As TKDTutor commands, “Knowledge is Power.” How do we gain knowledge? Knowledge gaining is a process that occurs in stages. The following describes the stages of gaining knowledge about Taekwondo.
Stage One:You do not know what you do not know
This stage will get you in a lot of trouble. You are ignorant, so ignorant that you do not even know you are ignorant. This total ignorance of a subject will cause you to make highly questionable or wrong statements or decisions because of a complete lack of understanding of the consequences of your actions. This often leads to sufficient embarrassment to motivate you to move to the second stage of learning. As related to Taekwondo, most of the public is at this stage. They know nothing about Taekwondo and they know nothing about what they are missing by not knowing.
Stage Two:You do not know what you do know
This is just as bad as stage one. You now have attained some knowledge but are ignorant of what you know. You have learned a lot about Taekwondo but you are full of self doubt and are biased either positively or negatively as to your own ability. To counter this self doubt, Taekwondo uses belt rank tests where you can compare yourself against your peers. As you advance in rank, the rank criteria gets more difficult and number of people at your rank level decreases, so you may find you are not as knowledgeable as you once thought as you are compared to your peers. Sometimes, you may even have to drop back to stage two and make reevaluate your progress.
Stage Three:You do know what you do not know
This not as good as Stage 4, but it still keeps you out of trouble. You now realize you are ignorant and seek to do something about it. White belts are at this stage. They realize they know nothing about Taekwondo and have started taking classes to gain knowledge.
Stage Four:You do know what you do know
This is good; it keeps you out of trouble. You now have gained the power of knowledge! Your knowledge of your subject is such that you can make unbiased judgments about the subject. You understand your subject and are capable of maintaining and improving your standard without recourse to external stimulus. You are an authority on your subject and people listen to and respect your views, and make judgments in your name based on your views. Above all, you have a realistic appreciation of your true value and status, a certainty, a self-assurance, an omnipotence that transcends the less knowledgeable. You are now a high ranking black belt capable of sharing your knowledge with others who are still at stage two.
As you gain more knowledge about Taekwondo and progress to the master ranks, you find that you still do not know what you do not know.