What is Tae Kwon Do?
It is a form of marital art training from Korea that is over 2000 years old. It aims to achieve a student's development in courtesy, integrity, self confidence, self
control, perseverance, commitment, and unbreakable spirit. Tae Kwon Do is NOT a cult or religious sect nor is it, as the movies depict, a violent militant group that teaches students to
beat up people. Tae Kwon Do IS a very sensible method of consistent mental and physical training that is a year-round, life-time system of exercise and personal development.
What is the belt for?
Belts are goals that are set for students to meet on their road to Tae Kwon Do training and personal improvement. To obtain the first belts, the goals are more easily met and involve more help
from the instructor. Techniques are fairly simple early on and increase in difficulty as the
students’ progress. Each student will progress at the speed that is equal to his or her personal abilities. There are ten belts, or goals in the sequence starting with white on up to the black
belt -- the ultimate goal.
How are the belts ranked?
Beginners will achieve their first belt early in their Tae Kwon Do training starting with white and on to orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, purple trim, brown, red, and finally black. Juniors,
or students under the age of 16, will earn a Junior Black Belt, or Poom. Adults earn a first degree
Black Belt, or 1st Dan. Black Belts are ranked from 1st, 2nd, 3rd. A 4th degree is considered a Master Instructor. A 5th degree is a Kwan Jang Nim (or President of an Association). The 8th and
9th degrees are Grand Masters and are the highest tested Ranks. The highest rank of distinction is 10th degree black belt who is considered to be a Great Grand Master.
What does certification mean?
In Lee's Tae Kwon Do system, colored belt ranks are certified, or officially recognized, through the Lee's Tae Kwon Do Association. Because Grand Master Lee is a Certified Examiner for the
all the colored belt rankings certified are officially recognized world-wide as official rank, whether it is a white belt or a 2nd Dan. The Black Belts are certified thought the World Tae Kwon Do
Federation upon the recommendation of Grand Master Lee. Black Belts are certified and
registered with the Kukkiwon in Korea, the World Tae Kwon Do Headquarters. The World Tae Kwon Do Federation is the only martial art recognized and accepted by the International Olympic
Committee. The president of the WTF and the Kukkiwon, Dr. Un Yong Kim, is now also the vice president of the International Olympic Committee that has authorized Tae Kwon Do as an Olympic sport
beginning in 2000.
Can someone compete on the state, national, or international level?
If someone is interested in a higher level of competition, Grand Master Lee's programs can prepare a student who has the interest, desire, and ability. Students, both male and female, of Lee's
Tae Kwon Do Association have competed in State and National Competitions and fared very well at that level.
What is a Black Belt?
A Junior Black Belt (Poom) or Adult Black Belt (Dan) is a student recognized for their commitment to Tae Kwon Do who has achieved a high level of proficiency and knowledge in the art of kicking
and punching. This proficiency includes speed, accuracy, strength, and thorough knowledge of a large amount of techniques, both theory and application, as well as information and history. A Black
Belt is worn by a person who possesses the qualities of courtesy, integrity, self-control,
perseverance and indomitable spirit in addition to demonstration a knowledge and understanding of the aspects of Tae Kwon Do as presented to them by their instructor.
What happens after reach Black Belt?
Upon reaching black belt, a student will realize that Black Belt is not the end, but a beginning. While a Black Belt often helps instruct other students and beginners, they al recognize
how much more for them to learn and continue their own training, advancement and individual
betterment, while they also pass on what they have learned to new students. This is part of the circle of Tae Kwon Do. Of all the training once learned from an instructor, upon reaching Black
Belt, a student becomes the teacher, or assistant, and gives that knowledge back to the program in the form of teaching new students who may one day do the same. This keeps the art of Tae
Kwon Do alive for many generations and is the principle on which Tae Kwon Do has sustained
itself for over 2000 years. The knowledge and art of Tae Kwon Do is a gift that is meant to be shared with others who strive to learn and to better themselves.
What is the role of the instructor?
The instructor's goals are to build and support the development of confident students. These students are individuals with goals, discipline, and a sense of proper direction in their
lives. Students will also have needs and the instructors are there to see that those needs are met in the training to help students become better human beings. The method of
training, in all aspects, is a goal-oriented system which serves as a positive reinforcement to growth as individuals.
What is belt testing?
When the student has completed the required time and material training requirements, only at that point will a test date be set. As in any educational institution, the instructors
know when a student is ready to test to please trust their judgment. The colored belt exams are open for
family and friends to attend and watch. The student will perform the required material in front of the testing instructor as well as the audience, then finish by breaking the required
board or boards, to advance to the next level. Beginner students and children are given the assistance if needed to help them fulfill the requirements to earn their belt. This helps
build confidence. Advanced students are required to complete the exam with little or no assistance. Junior and adult black belt tests must be passed with no assistance.
Can a student fail?
No. If a student continues to try, preservers, then she/he will never fail. She/he may not complete all the requirements at the time of their test, but re-tests are always offered
a week later on material missed for colored belts and a month later for black belts. Tae Kwon Do is not
about failing, but about succeeding. Instructors will see that each student can succeed no matter what it takes. IN the gym, four letter words like "can't" and "don't" are
replaced with "can", "do" and "try". There is no giving up so there is no failing.
What do the student receive with testing?
White belts earn their first belt and the right to wear the uniform. Following tests are awarded a new belt and advanced certification. These certificates should be kept in
one place for verification at black belt time. The certificates measure 8-1/2" by 11" and are suitable for
framing. A good way to keep certificates together is to put each new certificate in the from of the frame while keeping the previous certificates in back.
Why Korean terminology?
Korean is the universal language of Tae Kwon Do. It is also fun for the students to learn words in another language. It also prepares students for competition, as all
competition and commands in the sport arena are conducted and given in Korean. Students could go to any Tae Kwon Do
training center in the world and understand the training. Learning and using Korean is also very crucial to know in the event that other Masters, Grand Masters or even the
Great Grand Master should make a visit to our gym. Instructors from Korea, naturally, conduct their classes, training, and commands in Korean and are always impressed when
American students understand them.
Why are the student required to bow?
Bowing is a tradition in Korea used when entering or leaving the gym. It is also used when asking a question of an instructor or entering the gym in
which higher ranks and black belts are present. It is a sign of respect for their for their experience, knowledge and commitment to Tae Kwon Do. It is also out of respect
for the gym, the ranks, and the instructors. It is similar to an American handshake. When you meet someone it is proper etiquette to shake their hand. In Korea, and
especially Tae Kwon Do, it is proper to greet people in this way each time they meet. This method of recognizing authority, experience, and greater knowledge helps to
strengthen a student's respect for authority in and out of the gym whether it is parents, teachers, police, adults or other persons of stature. It also fosters a sense of
respect for the training, the goals, and the person they aspire to become.
Are students required to compete in tournaments?
It is not required, but strongly recommended that students participate in a tournament or two during their training.
WHAT CAN STUDENTS DO TO GET THE MOST OUT OF TAE KWON DO?
The most important thing students, as well as parents, can do to ensure the best possible training available is to trust the instructors with the training for
you and/or your child. The instructors work very hard to develop the best training programs they can with every step
taken, every method used for a reason. Your confidence and support guarantees that you will get the most from your Tae Kwon Do training.
WHY IS TAE KWON DO SO POPULAR?
Tae Kwon Do's popularity comes mainly from the fact that it is not a passing fad. It has withstood the tests of time. It is much more than self-defense
skills training. It is a lifestyle of physical and mental training and challenges that encourage an individual to strive to do more and be
more. The training is proven to develop an individual's complete being, mental and physical, joined by an indomitable spirit.