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Tae Kwon Do Frequently Asked
WHAT IS TAE KWON DO?
Tae Kwon Do is a form of martial art training from Korea that is derived from ancient
martial arts that are over 2000 years old. Tae Kwon Do's goal is to help
the student grow and develop in the areas of: courtesy, integrity, self confidence, self control,
perseverance, commitment, and unbreakable spirit. Tae Kwon Do is NOT a
cult or religious sect nor is Tae Kwon Do, 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. A
brief history of Tae Kwon Do is available
on this site.
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 their personal abilities. The North Austin
Tae Kwon Do Club Belt System, start with white belt on up to the black
HOW ARE THE BELTS RANKED?
Beginners will earn their first belt early in their Tae Kwon Do
training starting with white and moving on to yellow, orange, green, blue,
purple, 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 through 9th
degree. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree Black Belts are considered
journeyman level. 4th - 6th degree Black Belts are considered Master
Instructors. 5th Degree Black Belts & 6th Degree Black Belts often
hold the title Kwang Jang Nim (Head of a school or an association).
7th - 9th Degree Black Belts are considered Grand Masters.
WHAT DOES CERTIFICATION
In North Austin Tae Kwon Do system, colored belt and Black Belt
ranks are certified, or officially recognized, through the North Austin
Tae Kwon Do Club and the national martial arts organizations to which we
belong such as the Amateur Athletic Union's (AAU) National Tae Kwon Do
Program, The National Korean Martial Arts Association, The United States
Korean Martial Arts Federation, The United States Taekwondo Won and the United
Martial Arts Society.
CAN SOMEONE COMPETE ON THE STATE, NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL LEVEL?
If someone is interested in a higher level of competition the North Austin
Tae Kwon Do Club can prepare a student who has the interest, desire, and
ability. How ever that is not our main goal in training.
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 that a student's conduct outside the dojangis a
direct reflection of the art, the instructor and the student themselves.
AFTER REACHING BLACK BELT?
Upon reaching black belt, a student will realize how much more there is to
learn and continue their own training, advancement and individual
improvement, while they also pass on what they have learned to new
students. This is part of the circle of Tae Kwon Do -- passing on all the
training once learned by 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 and the Martial Arts have sustained
themselves 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
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF
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 by
training the 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 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 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 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 on material missed for colored
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
dojang, 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
STUDENTS RECEIVE WITH TESTING
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 front of the frame while keeping the
previous certificates in back.
WHY LEARN KOREAN
Korean is the universal language of Tae Kwon Do. It is also fun for the
students to learn words in another language. It 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
and Grand Masters 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
STUDENTS 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
dojang 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 dojang 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
Tae Kwon Do's popularity comes mainly from the fact that it is not a
passing fad. Tae Kwon Do has withstood the tests of time. Tae Kwon Do is much more than
self-defense skills training. Tae Kwon Do 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.