lots of blackbelts in class.

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by odysseus, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. odysseus

    odysseus Valued Member

    I'm taking an american freestyle version of tkd... my instructor insists on being called sifu, and he has alot of blackbelts which range from the age of 5 to 17. My question is this.... Does their rank of blackbelt give them the title of sifu as well? is there another blackbelt they have to earn as they get older? The blackbelt test consists of 8 hours.... 200 pushups, 200 situps, 2 mile run, abunch of sparring with a 3 mile run... Back when I went to him when I was 14 years old(im 30 now) there were only so many belts and it took a long time (about a year or so) be promoted to the next belt... my humble opinion makes me believe he has fallen to the dark side of the mcdojong... In the adult class there are alot of KIDs in there and very few adults... he seems to put so much emphasis on his pride and joys whom compete frequently in tournaments and very little on us underling belts... he has one of his kiddie blackbelts show me Tan-GUN(Suppose to be dan gun)... Im seriously reconsidering going else where.... any thoughts? does something not seem right?
  2. slacker6

    slacker6 New Member

    I'd say your instincts are correct. A black belt is a black belt, it's up to the instructor to determine if a student is deserving of that rank. If the instructor uses quick promotion to get students (and this is a good way to keep kids wanting to attend, for better or worse), get away from there.

    Your first instinct is usually correct :)
  3. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    sounds like you're flat out not his target market.
  4. Taffyleigh

    Taffyleigh Valued Member

    I think i would look for a different club - 5 year old black belts sound a bit dodgy to me.
  5. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Fairly or unfairly, the phrase "American Freestyle" at the start of anything fills me with foreboding.
  6. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Is Sifu a normal title for a Korean based MA? I thought it was a Chinese title (don't jump on me if I'm mistaken).

    But, I agree with the others. Sounds like he's heard the almighty cash register ringing and has decided to grab his share.
  7. JSun

    JSun Valued Member

    From the web definitions available on google:

  8. odysseus

    odysseus Valued Member

    Definately sounds like he's keeping up with paying for his dojong... he has tons of child students and very little adults.
  9. pasusan02

    pasusan02 Valued Member

    5 year old Black Belt??? That sounds odd to me.
  10. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    No, you're not mistaken. "Sifu" is a Chinese term, and as JSun posted, the corrolaries are "Sensei" in Japanese and "Sabunim" in Korean. I'd be wary just on that alone, not like this guy is a rookie to teaching, sounds like he's been doing it enough to know better.
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Titles and ranks vary by school - ask your instructor.

    Your other thread turned up some god replies about "Sifu" and form names as well...

    Depends. The Kukkiwon (WTF) has a junior black belt (poom) for students that later can be exchanged for a full "dan" belt. Again, ask your instructor for specifics.

    Tough to say... do you find the training to fit what you are looking for? Do you find the quality adequate for the cost you pay?

    If so, then work hard and do your bets and not sweat the small stuff. If not, take a look around at other schools, talk to the instructors to see how they fit you, and try out a clas or two.

    For a school that is sport-oriented, I don't think it's odd if he spends time coaching and working with the "star competitors" and lets his other students help work the junior belts... eventually those junior belts will advance and then will enjoy the better student:teacher ratio later.
  12. slacker6

    slacker6 New Member

    Agree somewhat but seems he could also do better dividing time and show more interest in keeping the newer students in class. This is why the original poster is doubting the dojang in the first place. All students like for instructors (all of them) to show they actually care about them.
  13. odysseus

    odysseus Valued Member

    Thanks for the input. You would imagine that he would want to concentrate on those whom are less skilled in order to get them caught up with the rest of the class. The other issue I have is that there just arent enough adults in class, and there isn't enough emphasis on self-defense... only the sports aspect of tkd.
  14. TheMadhoose

    TheMadhoose Carpe Jugulum

    is it a sports TKD class or traditional TKD? if its sport TKD then you wont get much self defence at all
  15. TKDGUY76

    TKDGUY76 Valued Member

    That all depends. I suppose one school of thought would be to put the top instructors with the newer students. My preference is to put a less experienced instructor with a new student to guide the beginner through his practice, while I move through four or five groups at a time. However, I do make sure I get some one-on-one or small group time with all of my students each class, beginners included, even if just for a few minutes.

    Overall, it sounds like (as someone else said) this school, regardless of what it used to be, is not the place for you. That, in itself, doesn't make it a McDojo. I'm straightforward with my adults about what we are and what we aren't. A good instructor doesn't try to be all things to all people A good instructor teaches the way he teaches and if it's not for you, that's fine.

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