In many martial arts, various colours of belt are used to show the wearer's rank/skill level in that martial art. In Taekwondo, each new colour represents a new rank, and each stripe on the end of the belt represents an intermediate step towards the next rank. Your belt color recognizes where you are in your training, how far you've progressed. It shows your peers your dedication and willingness to progress.
There are 10 Geups in W.T.F. Taekwondo, starting from the 10th Geup (White Belt) and ending with the 1st Geup (Red-Black Belt).
The term "Geup" means degree. The term "Dan" means phase.
There are 9 Dan degrees, starting with the first and ending with the 9th. All Dan-degrees are represented by a Black Belt.
White indicates that a person is "innocent", has no knowledge of Taekwondo. The white belt is automatically gained by taking Taekwondo classes.
The colour yellow indicates that the person is getting to know the basic techniques, the yellow belt represents the earth in which the roots of your Taekwondo skills will grow.
Orange, the color of the rising sun. Seeds in the ground begin to germinate and grow. Basic Taekwondo techniques begin to be learned. The student has become a pupil and shown abidance to the virtues of Taekwondo and positive direction in his/her training.
The color green indicates that a student is growing as a Taekwondo student. Just like a plant is growing from the earth, the student's Taekwondo skills are growing and power is developing. Green belts have an understanding of the foundations of Taekwondo.
The color blue indicates that a student is reaching higher, like a plant that is growing towards the sky. Blue belts are considered upper ranks, and as such, they are expected to take on the responsibilities of mentoring the next generation, and for this reason Blue belts are held to a higher standard of skill and moral discipline.
Red, the colour of blood, the essential life force, indicates danger. The student is warned to practice the control of his/her movements. All red belts must harbor an inner strength, a strong moral compass. Maturity, honor and respect are exhibited as character begins to perfect. At this stage the student is quite skilled in taekwondo. The color red also warns an opponent.
The difference between a red belt and black belt is a subtle refinement of character. A red belt must know this, and work towards self control with compassion and understanding.
Poom (Jr. Black Belt)
A black belt represents maturity, a high level of skill in taekwondo, rejection of darkness and fear.
The W.T.F. ( World Taekwondo Federation) requires that one has to be 16 years old to get a black belt. If under 16 years of age you get a Poom ( Junior Black Belt), which can be replaced by a black-belt as soon as you are 16 years old. The requirements are the same as for the black-belt.
Black is the opposite of white, the combination of all colors. It represents maturity of the student in the art, a high level of skill in Taekwondo, humility and good character, mastery of basic techniques and forms with power and grace. It also is an indication of being impenetrable to fear and darkness.
PROMOTION TEST CEREMONY
Several hundred years ago this type of ceremony was developed for the master to bestow recognition upon the student for their achievements in martial arts training and for the student to express gratitude to the master and instructors for their guidance.
The goal of the student is to demonstrate both mental and physical improvement to the master, instructor, family, friends, and to one’s self. The Taekwondo student once promoted can obtain an official (grandmaster approved) school rank certificate for each level of testing, and permission to learn the new/next level techniques. The Taekwondo Black Belt student for each level tested can obtain an official (grandmaster approved) school rank certificate. As well as an official World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Kukkiwon certificates for their 1st and 2nd Dan/Pooms.
The student obtains a recommendation from the class instructor(s) when they are ready with an application for promotion testing. Promotion testing fees help to cover the costs of operating the school, rank certification provided by the Grand Master, and to express appreciation to the master and instructors for their efforts in teaching and guidance in obtaining mental and physical strength which will help you make your life a success.