'll continue to give it 100%, whether I hit the wall--or go through it.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  12. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    You make an excellent point, Steve. She is handicapable and she is doing the best she can with what she has, so you could make the argument that, based on, she has reached the necessary skill level to hold the rank of black belt. Will she be as good as others? Obviously not, given the fact that she is physically compromised. However, I think you must take her handicap into consideration when evaluating her skill level and whether or not she is ready for black belt level. If she has reached a certain level despite her handicap and she has earned the rank, then I don't see anything wrong with it at all. If she is competing and doing WTF/Kukki/Olympic style TKD, then she really wouldn't need to use her hands that much.

    I think that public perception is the problem when it comes to the black belt. Most people will see that she is a black belt and will automatically assume that she can handle herself in a real fight against someone who has all four limbs intact. I don't know if she can or can't, but having only half of the weapons of her attacker would stack the deck against her from the start, especially if the attacker gets inside kicking range. Assuming that she (or anybody for that matter) can kick butt just because they have a black belt is a very inaccurate perception. Not all martial artists are fighters, and not all fighters are martial artists. The 7 year old son is another example of the public perception that, just because someone is a black belt, then they can kick butt. The sad and scary thing is that people sincerely believe this to be true and will probably fight instead of walk away because they believe that their black belt will make them invincible. I would hope that the mother was smart enough to encourage her son to run away and make as much noise as possible if he is set upon by an adult, black belt or no black belt. It is only a measure of progress and proficiency within a particular curriculum, not a magic cape that turns 7 year olds into mighty morphin power rangers who are capable of decking full grown adults at will.
  13. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    I think that saying that this woman can't get a black belt because of her handicap would be like telling a wheelchair bound peron that they don't belong in a particular establishment because they can't go up a flight of stairs. Just like we make buildings wheelchair accessible, I think that we should make accommodations for physically compromised people to study martial arts. While it's clear that her skill level won't particularly be up to snuff with a more able bodied person, you've still got to factor in her disability when measuring her skill level. If she has reached a certain skill level with her compromised hardware and if she has earned her black belt, then I don't see why she shouldn't be awarded one.
  14. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    I was part of rescue efforts in Katrina. After the water subceded, I was part of many FEMA programs. The after math caused some disturbing visual observations.

    It was almost like being in either a third world country, or one after a war.

    When I see the images from Tenn, my heart deepens with sorrow.
  15. Murdog

    Murdog Valued Member

    Well, the water has pretty much went down, as far as Nashville is concerned. In, Goodlettsville, close to where I live, its really weird to see where the water was (ie, shubs marked with mud). Now, a lot of motel, hotels and such are now gutting their rooms and trying to start repairs. Its got to feel like theyv'e been violated in some way. My heart goes out to them as well.
  16. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    I lived in Tennesse some years ago, in the memphis area. Very beautiful state. My heart goes out to all of you down there and I hope that things will get much better soon.
  17. locust

    locust Like a biblical plague

    A guy at my work is an ex AUS SAS vietnam vet who mentioned that one of his former regiment mates got his black belt in 12mths, mind you he had just completed two tours of duty in vietnam and was training 6 days a week after being discharged.
  18. Murdog

    Murdog Valued Member

    Y'know... since I first replied to this thread, I've really been pondering this topic. I mean, I do believe that there should be patience involved, and that one shouldn't expect to rise up the ranks with ease.

    But, in regard to the martial artist who I spoke of, that rose to 1st degree decided in one year. All of a sudden, I have to ask myself...what right do I have to ever question the manner or pace my peers get promoted? I mean really?!? What right do I have? I guess I can have an opinion on the subject.

    I got to thinking of a gentleman who was only 17 at the time, back when I was a green belt and he was one rank below me. Next thing I know (well, it was was more like--a year later:) he was a recomended Black Belt, and I was a Decided brown belt. I didn't feel any anomosity whatsoever to him, or his instructor (who's instructor, BTW, was mine). Besides, he was (and I'm sure, still is) good... real good.

    He rose through the ranks the way he rose through the ranks and that's it.
    I think a martial artist has the moral obligation to himself, to give it all he's/she's got. Man... this whole thing has really got me stirring inside. I still have a dream of owning my own school, or at least teaching full time one day.
    And, I think this is a real issue. I recently read an article where schools of yesteryear would only pass the top 70%, and that's it! One could be a 20-year veteran, and only a brown belt, or something. And that's just tough wax if you're the one of the ones on the bottom. Woah!

    So, what gives? Anything? Everything?

    So, I have to let this go with best wishes to the one who surpasses me with greater speed and success than I. I'll wave as they go by. But, I'll see 'em at the top of that mountain... eventually.:cool: Have a great day.
  19. Ranzan

    Ranzan Valued Member

  20. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    Unfortunately, there are those who feel that if you advance faster than average then you are automatically at a belt mill or a mcdojo. Nobody ever stops to consider the actual skills of the person who advanced faster than normal. To be fair, there are a lot of belt mills out there that will give you a black belt just for staying there for a specified time and paying the required amount of money, so this has led to a lot of people being wary of anyone who has earned their black belt faster than the generally agreed upon average time period. However, there are also a lot people who feel insecure and get really jealous that someone else picked up the material faster than them and earned their black belt before them, and they will try to paint the other as a belt mill student or mcdojo student as a result. Bottomline, we should actually wait to see the skills of the person in question before judging whether or not they earned their black belt so quickly because of actual skill level or because they stayed and payed the required amount of money.

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