Some martial artists claim that rank is not important. These claimants fall within three groups:
- Those who have been unable to achieve the rank they thought they deserved.
- Those who have high rank and have had it so long that they have forgotten how important it once was to them.
- Those who believe that rank forces students into social classes that limit their personal achievement.
- Those in martial arts that have never used a rank structure.
As explained in other topics in TKDTutor, whether you believe it or not, or whether you agree with it or not, rank is important to people. Social or business status (rank) is, and always has been, important in every culture in human history, and it is important in the martial arts. The level of importance that rank has within the martial arts and in society depends on the integrity of the rank system. When people believe the rank system is credible, rank will be meaningful to them. If they feel the system has been compromised, rank will be meaningless.
For rank to be meaningful, the integrity of the rank system must be maintained, regardless of the business consequences. Students may be lost when strict rank requirements are enforced, but the students that remain will be better martial artists and better people, and the martial arts, as well as society, will be the better for it.
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