If you go into just about any dojang (place of training in Korean) you will find a variety of students. Regardless of their age, students will fall into one of these categories. Not every single person will be exactly as described but will definitely be a mixture of these categories.
Please note that just because someone is a new student to the academy does not necessarily mean they do not have years of experience and discipline from another style or art.
Types and stages.
New student- usually does not have any martial arts training and therefore doesn’t even know that they don’t know. They will have short term vision and commitment, they will say things like…I’m just here to lose a few pounds or get a little more flexible, but have not grasped the fact of the much larger picture of Tae Kwon-Do. Instructors must treat these students as fragile eggs and realize how easy that the trust they put in you as an instructor can be broken with just one negative comment or non thoughtful action.
Real World you might say things like..."I am just getting by.", "Every day seems to be a struggle." The truth is you are not aware of your own potential.
The warrior- these are serious students who are aware that they have room to grow in their technical area, train quite regularly and become aware how food and drink that they consume affect their progress. He or she knows what to do to improve, but is not yet disciplined long enough to always do what is necessary. Most don’t quite grasp the importance of meditation and regular practice of going into the silence.
Real World you might say things like..."Things need to change but what can I do." or "I feel like doing something but don't know what."
The disciple- my experience has been that this occurs between second and third degree black belt. Although I have seen students start this way, it is very rare. This student is totally dedicated to the instructor and art with utmost respect. They teach and spread the tenets of Tae Kwon-Do and also “walk the talk” meaning they listen, focus and are very competent in their techniques. These students understand and know the power of universal law. The second to third degree black belts are domestic instructors. Forth to sixth degree black belts are Chief international instructors and are recognized world wide as excellent instructors.
Real World At this stage you become aware of what you need to do in your life to have an impact on those people around you. You begin to feel more confident in your own ability to affect the people around you to make a positive change.
True Masters- these are very rare individuals who have dedicated a large part of their lives to the advancement of Tae Kwon-Do. They move thru their techniques with unconscious competence. They know universal law and use it to benefit others. These true masters have experience in all areas of TKD from the basics, self defense, mental skills curriculum, sparring and the highest levels of competition will be part of their history. You will know that you are learning from a true master when you meet his or her students. If the students are polite, friendly and without ego you are on your way to master Tae Kwon-Do.
Real World , these are the people we see around the community and we want to be like, because they always seem to be so positive and nothing rattles them
To relay this to our community, city, province, country and plant you might ask...What type of student/person am I? If every student/person in this academy(community) was just like me, what kind of academy(community) would this be?