I have been asked many, many times over the course of my career as an instructor ,why do students need to take a formal test in order to advance in rank? I understand the reason for this question. You taught me the material so you know that I know it from working with me in class. Why require me to take a formal test in order to show your that I know the material?Some martial arts do not require a formal test. A student is awarded new rank in class when the instructor deems it is appropriate. I have friends who study judo and they are awarded rank in this fashion. But, they are also required to compete in tournaments and competitions in order to be considered eligible to advance. So if we look at this more closely, the common element is this...placing a student in an environment different then regular class instruction. Testing, like tournaments, places student in a more “pressure filled environment” This environment allows students to perform and demonstrate the techniques they have learned in a more “do or die” , “this one counts” or “game day mentality”. This is important!
Can I perform under pressure? Many of us like to think we can. But unless you place yourself outside of your comfort zone you will never truly know.
The success and failures of testing are part of the TaeKwonDo journey. Learning to “get up” after falling down. Learning to prepare oneself for a special event which is something will will need to do our entire life. Preparing for SATs, a job interview, etc.. is no different then preparing for a martial arts test. You must be disciplined, hard working and able to handle the pressure in order to succeed. The more experience we have at this the better we become.
So in the end testing is an important part of a students TaeKwonDo journey. Train hard, remained disciplined and you will discover a great deal about yourself. I look forward to seeing you on the mat.