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#238724 - 03/15/06 02:46 AM Beyond 1st. Dan
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
In almost all styles of martial arts, 1st. Dan, is known as the beginning of your martial arts journey. A plateau in which the practitioner has mastered the basics and is now seeking a deeper understanding. But a deeper understanding of what exactly?

I've heard from some that 1 st. Dan, is the beginning of discovering hidden techniques within the katas. Combining basics and transforming them into advance technique.

Then you have schools of mix martial arts schools, which blend techniques and exercises from several arts, what does reaching a black belt mean to these practitioners? Do these practitioners have a full understanding of the guiding principles involved in their martial arts respectively? How much of a basic understanding do they posses?

If you were to pick up a book, it would probably lead you to think that 1.st Dan, is the pivotal point where a student begins to look inward on some spiritual introspective journey. However, for most of us, our martial training was not taught to us with religious or spiritual emphasis, at least not the way our Asian counter parts are taught.

So what does it mean to be a 1st. Dan in TKD?

I personally no longer believe in the mysticism of the martial arts, and if there is a spiritual journey or some philosophical enlightenment to attain, then it is only done out of someone’s own conscious choice and not because they have attained a black belt.

-Tek
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#238725 - 03/15/06 11:39 AM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: TeK9]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I've always equated getting one's black belt like learning to play the piano. As a colored belt you are learning all the keys and playing some cords and maybe a few simple songs. At black belt you have the fundimentals down and now you are ready to play songs.

I come from a school that is mixed but when reaching 1st Dan you are only recognized by the WTF Taekwondo ... and that is fine with me. It will be just that my 1st Dan with the mixture of other martial arts will be better then somebody who only takes Taekwondo and knows only those techniques. That if I get together with others and we are showing and learning techniques I will understand better then some and may even exceed others in some.

I don't for once believe in anything mystical about receive a black belt other then the sense of pride and the new color and new uniform. It is only a small goal achieved in a long road of learning. I don't believe you will be more in tuned or more in touch with yourself and your surroundings as this is a personal thing that some will achieve and others won't and they can achieve it earlier or later on in their training ... or may even receive without training.

1st Dan is only a title just like 1st Gup, or private or lieutenant, or sir or ma'am, or mister or misses. Some like titles and some don't. Each to their own and the more power to each.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#238726 - 03/15/06 12:30 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: TeK9]
mbac640 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 52
Quote:

I personally no longer believe in the mysticism of the martial arts, and if there is a spiritual journey or some philosophical enlightenment to attain, then it is only done out of someone’s own conscious choice and not because they have attained a black belt.




I'm not so sure spiritual means the same thing to easterners as it does to westerners. Eastern martial arts are surrounded by words like "art" and "way" and "philosophy". And odd thing to mix with sport and exercise and controlled use of physical violence, isn't it?

If you reach 1st dan and don't wander away from martial arts, but instead redouble your efforts, it inevitably grows to encompass a great deal of your life. It's a lot more than just working out. It's undeniable, there's more than physical development that goes on here.

What do you call it?

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#238727 - 03/15/06 12:41 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: Dereck]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

I've always equated getting one's black belt like learning to play the piano. As a colored belt you are learning all the keys and playing some cords and maybe a few simple songs. At black belt you have the fundimentals down and now you are ready to play songs.




I like Dereck's analogy. I would expand upon it slightly to say that IMHO at BB, you should not just be playing songs, but creating your own original songs.

At BB, you can do kata, punch/kick, etc. But can you explain what you do? Are you able to apply a given technique in different situations? Do you know the underlying principles involved?

These are just some of the things that BB's should be working on.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#238728 - 03/15/06 02:03 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: MattJ]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
I think first dan is a kind of point which you can say you have arrived at which shows you have dedicated yourself to a goal and have worked for it over a number of years.

However, it is also a point where you realise it is not the be all and end all and that you still have so much more to learn.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#238729 - 03/15/06 11:03 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: TeK9]
SaBumNim Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 47
A black belt means that you have "learned how to learn"; not only from your instructors, but also from yourself.

Just my opinion.

SaBum Nim

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#238730 - 03/16/06 12:14 AM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: TeK9]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I think that a new blackbelt should be given the opportunity to teach under someone. I learned more in the few years from 1st to 2nd dan by teaching than all the years up to 1st dan.

The blackbelt just signafies a good student IMO. He has reached his one time goal and now should begin to realize that he has just scratched the surface.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#238731 - 03/16/06 12:43 AM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: BrianS]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I agree with Brian as well about the teaching. I'm no black belt but I've had several opportunities to teach one on one as well as teaching a group. Heck I've been stuck where I am due to my physical limitations that I have taught most of the class Taegeuk 8 who are at red belt and have passed red belt. And now I seem to be the go to person when new people start to teach fundimental techniques, not to mention to pass on grappling tips to those I train with (as well as receive grappling tips). In my limited teaching I have become better at doing things as I am more aware ... and awareness is a part of growing.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#238732 - 03/16/06 09:29 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: TeK9]
Shyro Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 55
In my opinion, based on my personal experience, attaining the rank of 1st dan is not the cause of change. At least not directly.

After attaining 1st dan, one can start teaching and that's the really big change. In my case it forced me to think beyond my instructor's teachings and even question them. I started reading about all sorts of martial arts, their techniques and principles. All this just because I wanted to provide the best possible martial arts training to my students.

Since then I have learned a lot. If I had continued training with my instructor, this personal development would not have happened. So I think the consequences of becoming a 1st dan might, or might not put a martial artist beyond the beguinner's level. It not because of the colour of the belt holding your dobok that you'll be better than before.

I now consider that becoming a black belt should mean that you start questioning what you have learned in order to improve it and yet, you should also continue to learn from orders.

Martial arts are a never ending process to attain the unattainable perfection.
_________________________
http://www.martial-artists.info (free info on martial arts)

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#238733 - 03/23/06 09:39 PM Re: Beyond 1st. Dan [Re: Dereck]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
All the extra training you do in your dojang is it part of the TKD curriculum? Are you tested on the material during belt examinations? Or are you just tested on TKD techniques and you are only recieving a pure TKD rank? Or are there several ranks in your school? Like are you earning ranks in TKD, hapkido, and JJ?
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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