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Discussion in 'The Dojang' started by GreywulfTKD, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. GreywulfTKD

    GreywulfTKD Member

    Hi everybody, my name is Josh. I've been studying Taekwondo for over 12 years now and currently hold the rank of 3rd dan. I started in the ATA and studied that for five years, then went on to study other martial arts for a long time, yet kept practicing my Songahm Taekwondo forms and kicks alongside. Eventually I met a friend who knew WTF/Kukkiwon style Taekwondo. That's what I've practiced since. I plan to test for 4th dan soon.

    (An aside: I'm looking to get Kukkiwon rank if anyone here is willing to help me with that. I can film myself doing all the forms, one steps, etc. PM me if you'd like to help me.)
  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Welcome Josh. Wow, that's relatively quick getting to 3rd Dan, and even quicker getting to 4th. Are you in a hurry to get there?

    I think you'll struggle to find someone to grade you via video. Master Woo (see Youtube) does offer such a service but I strongly suspect that there are criteria not mentioned on his homepage. Another avenue to investigate when coming into Kukki TKD from another organisation is to seek out a Kukkiwon Special Testing, where they allow people with the requisite number of years training to skip dan grades when they meet specific criteria. You would have to be willing to travel quite far and take a physical test in front of a Kukkiwon panel.

    Your other option, and in my opinion the best option, is to find a high ranking Kukkiwon instructor, preferably with close ties to the Kukkiwon, and train with them far a minimum of one year. Demonstrate that you are willing to learn, and after that time talk to them about your options. This option takes longer, but is more likely to be successful in the long term, and you are more likely to fully learn what Kukki TKD is about than if you just pay for a test and the papers.

    Just some thoughts.
  3. GreywulfTKD

    GreywulfTKD Member

    Not at all. I've been 3rd dan for something like 7 years now. Come 2014 I'll have 13 years training Taekwondo whether in school or by myself.

    I've spent 50 hours and counting training with a Korean Kukkiwon certified 7th dan. Before that I did a lot of correspondence training with a Kukkiwon certified 3rd dan. I also did a 5 hours Olympic sparring seminar host by the AAU, which is suppose to approximate WTF standards.
  4. Anthony Hayward

    Anthony Hayward Active Member

    Wow Josh.. I must say.. I don't know how anyone can get to the rank of 3rd degree in the space of 6 years.. not even under full time training in Korea... and why would you want to for that matter..

    I have been training in TKD and only TKD for the past 20 years and I am only a 3rd degree...
    You say you have been training for 13 years all up and have been a third degree for 7 years... This is not possible with a certified or professional organisation.. I think you will struggle to get Kukkiwon certification for this..
  5. GreywulfTKD

    GreywulfTKD Member

    There is no minimum time required before testing for 1st dan in the Kukkiwon. One year later you can test for second. Two years later you test for 3rd. 3 years after 3rd you can test for 4th. It is possible with the ATA (they test too fast), and it's quite easily possible through Kukkiwon, too. The friend who taught me WTF style has been studying for longer than I, but he has neglected to test on time. If he tested on time per Kukkiwon standards, he would be 5th dan now. It is also possible through USAT-MAC and AAU, the latter of which is a special member of the Kukkiwon.

    Assuming I had spent 3 years gaining 1st dan (the average in WTF schools according to several students I've spoken with) and that I tested on time every time, after over 12 years of practice, I ought to be 5th dan sometime next year if it was my 13th year of training. Again, assuming you did average 3 years for 1st dan and always tested on time, you could conceivably be 3rd dan by the end of the 6th year. Testing climate here in America is very quick. According to my employer, it is similar in Korea. He said kids who come and train all day are able to get their 1st dans in little over a year because they spend so many hours everyday, every week, training Taekwondo.

    Personally I'm conservative about rank and think it ought to be given out more slowly. However, if someone has the requisite skill, it should not be withheld. That's my philosophy. If the judges at the AAU testing think I should have 4th, then so be it. If not, I'll train harder and wait another year.

    I was granted 3rd dan earlier than I was supposed to get it in the ATA. My certificate says April 2005. That's 7 years. I think that's quite enough time to make up for fast promotion and grow into my rank properly.

    The kukkiwon time-in-rank requirements are listed here:
  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Those are minimum time in grade requirements.

    If you're training with a Kukkiwon certified 7th Dan, that person can test and certify you, but you will be beholden to the minimum time in grade requirements. Why do you need a shortcut? Just use your current Dan grade and test every time you meet the minimum time in grade requirement (assuming this teacher believes you have the requisite skills too).
  7. GreywulfTKD

    GreywulfTKD Member

    I know they are minimum. I don't need a shortcut nor am I looking for one. If I have to start over at 1st dan kukkiwon so be it. I just want to be kukkiwon rank certified rather than ATA. AAU TKD does accept my ATA rank and I will be testing for 4th under them using the Taeguk forms.

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