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6 Year Old Black Belt

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  • 6 Year Old Black Belt

    I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this one.

    Cary Girl, 6, Headed to Tae Kwon Do World Championship

    I'm a little split. It's great that kids can get involved at such a young age, but there's got to be some other reward system that can be implemented without pulling down the credibility of an entire art.

  • #2
    In all fairness - (IMHO) this means nothing unless I see footage of her forms and her point-sparring. Arguements will fly eitherway but seeing her in action is what really counts.

    I don't expect her to defend herself against adults but I would expect a high level of body mechanics and awareness and certain level of concentration.

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    • #3
      I just call them Junior Black Belts. After all, It took me 6 1/2 years to earn my Black Belt. You do the math. LOL

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      • #4
        There is nothing wrong, so long as the children know that once they reach the age to attend adult classes, their grade will be readjusted and they will have to start training harder. I think that judo works in a similar way, in that there are junior grades too. Not sure if a black belt is awarded, but I was talking to a guy who's son was a brown belt in the junior category, and he was saying that it probably equated to green / blue in adult (his son was approaching adult age group).

        Really any form of grading is just a way to gauge how well someone has been training, and how dedicated they are. If someone starts training at the age of 3 (sound simplausible to me, but I guess it happens) and they improve every 3 months or so, and the club runs a grading system, then they should be awarded a higher grade each time. Although maybe it should be a badge, and not a belt.

        In some styles black belt can be achieve in 3 years, and the grading requires good form and understanding of application. In other styles it can take at least 10 years to get the first black, and the grading requires the entire syllabus to be graded, plus sparring against multi opponents, blind folded sparring, etc. etc. The point I am trying to make is that no two grading systems are the same, no two styles are the same. If that style wishes to award black belt grade to a 6 year old, then why not? She must have worked very hard it.

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        • #5
          Hmmmm. To be honest it is a strange topic this one and links back to what defines a martial art. There is another topic with this trail of thought.

          You can have a martial art where it is based more on basic sparring, forms (patterns) and movement. Yet without the combat side of it, is it truly a martial art?

          The argument for this is that I could be fighting an adult who is stick thin with no power behind them, but they could be fantastic in knowledge and forms

          Or you could have a 25 stone guy who is rubbish at sparring, but does one kick, gets lucky and destroys his opponent

          Personally I despise the whole 'give them a black belt in six weeks' kind of mentality. It does, as people have said, destroy the credibility of a lot of Tae Kwon Do and karate schools

          A six year old kid, no matter how good is never going to stand up to a fully sized adult.

          It gives people false hope.

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          • #6
            yes, that is why I mentioned that it is important that the children understand that their black belt is not the same level as an adults.

            To me this is the same as a child sitting a maths exam. If a 7 year old receives an A grade in maths, this is not better than a GCSE B grade, which is not as good as an A level at C grade, or the A level is not as good as a third class honours degree.

            Each level is an advancement of the previous. But, it is possible to attain top grade at each level. Martial arts should be the same.

            I think that in an ideal world, all clubs that chose to do gradings should adopt a method similar to this, i.e.

            young children: 4-7 years
            older children:8-13 years
            adults: 14 upwards.

            If at reaching each level your grade is returned to 0, or white, then everyone will know how well a person is performing at their level. It is good to reward children for their hard work and dedication, but it is important that they understand that they are working at another level.

            As for grading in general, this is open to another debate really. Before gradings were invented (no idea who invented them first) people were either novice or, um, something else. ie. you start as a novice, train 10 years, and when you have learnt the whole system, you get your black belt.

            Gradings break things down, make it easier for younger people to keep motivated. Personally, I am about the laziest person when it comes to gradings. I enjoy learning, and our school is set in a way that you do not need to attain one grading to learn new parts of the syllabus. Everyone learns together. So really I have little incentive to grade, unless I wish gain my black belt. But in all honesty, I am a little lazy at times! Having a baby and a demanding jobs helps little either! Oh well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tkddad View Post
              It's great that kids can get involved at such a young age, but there's got to be some other reward system that can be implemented without pulling down the credibility of an entire art.
              ...there is... sport fights for money.

              If they win with a knee or an elbow...bump up their allowance.

              [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EaNBCqvKNY&mode=related&search=[/YOUTUBE]

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              • #8
                In MY opinion

                Well I'll give my two cents here:

                First of all I'm totally AGAINST anyone becoming a black belt before the age of 18. Call me old fashion and far left traditionalist if you may. But being a black belt is a huge responsiblitity and I don't believe anyone under the age of 18 should be given that rank.. (even those under 21)

                I know it's mainly the art of tae kwon do that allows this. It's ashame that many of the instructors and grandmasters have allowed tae kwon do to become the laughing stock of Martial arts. I truly believe that we should be able to see the true beauty of tae kwon do and it's awsome power.

                But that's my opinon.

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                • #9
                  6 yo...Impressive. Though it makes you wonder...I deal with a lot of 6 yo kids at the dojang, either in the Cubs program, from which they usually graduate to White belt class, or as White Belts. Some kids have the focus and the ability to achieve much early on. We have a few r Blacks that - compared to my ability and accounting for size - will get my tail. TKD is not all about size and strength. Knowledge and technique goes a long , long way! So a 6 yo BB, I have my doubts, but dismissing all Jr BBs is - well - arrogant!

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                  • #10
                    There is a 6 year old 2nd dan in TKD in the US?????????????

                    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1518167/

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                    • #11
                      Response

                      Well like I said in my first post and I've stuck with this opinion for a long time.
                      I'm all for any child to get into martial arts and especially tae kwon do. But keep in mind tae kwon do has changed it's testing procedures and requirements over the last 20 years dramatically.

                      6 year old black belts?? NO I don't agree with. We have a 12 year old black belt here locally whose a darn good martial artist but I dont agree with him being a black belt until he's 18 or older. It really wasnt until around the 1960's when all the colored belts and stripes came to be. Which I feel is when the arts started to go downhill. It use to be in the old story of the belts that the masters wore a white belt for many years, never washed it and over the years and years of practice the belts would turn green, brown and eventually black. Now that's how the belts should be.

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                      • #12
                        The thing I found most strange about the news video clip, is that she seemed to require a lot of prompts from the instructor to do the demonstrations. Maybe it was just nerves in front of the cameras.

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                        • #13
                          belts mean nothing...they're only good to hold up your pants or trick dumbshits into buying lessons. It's token economy crap.

                          Ability and Application is EVERYTHING.
                          Those little thai boxers don't get belts...they work towards loftier goals...like working up a fight bracket, or earning better fights.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by martialjac View Post
                            There is a 6 year old 2nd dan in TKD in the US?????????????

                            http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1518167/
                            Not in Kukkiwon Taekwondo (what many called WTF).

                            DAN is an Adult black belt, for Adults only. Officially, children can not be DAN holders. They can only be a POOM holder.

                            In Korean language Junior Black Belt is called "POOM". The Junior Black Belt itself is half RED, half BLACK and is for children from 3 to 16, or to 18 if they earned 1st Poom at a very early age. POOM is from 1st to 4th POOM. The best description of POOM would be that in this case it is used to designate the "level of quality", as the Hanja for the POOM character stands for quality, as in shape (what kind of shape are they in?)

                            So 1st POOM would be a child of the 1st quality. 2nd Poom would be a child of the next level up quality.

                            When POOM holders turn either 16, or in some cases, 18, they automatically become DAN holders at their POOM Level. So a 3rd POOM turning 16 automatically becomes a 3rd DAN, and can now wear a solid color black belt.

                            DAN, or adult black belt has the meaning of "Step". So 1st DAN is the first step, 2nd DAN is a step up to the 2nd step and so on.

                            The philosophical meaning of the solid black belt (DAN) means that the wearer has come to the realization that his/her goal is to achieve emptiness and is striving for it. Emptiness being symbolized by the blackness of space, matching the black of the belt. For the POOM holder, they are only half way there and still in the process of being "shaped" in various degrees. They have not yet come to this full recognition of emptiness, due to immaturity.

                            The practical meaning of the DAN and POOM is their level of membership. This can be either in their Dojang or association of Dojangs (via a Dojang Certificate, not used in Korea), or in the greater Taekwondo world (via a Kukkiwon certificate, the only certificate recognized in Korea). In rare cases, some persons may have actually Dan or POOM from the Official Kwan (Moo Duk Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, etc.) This certificate is only recognized within that Kwan and not considered Official by Korea.

                            DAN and POOM really have little relationship with technique, ability to fight, or years of training. Their practical meaning is membership status. DAN can be awarded to person who never practiced, but made some type of great contribution to the development, or growth of Taekwondo.

                            Person who feel others are not deserving of the DAN/POOM have little understanding of the deep nature of Taekwondo and martial arts in general, they are essentially shallow and see Taekwondo from only the surface of techniques, which is what a beginner thinks about. At the other end of the spectrum, you will notice that Taekwondo is about oneness, unity, overcoming obstacles and world peace.

                            Best Regards,

                            Alcohol

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