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

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

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Kwan Jang: great posts!

    At our school, a student who trains in the dojang about 6-8 hours weekly (or more) and practices at home and is deemed ready to test at each opportunity, it will take at the very least 2 and a half years... although the normnal time within our school is about 3-4 years for 1st dan. (Some people who rise quicker have a background in another art and pick the concepts and effective practice quicker.) Take a look in my journal to see what we cover in classes on a normal basis.

    Something I wanted to point out though concerns the training of an art in Korea for example (I trained in Hapkido and TKD and dan tested in Korea). The process was faster than in the states... because of a couple different reasons. The first reason was that the schools I choose offered lots of classes and I was able to get into a class (equivilent to a "Black Belt club") that met morning and night daily. We trained about 4-5 hours daily and were able to progress faster. Granted, the class was limited to students approved by the master.

    The other main concern is that I found the curriculum for both TKD and Hapkido in Korea to be much simpler. We learned fairly small blocks of technqiues and practiced them over and over and I learned most of the required techniques for black belt at white and yellow belt levels. The rest of the time was spent practicing the technqiues over and over. For black belt we weren't evaluated on how many diffiult and flashy technqiues we knew... but rather on how well we could apply the handfull of basic technqiues that we had first encountered at the beginning of our training. This was to show the true essence of a omprhension of the basic concepts, I believe. I think some programs in the states try to be comprehensive and therefore need a bigger array of techniques and skills... and this in itself will necessitate a longer period of basic learning just to reach 1st dan. I know that's how our school works.
  2. ClumsyFoot

    ClumsyFoot ITA - Intnl. TKD Alliance

    Ah!! There you have it, laddie!
  3. angry

    angry Valued Member

    How long to get a black belt? 1/2 Hour

    About half an hour!

    Less if your closer to the martial arts store. Or a few days if your order them.

    After all, I brought a dozen black belts two weeks ago to have embrioded and that didn't take long at all.

    Belt ranking is not and is never likely to be consistant between schools. I meet a 4th Dan recently who had only been training for 8 years! While he wasn't a white belt he still was lacking skills in a lot of areas. In his school, he was at a level to be considered a 4th Dan! Ranking has not been around long historically and many where given ranks quickly during the martial arts booms in the 60's and 70's. This was for many reason, to open a club for their instructor, for money, because they trained real hard etc....

    Since belt ranks were incosistant from the start it is not fair to judge a black belt with another.

    If you really want a black belt, go buy one. I prefer the leather type as they can be used with normal pants etc... much more useful. To earn a dan ranking go to a M.A. school and do what they require.

    See not hard at all! :)
  4. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    a lot of people judge martial artists by the colour of their belt, and thus think if someone has a black one, they are skilled. people who don't train martial arts and people whose realtives or friends don't train either have no other way of judging someone.

    and what angry said about not judging one black belt with another, we all have to keep in mind that 2 students will pass the black belt test with let's say different grades, but the essential here is that they did PASS. just like in school, 2 students can graduate from a university and become engineers. one of them could have had the best grades, and the other one lousy grades. conclusion is that they are both engineers. someone (professors, instructors....) decided that both had knowledge at the minimum or more than that, but again enough to pass.
  5. robbjedi

    robbjedi New Member

    I go 6 times a week and would recieve mine in 2 years at my school, but right from the beggining my instructor told me. Sure its an accomplishment......but your the LOWEST rank of blackbelt it doesnt mean your undefeatable. It doesnt mean your an expert, it means youve learned the basics. We also have 3 different ranks for the first 3 dans (probitonary, decided and senior)
  6. inbuninbu

    inbuninbu "Train hard, fight easy"

    Variation and factors

    It's also of vital importance to remember that there are just so many factors that determine how quickly a person progresses in any subject or discipline. You have to take into account for BB, for example, how often the person trains, what curriculum they're on and their level of innate ability. Just like in a science experiemtn, so mant things affect the outcome.

    That BB you talked to the other day might have trained Twigger-style (read Angry White Pyjamas?) all day ever day for a yr or two on an intense course to get their belt.

    Antother one might be 40-smth and just getting their first dan, ahving struggled through illness/injusry plus juggling work and kids.

    Some ppl may never reach 1st dan, for most it will be a challenge and a hard-earned rank once they get there... for the very few it'll be a walk in the park. (Grr. :woo: Some ppl!)
  7. gemtkd

    gemtkd Valued Member

    If you grade every time that you can - every 3 months til green belt then every 6 months there after about 3 years
  8. stevetkd

    stevetkd New Member

    I have been studying the art for 6 years, i attend around 5 hours of training a week and also train around 20-30 hours a week on general fitness, flexability and strength.
    I have won a few medals in sparring events on a national level and i am only a blue belt. You do get naturally flexible, naturally fit people who maybe can acheive a bleckbelt in two years but this will be through the memorising of Tul(patterns) and not through true mastery of the art.

    Hope this is helpfull
  9. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Perhaps I was misunderstood. By basics I mean that all the required patterns, etc have been learned, but not mastered. Once reaching black belt is the time to begin mastering all of the previously learned to a degree of mastery, including even the very first patterns, step sparring, 4 way offence/defense, etc.

    Anyone who reaches black belt MUST know all of the required stuff, and this is the point where those who are not serious about TKD will usually depart as they have attained their goal of a BB. Those who continue will actually master the art and that is why I call the achievement of the black belt a starting point...
  10. spacepimp

    spacepimp Valued Member

    your school is not my school etc...

    What I am noticing is the assumption of many people to assume everything is the same across all schools... one poster earlier alluded to the fact that their many factors to take into consideration as well. To give you an example at my school, we never have more than ten students per class; this gives a lot of time to individual students so they may learn faster with the individual attention versus a school with 50+ students per class which means it will require more individual initiative to properly learn their style. Personal drive makes up for a lot as well. I will be achieving black belt status soon, after a little less than two years... My black belt test will include performing all 8 tageuk's back to back, with the last one done blindfolded. At least three sparring sessions back to back, some board breaking, demonstration of different self defenses against multiple attackers, and lastly whatever my instructor can come up with....
  11. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    that means that you train your general fitness, flexability and strength at least 3 hours every day, if not 4, plus taekwondo i.e. in average you train at least 4 hours a day. if you don't train on sundays, that would mean at least 5 hours a day :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  12. rtkd

    rtkd Z-boyz

    i dont think it really matters how fast it takes u to get your black belt, i mean if your getting graded by a true master and he thinks your ready then whos to argue. Bas rutten recieved his black belt in tkd in under 1 and half yrs. a hes known as one of the greatest stand up fighters.
    flying through dans in no time is a different thing though.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2004
  13. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned will upset those who cannot get their BB in under 5 years (or whatever) since if that is how their school is then all others that can get it in less time must be no good! :rolleyes:
  14. Londonrich

    Londonrich New Member

    '3 years' for us. Though that is 3 university years (we are not there during the summer months and holidays remember), so its an accelerated course. However most people would train with a local club when they return home, i have seen several people fail at our association gradings, i would say our standards are high.
  15. Rabid Wombat

    Rabid Wombat Curry Eating Fiend

    I find that it's much better going slow. So many people have passed me in rank, but (yes, it sounds a bit conceited) I feel like a lot of my skills are better than theirs. Sure, they know an extra form, or some techniques that I don't know, but it's better to have a strong base. If you know 8 forms and can remember them accurately, it's better than knowing 15 (we learn Taeguks and Hyungs) forms but being unable to move through them fluidly (is that a word?) and accurately. Currently, I've been in it for four years and I'm 3rd G(K)up. The bare minimum at our dojo is 2 1/2 years, and I can't remember anyone ever getting their first dan anywhere near that (maybe 4 1/2 to 5 years on average).
  16. MarioBro

    MarioBro Banned Banned

    Ok, enough of this stuff already.

    2 years or 4 years or even 8 years...who cares!? If you continue to do martial arts beyond black belt then who really cares? If you have committed yourself to continue then who cares? If you enjoy it then who cares?

    If you get a black belt in 2 years then great, if 8 years then great. It is all great. No period of time to get a black belt is better than another...just keep doing it and that is what counts.

  17. Taekdragon

    Taekdragon New Member

    On this topic, after much thought I think the amount of time is dependant on how well you learn the techniques as well as on the quality of instruction. Basically if you can't learn the techniques properly then you should not be passing your gradings :bang: . All schools have different requirements when it comes to grading and when it come to Dan grading (at least in the WTF) your school needs to follow the KKW criteria. At the school that I am a student at, you can expect that by attending a minimum of 3 classes per week and not being a slow learner it can take 3 - 7 years to obtain 1st dan. I actually obtained my 1st dan at just over 3 years (5 - 6 classes per week for the first 2 years).

    What I feel is that the are of Taekwondo actually starts at 1st dan. We are taught that a blackbelt is like a new born baby :eek: . Basically you have developed (through your kups or coloured ranks) to a stage where you can do the basic functions of Taekwondo well - Kind of like a new born baby can breath on it's own and cry when it needs to be tended to. You can't coach a baby on how to breath they have mastered it. But what needs to be learned is how to live, how to walk, how to eat, and how to speak. How to interact. So basically as a first dan you know all of your blocks, kicks, punches, basic sparring etc. Now you need to learn style, application, refinement, discipline, patience, and honing of your skill.

    It is my believe that Taekwondo is a life long journey :love: . One that should not be taken or started half heartedly as it holds the power of responsibility. Joining for the sake of obtaining a BB should not be the first or only reason that you join. It can be your first goal but don't rush it. Let it come naturally, have faith in your instructors to guide you there and appreciate all that you have accomplished when you receive it. Besides the longer you wait to get it, the sweeter it will be when you finally do! ;)
  18. seikido

    seikido New Member

    Anybody know what the WTF guidelines are for this?
  19. Infesticon #1

    Infesticon #1 Majesticon

    if you're alllowed to grade and pass your grading then you could get your blackbelt in 3.5 years, but most people don't. And does it really matter?
  20. Yudanja

    Yudanja Euphoric

    How long to black belt...

    This is one of those debates that will NEVER be settled no matter how much it is talked about.

    I certainly do not consider anyone who has reached the level of 1st Dan to be an EXPERT or a MASTER of that particular martial-art. In Taekwondo we are taught that the 1st Dan signifies just the beginning of understanding.

    I have only tested 3 students to 1st Dan. Most of them were in training for a little over 3 years before that level. To hear some schools that take 7-10 years for a 1st Dan.. especially for a striking art like TKD or Karate to me doesnt seem feesible. But of course 7 years of dues to an instructor does earn him/her more than 3....who is the McDojo/ang again??????

    Another point. How many of the arts that we practice today were taught by Masters who had only a dozen or so years of training and proclimed themselves 9th or 10th Dan..or Grandmasters.. whatever term is used.

    Chojun Miyagi was still a young man when he mastered Goju... Tatsuo Shimabuku was a young man when he create Isshin-Ryu. All of the Kwans that came together when "Taekwondo" was named were headed by relatively young men called masters.

    If i created my own art at 31 I would be laughed at by just about every serious martial-artist out there. Why? Because im not asian? Because I am too young. My 22 years of experience are not enought to formulate my own style ?? It was good enough for the Miyagi and Shimabuku's and the Funakoshi's and the Choi's..etc.

    Stop putting people down because they get their 1st Dan in 2 years and not 10. Maybe they ARE being pushed thru and arent really ready...or maybe they are simply BETTER than you! Dont judge a book by its cover people.
    Dont be hypocritical.

    Sabum Steve Hartsock

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