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

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

  1. Theforgotten

    Theforgotten Drifting Aimlessly

    If I have offended anybody, then I deeply apologize. It was not my goal at all, even though, I could've and should've been more clear from the start. I don't seek to make the disabled out to be extremely needy people who require the standards to be relaxed in order for them to succeed. I have done volunteer work to help out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan who have lost arms and legs while defending our freedom and those are some the strongest and most inspirational people that I have ever met. Stevebjj, you are 100% correct that the standards should never ever be relaxed for anybody under any circumstance, and that doing so would actually be an insult to them. What I was trying to say is that you can tailor the curriculum for them, but not relax the standards and make it easier for them compared to the rest of the class.
  2. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    I get it now, and provided that things are results driven (ie, successfully block a kick) rather than skills driven (ie, correctly execute an X block) we're on board. But if certain skills are integral to moving on in an art, exceptions should be rare and well considered.
    Okay. Thanks. I think I get it now. Thanks for being patient. I think we see things pretty much the same. To be clear, accommodating a disability is, in my mind, very different from changing standards. The standards don't change. An accommodation enables a person with a disability to meet an existing standard.

    It's clear from your explanation that we're saying the same thing... it's just that you're emphasizing changing standards rather than what you're doing, which is adjusting techniques so that a student can meet the same rigid standards every other student must meet. Does that make sense?
  3. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Hey. I want to make it clear that I'm not offended at all. This is a discussion, and I think I finally truly understand what you're getting at. It's all good.
  4. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I sparred that dude (assuming there is only one). I seem to remember he has a false lower arm too.

    He was pretty darn good.

  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I did wonder at the time what it would be like to get hit by it. He had little kick boots on but he whipped that damn leg around at a rate of knots.
  6. RagingDelirium

    RagingDelirium Valued Member


    i think this sort of thing your talking about...
  7. SPX

    SPX Valued Member

    Theforgotten & Steve:

    I know this post is a little late, but personally I am on the fence. I almost wish that there were "effort" black belts and "skill" black belts.

    I feel like someone who is doing the best they can with what they have should be rewarded for their effort and for the skills that they've been able to achieve.

    On the other hand, I understand the argument that, if you can't do it, you just can't do it.

    So it makes me wish that there were different categories of black belts, if you see what I mean.
  8. hkdstl

    hkdstl Banned Banned

    Sorry, I think it is about the absolute best you can do. Ya don't race and compare to others, in M.A. it is about your personal journey.
  9. miles

    miles Valued Member

    It takes as long as the instructor requires. This might be different from school to school, organization to organization. I've had students I promoted after 3.5 yrs and others who were 1st gueps for 4yrs.
  10. RagingDelirium

    RagingDelirium Valued Member

    I figured that was what the coloured grades where for
  11. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    For some, their personal journey is to get it no matter how.
  12. FiReSTaRT

    FiReSTaRT Caffeine Junkie

    Short answer: 6-7 years on average
    Long answer:
    When I started training with an ITF school, where the Saseong started doing TK-D since its inception (1955), I just started high school and had the ability to get away with A- without doing any homework/studying (combination of smarts and Eastern European educational background), so I had plenty of spare time. I came into the dojang 5-6 times a week (often coming in early and/or leaving late in addition to taking double classes. I also played basketball on the courts for 3-4 hours a day, so I was as fit as can be. After 4 years of such regime, I worked my way down to the 3rd gup (red stripe).
    That particular school had a Black Belt membership program, where you paid a one-time fee and could train until you got your black belt, no matter how long it took. We were never pressured to come out for quarterly gradings and weren't even allowed to grade until the dojang secretary initialed a sufficient number of classes for the level on our membership cards. The grading standards were strict. While I could have advanced a bit faster, early on in my training (I think 6th or 5th gup - green belt/blue stripe), we had a group of Yudans from Korea (different federation, too) visit our dojang. One of them was unable to execute a proper dollyo chagi (*) and that motivated me to make sure I had my material down pat before going down a grade.
    After a 13 year hiatus, I came to an ICTF dojang, whose Saseong and at least one Sabum trained under my ex-Saseong. The standards are similar, but we have to cover even more material. Due to previous familiarity with the material, all I needed to do was shake the rust off my technique, get my fitness back up to an acceptable level and cram the theory, so I managed to get down from 3rd to 2nd grade in about 6 months of training (2-3x90-120min a week at the dojang, 5-6 hours a week at home in addition to independent fitness training). It will take even longer to get down to 1st grade. Our gradings don't follow a schedule. When the Saseong thinks you're ready, he tells you to prepare for the pre-grading, where he tests your current knowledge and tells you what to work on for the real grading.
    Our school subscribes to Gen. Choi's stance that a Yudan Ja is ready to accept further knowledge, but by no means a master. It takes several years of regular training to go up a degree.
    We subscribe to the good ol' saying "the broader the base, the taller the tower." They don't teach us new material until we have developed a solid understanding of the current curriculum. If you take a true martial artist and force him to progress to yudan in a short amount of time, he'll have to spend more time at the dojang cleaning up the junk than had he been taught properly right from the start.
  13. FiReSTaRT

    FiReSTaRT Caffeine Junkie

    One note on green belts.. If General Choi's word can be taken as "Orthodox," then they most certainly do exists. To me, belts themselves are just an indicator of your grade/degree, which the instructor uses to better organize the class.
  14. vandamme2011

    vandamme2011 Valued Member

    Depending on how much money you have, and if you take private classes, i have seen anywhere from a year and a half to 2 years. But theses new black belts dont know nothing about the art.

    I did TKD for 7 years on and off and got my red belt. Grading goes with society mentality at least in most schools, now everyone wants everything yesterday and most are not ready to put the time to learn the art, they want to be black belts.

    And yes most of theses new black belts are jokes, in sparring quit easy to beat.
  15. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    The Number One Answer
  16. TKD Black Belt

    TKD Black Belt Valued Member

    Agreed! there are some videos that i've seen and it really makes me want to go the instructor and ask a million questions as to why the students got black belts. it took me 4 years to get mine, and almost 3 to get my 2nd while going to 2-3 classes a week every week.
  17. ryuu55

    ryuu55 Valued Member

    It depends on when your instructor feels you've earned it.

    We do not have scheduled or "regular" testing. On average I would say a BB in our school takes anywhere from 3-5yrs. We currently have a few student that have been with us for around 6yrs and are still brown belts(nothing wrong with that). I got my 1 Dan in about 4yrs going 3-4 nights a week @ 2hrs per class and additional training and fighting on weekends. My BB test lasted about 8.5hrs. For the most part not too many of our students are in a huge rush to get to BB.

    Below is the basic layout of our testing (copied from another forum):

    We have 10 kyu (white) to 1 kyu (brown); testing (pre-brown) maybe every 4/5 months if we were ready. We never had a schedule or warning, we would show up for class and be told we're testing most of the time. The browns (brown belt testing) were closer to 6/8 months, again if everyone is ready. We had a few days warning for the brown belt tests, so we could pick up boards and concrete, but that's about it. We were in class four nights a week 2-2.5hrs a night and every other Saturday for a few hours too. Sadly I don't get to train like this with a wife and baby anymore, but those were some fun times. Right now I'm down to two nights a week and a couple of Saturdays if I'm lucky.

    We paid for testing, but it was like $25/30 a test until black

    **This testing schedule/times are averages from what I went thru with this group, not written in stone. Our school has more kids in it now, so some of the testing times have been adjusted to fit the class.

    10kyu - white no rank, no test
    9kyu - white w/ yellow stripe - 30-45min test
    8kyu - yellow - 1hr test
    7kyu - green - 1-1.5hr test
    6kyu - blue - 2-3hr test
    5kyu - blue w/ white stripe - 3-3.5hr test
    4kyu - brown (older school was red) - 4-5hr test
    3kyu - brown w/ 2 white stripes (older school was red w/ 2 stripes) - 5hr test
    2kyu - brown w/ 3 white stripes (older school was brown) - 5-6hr test
    1kyu - brown w/ 4 white stripes (older school was brown w/ 2 stripes) - 6hr test
    1dan - black - 8.5-9hr test
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    The testing time seems far longer in your classes than what I've seen - E.g., your basic blue belt needs 2 or 3 hours in order to complete their Tae Guk Sa Jang poomse correctly, perform the basic kicks, blocks, etc., a pertinent Korean Language/cultural exam and then perhaps some SD as may have been taught?

    None of the coloured belt tests lasted more than an hour or so that I've seen.



    BTW, I noticed your location - Ala.

    I was thinking to take the wife and kids down to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach again for holiday this summer. I didn't know how the beaches were after the spill. How are they now?
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  19. ryuu55

    ryuu55 Valued Member

    Here's an excerpt from our handbook (9kyu to 6kyu blue). Also, most of the techniques listed are done up and down the floor "x" amount of time and also to targets depending on class size testing:

    9th Kyu Orange Belt
    1. Basic Knowledge of the:
    A) Origin of Taekwon-Do
    B) Membership Oath
    2. Basic Forward Stances
    A) Defense Down Block
    B) Middle Section Punch
    C) High Section Punch
    D) Reverse Middle Section Punch
    E) Reverse High Section Punch
    F) Two Finger Eye Attack
    3. Back Stances
    A) Right and Left Guarding Position
    B) Inside Forearm Block
    4. Basic Stances
    A) Closed Ready Stance
    B) Open Ready Stance
    C) Horse-riding Stance (with Basic Attacks)
    5. Basic Kicks
    A) Front Rising Kick
    B) Back Rising Kick
    6. Sparring

    8th Kyu Yellow Belt
    (All of Previous Test)
    1. Basic Knowledge
    A) Laws and Tenets
    B) Hand and Foot Striking Points
    2. Forward Stances
    A) Rising Block
    B) Inside Forearm Block
    C) Outside Forearm Block
    D) Outside Knife-hand Block
    3. Back Stances
    A) Knife-hand Defense
    B) Reverse Punch
    4. Kicks
    A) Front Leg Round Kick (Flip-kick)
    B) Front Snap Kick
    5. First Form (KR: Hyeong, JP: Kata) – “Chon-Ji”
    6. Sparring

    7th Kyu Green Belt
    (All of Previous Tests)
    1. Knowledge
    A) Laws of Bushido
    B) Kyusho – Targets Areas of the Body
    2. Forward Stances
    A) Straight Spear Hand
    B) Flat Spear Hand
    C) Back Fist Strike (Front & Side)
    D) Double Fist Block
    E) Reverse Knife-hand Block
    F) Reverse Knife-hand Strike
    3. Back Stances
    A) Knife-hand Block
    B) Knife-hand Attack
    C) Twin Forearm Block
    D) Double Fist Block
    4. Kicks
    A) Back Leg Roundhouse Kick
    B) Front Thrust Kick
    5. Three Step Sparring
    6. Second Form (KR: Hyeong, JP: Kata) – “Dan-Gun”
    7. Sparring

    6th Kyu Blue Belt
    (All of Previous Tests)
    1. Knowledge
    A) 5 D’s of Delivery
    B) Four Human Sicknesses
    C) Important People
    2. Forward Stances
    A) Wedging Block (closed Fist and Knife-hand)
    B) Knife-hand Attack to Neck
    C) Knife-hand Attack to Collarbone
    D) Hammer Fist Strike
    3. Back Stances
    A) Double Fist Block
    B) Double Fist Block with Attack
    4. Kicks
    A) Side Snap Kick
    B) Side Thrust Kick
    C) Front Turning Side Trust Kick
    5. Two Step Sparring
    6. Closed Stances – Positions: A, B, C
    7. Third Form (KR: Hyeong, JP: Kata) – “Do-San”
    8. Sparring
  20. Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara Valued Member

    I see little tykes from the TKD school across the street wearing purple, brown and yes, black belts. These youngsters are no more than 8 to 10 years old. The instructor sells his program by insisting to the parents that the children should and most likely will be wearing a black belt within 3 years. Of course, after 3 years they get to wear a black belt, but still have no clue on how to defend themselves. Unbelievable! but true. Belt promotions every 2 to 3 months, regardless of merit is ridiculous in my opinion.
    Last edited: May 11, 2011

Share This Page