Recently my neighbor asked me to take a look at a local "Karate" school. He was considering placing his son in this school. He knows that I am a Krav Maga instructor so he wanted my opinion. I agreed and we both went to the "Karate" school.

The first thing I noticed was the "Karate" school was actually a Tae Kwon Do school. I find that many TKD schools market themselves as Karate schools because Karate has a generic association with MA. But I digress.

I walk into this school and to my horror I noticed that there were at least 3 "black belts" in this school who were no older than 13! WTF? A thirteen year old Black belt? Are you kidding me?

As an instructor I was embarrased! I don't care how long your kid has been practicing no 13 year old should be a black belt. Black belt means that you are a "expert". Would any of you enroll in a school that had children ranked as "experts"?

This is one of things that just gets on my nerves. If a kid knows Katas, forms, breaks boards and can execute kicks does this make him/her a black belt? Come on! Awarding a child a black belt completely removes any integrity from the system in which the kid studies!

To me this is nothing other than a calculated marketing ploy and parents fall for it. More importantly the student takes with him a false sense of security and that could get the child hurt. What are your thoughts?