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

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

  1. xxblackkatxx

    xxblackkatxx The Gimpy Taekwon Monkey!

    i knew that...:D :p :rolleyes:
    that doesn't mean i don't want my questions answered though (you've got me all curious now, dangit!), you've left a cliffhanger!
    and honestly this time! :p :D
  2. Honestly, honestly....

    That's wicked expensive, what does that pay for?
    $1800? Well that's around £1400 I think. That'd get me around 14 cheap weekend holidays to France! :D - Haha. No we don't pay that much. What our training pays for... - A fully furnished Do-Jang with mirrors, mats, punchbags, BOBs, Wavemasters, a sprung floor, air conditioning and an incredible instructor who's trained extensively in the Orient.

    How often do you train?
    3 times a week TKD and once a week specialist training. Jiu-Jitsu, weapons, knife defence, boxing, pressure points, pattern applications etc. [Although since your ITF. You can discard that last one and pretend I never said it. :D]

    I personally train everyday unless I'm really that busy. Which is very rare I can't get in just an hour to have a go on the punch dummy or something.

    EDIT: And our blackbelts take an absolute minimum of 3 and a half years. Although that's rare. Most of our blackbelts took 5-10 years.
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
  3. kwang gae

    kwang gae 광개 Sidekick Specialist

    It took me ~6 years to get my first Dan, and there's no testing fee at our school. :D Some BB's have made the journey in 4 years at our school, but that's rare. We also have a very high percentage of 1st Dan's who continue training :), which is also unusual, since many students stop training at that point at other schools that I know.
  4. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    At our club it takes around about 5 to 6 years depending on the person and on how often they grade. I want to try and get my black belt by the time im 20. :Angel:
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
  5. Lithanwif

    Lithanwif Human Punchbag

    In our organisation it takes around 4 years to qualify to grade as a first degree.

    Now to the point of bad black belts. I have seen some people train whom I thought "wow, how crap are they?" and I asked my previous instructor about it, the answer I got surprised me at the time, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. You have to remember, I came from a traditional karate background in the eighties, if you couldnt do it, you couldnt grade. But the answer I was given was :

    "TKD is not the same for all people, TKD is a path you take. some people have the ability to travel a long way, adn their path is long. Some people are physically unable to manage the same distance and they have a shorter path. It is up the individual and their own progress. TKD is different things to different people"

    This seems fair, since to me and a few of my contemporaries we see TKD as a controlled way to get in and mix it up, and thats the way we like it. And we have some who enjoy the fitness aspect, and some who enjoy the art aspect with Poomse. ( I actually enjoy forms more now than I did 20 years ago ). I see kids doing flying high kicks 10 feet off the ground. Should they get a black belt and not me because I cant? I see every grade as one more stopping point along my path.

    Of course, dropping the phylosophy, sometimes its just nice to bounce other red belts and know you worked harder for it in the dojang right?
  6. Visage

    Visage Banned Banned

    You can get your Black Belt in 2 to 3 years. But to actually be worthy of it, I feel takes a lot longer.

    Well, thats what I felt... Nowadays, I don't really care much for belts or grading systems.
  7. JimmyD

    JimmyD New Member

    Our school takes about 2 1/2 years for 1st Dan. But I think we also look at black belts differently than some I've read on here do. Black belt is the beginning not the pinnacle. I liken it to climbing out of a well, when you reach the top after working your butt off to get there that is when the real work begins. At black belt you start learning the advanced things, you've worked for 2.5 years on the basics and now you get to taste the more advanced TKD. Then after that its 2 years for 2nd, then 3 more for 3rd and so on, until you hit 4th. Then you have to be selected to test for 5th. Not many selected, I think only school owners.
  8. TKDQ

    TKDQ Valued Member

    It takes us about 3/4 years to get our Black Belt, my instructor said to me once you have reached BB, that is the basics done with, then you go on to learn the real stuff!!
  9. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    LOL i can remeber an instructor of mine saying well done to all the new 1st dans you have learnt all the basics now its time to learn how to use them properly.

    And a speach about colour belts are like apprentices when they become black belts they then begin to learn how to pefect their trade.

    Anyway its not how long the path to black belt is thats important its how good that path is.(takes of philosophy hat)
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
  10. Keikai-Tsutsumi

    Keikai-Tsutsumi New Member

    Balck Belt

    I have just come across this thread and have had an interesting time reading of the times to gain black. Many systems obviously have a a different time limit but all seam to be a lot less than ten years.

    The quickest anyone got black in our school was 7 years and the AVERAGE wa arounf 12 years. junior black belts are simply not possible, there is just too much to learn. Personally I took 16 years to 1st dan and I was not the slowest by any means. The requirements were, and still are, complex and demanding and our sensei, Jan de Jong, wanted the best from his students. He considered the more black belts a school had the more he questioned their ability. Quality was his desire.

    I, and the few others who completed the system took anywhere between 20 to 30 odd years. 1st dan is considered to be a master and believe me you earned that recognition.

    4th dan can ony be awarded after you turn 35 and most of the dans after that can only be awarded every 5 years or so. 9th dan is 60 years and 10th is 70 years of age. You also have to contribute to the school and to martial arts as a whole.

    I must confess that I prefer the harder system and would like to see others become more demanding in their requirements for 1st dan. This is entirely a personal opinion but I honestly feel that perhaps the 1st black grading should reflect a masters level of competence.
  11. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    Keikai, i checked your profile and saw that you train JJ. so you were talking about JJ not TKD right? you have to emphasize it because this is after all the TKD forum :)
  12. MaverickZ

    MaverickZ Guest

    Between 1 and 2 weeks, longer if it's an international order.

    wait.. did someone already make that joke?
  13. kickint70

    kickint70 New Member

    Again, it has been said before on this and other similar threads, it's the practitioner and his system that is important. My personal belief is that achieving your 1st Dan is a new beginning, not an end. System mastery at 1st Dan is fine for you and your system, but for me, my 1st Dan means I have mastered the basics, not the whole system.

    For me, it took almost 3 years to get here and is just another colored belt for my instructor to visually identify where I need to line up. The skills and achievements are in the student and instructor, not the belts.

    Just my .02.. :D
  14. aaron_mag

    aaron_mag New Member Supporter

    This is a very intelligent post and so true. I've seen many blackbelts from Asia and their quality if often very poor. I worked out with my friend and fellow instructor last night and he had an exchange student in his class from China. I was trying to help him out because I thought he was a guy with no experience. I found out later he is a black belt! He had difficulty breaking one plastic board! (note we use the old style plastic boards that are very stiff).

    The question of belt rank has always plagued me and bothered me. There seems to be no way to come up with a perfect system. In our organization it is typically 4 years to blackbelt for a student who comes consistently. Note that consistency is the key. If you're consistent you typically advance. We don't punish those who are not athletic and neither do we reward those who are.

    Is this right? Shouldn't it be based on fighting ability? I don't know. You get students in so many shapes and sizes.

    For kids it typically takes longer (five to six years). We don't even let them start testing until 7 so those students who stick with it can usually get their blackbelt by 12 to 13. It takes an additional 2 years to get to 2nd dan and then they are done until they graduate highschool We won't allow them to progress any further until they are older. Is this right? Isn't this age discrimination? Maybe. But we feel it is important that the higher ranks have some sort of age and life experience to them.

    After black belt we use a ladder approach: 2 years to 2nd, 3 additional years to 3rd, 4 additional years to 4th, 5 additional years to 5th, etc.

    And again the key is consistency. I started at 10 and I'm 35 now, but I'm only a 4th dan? Why is that? Because I played sports in high school and college and had some injuries that kept me from progressing.

    But not all schools in our organization are as strict. I have people who were lower rank than me a few dans ago who now outrank me. And I'm a pretty darn good tournament fighter and some of them are not. Is this fair?

    Again I don't know. I just try to remember that it isn't a perfect system and the belt is there to keep your dobak in place. I just want to keep training and enjoying myself...
  15. Daywalker

    Daywalker New Member

    Why would this ever be a question of time? In public education there has always been a debate over whether time served in a classroom is enough to promote a student to the next grade. The fact is, there is a curriculum and there are some who will master it faster than others. For those people who are blessed with physical skills and coordination as well as mental maturity; I see no reason to delay providing an appropriate rank.

    My only concern is when students fail to meet the basic requirements of the curriculum. If the student is unable to perform, then the student should not progress, regardless of the time spent.

    I do not understand the badge of pride some people wear when they state that it took them years and years and years to become a black belt. I imagine one can study for 10 years and still not be as skilled as others who have studied for much less time.

    In short, there should be a set of standards that establish a baseline of skills. Those who have met these move on -- those that don't practice until they do.
  16. FredQ

    FredQ New Member

    4-5 years depending on the person.

  17. tkdmusclerock

    tkdmusclerock New Member

    In my school it takes 3 1/2 years of uninterrupted training to earn a black belt. I tell our students that a first-degree black belt is analogous to a high school diploma. A first dan should have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of our master's teachings.

    Many of the students at our dojang regard the black belt as a finish line, an accomplishment which, when completed, is discontinued. I understand that feeling; martial arts students aren't necessarily martial artists. For me, I love this stuff, and I will continue as a student/teacher/artist as long as my body allows. I am a black belt. It's not what I do; it's who I am.
  18. 29622

    29622 New Member

    It took me about 4 years passing every test and not missing a single one.
  19. tkdkyle

    tkdkyle New Member

    At the dojang I go to it takes a minimum of 3 years.
  20. AmberLB

    AmberLB New Member

    At our school, I would say the minimum time to 1st dan is about 3 years. However, not very many people test every time, and most students train 6 days a week. There are mimimum hour and time-in-grade requirements. Our family does a minimum of 8-10 classes a week, including 4 black-belt only classes. We have a 1st dan grading coming up, my husband is testing. We don't have a minimum age for 1st dan, but we do for 2nd dan. My oldest son is a 1st dan, but he'll have to wait six more years to test for his 2nd.

    For students at our school, the black belt is seen as a beginning, and the separate black belt curriculum is designed to constantly push and challenge students and instructors. The more we progress, the more we are able to see what we need to work on and continue to strive for.

Share This Page