The Traditional Taekwondo Black Belt Journey

I watched a Masterchef episode a month or so ago and remember how each of the candidates were interrogated about their aims in the cooking industry. Those who had laser focus seemed to fare better overall, and even demonstrated more skills during the execution of cooking technique.

The panels I've sat on for Black belt gradings seem no different. Not a lot of the focus is on technique. Those grading sheets may contain perhaps one or two points per belt rank focusing on a particular aspect of some technique. But mostly I hear a lot of discussion based on a black belt's understanding of application, their personal motivation, and ... surprisingly, their continued commitment.

I remember a really interesting discussion once surrounding how a brown belt should be retained in grade because of the continued growth that retention would have created. This is the real black belt journey at a rarefied level, folks. Sometimes waiting a little while more for the belt is also important!


Colin Wee
Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]

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MMA Zone said…
So true Colin,
This is key stuff that new students (and older) forget. Don't come to class trying to focus on performing perfect, but come with the perfect attitude! That will get you further in the mind of your instructor than ability.
Thanks again,
Colin Wee said…
That's exactly right, Tony.

Actually with an over focus on perfect technique comes the subsequent paralysis by analysis when you've got an opponent in front of you. Certainly something that would probably be helped with some MMA training! :-)

Thanks for posting.

Erin Howarth said…
I understand what Colin is trying to say about "paralysis by analysis." I've experienced that in class before, but taekwondo is an art, and as an art, it requires no practical application to be enjoyed. Focusing on perfection of technique as opposed to practical application is another valid way to practice taekwondo.
Colin Wee said…
Each part of the training curriculum is just part of the entire bag of skills required to be a well rounded martial artist. But yes, I agree that you do not need to explore the combative side to enjoy the art. If that is what you so desire ... and are clear about your goals, it can be extremely fulfilling and bring much value to you personally. We should consider ourselves lucky to have the luxury of studying a martial art (or two) in these times ...


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