5th Dan Test

Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by Matt, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Matt

    Matt Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I am just about a year and a half out from my 5th dan test. I am curious to see what others have been asked to do for their 5th dan test and if anyone has any tips and tricks to prepare both physically and mentally.
  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I've never been asked to do anything for a dan grade since the 1st Dan test. Self sufficiency is a prerequisite, it seems.

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  3. Matt

    Matt Member

    You have never been asked to show anything? Is the belt just given to you? No formal exam at all?
  4. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    There is a grading exam, yes. The minimum requirements set out are those of Kukkiwon, the expectation is far beyond that. It is up to the candidate(s) to present what they know and can do beyond 1st dan. The examiner just gives the necessary commands for each discipline.

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  5. Matt

    Matt Member

    Understood, I am also tested beyond the Kukkiwon grading requirements.
  6. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    I have to say that sounds like a very good grading system.... I have come across quite a number of different approaches to exams in my time, but this seems interesting.

    If i may ask some questions,

    Are there forms that you are required to know, for each grade.

    Is the system in place to let everyone grade to their own standard? By this i mean older black belts have room to show technical ability of less flashy kicks, while the younger one maybe are expected to show a little more flamboyance

    Is there line work for basic techniques or are they done in a more open shadow boxing style?

    If you prefer not to answer I completely understand.
  7. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Candidates are required to know the Kukkiwon Poomsae up to and including the grade they are examined for.

    Everyone must fulfil the minimum requirement set out by Kukkiwon. Beyond that, the expectation is specialism and self motivation. Everybody brings something to the table. Performance across all disciplines must meet the minimum, with strengths in specialist areas and no weak disciplines below the standard. Yes, the expectations are different depending on age and physical ability. Where a candidate is limited in one discipline for reasons out of their control, there should be a clear counterbalance in others.

    Basic techniques are performed in all disciplines, and in isolation. There is plenty of opportunity to show basic technique in free format and in more formal drilling.

    Example: discipline command "footwork". It's up to the candidate to demonstrate what they know.

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  8. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    The idea is that by the time someone is testing for a dan grade, they alreay have 9 gradings behind them. They know how it works and should be able to demonstrate knowledge and ability in each discipline without being spoon fed. This encourages independent learning and responsibility for one's own performance in training.

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  9. Matt

    Matt Member

    While I like the theory behind this way of testing I do not fully understand it. Does this lead to not all people of the same rank knowing the same material? Multiple people testing for a 3rd dan could do a very different test from each other and all still pass
  10. Matt

    Matt Member

    I will be required to show the ITF black belt patterns up through what my school teaches for fourth dan. I will also be asked to demonstrate the first four WT patterns. There is some variance as to what each age group shows. I would agree that sometimes my master has younger groups show "flashier" techniques and the older groups are based more on technical correctness. All of us will be asked to demonstrate basic hands and foot techniques as well as advanced hand and foot techniques that our school teaches at each rank. I will also be asked to spar, perform self-defense and break boards or bricks.
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    While I like the theory behind this way of testing I do not fully understand it. Does this lead to not all people of the same rank knowing the same material?

    Yes and no. They all know the required material, and have responsibility for presenting it. They also have some areas of specialism over and above those requirements.

    Multiple people testing for a 3rd dan could do a very different test from each other and all still pass

    Yes. That's the idea. We are trying to produce competent black belts with good all round understanding and specialism who have responsibility for their own learning and performance, rather than having them learn prescribed techniques and forms, risking them overlooking the underlying principles. It works.

    It also encourages looking outside of one's comfort zone, and means that black belts have material to share and exchange rather than living in a technical vacuum determined by rank.

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    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  12. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Another grading related question. Do you believe that gradings, especially dan level, should require extra practice over and above what is done in training?

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  13. Matt

    Matt Member

    I would say yes. I always encourage my students to practice and to practice more as they reach the higher levels. I think that practicing outside of formal training allows you to slow down and really focus on body mechanics of everything you are doing.
  14. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I would agree, but it seems from experience that not everyone is of our opinion.

    Some people seem to believe that training in class should be enough. That irks me, as I don't understand the rationale when it's about being the best you can be.

    I guess people have lives and stuff. I dunno.

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  15. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    My two eldest sons are taking their fist dans in the summer, they have to do a huge amount of extra training. after their classes, then another training day Sundays. every day 3 or 4 times all their taegueks, from Il jang to Koryo, plus cardio, strength. they have already taken a pre dan grading, (Danfortræning) lasting two days, to see if they were even good enough to go for the grading. They are also training with 2nd to 5th dans (also do the Danfortræning) taking their next belts. So in our club it is expected that you do a lot more training, as a couple of lessons a week is not enough. Like the wording on my old school report "can do better"


    Unfortunately for me My grading days have seemed to come to an end. Our GM wont make any concessions for "older" students and expects everyone to do the same. This old body (nearly 60 ) cannot do that any more.
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    As I would expect!

    This is a shame. What can't you do?

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  17. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    If we divide the grading into 10 parts, I am fine with 75%. I am expected to kick to head height, on a good day I can get to high chest level, but mainly with front and back kicks, r.house and side kick are a problem as my hips wont let me. low chest level is about the maximum, that is also with me dropping my knee, and turning my hips more, if I dont do this the pain is really bad. I've been to a physio and he basically said there isnt much he can do. So that's one part I'm not good at, the next is spinning and jump kicks, basically the same as the "normal kicks" spinning back kick is ok, but once I start to jump and spin, forget it, far to much pain, technique goes out of the window. Our pre dan training, is going to be a huge obstacle, 2 days of it, its designed for young people, who can recover very quickly, if I train in a normal class harder than normal it can take me a week to recover, and that's only for two hours. 8 hours on the first day, then 4 on the next, the second day is fighting and self defence. I am as stubborn as a mule, would I give it a go, yes, in my mind its worth it, but honestly I know my body wouldn't be able to take that type of punishment, over that period of time. My instructor and I are going to talk to our main instructor, and try to persuade him to let me do the pre grading over a few weeks, thus giving my body time to recover. Many years ago I got my 1st dan in Taekwondo, at a club level, so not really recognised, I have BB in 3 different martial arts up to 3rd dan. When I started TKD I began again at white belt. I am certainly not ready to hang up my Dobok, I love it, and have 3 children that also love it.
  18. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Hiw old is the main instructor? This sounds like a pretty unreasonable attitute if he want people to be able to continue training beyond 40.

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  19. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    He is about 70 give or take. My instructor and I talked to him. my instructor argued the fact that if I had been in a wheel chair, blind, or some other disability he is breaking the law, ( I didn't see that one coming), after a few minutes of a very uncomfortable silence, he said that he wanted us to draw up a grading plan, I can do the grading over a period of time, but no more than three months, starting with the theory (just a bunch of questions), Once that is passed, then I can start the physical side. I can do it in any order I like. Kicks do not have to be head height.

    I hope that this will open the gate to other people that find doing the weekend course/test, physically too demanding because of a physical reason, may find it an easier path.

    I dont want the grading to be easy, it shouldn't be, it should test your abilities, but also your knowledge, and experience. I dont think a one size fits all attitude is correct.
  20. Matt

    Matt Member

    I personally do not see the need to athletic abilities to be tested. I understand that clearly one should be able to demonstrate techniques to a certain point. But, I also understand that eventually I will be older and not able to perform everything as well as I currently do. I know many wonderful older instructors and practitioners that are not fully able to perform techniques. However, theur understanding of theory and body mechanics allows them to teach others and share their knowledge. Some aspect of understanding the techniques is being able to understand and teach not just being able to perform.
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