Tag Archives: korean martial arts

How Long Does It Take To Become a Black Belt?

Students Ask, How Long Does it Take to Become a Black Belt?

The question, “How long does it take to become a black belt,’ is a good one. It is a valid question in any martial art, be it karate or aikido or taekwondo, or whatever. Here are some interesting facts I put together in answer to this question.

how long does it take to get a black beltThe United States army takes Joe Ordinary and makes him a soldier within two months. Two more months and Joe can be trained to be a technically trained specialist in a vast variety of fields. In addition to basic and rudimentary hand to hand combat training, the US military has extensive programs, applicable to the battlefield, and they don’t take decades to do.

The question of how long does it take to become a black belt apparently didn’t occur to Chuck Norris, and didn’t bother Korean Martial Arts Masters. While in the army he took Tang Soo Do classes in Korea. He earned his black belt in a year and a half.

One of the best tournament fighters ever, a fellow name of Mike Stone, didn’t bother asking this question either. He trained hard and long. He earned his black belt in six months.

One of my favorites for ignoring the question of how long does it take to become a black belt is Joe Lewis. Joe Lewis made black belt in a year. Actually, he earned black belts in three different styles in under a year.

The idea of taking four years or more to earn a black belt actually came to us within the last few decades. It was begun by Chinese Kenpo instructors who structured the art around automobile sales contracts. Before then it took a couple of years at most.

The whole idea of a belt system actually is relatively new to the martial arts. Belt systems were started by Jigaro Kano, the founder of Judo. He lifted the idea from a classification system for swimmers.

The above all being said, when you ask the Martial Arts instructor you are thinking about taking lessons from how long it takes, don’t think less of him if he has bought into this idea. Just throw yourself into your studies and get where you are going faster because you try harder. Education, hard work, a dedicated attitude, that is the real answer to how long it takes to become a black belt.

earn a black belt

The History Of Taekwondo: What Goes Around Comes Around

The history of Taekwondo is generally thought of as short, merely back to mid last century. This, in fact, is not the case. The history of Taekwondo stretches not just through the millenniums, but through the various martial arts that have come to Korea through the ages.

taekwondo historyA couple of thousand years ago, when Korea was still three different kingdoms, young men were selected for special training in warfare. This training consisted of all aspects of training for combat, including archery, equestrian arts, military strategy, and so on. These men were the top of line, selected because of their fantastic athletic and mental abilities.

These young warriors were called the Hwarang, and they specialized in a martial art called Subak. The various styles of Subak were combined to give high training in footwork and fistwork. The most popular of the Subak arts was called taekkyeon.

During the middle ages martial arts training faded. This was because of the influence of Chinese Confucianism. The thrust of society was more towards manners, learning how to be polite and get along, and the practice of the martial arts was more confined to backyards.

Then World War Two arrived, along with the Japanese influence. The Japanese stamped out anything resembling Korean culture, and any traces of Taekyyeon or Subak were ruthlessly suppressed. While this was cruel and oppressive, there was a bright side, for the Japanese introduced their own martial arts to Korea.

Koreans accepted the hard core concepts of Karate joyously. The martial arts grew, and were manifest in the nine Kwans, or houses. After the war, the nine kwans were brought together under the Taekwondo banner.

Still, the Koreans wanted their own cultural identity, and the Japanese forms, and even the accompanying Chinese influences, were pushed aside in favor of new forms. These new forms, though lacking in power, were easier to teach, and taekwondo began to be exported to the rest of the world. Currently, Taekwondo is one of the most popular martial arts in the world, being taught in over 123 countries with over 30 million practitioners.

The final step in this history of Taekwondo is beginning. Koreans are beginning to search for the power and beauty of their original arts, and even appraising the heavy duty influences of the Japanese inspired kwans. Ultimately, the Korean martial art of taekwondo will reabsorb the power of the Japanese forms, the unique concepts of the Chinese arts, and create a link with the original Subak arts that were taught so long ago.

If you are a student of Taekwondo History, you will want to mouse over over to Monster Martial Arts. You can get three complete arts for the price of one, including the Kang Duk Won, which was one of the original Kwans,