Frequently Asked Questions
What is Tae Kwon Do?
Tae Kwon Do is a form of martial arts training from Korea that is derived from ancient martial arts that are over 2,000 years old. TKD’s goal is to help the student grow and develop in the areas of: courtesy, integrity, self confidence, self control, perseverance, commitment, and an unbreakable spirit. TKD is NOT a cult or a religious sect nor is any Eastern religious content contained in the training. TKD is a very sensible method of consistent mental and physical training and is meant to be a life time system of exercise and personal development. It also teaches the skills necessary to handle yourself in a confrontational situation and the self restraint to know when you can simply walk away.
Why are students required to bow?
Bowing is a tradition in Korea and in Martial Arts specifically. Bowing is the equivalent of the American Handshake and is utilized in the manner of showing respect for both higher ranks and the place in which you train. It is proper to bow before entering the fight studio and bow before leaving the fight studio. It is also proper to bow to an instructor/higher rank when asking a question or being given instruction. At Primal Martial Arts, we also bow towards the American Flag as a sign of respect to the men and women that earned the freedom that we so much enjoy.
How do parents behave in the fight studio?
This is a very common question and each martial arts instructor feels differently. At Primal Martial Arts, we ask that parents/siblings are not disruptive and do not interfere with the training with the exception of an emergency. If parents must enter the fight studio training floor, they will behave as if there were students. They will remove their shoes and bow when entering and leaving the main training floor. It is also asked that parents refer to the instructors the same way that the students are required to refer to the instructors. This helps reinforce the respect portion of the training.
What is the belt for?
Belts are goals that are set for students to meet on their road to personal improvement. To obtain the first belts, the goals are easily met and involve more help from the instructor. As belt ranks increase the techniques and self discipline become more difficult requiring the student to draw on inner strength to progress. Therefore, each student will progress at the speed equal to their personal dedication and personal abilities.
How are the belts ranked?
Beginners will move through the basic colors fairly quickly up to Red Belt. These lower ranks require rote memorization and only basic techniques as they are the building blocks to more complex techniques that will accompany hire belts later in the training. Once a student has earned the rank of Red Belt, the cumulative knowledge of the lower ranks techniques must be applied with both skill and discipline. It is not uncommon for a student to hold this rank for 4-6 months while they develop the necessary personal growth to move forward in their training. This rank of Red Belt also encompasses a first and second hatch mark placed on the belt; some schools call these ranks Brown Belt and Candidate Belt. The student at the point of Red Belt has demonstrated that they are good “learners” but it is necessary to become a good teacher to move on to Black Belt.
What is the order of belt ranks?
White, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Green, Blue, Red, Red 1st (Brown), Red 2nd (Candidate) and then Black.
What is belt/rank testing?
When the student has completed the time and materials training requirements, the next step is to test to advance to the next rank, i.e. Belt Color. As in any educational institution, the instructors know when a student is ready to move forward. Please trust the instructor’s judgment on this. The testings are open to family and friends to attend and watch. The student will perform the required techniques through forms, sparring, and board breaking. It is normal for younger students with lower ranks to require some assistance from instructors during their exam. Middle rank belts and older students will require little to no assistance. Red Belt and above regardless of age will receive no assistance during testing.
Can a student fail at a belt testing?
No. If the student continues to learn and persevere, failure to obtain a belt rank the first time cannot be viewed as a failure. Before each color belt testing, the instructor will review the techniques of the student and give a recommendation as to whether the student is prepared to test. The student must demonstrate each of the required techniques on testing day in order to move forward to the next rank. Make-up tests can be offered at the discretion of the instructor or the student can test at the next scheduled color belt testing. In life it is sometimes important to fall down so that we can learn how to pick ourselves back up.
Is it required for the student to test?
No. Sometimes students are simply not ready to test for a variety of reasons. Every individual student will process the information differently. In some cases, parents are not ready for their students to test. However, testing is an important part of the student’s growth and we recommend that testing be used as a goal setting tool to encourage the student. It is not uncommon for students to advance through the lower ranks at a different rate than other students.
Are students required to compete in tournaments?
It is not required to participate in tournaments. We do however; highly recommend that students at least participate in the occasional In-House tournaments to allow them to perfect the skills they have worked so hard to learn. Competition environments have a tendency to bring out the best in students.
Can someone compete at the local, state and national levels?
Absolutely! Competition is a great way to test the skills and knowledge obtained through training in a controlled environment. In-house tournaments are held regularly for this purpose. From there, state tournaments held at other schools and venues allow for the student to test their abilities against unknown opponents. If the student’s goal is to continue their growth and skills beyond that point or even to reach for Olympic dreams, national and even international events would be the next step. Please talk with your instructor about these goals so that an appropriate training program can be applied.
What are the competition ranks?
To simplify the ranking system with different schools for the purpose of competition, the World Tae Kwon Do Federation has established the different rank criteria into the following categories: Purple and below compete as Yellow belts. Green Belts compete as Green Belts, Blue competes as Blue Belts, Red-Candidate compete as Red and all Black Belts compete simply as Black Belts.
Still Have Questions? e-mail: PrimalMartialArts@yahoo.com