level of blackbelts

Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by james driscoll, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. TangoTom

    TangoTom New Member

    cherry picking a quote here, but I really don't get the whole kihap thing, well I do, it serves to exhale and thus require an inhalation of fresh air, but it annoys me no end that "I don't shout/kihap" loud enough, that's the feedback anyway, you're not shouting, and then the corrective action is given whatever that may be at the time usually pushups, thing is I do exhale, but more like a boxer, the "essh essh" work for me, I out fitness most students at my club, but being an anxiety prone introvert and being marked down because I don't shout... nah not on...
    Foggy likes this.
  2. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Well thats the thing, the loud kiap is partly about confidence and assertiveness. Noone has a quiet war cry. Learning to speak with a strong assertive voice is one of the key parts of self defense, and a loud kiap is kind of similar.
    Keigo and Master Fahy like this.
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    It's part of Taekwondo, accept it or accept the criticism and down marking. Continuing with a Kickbox / MT style 'eshh eshh' just tells your instructor that you don't believe in what he or she is teaching you.

    The same applies to beginners who think they know better than the instructor regarding self defence, pattern applications etc.

    A kihap is much more than just exhalation.
    Keigo and Master Fahy like this.
  4. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    One thing I note to our club.

    It is hard to kihop loudly and punch softly.
    It is hard to puch hard and kihop softly.
    Keigo, Master Fahy and Foggy like this.
  5. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    Like the others have said above..."the kihap is a lot more than just a yell or exhale!" The spirit yell (kihap) comes from bokboo (stomach area where your KI is generated from) and dahnjun (the center of your KI, located two to three inches below your navel). Your spirit yell (kihap) helps to increase concentration and relieve apprehension or shyness when learning self-defense. In actual self-defense situation it can catch an opponent off guard and provide a psychological lift for you. During your training time, it helps to improve clarity and volume of your voice as well as being beneficial to your respiratory tract. A scream or yell is a natural response of your inner spirit. So when a martial artist yells, it's an amplification of their spirit. When a soldier runs or charges at the enemy, he yells loud...right! I've never heard a soldier go essh essh, have you? Master Fahy
    Keigo likes this.
  6. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    I use the Hollywood variation... (but his square knot looks a little different than mine?)

  7. Foggy

    Foggy Active Member

    In response to your Soldier comment, your correct.

    Having charged a position to escape an ambush and having done something very personal I am not going to go into detail on I yelled like a Viking both times.

    Part terror, part adrenaline an a whole lot of anger and aggression.
    Master Fahy likes this.
  8. Keigo

    Keigo Member

    Hi waz, being an introvert myself, I understand where you're coming from, I used to feel awkward and shy about kihap-ing loudly too. But I have to agree with what the above posters have said, the kihap is really more than just an exhale to help you hit harder, there really is a psychological/mental side to it which I have noticed myself. Just a couple of examples:

    1) Doing speed kicking drills for 2 mins non-stop - I start to gas out about 45 secs in :p I think we can all relate to that feeling of "I can't go on anymore.. my legs are too heavy, and there's still another whole minute to go, I can't do this!!". You start to lose that determination and perseverance, that "spirit", and you just wanna give up. But that's when you got to really dig deep, and I find that doing loud kihaps really helps to push yourself to keep going. It's a kind of cycle really - because you are pushing yourself, and just think of putting in every last ounce of energy you have left in you in every kick, you will just kihap loudly naturally (kind of like how some tennis players make a "uuuuaargh" when they hit the ball). And just as you feel you have used up everything that's left in you for that last kick, the loud kihap feeds you the motivation to somehow find more strength to continue with the next kick and so on.

    2) Sparring - my first competition, I was really really nervous and tense, my mind was all blank, I was panicking already before the match even started. But I remembered what my instructor told me: "shout loudly so you won't feel so nervous". As soon as the referee gave the command to start, I kihap-ed as loudly as I could. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it totally chased away the nerves, but I felt much much more ready to go at it. My instructor is always reminding me that in competition, you have to go at the opponent like you're going to kill them. I know he doesn't mean it literally, and to still stay within the boundries of sportsmanship, but sometimes I'm too "nice", the kind who would stop and apologise profusely if I accidentally stepped on their foot or kicked their hand lol. So the loud kihap at the start also has a symbolic meaning to me - to remind myself that I am now sparring, not training or doing drills with a partner, no more nice gal.

    So give it a try waz, and I'm sure you will start the feel the difference for yourself. It will feel awkward initially, but don't dwell on it, just think of doing your best and giving it everything you got, and you will get over it eventually. Now when I get partnered with newbies, and I notice that they feel awkward shouting, I will kihap along with them when they kick (even though I may be just holding the paddle for them and not doing any kicking myself).
  9. TangoTom

    TangoTom New Member

    Thanks Keigo, actual useful advise, though I'm not scared of sparring, guess cos I'm a big fella, first time on the matt I couldn't wait to get going, wasn't the best match in the world but I won.. twice :) I guess the issue lies in sometimes being the only adult in a Dojang full of kids and noticing even the senior belts (that are way younger) and black belt (a young adult) Ki-hap somewhat quietly, so I assume that is sufficient, I am in the military and trust me I can yell when I have too..
  10. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    waz, I think everyone has been there, partly the feeling that if you get it wrong all eyes will be looking at you. I watch my young son 6 in his lesson and they will Ki-hap with pride, ("gay abandon" probably cannot use that these days) at every opportunity. then my older sons lesson, again they have no worries about Ki-hap some get the timing wrong and they are the only ones, but no one is laughed at, so even beginners learn to feel comfortable with it.

    I was probably the only one who had issues with it, coming from a number of years in other styles, we used to Ki-hap but in more moderation, different styles different ways, :rolleyes: I still get it wrong. As you say, people find their own balance, between loudness and effectiveness.

    When I spar with my youngest, (sometimes I join his lesson) he gives it all he has got, and so do his class mates, 5,6,and 7 year olds, giving it all they have, its a very noisy affair, I remember one little girl, about 6 who out of the class would not talk to anyone, she was quiet and nervous, but definitely made up for it in the class.

  11. Rugratzz

    Rugratzz Active Member

    Have to ask what's the Hollywood variation? the only thing i can find is its used for tying a scarf?

    Square knot is the same as a reef knot, left over right and under right over left. the only differences I have found is if you want your belt to be a single width all around or you have the cross at the back, I used to have the cross over at the back, but my TKD club do it the other way, single width.

  12. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    First yes, second no.
    Rugratzz likes this.
  13. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    What does being a Black Belt mean to you? Or for those still on the journey to achieve it, why do you want to become a Black Belt? Everyone will give a different answer to these questions because every ones journey is different. We all must achieve the same basic requirements, but our struggle is as different as the individuals themselves. If everyone’s journey is different and everyone’s perception of what a Black Belt really is then how can we describe it? It is often much easier to compare it to what it is not. You don’t have to look far on the Internet these days to find forums and bulletin boards that talk about martial arts. Often the people talk about having the ability to do tricks or fight multiple opponents. Often there is criticism towards children or elderly Black Belts, usually in reference to their physical capability. Does being a Black Belt automatically mean that you can do flying kicks or fight any opponent? Of course not. Unfortunately these days, Black Belts are viewed almost with a mystical superhuman quality. Most likely due to the influence of movies of men and women doing these fantastic stunts. How many Black Belts out there can honestly say that they can fight multiple opponents and expect to win? Now of those Black Belts, how many can say that they can take on a 250 pound man who has your young child? No amount of flying kicks and tricks will help you. Being a Black Belt has much more to do with maturity, intuition and discipline rather than physical ability.

    A student who begins studying as a white belt is considered a beginner with no prior learning. They will begin with the basic fundamentals and gradually climb the ranks through a structured training program. Each new rank means new techniques and harder grading requirements, each of which the student is tested on. All ranks up until you have achieved Black Belt are structured. General class time is spent specifically on the necessary requirements up until Black Belt. After that it’s up to the Black Belt to take on their own self directed learning. Becoming a Black Belt is a new beginning. You have learned the basics and now you are ready to start your real training. Master Fahy
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
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  14. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    In the broadest sense, I understand black belt signifies a level of mental and physical discipline, and not much else.

    It's about realising the power of your mind in influencing and interacting with your body and environment.

    Beyond black belt it then comes down to how the individual chooses to use that power - you will get good at what you want to get good at. It's not the specific activities that you choose that matter, but the mental fortitude that it takes to make your dreams into reality. That is what makes a black belt.

    That is why a person who is a master of demonstration breaking is just as worthy of black belt as someone who uses their art for self protection every day IMO. Both those choices require the same level of mental fortitude in order to reach the imagined goal.

    Black belt is deciding what you want and never stopping working towards perfection in achieving it.
  15. Chris J

    Chris J Active Member

    This video....useless for tying a belt for a TKD student. This guy is BJJ, not TKD, no crossover at the back. In any case traditional TKD uses a single wrap, the significance is one technique to finish, one wrap to tie a belt (I forget the rest) but I'll have a more in depth explanation after next week.
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I'd be interested to hear more. I have both types of belt, single and double wrap, and I always believed the single wrap was a sportfighter's convenience.

    I tend to wear the double wrap as I prefer it. Definitely no crossover at the back though, that looks like a sack of potatoes.

    I also have a different understanding of the significance of the belt.
    John Hulslander likes this.
  17. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    as i remember it the once wrapped belt is to signify:

    One technique to fiish a fight
    to follow one goal
    to serve one master.

    or at least thats how i remember it. However, I think that it is over complicating a fairly basic subject, possible it was another thing that was changed to be different from karate/japanese styles and then someone went back and applied some sort of meaning to it
    Chris J and Gnarlie like this.
  18. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    when i teach I turn kihaping in to a competition, to get the kids going. they face off with each other and take turns in trying to out kihap.

    sounds silly, but if you treat/teach kihap as more than just a shout then it has a big effect on the class. especially and adult class
  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    From a realistic modern self defence point of view, is relying on a single technique not somewhat unwise?

    I understood the circle of the belt (regardless of whether single or double wrap) to be a representation of the monism of Korean philosophy - much like the circular shape of the Taegeuk symbol on the South Korean flag.

    The circle is also in keeping with the Yeokhak principles of Won (circle or dot), Bang (Square or straight horizontal line) and Gak (Triangle or straight vertical line), all of which feature in the design of the Dobok and every movement, stance and technique of Taekwondo.

    These principles can also be applied to the Korean Hanbok (traditional Korean garment) which also features a belt.
  20. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    One of the core philosophies of our class is that Ilkyuk. The concept that you should be able to dispatch your opponent with a single attack.

    This isn't just a single punch, a single kick, just a single attack. The idea is that you should approach a task with the mindset that you successfully complete it the first time whether that be in a fight, or whether it is your homework at school, your chores at home.

    The example I always give is landing a plane. You want to get it right the first time, because you may not get a second.
    Chris J likes this.

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