Saturday, 8 September 2007

How long does it take to achieve a black belt in Taekwondo?

The length of time required to acheive the coveted 1st Dan Grade (Black Belt) is an oft talked about topic. Should it take a year, 5 years or 10 years. I really got thinking about this after reading and commenting on a post here and after talking to a couple of girls on holiday this year who'd achieved their first Dan grades within 3 years.

I've been training a long time, although I will be the first to admit my attendance is by no means the greatest. I always make at least one training session per week, try to get to two and on the odd week I make it to three. Realistically, a first Dan is AT LEAST another three years away from my grasp (and I am aware that I may not get it if I train for another 100 years!).

How long it should take should be irrelevant. It's a question of a number of factors which will be different for every student including fitness, talent, number of hours trained each week, commitment and probably many more aspects.

If a club tells you you WILL get a black belt in a given time, I would be cautious however short or long that time may be. This would indicate they simply "give away" belts in order to attract more grading fees. If you need a black belt and are prepared to pay for one, you can save time & money by just buying one - you can get them for about a fiver almost anywhere.

So what do I think?

Three years is too soon unless you are perhaps able to train 5 times a week.

There is no such thing as too long a time - not everyone will make it, but those who truly persevere will.



Blogger Colin Wee said...

That'll be three and a half on my current syllabus. But given that I've got a high tendency to fail students who don't cut the grade, that may stretch out longer. It doesn't matter. Earning a black belt is not as important as having black belt spirit. That's more important for my students. Each one should have a good understanding of how to mix it up when it comes time to. Good luck to all of us!


30 September 2007 14:14  
Blogger MARKS said...

It took me about 5 years of solid training (at least three times a week in the dojo and every other day at least an hour at home) to get my black belt in Karate. But i was lucky. I started at about 15 years of age and karate was all i did. Unfortunatly school college and my part time job came second! When i got my brown belt in karate i then started Judo, and because of a background in karate it was easy for me to develop an adequate skill in that. It took me again about 5 years to get my Dan grade in Judo. But its always about the training and never about the belt. The only problem is, its very hard to understand that untill you get your black belt.

05 October 2007 09:07  
OpenID TLL230 said...

I am from the US but currently living and training in TKD in South Korea. We train 5 days a week for at least an hour or so. Most people will get their black belt in about one year.

27 January 2008 11:05  
Anonymous tkdfan said...

I train with the ATA, 4 times a week and it took me 3 years to get my 1st degree.

05 December 2008 18:04  

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