Real Taekwondo Part 2

Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 in Taekwondo Class Topics | Comments Off on Real Taekwondo Part 2

Here, I want to answer the question of “what does it mean to earn a black belt?” and also educate you about why a KKW black belt is worth more than the certification used by most other schools.

Basically, earning a black belt simply means that the student joined a martial art school and did what that particular school requires of people before they are allowed to wear a black belt.

Different schools can have very different requirements. We require more than most Taekwondo schools, because we also require our students to learn self defense.

Some arts require more than others.  Some don’t let anyone under 18 earn a black belt.  And, I hear that in Brazilian Jujitsu it’s so hard to get a black belt that blue belt is considered instructor rank.

But, Taekwondo is a lifetime sport for everyone, not just young adult athletic people.

Many, karate, “martial art” and Tae Kwon Do schools (maybe most in the US) give what are called “school” black belts. This means the school designs and prints their own certificates (and keeps  the test fee money).  The school owner decides for themselves what will be required and the instructors of the school are the only people who decide that a person is qualified to be a black belt and sign their certificate.

When a person  earns a black belt in a school like this, they are really only a black belt in that school.

Sometimes, a few schools form an “organization” and test together, giving slightly more meaning to their certification.

Also, the kwans (groups that joined to make TKD in the 1940s) still each give certification, signed by the current person in charge of that kwan.

But, at GMTKD we certify through  the World Taekwondo Headquarters or “Kukkiwon.”

Our students receive certificates signed by the current KKW president.

In my opinion, since this is the largest Taekwondo certifying organization, it gives the most meaning to the certificates.

Also, I like how KKW certification qualifies you for something.  One must have a KKW degree to compete in the World Championships, and 4th degree to become an internationally certified referee.

In 1988, when I earned 1st degree black belt rank from my instructor’s Grandmaster, it wasn’t KKW. I was disappointed to realize that all it qualified me for was to later test for 2nd with the same person.

With KKW black belt certification, since it is the largest certifying organization, it is easier to continue towards higher degrees, if a person moves to a new city, than with any other kind of TKD black belt!

(Like Mr. Villasenor of El Paso once did at our black belt test.)