Kwah Jahng Nim (any spelling will do)?

Discussion in 'Kuk Sool' started by tulsa, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    There is a saying, "the only stupid question is the one not asked". People say that to not hurt the feelings of someone who just asked a stupid question.

    Of course I would call them Master, however I'm under no obligation to do so. Again it is etiquette in traditional MA training that would dictate that I do irrespective of what I thought about the man or his skill.

    You can call me anything you want...just don't call me late for dinner.
  2. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    I need to think about that, OB. To me it seems a bit like gilding the lily. We already have a rank system, a term for teacher and student as well as "older brother" (senior) and "younger brother" (junior). How many ways do we have to categorize people before we realize that all we are talking about is distinguishing between people who DO and people who DON'T. Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

  3. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    I've always thought titles were pretentious. If someone demands to be called Master or GM I'd think twice about going to that school.
  4. Xanth

    Xanth Valued Member

    We have different criteria for different belts... Each belt takes something different to achieve and I don't see why having a seperate title is a bad thing. Sure they are all KJN's just as all Air Force E5-E8's are all sergeants. They all worked hard to get where they are and if they want a seperate title, then I'm more than happy to honor them by using it.
  5. Hyeongsa

    Hyeongsa The Duelist

    Titles should be used to get the instructor's attention during training, for formal situations, and for certificates. I have everyone in my school from 5 year old white belts to 45 year old black belts call each other sir or ma'am. That is etiquette. The title is just a marker on the syllabus to me.
  6. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Well think of it as color belt system for black belt. As in the gup rank there needs to be something that distinguishes between the different ranks of Black belt. In Kuk Sool there is a higher level curriculum so the titles are used to separate one from the other, it seems simple enough, yes?
  7. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    The only 'required' title i believe should be calling all students ma'am or sir.
  8. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Agreed. For me it is enough that students call me "Mr. Sims" though now and again it comes out "Master Sims". Machs Nichts.

    Best Wishes,

  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I am just wondering how tough it is recognizing the different uniform designs and whatnot (do they wear stripes on their belts to indicate dan rank or is it just different uniforms?)

    In Korea, I had a rank booklet that listed all of the various rank titles but never heard anyone use them. Does everyone really use them in gatherings (native Korean speakers as well)?

    We've always kept it simple with "sir/ma'am" used for everyone (but especially black belts), and Mr./Mrs./Miss used for instructors and "Master' for 5th dan and up. Between stripes on most people's belts and knowing one another, everyone knew what rank everyone else was.
  10. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    The only different uniforms are the formal uniforms, known to kuk soolers as the Generals uniform, you can see the different uniform variations on the master page of the Kuk sool won website ( Other than formal attire the uniforms are the same except the different width of the belts (the Black belts are wider for third dan and up) At Master level your name in han gul and English are embroidered on your belt.

    The WKSA keeps records of every members rank and yes it is a requirement to use them especially at Kuk Sool Won functions, Native Koreans as well.

    Sir and Ma'am are also highly used and acceptable when addressing a higher or lower rank student, however formal conversations are required to use proper titles.

    I think the thought process is that because Kuk Sool Won is world wide organization it is a way to unify the art between different cultures and language variants. It is encouraged to the point of almost a requirement to use Korean Language in classes so that when gatherings occur everyone is speaking the same language. So it's a way that TMA, and Kuk Sool in particular, can expand to other countries and still be united by way of consistency.

    It matters not what your system or any other MA does as long as it works. The thought process of thinking it is demeaning to use titles or that ego is the only motivation for requiring titles IMHO is a cop out for a lack of discipline. My personal feeling is if your a little uncomfortable having someone calling you by a formal title your probably deserving, and if you don't have a problem using a title for your instructor he probably deserves it, and also if you use a title regardless of circumstances your humility makes you an exceptional MAist.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  11. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    My own students just call me by my first name. Works just as well.
  12. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    My late teacher used stripes for first, second and thrird degree BB. After that everyone wore a plain BB albeit somewhat wider than a Cho-dan. We students were always addressed as "mister" or "miss" in front of others and often in private as well. KJN Myung was always addressed as "grandmaster" at all times. Even without the belts we all knew who had seniority and what their skill-level was. The same was true of my GUEM BEOP teacher except in that class we wore no belts at all. When we were called to line-up EVERYONE knew exactly where to go. Once again, we all knew who was senior to whom. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

  13. jamesdevice

    jamesdevice J├Âtunn

    from the point of view of an interested observer looking in, its always seemed to me that the use of formal titles reflected an organisation that had grown too large to keep in touch with its membership. The same with the fancy uniforms.

    It seems to me that once you start using fancy titles, and putting pretty coloured frills on the clothes, then the close connection between student and teacher is lost. The teacher expects respect because of his clothes and title. Not because of his ability to display skill. The organisation becomes too big for a student to know personally the abilities of his seniors
  14. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Well then what experiences have you had that bring you to that conclusion?

    Do you think that is what WKSA has become, or are you referring to some other organization?

    First of all you have no idea what your talking about, it seems to me your just trying to start another ****ing match. The only thing I'm going to say is that you couldn't be further from the truth.
  15. VegasMichelle

    VegasMichelle Valued Member

    Why even use a title of "mister" or "miss"?

    Most of us were born with no titles and were given names by our parents. Why not just use them?

    OR...if we are going to insist on titles like "mister" or "miss" to display decorum and etiquette, it shouldn't be considered strange if titles like KJN, SBN and differentiating ranks are used IF they are used in a consistent manner.

    For me, anyone who dislikes appropriate titles and dismisses them as pretentious should examine if they really do practice what they preach. They should have no problems when children call them by their first name or by "hey you." OTOH, I find the folks who insist on children calling them "mister" or "miss" [like in grammar school] but claim to hate pretentious titles as being on the same pretentious scale albeit diminished in severity. Perhaps its the pot calling the kettle blacker?
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    When they teach people the proper titles, do they tell them not to use the '-nim' suffix when referring to themselves? I notice quite a few people who use their name + title+nim in their signatures or references.
  17. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Good question, your not suppose to use the "nim" when referring to yourself, and it is not required to use it when speaking to someone your junior. That said it is not frowned upon unless it is a conversation with a high level Master.
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Nice... and title after the name, correct?
  19. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    That is correct, however many people use the title first. Korean language as you know uses the sir name first then the given name. Western society is reverse of that, so I would say that it is tolerated to use titles first, it would be better to use them last.
  20. miguksaram

    miguksaram Valued Member

    This is actually depended on the setting. Two good friends will use each other's first name followed by the suffix of 'shi'. So if I was same age as Mst. Simms and we were talking I could just say Bruce-shi and it would be pefectly fine. As he is older than me, I could call him 'hyung' if we were close or 'hyung-nim' if we still need to keep a bit of respect barrier there.

    Earlier in the postings some remarked about calling a student 'haksaeng'. This is usually used to refer to someone who attends an academic school. I have never heard the term used in KMA schools, but I am not familiar with KSW and their use of Korean terminology either. For the most part Sabumnim is a title of 4th dan and higher. Kwanjangnim is used for a school owner. This is not exclusive for martial arts. I have heard the term used in reference to hagwan owners and other shop owners. A 4th dan could be a KJN if he/she owns their own school.

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