He's 7, and he has a black belt

Full story: Evening Sun 118
At 7, Matthew Lee of Hanover is the youngest student at So's Taekwondo to ever earn the rank of black belt. Full Story
First Prev
of 6
Next Last
am in pa

New Columbia, PA

#1 Aug 4, 2008
I wouldn't want to have to tell that little tike to lay down for a nap or to eat his peas! One chop and he'd show you a thing or two!!! Congratulations Matthew - keep up the great work!
Living in WM

Harrisburg, PA

#2 Aug 4, 2008
Though it is nice to have your kids focused and learn martial arts, (mine did), I think 7 is too young to do this at this extent. This child will end up with shoulder problems and most likely knee and hip problems when he is a teen. I've seen this happen to their students when master so was alive.
fa q

New Gloucester, ME

#3 Aug 4, 2008
he could hold all the kids' milk money for them..
fa q

New Gloucester, ME

#4 Aug 4, 2008
... whether they want him to or not!
UNCLE TOM

Terra Ceia, FL

#5 Aug 4, 2008
Living in WM wrote:
Though it is nice to have your kids focused and learn martial arts,(mine did), I think 7 is too young to do this at this extent. This child will end up with shoulder problems and most likely knee and hip problems when he is a teen. I've seen this happen to their students when master so was alive.
--

Americans belts is made ONLINE in this country..
Or like lolly pop.....It means nothing....ahah!
By away for $ 3,00 you can buy one black belt every where in the supply martial arts.too cheap!
Jeremy

Milwaukee, WI

#6 Aug 4, 2008
What a joke. This just cheapens what so many have actually earned. I love these schools that just keep herding kids in and out and pumping dollars out of parents as they push kids through the ranks. I'm sure the kid is talented beyond the others his age, but he has not earned a black belt. A black belt is more than demonstrating techniques and breaking a board. A black belt is a state of mind and maturity a child does not yet possess.

No student at my academy can even test for a black belt while under 16. They may test for a junior black belt that is half red and half black. When they've reached the maturity level to match their skills then we test them to see if they are ready to join the ranks of the other black belts.

Giving away black belts to 7 year olds is nothing to be proud of.
MD dude

Westminster, MD

#7 Aug 4, 2008
Jeremy wrote:
Giving away black belts to 7 year olds is nothing to be proud of.
Especially in this day and age. this place is giving out black belts, other kids are being handed black guns. The only thing that belt will make is a good tourniquet.
UNCLE TOM

Terra Ceia, FL

#8 Aug 5, 2008
MD dude wrote:
<quoted text>
Especially in this day and age. this place is giving out black belts, other kids are being handed black guns. The only thing that belt will make is a good tourniquet.
--

The american way ? NO. Can you accept is messy or slopy way..Why stupidly you need incouraging the mess.????
Hick

New Freedom, PA

#10 Aug 5, 2008
Hey Uncle Tom, are you from West Virginia?
black belt

Philadelphia, PA

#11 Aug 5, 2008
I am happy for this child, he has accomplished something that a huge majority of our population does not. He should be proud of himself as his parets should be proud of him and themselves.

Congratulations to him:
for working hard
for your dedication
for learning respect
for the maturity you have gained (years beyond your piers)
for the strength you have acquired (mentally and physically)
for the discipline you have learned and show.

Kudos to your parents for taking time out of their lives to help you become a structured child that will hopefully continue into adulthood.

I hope you continue on this path you have chosen.
Media

Harrisburg, PA

#12 Aug 5, 2008
This article was linked by thebiglead.com earlier this morning in its roundup. Wow.

Keep it up, 7-year-old subject matter. In a couple of years ESPN might come calling.
Jeremy

United States

#13 Aug 5, 2008
black belt wrote:
I am happy for this child, he has accomplished something that a huge majority of our population does not.
Actually, nowadays it's pretty commonplace. I pass a dojo on my way home and I see dozens of tiny black belts running around. They pass them out like candy now. A 7 year old is not ready for the responsibility of being a black belt.
black belt wrote:
Congratulations to him:
for the maturity you have gained (years beyond your piers)
We'll see how long that holds up. I'm sure he is better behaved than most seven year olds but that does not equal maturity.
black belt wrote:
Congratulations to him:
for the strength you have acquired (mentally and physically)
This is why black belts should not be given to 7 year olds. They have not reached their mental and physical peaks yet. They should at least be in their adult bodies (14-16 years) before their given a black belt like this.
article wrote:
With nearly four years of Tae Kwon Do training behind him, Matthew Lee can kick, punch and spar with the best of them.
No he can't. I've seen some of the best taekwondo stylists and even trained my Herb Perez. This article is a joke.

I have no ill will towards this child, only the dojo that gave out this black belt and the media for reporting on it. I love the schools name, phone number and address at the end. It's simply and advertisement to draw in more young children and hand out belts.

Parents, guard you wallets carefully.
Name changed to protect

Harrisburg, PA

#14 Aug 5, 2008
I used to take my kids there. Then, their hunger for money got louder than their commitment to help. They used to give extra time to the kids when testing was near. Now, they charge for extra time. If your child decides to stop going, you will NOT get a refund.
When Brian left to open another studio, this one went downhill.
reply to Jeremy

Philadelphia, PA

#15 Aug 5, 2008
I am not trying to be rude and please do not take it that way but I do have a question for you.
You have posted that "No student at my academy can even test for a black belt while under 16", if you have a child start martial arts at the age of 3 and stick with it--what do they have to look forward to at different ages before 16? There are only so many belts and level of belts you can earn.
I am not saying that 7 is old enough for a black belt or that I agree with giving a black belt to a 7 year old ect.
but how would you handle a child doing it since the age of 3 till the age below 16?
UNCLE TOM

Tampa, FL

#16 Aug 5, 2008
am in pa wrote:
I wouldn't want to have to tell that little tike to lay down for a nap or to eat his peas! One chop and he'd show you a thing or two!!! Congratulations Matthew - keep up the great work!
--

For being realistic in that..chocolate belt ......ahahahahaha !
Homoguate this degree to the J.K.A. in Japan then we can talk about .
Jeremy

United States

#17 Aug 5, 2008
reply to Jeremy wrote:
I am not trying to be rude and please do not take it that way but I do have a question for you.
You have posted that "No student at my academy can even test for a black belt while under 16", if you have a child start martial arts at the age of 3 and stick with it--what do they have to look forward to at different ages before 16? There are only so many belts and level of belts you can earn.
I am not saying that 7 is old enough for a black belt or that I agree with giving a black belt to a 7 year old ect.
but how would you handle a child doing it since the age of 3 till the age below 16?
Excellent question. First off, I don't take 3 or 4 year olds in my classes.

I have have "basics" class for children ages 5-10. It's a weekly low cost 1/2 hour class that introduces the basics of taekwondo. No uniforms and no testings. The children use the semester to prepare for a parent demonstration at the end. The children that excel in that class can move on the the children's traditional class. The way we have our testings and waiting periods between testings, it would take a minimum of 3 years to reach the time they could even test for a black belt. Most students take an average of 3 or 5 years. Assuming that they started traditional training between the ages of 6 and 10, they would be testing for their black belt around age 9 to 15. I think the youngest student we've tested for junior black belt was 12.

That is the second part - any student under the age of 16 that meets the requirements: kicks, self-defense, forms, terminology for our black belt testing is made a junior black belt which is designated by being being half red/half black.

When they are 16 they retest (at no extra cost) for their permanent black belt. They must be able to hold their own with adult black belts, break a brick, have 100hrs of logged teaching experience and write a comprehensive essay on what TKD means to them.

The difference between black belt and junior black is clearly explained to the parents.

This keeps the kids involved and advancing. We just do it at a slower pace. I achieved my junior black belt and age 12. I asked and was given the chance to test for my permanent black belt at age 15. I would be willing to grant a student at 14 or 15 that was physically and mentally mature enough to test for permanent black belt.

I hope that answers your question. It's a different way of running a class. It may not be the best way and our school is not for everyone. We have had many students leave when they see their friends getting black belts faster.

I just try to do what is best by the student to keep them involved and excited while making sure they are getting as much knowledge as possible.

One advantage we have is our school is run through a local recreation department. Since they are basically covering what I would be paying in rent and insurance - our cost is very, very low. Students pay on average $15/mo and $10/testing. We have all the same equipment as a larger chain school. There is a stigma that such a studio cannot be as good because it is so cheap but that is not true. I hate mentioning trophies and other accolades as a measure of a good school (they are not), but are studio has sent dozens of students to the AAU TKD Nationals and Junior Olympics. Many of our students have medaled. You won't find those medals in our window but I only mention it because there are small affordable programs out there that are not all about the money.
Jeremy

United States

#18 Aug 5, 2008
reply to Jeremy wrote:
I am not trying to be rude and please do not take it that way but I do have a question for you.
You have posted that "No student at my academy can even test for a black belt while under 16", if you have a child start martial arts at the age of 3 and stick with it--what do they have to look forward to at different ages before 16? There are only so many belts and level of belts you can earn.

but how would you handle a child doing it since the age of 3 till the age below 16?
The other thing I forgot to mention is the importance of stressing that it's not the belts that are important. The journey is what's important.

Demonstrations, tournaments and junior leadership programs will keep young students interested.
am in pa

New Columbia, PA

#19 Aug 8, 2008
All these negative comments towards this childs achievements are the very reason so many kids don't strive for anything these days - everyone is much more eager to insult than congratulate! I hope none of these negative people have children and if you do, I feel for them because I'm sure they aren't encouraged to reach for goals. They are probably the ones out there causing trouble because they don't have parents that have any time for them. Can anyone spell or say SUPPORT anymore?? What a shame. Once again though - I congratulate this child for all the effort and committment he has put forth - great job and keep striving!
Wow

Dundalk, MD

#20 Aug 8, 2008
So's doing whatever it takes to get free advertising?

I'm shocked. Shock, I tell you!
Wow

Dundalk, MD

#21 Aug 8, 2008
am in pa wrote:
All these negative comments towards this childs achievements are the very reason so many kids don't strive for anything these days - everyone is much more eager to insult than congratulate! I hope none of these negative people have children and if you do, I feel for them because I'm sure they aren't encouraged to reach for goals. They are probably the ones out there causing trouble because they don't have parents that have any time for them. Can anyone spell or say SUPPORT anymore?? What a shame. Once again though - I congratulate this child for all the effort and committment he has put forth - great job and keep striving!
It is awesome that the kid has accomplished so much, but it is a fair question as to whether all this is in his best interest or is it just to make the people at the studio feel important and drum up more business from parents who need a way to occupy their time and have money to spend?

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 6
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Tae Kwon Do Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Wolverine Diaries Sep '14 Fan 1
Tae Kwon Do Instructor Accused Of Sexually Abus... (Oct '06) Sep '14 Soon Enough 80
On-line Taekwondo program to graduate in a Kore... (Apr '12) Sep '14 sarthak kataria 2
They know kung fu (Sep '09) Sep '14 HELLO 12
Master Jim Murray of Pottstown PA (Apr '08) Feb '14 mike dantelli 9
R.I.P. Grand Master Young Soo Do (Nov '07) Oct '13 TKDALUM 35
join us over at tkdalum.com (Oct '13) Oct '13 TKDALUM 1

Tae Kwon Do People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE