Most students automatically assume their instructors are correct in what they teach and how they teach it. Some instructors feel the need to be the best technician in the school, so they may reserve certain techniques for only advanced students. This prevents lower rank students from progressing too quickly and ensures their reliance on the instructor for a longer time. The instructor's primary concern should be to develop Taekwondo proficiency in his or her students. Modern Taekwondo should allow each student to progress at his or her own rate. Students that work harder, train more, and develop proficiency quicker may be promoted at a faster rate, even skipping belts if deserved.
Some traditional Taekwondo instructors argue that, if you do not learn how it feels to be hit in training, you will not know how to react when hit in a real fight. In reality, in an actual self-defense situation where the adrenaline level is increased and the body is prepared for fight or flight, anyone may be hit several times without the feeling any pain. This occurs with or without any hard physical training. However, one must be trained on how to execute powerful techniques that may stop an attacker. Enduring pain does not require training, but developing the power needed to inflict pain requires intense training. Modern Taekwondo should stress the development of power.
Some martial art instructors believe that everyone should want to become an expert fighter. Most people will never have to defend themselves during their lifetimes and, if they do, usually the situations will not be life threatening. To spend so much of your life training for something that may never happen is a waste of time. Taekwondo has so much to offer that one’s life will be enriched even if Taekwondo is never needed in a self-defense situation.
Taekwondo has changed and is still changing. It is up to Taekwondo instructors to ensure the changes remain true to the art while still reflecting the time we live in.