Thread: Belts, and their purpose
10/09/2006 12:47pm, #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
Belts, and their purpose
Let me relate the context of this...
I walked into a dojang on Sat. Spoke to instructors there, and they told me that there are 16 belts from beginning to end e.g. white to 1st black. They are a member if the ITF, and I wanted to ask you all if there was any stadarization of curriculum in any federation, so that if you know techniques A, B, C you earn the belt that corresponds to it. I guess what i am trying to find out is that : let's say there are two schools next door to each other, and the both belong to the WTF. they both offer the same technigues, yet one has less belts to reach black than the other. Is there a stardization of how many belts there are, or is this just a business mans way of keeping your money longer? thanks.
10/09/2006 1:12pm, #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Washington State
They want your money, if you want to give it to them then remember the old saying about a fool and his/her money...! If you looking to become a black belt, buy one offline from the various martial LARPer's out there. If you are looking to learn TKD then I really don't know what to say. I myself think it's a waste and would look at Muay Thai and Boxing for your striking needs. If self defense is your goal then find a place that teaches all ranges to include striking, grappling, weapons, etc.
It all depends on what you are looking for. I'm not as familiar with the inner workings of the various TKD federations and the art in a sense that I've never trained it. I personally believe it is very flawed and not worth the time. Others have made it work for them. You can ask them about the specifics about the belts. I will tell you that coming from a BJJ background that has only 5 belt ranks, 15 seems to be way too many. That sends red flags way the **** up...can anyone say "Danger Will Robinson, Danger"!
10/09/2006 1:20pm, #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
- West coast
Fifteen belts, fifteen promotion tests and promotion fees.
10/09/2006 1:22pm, #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
I would like to offer an attempt to answer your question, but I have to make an assumption before I go on.
I am assuming that you are referring mainly to Taekwondo because you mentioned "dojang", "ITF" and "WTF", so I will formulate an answer based on that assumption (which may be bad, because as my dad always said, "When you assume, you make and Ass out of U and Me".
So, in the "ITF" style of Taekwondo, there is a set curriculum based on which organization you are in. Each different organization sets its own rules for advancement and curriculum. In the International TaeKwonDo Alliance (ITA) for instance, there are 10 belts before black (white, yellow, green, senior green, blue, senior blue, purple, senior purple, red, and senior red). At each belt color (not senior), you learn a new hyung (form/pattern), and usually some other piece of material. At white and yellow belts, it is a set of one steps, at blue belt, it is focus pad drills, at purple, it is 3-step sparring, etc.
To pass to the next rank, you will have to successfully demonstrate your form, plus any other curriculum, plus spar (green and above), plus breaking (red belt and above). If you fail any portion of the exam, you do not advance.
I would wager that this is the same type of set up that you would find in the ATA, ITF, TA, and most other large "ITF" style organizations.
The WTF is a different sort of organization from the aforementioned because the WTF is an organization dedicated to "Olympic style Taekwondo competition events". It is not a curriculum organization. The organization that is affiliated with the WTF that sets standards for belts, etc. is the Kukkiwon. The Kukkiwon only certifies black belts, so any standards up to black belt are "suggested", but not mandatory at individual dojangs. Most dojangs are pretty standard though, with one Taegeuk form per belt (Forms 1-8 being compulsory before the attainment of black belt).
Individual dojangs not belonging to any organiztion make up their own rules, but generally fall into one of the above mentioned categories.
I hope this helps.
10/09/2006 1:31pm, #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
Schools that use belts, whether they be few or many ranks, are used to differentiate between learners and the levels that they are at. Some schools may add more ranks to increase revenue, but I do not want to address that now. The pervailing attitude on this website is overwhelmingly that more ranks=more bullshido or perhaps more McDojo, and that is not always the case.
For some schools with more ranks, it is a way of organizing students so that the instructors have a detailed view of which curriculum the student is proficient in, and what material they should be working on now. It is merely a way of organizing the curriculum and material. It makes sense to me. What would make it bad is if the students have to shell out large amounts of money to pass from one rank to the other. As far as having a lot of ranks, as long as the student knows in advance what they're in for, I see no problem. It's just a way of dividing up material.
I no longer study Taekwondo, but I did for 20 years. I think it is a good MODERN martial art. I found it helpful to me, and I thank my previous instructors for their knowledge. I found no bullshido or McDojoism in any of my previous schools and I am thankful for that. I have successfully used my Taekwondo training in self defense situations and came out unharmed at all, so for ME, it is effective. I do not claim TKD or any other martial art is the be all, end all, but I definately think it is wrong to label it as crappy. I believe there are crappy schools in all arts, and that is the true determining factor.
Anyway, the original question was about standardization of belts and time to black belt. The answer is:
Across the wide-sweeping board of the many different styles of Taekwondo: NO
Across the less-wide sweeping board of the two mains styles of TKD: NO
In each organization as they see fit: YES
10/09/2006 3:01pm, #6Originally Posted by aikiguy[img=http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2364/8026700123940loij9.th.jpg]
"God damn America" --Muammar al-Gaddafi
10/09/2006 4:40pm, #7Originally Posted by aikiguy
Motivation - everyone likes a tangible reminder that they've progressed. For some people it isn't enough to know you're better that you were 3 months ago, you have to have the certificate and belt. This is especially true of kids.
Funds - we had to pay for equipment etc, gradings got a bit extra cash in. We charged the students a pittance to train, so after every grading, we had more stuff - boots & gloves, strike shields etc.
A lot of clubs use more belts because it's a shorter time between gradings, so thereby rewarding students faster. That appeals to kids and parents. "Little Jimmy got his Mauve belt at kuh-rotty today". That kind of stuff. it also pretty much guarantees extra income.
I don't know TKD too well, but 16 sounds a little excessive.
Are you planning on training there? If so, are you forced to grade? Man, nothing pisses off a McInstructor more than training folks who won't cough up extra cash every three months.Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.
10/09/2006 4:51pm, #8
My belt holds my pants up.
Incidently, it's black.
In all seriousness, way back when i did TKD, there were only 7 belts. White, yellow, green, blue, red, brown, black, then 7 dans. edit: I also didn't pay for belt tests.
There were no Pink or Camo belts. (argh, ****, grrr.....TEH FURY!)
God that was a long time ago.
Last edited by Neildo; 10/09/2006 5:20pm at .
10/09/2006 5:16pm, #9
Sixteen sounds really high.
The numerous belts are to generate more testing fees. Thats all.
I had 9 underank belts
white/black (recommended black) where we went over everything we had learned over the last three years.
Each testing was $35. Black belt testings are $50 per Dan.
The first school I attended had 12 belts before black.
I left because it was very obviously a McDojo.
It also had half belts. Belts with a black stripe. The test fee was $25 but you tested for half belt after 2 months, waited a month and tested for the next belt level. Dan test fees were $100 per Dan.
If you add all of the half belts and the Grey belt...I had never heard of before..there were 18 belts before BB.
I think TKD is great. I have used it once for self defense and it worked fine. That being said...stay away from that school.
10/09/2006 5:35pm, #10
A belt only serves one purpose:
Because I suck at tags:
Last edited by ojgsxr6; 10/09/2006 5:42pm at .