Little Black Belts?????

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by tkd_princess78, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Deedum

    Deedum Valued Member

    true they know the patterns the one step and the breaking, sparring techniques etc but do they know enough about life in general to teach others and give their opinions to fellow adult students at lower grades ?
    i personally wouldnt want to get a child to teach adults, i,d sooner do it myself.
    i think i,d have to give up if i started TKD and was given lessons by a 6 year old.
  2. Well personally, I think TKD's grading system is a joke anyway. :rolleyes:

    But either way, firstly we'd have to define child. My instructors sons and one other lad are the only guys who got their blackbelt in childhood that are actually worth what they're wearing round their waist. I remember in the ITF you'd see them in every school. Usually slacking off at the back doing some light stretching and telling the instructor they are "preparing for their second Dan." - Tben you had the spectacle of seeing them throw windmills at each other in sparring matches. :rolleyes:

    Like Kat just said, to [most] kids it's play. I take my martial arts very seriously and use the gym, weights, bagwork and running as a compliment to my MA. I didn't way back then. To kids it's a 2 hour lesson they do a few times a week.

    And I don't blame them. I was very close to getting my blackbelt in Judo when I was 12 but I left. I would have been a child blackbelt and I can see now that it would have been an insult to every adult who actually worked hard to get theirs.

    It ain't the kids fault. They actually believe they are progressing [Hey I could actually beat up all the kids my own age so I must have been blackbelt material, right?] - It's just the system.


    This is by no means an informed opinion as many of you have been in this game since before I was born, but a lot of the child blackbelts I know have either quit or no longer enjoy it. Anyone else found that?

    - However. Yes, child blackbelts should be allowed. But they'd have to be something special.
  3. kwang gae

    kwang gae 광개 Sidekick Specialist

    I'm actually not a fan of child BB's either. I would prefer that they get some sort of "equivalent belt" but be required to re-test at age 15 or 16 at least, in order to get 1st Dan.

    I'm also not a fan of prepending a 2 year old thread onto an essentially new topic, as was apparently done here to little_monkeys thread. :( But I don't own this joint, I just live here.

    Same thing with the Dojang where I train. We have kid BB's as young as about 10 years old. I don't like it, but I don't own the joint, I just live there. :bang:
  4. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    I haven't read anything but the first post here. This is because I'm going to give my view on the matter, and I don't want to be influenced by others before I've given it. When I've written the post, I will read the thread.

    I feel that a kid of 9 shouldn't get a black belt at all. Not a kid of 13 either. Actually I wish there were no black belts below 18ish. Why? Well, the quick explanation is this: You don't have a black belt, you ARE a black belt. It's not about what patterns you know, it's about your moral and personal standards. The black belt is an ambassador for the arts, and I don't really think the 9 years old "black belt" know enough about life, the arts and people to be able to be an ambassador.

    In my school, the youngest ever to achieve the black belt were 13. He quit class right after the test, because he had reached his goal... and that just proves my point, doesn't it? Kids around 13-14 years often quit what they're doing, because their friends doesn't do the same thing, or because it's "boring". Maybe they come back when they're older, but most of them stay away for the rest of their life...

    Also, the black belt is an instructor, or should be one, and if I'm ever "instructed" by a 10 year old boy I know I'm not able to take him serious. I just know it, because that boy is just a kid, and he can't possibly know more than me. And I'm sure I'm not the only one with that feeling, as most adults have trouble taking kids serious like that.

    Just my $0.02, and if you feel I stepped on your toes now, I'm sorry. I just felt I had to say this...
  5. xxblackkatxx

    xxblackkatxx The Gimpy Taekwon Monkey!

    ...that's kind of ignorant, dude.

    Now while I've already said that for the mostpart I don't favor kid BB's, I at least don't shut myself out to the possibility to there being one that's actually worthy of it. At 17 I've been taught by 11 year old black belts, both in my school and at tournament. They may not have held the age, but they definately held the wisdom.
    And this brings me to a question that I'd like to ask you: Do you feel the same way about colored belts? Like, a 30 year old yellowbelt being helped out by a 14 year old red belt?
    It is the same concept. A higher rank but a lower age is teaching a lower rank but a higher age.
    How taboo is that really? it's not. That's how i was taught, that's how I teach. I'm 17 now, but back when I was 14 I taught all the noobies whenever they needed my help. They never had a problem with it, I don't understand how you could.

    Try explaining to me the difference between a 14 year old red belt teaching a 30 year old yellow and a 14 year old black belt teaching a 30 year old red belt.
    To me there isn't one, and I wish you wouldn't be so close minded about possibilites.
  6. I think Tittan wrote "instructed" in quotation marks for a reason.

    There's a difference between a 13 year old blackbelt telling me "Oh the next move in this pattern is..." - and a 13 year old actually taking the role of my instructor.

    I actually know enough kids who are constantly suggesting I spar differently. [Believe it or not, there are plenty of good styles and stances that aren't TKD!] and believing that their belt makes them a better fighter than me. Kids think because they know more patterns than me it somehow over-rides the fact that I have a much, much harder punch than they do. :D
  7. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    There are two ways of looking at BB, absolute and relative.

    Either it is an absolute standard that only some people will be able to achieve, or it is relative to the abilities of the person in question so anyone may reach it with proper dedication.

    Either is an arbitrary measure.

    If absolute, does that mean: able to beat a Gracie;, able to defeat an armed murderer; or invulnerable to conventional weapons?

    If relative, does that mean: they train twice a week and know all their kata; they train every day and are national champions at kate and sparring; they are world champions at everything?

    The thing is, you can't have it both ways. Make a decision about what you think BB means.

    And if you think you can't learn anything from a child, you know nothing. I could go on into "dust in the wind dude", but it's late :D

  8. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    as someone said before the only ppl who complain about you ng black belts are either jealous or never can be's..If they jumped thru the hoops set for them then they deserve the rewards
  9. StuartA

    StuartA Guardian of real TKD :-)

    Im neither of the above and I dont believe in 6 year old black belts and very few really jump through hoops to get them and of those that do - thats what junior BB grades are for (ie. BB with wghite stripe)

    It all depends on what you feel a black belt represents. To me its a mind-set and a way of being - a six year old, no matter how good doesnt furfill that criteria.

    Gen Choi wrote that it means 'the wearer is impervious to darkness & fear' - how many 6 year olds come close to that definition - i believe thats a mind-set rather than literal as very few would actually furfill that criteria, but an adult is capable of qantifying and dealing with a fearful situation, whereas most children just break down in tears! Everyone fears something, I feel its perhaps a metafor type of thing.

    I feel a you become a black belt and usually after you have earnt it through a grading. They (to me) represent many things on many levels and grading for one is just the 1st step.

    Funnily enough theres a section in my book on exactly the same subject :)

  10. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    Let me ask you another question - how would you like to be taught by a 10 year old at school? Someone teaching you skills you'll need in order to land a good job when you're done with your education?

    I guess you wouldn't like it at all, huh?

    Well, call me ignorant, but I don't want a 10 year old kid teach me how to defend myself against an attacker. Nor would I like a 17 year old kid teach me how to do my job as a bouncer. You see, when I go into the dojang, I don't come for the sport that people call taekwondo, I come for the whole system, including the self defense part - and if you're telling me that a 10 year old can teach that just as well as a 25 year old, or a 40 year old, you're the ignorant.
  11. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    I do agree that "anybody" can teach a pattern, or step-sparring, or any other fancy move, but I still don't see how a 10 year old, or a 17 year old, can teach streetwise self defense, as they've never really seen the streets. I've worked as a bouncer, and I've worked with juvenile criminals who came at me with axes, knives, baseball bats and worse - and a 10 year old doesn't have any idea on what to do in a situation like that. A 25 year old might at least understand that we're mortal, and that a situation like that can be lethal.

    When I'm not a bouncer, I work with mentally handicapped children, and they've taught me a lot! In the dojang, I've been taught patterns by a 13 year old, but apart from that - well, read the post above, and I think you agree... ;)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  12. Sedvan

    Sedvan Valued Member

    Kids kids...they give head aches.

    What’s worse is that I get a lot of attitude from children who have the same rank as me when I assist the master in children’s classes. I have 2nd Dan BB, I'm 18. I've been practicing TKD for over 8 years, (I skipped a few promotions because I didn't want to advance so quickly, and had some time away due to personal things) and kids that are maybe 11, who have a 1st or 2nd BB, while good, lack the focus and knowledge to really grasp the meaning of TKD and how to sharpen their style, think they don't need to listen to me. It's frustrating because they don't realize that all they did was show up and receive a belt. They don't have the experience yet.
    That’s why I think children under possibly 12 should never be allowed to advance to that level, and perhaps I would only allow children to attain a 1st Dan at age 14-15. By then they would be able to listen and give proper respect to their seniors.

    It also leaves children with a sense of completeness, inwhich they beleive they can stop training because they have the belt, but by then they lose their conditioning and their technique becomes dull and sloppy.
  13. prowla

    prowla Valued Member

    If they're good enough for the grade, then they deserve it.
    BB is about skill and technique, not sheer power (otherwise the only BBs would be hulking great weight lifters).
    We have kids in our dojo who have excellent technique, better than most of the adults who aspire to BB.
    It would be unfair to hold them back on a misconceived point of order.
  14. 29622

    29622 New Member

    We have a number of child BBs, but our school is hardly a McDojo. The thing is my instructor, who used to be the 2000 Korean Olympic Team captain, can look at each student and tell who is serious and who isn't. That's why in our school we have some incredible students, the kinds you'd see in Korean TKD Universities, and students who aren't quite so good. Don't think he abandons other students of course, he still helps them all out, and TBH most of the students in our school are pretty decent.

    I doubt most McDojos have 400+ students as well :p
  15. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    I only half agree... Black belt is also about moral standards, knowledge of the art and being an ambassador of the art, not only knowing what technique comes after the last in a pattern...
  16. Erm... You might not have been streetwise at 17. And I really wouldn't say I am. But I know 17 year olds who's dad are bouncers and have been in plenty of fights, have been boxing and weightlifting for years and are shaping up for their Father's jobs. These two guys are good friends of mine. :D

    Yes a 10 year old's street defence and awareness won't be as good as yours. But to class all 17 year olds as kids is pretty ignorant.
  17. gould2

    gould2 Valued Member

    I think its stupid or even ignorant to suggest that you can't learn something from a "kid". Everyone can learn something new from everyone regardless of age, colour or religion.
  18. kwang gae

    kwang gae 광개 Sidekick Specialist

    Tittan has already said that he can learn "a pattern" or a "one step" from a kid, that's clearly not his point. He's talking about real world SD, which sadly is a topic that's ignored in a large number of TKD schools. :(
    I'm sure you're schools great, but number of students is no guarantee of quality. :D
  19. 29622

    29622 New Member

    lol I know that, just wanted to throw that out. My instructor's credentials are amazing: 1992 Olympic Gold, 8 Time World Champion, Sang Moo Korean Military Team Captain, 2000 Olympic Team Coach, and he has never been beaten since he began his professional career. I know I have bragged about him a lot, but I don't mean this to be boastful, but I am just really proud to have him as an instructor!

    PS: I know it doesn't guarentee quality, but usually if a school can obtain 400 students while other schools struggle for more than 100, it can tell how most people feel about it.
  20. That just means he's awesome at sparring! :D

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