THE BELTS OF TAEKWON-DO
THE BELTS OF TAEKWON-DO
The Ranking System
Martial arts is the only place where your stature in life has no relevance on the position you hold within the
club. Belts are the only denomination of rank, where a 8 year can be more senior than a 60 year old & a
dustman can be senior to a high court judge. And this rule doesn't just stand in this club, but in all clubs
everywhere & anywhere in the world. So if you ever train at another club, you should always stand in the
position your grade dictates.
In Taekwon-do there are 10 coloured belt grades (known as kups). The coloured belt grades begins at
10th kup (white belt) & ends at 1st kup (red belt/black tag). Coloured belt grades are still considered beginners grades, although they are still divided up into juniors (white to green belts) & seniors (blue & red belts). It is said that real appreciation of Taekwon-do comes at black belt & that it is just the beginning of advancement. Students in Taekwon-do usually start coming together about green/blue belt.
All beginners start at 10th Kup (white belt). At their first grading they grade from 10th kup to 9th kup. If they pass they receive what is known as a tag, This is sewn on each end of the white belt.
After this they grade from 9th kup to 8th kup. If they pass they receive a yellow belt. Then a green tag,
followed by a green belt etc.
Each colour belt has a special significance in Taekwon-do. For example a white belt means Innocence, a
beginner who has no knowledge of Taekwon-do. The other colours mean other things that you will learn
(and need to know) as you grade for them.
Belts give you a short term goal to work towards, allowing you to practice & perfect a few movements each
grade, then you are tested on them. Even after you have passed a grade though you must still endeavour to
practice & perfect what you already know, in order to make it better.
However, gradings do not just take into account the physical movements of Taekwon-do, but also what is
know as the 'terminology'. This includes the names of moves, dates of important events & other interesting
things. Terminology is there in order for you, the student, to not just learn the system, but to study it,
thereby enabling you to understand Taekwon-do in its entirety, as its more than just a kick & a punch.
Grading times vary. 3 months between junior coloured belt grades (white to green belt), 6 months between
senior coloured belt grades (blue & red belt). Students should note however that these are minimum grading
times & not all students should expect to grade just because their time is due. Grading times can be
shortened (by half) by achieving an 'A' level pass mark in their last grading. Alternatively a grading must be
missed if a student achieves two 'L' level pass marks concurrently. This is to allow the student extra practice
to enable a higher level of understanding of the grade & therefore a higher pass mark.