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

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

  1. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike New Member

    I started my IKCA Kenpo training in April. Just this month, the instructor lifted all of my testing time standards, due to the fact that I'm in training to take over a new school. An accelerated instructor program, he called it. But, he also said that I will be held to an extremely high standard. But, alittle history is in order...I'm not altogether unfamiliar with the arts...I was in american freestyle karate ni high school, trained some kickboxing and TKD. So, alot of the basics weren't new to me.

    At any rate, I eat sleep and breathe my training...I've lost 70lbs since april(yeah, I was beefcake), and am content only to train to the highest standards...I'm there six days a week, teach the little dragons class, am in leadership team, and practice at home in my spare time...all the time, in fact, I was doing my form tonight at the nurse's station because I needed to get through a sticking point. THere wasn't anybody around, so it wasn't like I was truing to show off, but still...just an idea of how serious I am.

    That being said, I will get my blue belt on Jan. 26 and just have green, brown, then black. I have set a personal goal of black belt by my birthday which is September 11. Thsi would mean that in 18 mos, I will have gone from white to black. McDojo? I don't think so. My instructor is one half of the tournament association in our area, has four black belts, 4th dan in IKCA, and has just become NBL, I think it's there. I feel that black belt is not the destination, but another intersection in a lifelong journey. IKCA states that you can test for dan every three years, not there will be no quicker promotion from 1st dan.

    Dunno what else to say. I think it depends upon the system, school, instructor, student, and of course other empirical factors.
  2. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

    I think this pretty much sums it up. It really doesn't matter length of time. Every system is different and every instructor is different. Curriculums differ, class size differ, goals of the black belt are different.

    When it all comes down to it a black belt, despite it being a incredible accomplishment in the martial arts, is just another level and plateau.
  3. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Yes, this is kind of a silly question/discussion as it will and should depend on your ability and your instructor. They should be able to determine whether or not you are ready to test for your next belt for all of the gup belts (I have heard that it 'should' be around 3 to 6 months per test average).

    As stated earlier, the black belt only means you have learned oll of the basics needed to begin truly learning the art. There will also be many differences based on the business aspect of the club as well. If your members tend to be those who will keep going until they achieve a black belt no matter what, then they can increase the time between tests significantly. If they tend to be those who will not stick it out if progress is not seen, them they would want to increase the frequentcy of tests.

    In any case, it all balances out in the end, since those who are serious will remain with it after receiving a black belt, and those who only wanted the belt will fade away. Those who were serious will continue to improve themselves long after the wanna-be's have all gone.

    So in conclusion, stop with all of the nonsense of 'if you test more than once every XX months/years, then you are at a McDojo!' boloney. Stop all the 'If he is a black belt in only 2 years, then bla, bla, bla...' crap. If they are serious about their training, they will excel and it will all balance out in the just

    STOP IT!!

    Oh ya, and MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone (well, everyone who celebrate/endulges in xmas!)
  4. JKD_forever

    JKD_forever DEADLIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That's not true. Or, let’s say it shouldn't be like that. Basics???
    Get real.

    I've seen some yellow belts that could kick ass much better than some black belts that get their new belt every 3 months. But, hey, black belt knows 2594235 forms.

    As i said, my brother is going to itf tkd school where it takes near 10 years to get black belt. Now that is something for respect.
    What's the point in getting new belt every 3 months anyway??
    So you can show you mommy and daddy?
  5. glenchuy

    glenchuy has two left feet

    isn't bill "superfoot" wallace's discipline kickboxing?
  6. seikido

    seikido New Member

    There are official time in rank numbers by the ITF. ( according to their MINIMUM requirements, a black belt should take at least 3 1/2 years, "based on a student who attends class at least three days every week, with each class being at least one and one-half hours in length."
  7. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

    I'm not sure I understand this. Are you saying 20 years total to 8th dan, or 10 years between each dan rank?

    Well for certain schools black belt is different things. Why not only teach and train basics up until black belt? Basics after all are the root of everything and generally in a real altercation people will generally revert to simplest things they know. Basics.

    Besides if you train all that advanced stuff before black belt, what left do you have to learn during the dan levels?
  8. Amnion

    Amnion New Member

    He was a karate man, competed in full-contact kickboxing, yeah. But what my point was is that he was extremely talented, and still is.
    And the rest of this post is in no way connected to what you said, glenchuy...

    Do people honestly believe that there are no people out there who possess skills to excel at things at a much faster rate than most others? Some kids I know can play anything on the guitar by ear, while others are out making money in bands and they suck. Does that mean that the kid, while he's been playing for 2 years is nothing compared to the "veteran" who's making big bucks but still can't play to save his life? I think it all boils down to skill. That's what matters. I don't have a black belt, but I still have some skills I know some of the black belts I've seen don't have. Am I whining about it? No. Sometimes I get a little urked, but as long as I know that I'm making progress and that I'll never accept anything I don't think/know I didn't earn, I'm good to go.

    I agree.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2004
  9. TKD-Junkie

    TKD-Junkie New Member

    i agree there are some extremely tanlented people who can test and have the potiental to be a BB in a short amount of time.

    but i think what alot of people are saying is there are alot of BB who dont deserve it, regardless of how little or how much time they spent trainning.
  10. JKD_forever

    JKD_forever DEADLIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You know some1 who lives 160 years?
  11. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

    Thanks for clearing that up. Now not saying this is wrong or anything but by your arguement time to black belt matters? Does time not matter after you reach black belt? I would think an 8th dan to have spent their lives training, teaching, and promoting their art. Although 20 years is a very long time I really don't consider that a lifetime.

    Again I'm not saying that this is wrong for this particular school/art/system, however the point is that time is relevant to the art/instructor/style/curriculum/etc . . . There is no set time to recieve a black belt. One year is quick but not unheard of and I don't think I would particularly bash a school or instructor or practicioner simply based on that. One has to look at what the product and what the goal of that particular level is in that particular school. That in my mind is much more important than how long it takes a particular person to reach the dan grades.

    Just as a comparrision it would take myself approximately 30 years to achieve an 8th dan with the idea that I make 1st dan in 2 years, and that I would test at every possible time eligable and succeeded at every exam . . . time is relevant ;)
  12. kayraku

    kayraku New Member

    in are TKD class it takes 3 months per belt untill you get to ornge green takes 4 months blue takes purple takes 8 red takes a year brown takes a year and black takes a year so usally it should take 4 years and around 9 months. some people think its a wast but are clases with our white belts being trained just as white for 3 or 4 months, are usally the best whites at tournament. so that thing they say when paitence is a virtue, they wern,t kidding
  13. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Valued Member

    Under most traditional old-school standards, twenty years would put you at 4th or 5th dan. To the earlier comment (no offense taken) about the majority of our cirriculum being under first dan, that is definitely NOT the case. The cirriculum and standards increase dramatically upon each dan grade. Though the testing is the same for 4th-7th (we do not use higher than 7th dan).
  14. Andy Cap

    Andy Cap Valued Member

    I have been training 27 years in Tang Soo Do. I was eligable to test for my 5th dan a year and a half ago, but I have nodesire to go up in rank. To reach 8th dan in 20 years would create a glut in most organizations of inflated egos.

    We are discussing the time to grade here in terms of ability, but you should also consider maturity. There is a lot to be said for patience and ability to strive without a goal dangling in front of you.

    I think one of the greatest tests of being a dan level martial artist is that you no longer have this carrot dangling in front of you every 3-6 months. If you are to get better you must learn to develop yourself without the promotion as a goal. Going 3 years without the affirmation of a test can be tough for some people.
  15. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    I agree. I think in the beginning almost everybody wants to get their belt, especially children, but in time all martial artists should develop and become mature enough to know that it's the skill that matters and not the paper.
  16. Artikon

    Artikon Advertise here ask me how

  17. inbuninbu

    inbuninbu "Train hard, fight easy"

    BB grading

    Well said... I actually prefer to train without an official goal ie grading dangling in front of me, I prefer having several months in between gradings. For example my last grading was in March my next should have been probably the beginning of next yr but that doesn't bother me. I like being able to focus on personal targets and accomplishing them, altho of course official affirmation is always good too! :D

    It takes (on average) about 6 or 7 yrs to grade 1st dan at my school and that's practicing a few times a wk. I personally feel that 2/3 yrs sounds too fast however this is *generally* speaking and doesn't account for ppl w exceptional talent/dedication.

    The BB grading at my school I have heard described in many ways, the most repeatable way being "gruelling" or "tough." ;) My friend said to me it was the hardest thing he's ever done - and that I think is as it should be.

    Lastly I do believe it's imprtant to remember that BB is just the start and not the be all and end all as so many (esp non-MAists) percieve it. Comments?
  18. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike New Member

    very well seems that the general public thinks that a person with a black belt is indestructible. WRONG!
    it is the beginning of a very long journey.

    in my school, it typically takes about 4yrs. there are some that have taken 6-7yrs, and some that have taken 2.5-3yrs...I might be some kind of a record, but I have experience, and no testing all adds up.
  19. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    :D :D :D

    when you go to the dojang, you don't carry the paper with you, do you??? :p
  20. Jackie Li

    Jackie Li Valued Member


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