In Taekwondo there are ten levels of training before first degree black belt, corresponding to ten different colours of belts. The levels are called “Gup” and a white belt means 10th or beginning gup and moves up to 1st gup, symbolized by a red belt with a black stripe.
At this point a student is ready to begin training for a black belt test. In the following pages you will find the requirements from white belt through to orange belt.
At the early levels grading may take place every one to three months, with higher belts sometimes working for six months to a year before being prepared to test. The W.T.F. has standardized many of the techniques, skills and knowledge required to earn a black belt and this information will be presented to the students as they progress.
White Belt – 10th gup Blue Stripe – 5th gup
Yellow Stripe – 9th gup Blue Belt – 4th gup
Yellow Belt – 8th gup Red Stripe – 3rd gup
Orange Belt – 7th gup Red Belt – 2nd gup
Green Belt – 6th gup Black Stripe – 1st gup
Grading days can last from an hour or so, up to over 4 hours depending on the number of students testing as well as what levels are being tested for. Please remember patience is a virtue and more importantly, it is one of our tenets to be developed and occasionally tested! These days are an excellent learning experience for all and will generally be held on Saturday afternoons after regular class.
We use a coloured strip system to reward and reinforce students’ progress as well as to keep track of how close a student may be to the next level. There are four stripes, representing six areas of accomplishment required on a student’s belt before being considered for promotion testing. They are as follows:
- Blue Strip – Basics (Stances, strikes, kicks, punches & tradition)
- Green Strip – Poomse (Forms)
- Red Strip – Leadership (Attendance, Effort, Courtesy)
- Yellow Strip – Responsibility (Home work, School work)
- Black Strip – Tournament or demonstration team participation
- White Strip – Self Defence (releases, traps, and take-downs)