Black Belt Certifications- Taekwondo and Hapkido
What you should know:
Many martial arts schools in the United States only issue school certification to black belts. While this may be meaningful to the student, because he or she worked so hard for his/her black belt rank, it doesn’t do much for the student, other than being recognized as a black belt by that particular school or chain of schools. If a student were to move to a different town, and look to start training with a new instructor, the student will be in a precarious situation with only a school certificate in hand. Yes, one of the very first questions asked by an instructor to a new transfer black belt student is, ‘Who was your instuctor?’ This question is very important, as the answer gives quite a bit of insight into the quality of training the student received. The next thing a transferring student will have to do is prove themselves as a qualified black belt on the mats. This is where the precarious situation comes in, especially for Taekwondo and Hapkido black belts. If the school new school is affiliated with a major governing body (association/federation), then the incoming black belt student will have to work to re-certify as black belt under the given governing body. So a 3rd, 4th, or 5th degree black belt would have to re-certify under the governing body as a 1st Degree.
Maximum Martial Arts Center does issue a school black belt certification with the Head Instructor’s signature to endorse the degree level of the black belt student, but also goes much further than that. We also issue qualified black belt students with Kukkiwon (Taekwondo) or World Kido Federation (Hapkido) certification.
Why are Kukkiwon and/or World Kido Federation Certifications Important?
Kukkiwon or the World Taekwondo Academy is the sole governing body for the issuance of Taekwondo black belts in Korea. The Korean government recognizes Kukkiwon as the Headquarters for all Taekwondo throughout the world. This means quite a bit. Without Kukkiwon certification, black belt students cannot compete as world class athletes, participating in international competitions, nor can they be recognized is qualified referees. While many students have no aspirations to be neither world class athletes nor international referees, there is a much more important aspect to Kukkiwon certification… It is universally recognized by Taekwondo schools throughout the world. This stops a student from being delayed in testing and black belt degree level qualification, provided that the student performs all things required from the new school.
For Hapkido there are three major bodies recognized by the government of Korea, which are: Korean Kido Association, Korean Hapkido Federation, and the World Kido Federation. All three governing bodies are highly respected and have many great grandmasters promoting each one. Maximum Martial Arts is happy to be recognized by the World Kido Federation, since it has put a focus on Hapkido not only in Korea, but outside as well. This means that there a many more schools across the United States under the World Kido Federation banner than any of the others. In essence, if any of our students must move, they will have an easier time finding a school recognized under the same body.
Both the Kukkiwon and World Kido Federation have a set of standards to ensure quality black belts throughout the world, and both are recognized not only by the government of Korea, but by the whole world. This is much more important than most people think, when it comes to martial arts. It can be compared to studying and receiving a degree from an accredited and esteemed university as opposed to a local school. Both will teach you skills necessary for your chosen job path, but only one will give you opportunities to go further or to have recognition at any other school.