Earn your Black belt in 12 months……
And while you are at it, why not study on line and secure your law degree, medical diploma or pilot’s license?
You think I am kidding?
Unfortunately, there are many schools in the US that promote students to Black belt with a minimum number of months regardless of age or maturity.
(The photo to the left was taken from an actual website offering an accelerated on-line training program.)
While I do think there are a few circumstances where a 24 year old adult who trains nearly every day and practices hours outside of the dojo might be worthy of a Black belt in 12 months, that is the exception, NOT the rule.
Especially with on-line training.
Unfortunately, fast track promoting is all too common in the martial arts, particularly Tae Kwon Do. I know local Tae Kwon Do schools in Columbia that have promoted 9 year old’s to 3rd degree Black belt.
Now you tell me, if you think the average 9 year old is worthy of a 1st degree black belt, let alone a 3rd degree?
Those of us that have participated in the martial arts industry for many years, refer to these kind of schools as McDojo’s.
Why do schools promote so rapidly?
Honestly, schools promote this fast because they are focused on keeping their students motivated the longest in order to extract the most amount of money out of them in the relatively short period of time they will train.
You ask why?
Because this generation of children tends to bounce around from one activity to another without really committing and achieving the goals they originally set out to achieve. I know this is harsh, but we are raising a generation of quitters. As soon as students realize earning a Black belt is work, they suddenly get bored. When in reality, it is almost never boredom, but rather anxiety that leads them to want to quit.
As students advance in rank, they are expected to know more, be more fit, execute their techniques at a higher level and demonstrate a higher level of Black belt behavior.
Instead of embracing this challenge, many students shrink from it and tell their parents they want to quit.
And many parents (not all) allow their child to quit because they don’t want to “make their child do something if they don’t want to”.
Of course, with all due respect, this is a false argument because we make our children brush their teeth every day because we know it’s good for them. Yes?
We make them go to school because we know it’s good for them. Yes?
Why don’t we make them go to karate when we know it’s good for them?
Especially when the parent a month earlier was remarking what positive changes they have witnessed in their child as a result of training at SKS?
Are you catching my point?
McDojo schools figure it will only be a matter of time before the student quits and they want to get everything they can out of them.
Listen, I get it.
As soon as students start to slow down in rank advancement, it is much more challenging to keep that student motivated. Heck, who wouldn’t want 3 black belts in 5 years…….
Except they are NOT real Black belts.
The choice is yours……
Train, practice and work hard to achieve something that less than 1% of the population earns……
Or attend the fake school down the street that hands out belts and certificates to the family that pays the quickest.
At SKS it takes 4 years on average for an adult to achieve the rank of Black belt and children take even longer.
And while I know I have lost students of the result of this timeline, I can proudly say the students who have achieved the rank of Black belt under my instruction have worked hard, demonstrated their worthiness and earned it.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for 5 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.