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#133801 - 10/08/04 09:59 AM How to start


I have been training in ITF Tae Kwon-Do for a few years now and I am currently a 1st degree black belt. I am also a black belt in two other martial arts (Kung Fu and Karate) and currently compete in kickboxing. By this I just want you to realise I have a fairly strong MA background.

Anyhow, I have come to a point in Tae Kwon Do where I really wish to start to teach but I have very strong disarranges with the organisation I belong to in both their teaching methods and their obvious financial exploitations and I really no longer wish to train with them, let alone teach under them so I wish to break off and start my own school. But I have no idea how to do this.

I really need to know where to start. Please help. I already have my own Kung Fu classes which I teach under the association that I learnt Kung Fu under so I really donít know how to go it alone.

I have a few questions such as do you have to belong to an organisation to teach Tae Kwon-Do? I would rather be totally independant How do you still grade, if you even can. Do you have to obtain permission from the ITF head quarters to teach? Are there any rules and regulations to teach? Please help

Also I live in the UK if that makes a difference.


#133802 - 10/08/04 11:50 AM Re: How to start

I can't answer your questions but I can definitely tell you that in Alberta, Canada (as well as other places) there are many schools that are independent and don't answer to the ITF or to the WTF. They do their own gradings and hand out their own belts. The can hand their belts out on the same day as the test whereas with my WTF class we have to wait for our gradings to come back from the WTF which could be 1 to 2 weeks. Then for black belt the costs can be as high as $500 as in my school (3 total) we must take first our test at our school judged by all of the school masters and then after go do a provincial test (easier then our schools). This cost of course includes your registry here and in Korea as well as a new uniform and 2 black belts, one with your name in Korean and the other in english. An independent would be substantial cheaper.

The only problem with independents is they are not recognized by either so when it comes to tournaments of if you wished to go to the olympics, your belt would mean nothing. I'm not saying their belts mean nothing as I'm sure they earned it.

I have a friend that earned his black belt through an independent and decided to come to our WTF school. My instructor allowed him to start as a white belt and work at his own pace to learn our techniques and to take tests when he felt like it. He did not charge for these test and allowed him to take as many belt tests as he felt at one time. His first test he did everything from white belt to blue belt and second time he tested he went from blue belt to red belt with black strip. He needs now only test for his black belt with the WTF which should be shortly. My friend is an excellent student and I know he earned his previous black belt, there was no doubt by any.

A black belt is only a state of mind. If you are in it to learn and to grow as a person do you really need to be recognized by either the ITF or WTF? I'm sure the original teachers couldn't have cared. Your decision and any future students decisions must be for what you and they want out of life. If you want to go to tournaments then it may be a good idea to be a part of an organization. Tap sparring for the ITF or full contact for the WTF. And if you want to go to the olympics then you better train WTF.

Good luck.


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