A Guide On The Taekwondo Belt Order

Since the 1940s, Taekwondo Belt System has been an essential part of martial arts history. 

Taekwondo practitioners receive these colored belts and ranks to showcase their high level of talent and dedication to the craft.

Students may see what they learned and how far they are in their Taekwondo journey.

Taekwondo Belt Order

The Origin of Taekwondo Belt Order

In the early days of the Taekwondo belt system, the only colors available were white, yellow, green, brown, and black. 

Today, there are more different colors used in the belt order.

They include orange belt, blue belt, and red belt.

Students earn these color belts as they grow towards their ultimate goal of becoming black belts.

The concept of the ranking system in Taekwondo started in the early 1940s to represent progression among students. 

The journey starts from a white belt to a 1st-degree black belt which represents the growth of a tree.

However, it would be best to remember that the belt colors used in schools differ.

They are not universal, and some colors may be part of the promotion system in your school.

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What Is The Purpose Of These Belt Colors?

These Taekwondo belts reflect a student’s degree of skills and knowledge.

In other terms, they are rankings in a school.

Students who wear different belt colors feel motivated to rise in the belt system.

Different martial arts styles have different standards before you can rank up in the belt system.

They include Taekwondo, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, and more.

However, there are no universal standards that Taekwondo schools follow. It is different amongst schools. 

If an instructor believes that the student is ready to take the new belt, they will take a test.

To prevent the traditional Taekwondo schools from devolving into mere “belt factories,” they set rigorous standards.

It also means different belt colors for schools because of the various standards.

The belt color corresponds to a student’s GUP or rank in Taekwondo.

It lets teachers know if the student progresses even when they transfer schools.

Meanwhile, Dan is another rank indication in Taekwondo when you have a black belt which means a degree. 

There are ten dan black belt levels, where you start with the 1st dan up to the 10th dan. 

You can also get a yellow stripe, green stripe, black stripe, red stripe, or blue stripe.

Taekwondo Belt Order and Their Meaning

Taekwondo Belt Order and Their Meaning

White Belt

White is a sign of pureness or innocence. First-time Taekwondo students need to wear the white belt as a starting point. 

A new student in martial arts is like a blank canvas.

Before they get to any black belt, they need to learn.

Typically, the white belts are those with zero experience in Taekwondo.

It symbolizes a brand new and fresh start.

Yellow Belt

The yellow belt represents the earth and the planting of a seed to allow the development of the roots.

For a plant to sprout, it must have a solid root system.

At the yellow belt, the student lays the groundwork for Taekwondo training.

Green Belt 

The color green symbolizes the process of a seed sprouting.

The seed planted is now starting to grow. 

A student with a green belt represents that their Taekwondo skills are continuously developing.

A student with a green belt started from the roots and is now establishing growth on their foundation.

Brown Belt  

When students reach a brown belt rank, they are like a tree that has grown and matured.

It reflects how the student and their skills and techniques continue to be better.

Later on, they’ll get even better at more advanced Taekwondo techniques.

Blue Belt

The next rank is the blue belt, wherein the Taekwondo student is slowly becoming more potent and still maturing. 

A plant is growing up and aims toward the sky, which the blue belt represents. 

The student is becoming a growing tree that aims to be towering at the top.

Red Belt

The color red, just like in a typical scenario, symbolizes danger and caution.

In Taekwondo, a student with a red belt serves to warn the student and the others.

With new skills, knowledge, and techniques comes a greater responsibility of being mindful.

Students should learn self-control and discipline themselves in using their new abilities.

The red belt is the last rank a learner needs to reach before their first black belt rank.

Black Belt

From a white belt, the students finally reach the contrasting color of black as a completion of their basic Taekwondo training.

The black belt implies that the student has achieved the ending point of the foundational training.

From a non-martial artist’s perspective, you’ll think of the black belt as the end journey of someone who mastered martial art.

However, the true meaning of a black belt is the beginning of one’s journey to mastery.

Ten degrees in the black belt system will take many years before reaching the tenth degree. 

First-degree black belt training typically takes between two and three years.

Advancing to the following black belt degrees takes time.

Students with a basic black belt act as senior students.

You can be an assistant instructor as permitted by masters.

The following degrees will teach you about more advanced Taekwondo techniques and some philosophy in life.

Upon completing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th dan, you’ll finally achieve the highest black belt rank.

Students with significant contributions to Taekwondo receive this honorary title. 

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How Do You Advance in the Taekwondo Belt Order?

How Do You Advance in the Taekwondo Belt Order

Taekwondo’s belt system needs students to study and master various techniques and forms to progress. 

There are usually seven ranks in the colored-belt levels, but sometimes schools add orange and purple belts. 

Another ten higher ranks are at the black belt level, starting from first to tenth degrees.

Before advancing to higher ranks or earning the next belt, a student must first master the belt requirements for that level.

Then, their masters or instructors will evaluate their mastery of those prerequisites.

Furthermore, some schools add a stripe system in their belt order.

Sometimes, there are four stripes on each belt level.

These stripes signify a different level of skills attained in that belt color.

As soon as a student receives four stripes, they are eligible for the promotion.

As a belt holder, you can either be recommended or decided.

These two terms determine which test to take. 

If you are “recommended,” then you are “half-rank.”

Meanwhile, if you are “decided,” you are a full-rank.

Taekwondo students can take promotional tests either as a half-rank or full-rank.

How Long Before I Move Up to the Next Belt Rank?

The amount of time it takes is largely dependent on the individual, as does the frequency and intensity of training. 

Students with high knowledge, skill, and character are the best candidates for promotion tests.

It’s also essential to note that the quality of your training plays a significant role in how quickly you progress.

There have been instances where students drifted along without their instructor’s core.

If this is the case, students will be baffled when it comes time for the actual test as to why they failed.

Since the level of physical and mental condition highly affects one’s progress, it may take you three to five years to get a black belt in Taekwondo.

Don’t worry because these attributes will improve with time, and your school can help you rank up fast.

The best thing to do is always practice if possible.

Practice at home and come to school with improvement.

Taekwondo Stripe System in the Belt Order

Taekwondo Stripe System in the Belt Order

Some Taekwondo schools add stripes when students complete training accomplishments at the belt end. 

It helps the students and instructors to know which stage they are in and what would be the next. 

These colorful stripes make it easy to keep track of progress toward short-term goals.

Students get an additional stripe with a specific color for every belt rank skill that students learn.

Achieving a stripe gets more complicated as students advance in belt ranks. 

To earn a stripe, a student must continuously show mastery of the skill at a certain level.

Advancement takes a different amount of time for other students and various schools.

Every student in Taekwondo improves at their phase because it is an individual sport.

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Final Thoughts On Taekwondo Belt Order

If you want to become an instructor, master, or grand master in Taekwondo, you’ll need to take a different test for a teaching certificate.

Your abilities will determine whether you meet the standards of the different ranks and even teaching certificates. 

While training, you’ll experience sparring, breaks, and even practicing to move up the rank at home.

Practice makes perfect, and it does not necessarily have to be overnight.

To be a black belt in Taekwondo takes time, even more than a master’s status.

Taekwondo is neither a race nor a timed course to become a black belt holder. 

A competent instructor will consider your progress and should not put you on a belt exam unless they are confident that you are ready.

Keep in mind that you commit your whole life to Taekwondo.

It is not just a class you take in high school and then drop. 

You have control over the outcome of your hard work in Taekwondo, so don’t let it go to waste.