Hate to be the bearer of bad news...
But although you may believe the instruction you receive at Cho's meets a high standard, it is unfortunate that their business practices do not reflect your beliefs.
First and fortemost, Cho's is a BELT MILL.
In other words - no fee - no move up.
Even if the student is in the same class with others learning the same techniques and movements, demonstrating sportsmanlike behavior and proficiency, and following all the dojang guidelines.
Conversely, with payment of fee which usually sits at around $60 per application, the student miraclulously has achieved the "approval" to move up - even if it is crystal clear that the student has sub-par skills and should remain at the current belt level until they can demonstrate proficiency.
Another Belt Mill Red Flag - Testing is a group dog and pony show where instructors are given the opportunity too steal the show and demonstrate their well choreographed skills. In every other reputable martial arts environment, testing is an INDIVIDUALIZED process, unique to each student.
Second - Instructors consistently utilize class time to "push" recruiting initiatives onto students. When the initiatives fail to bring the desired "recruits", the promotions are conveniently canceled or rescheduled.
Third - Instructors consistently utilize class time to take phone calls from the "Grand Master", who's sole reason for calling is to get a body count. There is a time and place for operational business calls, when the school is closed - class time is not an acceptable platform.
Black Belt Clubs & Contracts all reek of a business that operates solely to make as much profit off each student as possible.
poster sounds like a dissillusioned 10 year old with a tkd belt mill black belt.
How the hell does TKD school merrit a 10 for striking????
8-9 is going to be kickboxing, boxing, MMA, but not Taekwondo or most Karate (Kyokushin stands apart in my thoughths). If it's kids sparring with head gear, face shield, chest guard, hand/foot pads, cup, mouthpiece etc. It's 6-7 range.
6-7: Medium contact with excessive safety gear.
8-9: Hard contact with reasonable safety gear and/or limited to one range of fighting (standup/grappling).
Unless it's the master teaching a group of 10 or so, it's most likely NOT a 9, but more 6-7 range.
6-7: large class but instructor is accessible and oversees most classes.
8-9: Smaller classes, instructor or highly qualified (master level) assistant instructors in small groups.
Taekwondo striking is at _best_in_the_world_... 7
4-5: Striking for punching/kicking only and/or limited purposes (demonstration, highly restrictive sport).
6-7: Comprehensive striking (all ranges) or superior single range striking with success in local/regional competition or practical application.
8-9: Pressure-tested, full range striking and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors
This is due to limitation of range of strikes, TKD is restrictive and doesn't often allow hand to the head. An 8-9 is full range, including hands to the head, kicks to the legs etc, at a HIGH level. A 10 is full-range, kicks to the legs/body/head, strikes to the head etc, and... World class (not in a restricted setting either), such as the world's top combative martial arts gyms. IE: Perhaps Miletich's, Couture's in Vegas, ATT, etc.
This sounds like a mcdojang (no offense).
Belt testing in five or six week periods are not normal. How many belts are there, I mean, for you to go through at this rate?
I think it is unfair to say that Taekwon-do school /couldn't/ get a 8-9 score on your aliveness rating.
In the ITF/Chang hun style, top level competitors fight at hard contact levels (though mostly for points) and can win their matches by KO with punches and kicks being legal anywhere above the waist (yes, the face is a legal and popular target, unlike in many other arts). The only compulsorary protective gear in this style is mouthguard, gloves and foot pads (sometimes shin guards also compulsorary). Head guards and are not usually worn unless the school decides to enforce these (never worn at international level). Chest protectors are never worn (style wants to distinguish itself from the olympic style so most schools will not even own these). This differs from the style in the olympics (which is full contact but further limited in techniques allowed and enforces use of hogu and helmet).
In addition several non-MT, non-Low Kick kickboxing matches are contested by TKD black belts with little background in kickboxing (same with MMA with some remedial grappling training, but as they are usually easy to take down, pound on and submit, with limited success). In most cases, schools do not train these fighters in the basic class (with your kids, etc) but it's probably the instructor standing at the front that then trains with other instructors and experienced students separately, but in a few schools I can think of are pretty scrappy even in the main class (I understand this is still a 7 max on your scale but worth mentioning as many kickboxing schools train at this level most of the time).
It's also worth remembering that though the standard of TKD in the UK and USA has reached McDojang with an alarming regularity, this isn't necessarily true in Eastern Europe, South America or parts of the Far East where the focus of training is very different and in some cases produces state funded athletes.
Most taekwon-do schools, even 80% or more would not even be a 6 on your scale but to say that a TKD school could never achieve an 8 no matter what is not true. Almost any school you will walk into off the street will not walk you into an "8" class if they had one, but that isn't to say that you are walking into a school that is incapable of training you to that level.
Do I train at a tkd school ranking at an 8? No. I have a few in mind that might qualify but I don't train at any of these. Have a I trained at a school nearing this level branded as kickboxing where the majority of instructors had spent most of their lives doing tkd and only a few years at boxing? Yes, certainly.
Do I think this Cho school is an 8? Frankly, no. I'm sure the Hee Il Cho that took on challenge matches back in the day was a pretty tough guy (certainly someone I respect) but in my experience the basic AIMAA schools are going to teach you mostly light contact sparring only, which I understand would be a 6 or below.
Apologies in advance if I misunderstood the scoring criteria.
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