One major problem we have in modern martial arts is the lack of True Masters and that is something that our club is dedicated towards changing.
Today there is the highest number of Taekwondo Masters worldwide ever. Nowadays holding a 5th or 6th Dan black belt is quite common place amongst Taekwondo clubs. In a world built on money it can be easy to achieve your so called "Master" grade and at a very young age as well. I have know students as young as 12 achieve this title.
Firstly let me define what a traditional Taekwondo Master was many years ago;
Your Taekwondo Master was your moral compass, they were there to guide you, not only on your martial arts journey but also in life if any problems arose. They had a philosophy that you followed loyally without question and often would only ever have one student to pass their knowledge onto. This made learning sacred and respected and in many ways mystical. You trusted your Master with your life and well being and in return they guided you past the pitfalls, like a parent. They tested you, they pushed you, they motivated you and bestowed their knowledge on you so that in turn you were capable of becoming a true master like themselves and passing this knowledge on so that it never died. The whole bond was built on respect and trust.
Modern Day: Unfortunately it is very rare to find a Master with these ideals in today's world. Even in Korea, where Taekwondo was developed, money, power, ego and Western ways have taken over. It is not uncommon to find "Master" Grades in their teens. How can a teenager or a young person with no life experience have the knowledge to help others? They can't. Wisdom and making good decisions comes with age and a Taekwondo Master is someone who has life experience as well as martial art experience.
Many have tried to put an age limit on going for Master grade but ultimately it is a Master's responsibility to judge when their students are mentally ready for their own Master grade at 4th Dan. If the standard of Master Grades is low, the standard of Taekwondo will be low. It is our responsibility to think back to the traditional days and Instructors need to remember the traditional values and the strong relationship between the Instructor and the student, then try and emulate that.
In Chung DO Kwan and under the guidance of Grand Master Kim Yong Ho, it is our aim to produce true Master Grades to pass on the correct traditional martial art ways into the next generation. #mudoacademy