Every student that comes through these doors will receive a world-class martial arts education.
But, there are always those exceptional students who aim for more. More involvement, more training, more responsibility. For those students, we have set up various clubs and teams that they can join.
Joining a club or team requires an extra level of commitment of both time and effort. You will train harder and in different areas than most students. You will also enjoy certain benefits. Here is an overview of the various teams and clubs we have available:
Black Belt Club
Black Belt Club is made up of people that we like a lot, and who want more out of the school than normal. They are ready and willing to commit the time and hard work into becoming a black belt.
Industry magazines (that shall remain nameless) suggest that if you have a Black Belt Club you must be a “McDojo,” or that you’re somehow selling out.
That is, unfortunately, the case with other schools I have seen, where they charge an exorbitant amount of money to join a Black Belt Club, without much benefit. They also exclude people who don’t have access to that kind of money from becoming a black belt.
Our black belt club is completely different. In order to join our Black Belt Club, you have to meet the four following criteria, which we call “The Four Lists:”
- The “Good Guy” List
This is my list. It is made up of people that I love, and that I want to see in my school forever. It has nothing to do with kicks, punches, or anything martial arts-related at all.
- Nominated by a 3rd Degree or Higher Based on Your test
In a way, this is the opposite of the “Good Guy” list, in that it has nothing at all to do with what I think about you. If you do well on your test, and you are nominated by someone who is a 3rd degree Black Belt or higher, you’re on this list.
- Recommended by Staff
This list is a hybrid of the first two, and is usually the list that prevents students from meeting the requirements for Black Belt Club. People who go on this list have been recognized by staff or instructors based on their performance in class and on their test, and whether or not the person recognizing them likes them or not.
- Nominated by Someone Else in Black Belt Club
If someone from Black Belt Club nominates you, you go on this list, no questions asked.
When you make all four lists simultaneously, your name comes out of the computer on a letter. If you make three out of the four during one test cycle, then you unfortunately have to try again the next cycle.
We only let 8% of students into Black Belt Club per test cycle. So, if 100 people test, only eight will be asked to join.
The reason we do that is to allow us to keep the cost of the Black Belt Club down. It actually ends up being less than the cost of the regular membership. Members get discounts cards, extra training sessions, and a special black top that signifies their commitment to excellence and recognizes their Black Belt Club status.
Master’s Club is a continuation of the Black Belt Club. We want to know if a student plans to continue training once they have achieved black belt. Master’s club is a two-year membership, and like Black Belt Club, it is less expensive than a regular membership, and comes with added benefits: bigger discounts, more training sessions, and it will better prepare you to achieve your 2nd degree black belt.
There is an old saying: “when you teach once, you learn three times over.” Our Junior Leaders and D.E.L.T.A. teams are for those students who are interested in giving Tae Kwon-Do, not just receiving it. They’re interested in teaching. They love Tae Kwon-Do. They want to be here more. They are devoted to helping.
In the beginning, Junior Leaders start out as what we call “good finders.” We teach them to walk around and find good things about people, reasons to compliment them on their training.
As time goes on, they earn the ability to actually adjust people by talking to them about their form and suggest modifications. We train them on how to feel comfortable approaching anyone in the school, at any age, and communicating with them about their training.
D.E.L.T.A. Team. (Dedicated, Enthusiastic, Loyal, Teaching, Assistant) Team
D.E.L.T.A. team is composed of older students, usually age 16 and over. They are teaching alongside the instructors. Similar to the Junior Leaders, they are walking around helping, adjusting people as needed. This is to help them eventually become good instructors by the time they achieve black belt.
D.E.L.T.A. team members receive extra training on the side, and are entitled to certain benefits such as extra classes and special workouts.
Our Demo team is the cream of the crop. We don’t hold tryouts for the demo team. We just pick people we feel are worthy.
To join the demo team, you must already be a black belt, or a BoJoDi belt testing for black belt. It is a long-term commitment, and there is a lot of training involved; usually 2-4 extra training sessions per month, plus performances.
Demo team is held to a higher standard. Normal students get dropped for 25 pushups for doing something they should have known better than to do. Demo team members drop for 100.
Demo team members have to be on at all times. The benefit here is extra-extra training, which is old-style training. This training, though, will make you one of the best in the school, which will put you among the best in the world.
Wanting and Getting More
If a student wants to come through the school and get the standard level of training, that is fantastic. These additional teams and clubs are intended to afford exceptionally-committed students different levels of goals to achieve. These students are interested in more than just achieving rank, they want to become an integral part of our school.
It’s about wanting and getting more.
When people commit to work harder for me, for longer, I commit more to them.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!