Grading Syllabus | Taekwondo4Fitness | Martial Arts

grading syllabus 2

Comprehensive Grading Syllabus at Taekwondo4Fitness | Mastering Martial Arts​

Table of Contents

Grading Syllabus - Examination program for the student grades

As with any sport, there are different levels or “grades” of proficiency that you must reach before you can test for your degree. This is the case in Taekwondo, too. For this reason, Taekwondo4Fitness also have a grading syllabus or examination program for student grades.

Regular participation in the training is a prerequisite for admission. An irregular appearance at training or permanent late appearance leads to the exclusion from competitions as well as not being admitted to the belt test (this also includes lack of discipline and disrespect towards club colleagues and coaches). The equipment should always be in a complete and perfect condition. The reason for this is to protect yourself as well as to protect your partner or opponent.

In principle, the responsible trainer decides on the suitability, qualification and admission to an examination. The waiting times for the exams (table below) are suggested values. The waiting time can also double if a student does not meet specific criteria. This is often also dependent on age. Some athletes train 1 x per week, and others 2 or 3 times – whichever, Of course, makes it noticeable for approval.

The cost of the exams is not included in the membership fee. A student can be admitted to a belt test for the first time after three months. Student grades must be acquired consecutively; admission to an examination for a higher grade than the next is the only possible exemption. The following sections of the individual performance levels regulate the minimum training intervals or waiting times between the respective graduations.

There is no obligation to take part in a belt test.

The breaking test material should consist of spruce wood 30 x 30 cm (not glued) with a thickness of 1.0 – 1.5 cm for children, 2.0 cm for young people and 3.0 cm for adults (in the lower weight class, women are allowed to use 2.0 cm fall back). Break test up to 14 years is voluntary.

Mandatory Attire – (White Dobok)

Grading Syllabus - Kup Grading Certificate
Taekwondo Class Registration
In Taekwondo, attacking and defensive movements, including punching, kicking and blocking techniques, and differing stances, are done in a set series and are referred to as Poomsae. These basic movements bring together all the martial art skills in a graceful yet powerful manner.
Poomsae forms are a significant part of Taekwondo’s promotion process, and practitioners must demonstrate a good understanding of the forms before they can progress to the next grade.

Please refer to my Taekwondo Basics page for all Taegeuk and Master Poomsae. Please check out my YouTube channel and Pinterest boards for additional resources to help you prepare for your belt promotion exam.

Grading Policy Syllabus

A taekwondo grading policy syllabus outlines the requirements and standards for advancing in rank within the art of taekwondo. A grading policy syllabus typically includes information on the different belt ranks (such as white, yellow, green, blue, and red) and the requirements for advancing from one grade to the next.

The syllabus may include information on the techniques, forms (pre-arranged patterns of movements), principles that practitioners are expected to demonstrate at each rank, and any additional requirements, such as written or practical examinations.

The grading policy syllabus serves as a guide for practitioners and instructors. It helps ensure that standards for advancement are consistently applied and that practitioners can progress through the ranks in a structured and systematic manner. It is typically developed and maintained by the governing body or organization for taekwondo in a particular region or country.

Program 10th to 5th Kup (beginners)

Earning a new belt in taekwondo is a significant achievement, and it is a great opportunity to showcase your hard work and progress in the martial art. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next belt promotion exam:

  1. Review the taekwondo curriculum: Familiarize yourself with the techniques and skills that are expected of you at your current belt level. This may include basic strikes, kicks, and blocks, as well as forms (also known as poomsae or hyeong).

  2. Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the better prepared you will be for your promotion exam. Try to fit in extra training sessions, either on your own or with a partner, to hone your skills and increase your confidence.

  3. Pay attention to your taekwondo etiquette: Remember to show respect to your instructor and other students by bowing and using proper terms of address. Proper etiquette is an important aspect of taekwondo, and it will be taken into consideration during your promotion exam.

  4. Stay focused and stay calm: During your promotion exam, it is important to stay focused and stay calm, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. Take a deep breath and try to stay relaxed, and remember to give it your best effort.

  5. Have fun: While it is important to take your promotion exam seriously, it is also important to remember to enjoy the experience. Taekwondo is a fun and rewarding martial art, and earning a new belt is a great accomplishment.

By following these tips and putting in the necessary work and preparation, you will be well on your way to successfully passing your 9th kup belt promotion exam in taekwondo. Good luck!

10th Kup (white belt)

Without examination, rules of conduct in the dojang and during training

In Taekwondo, a 10th kup (also spelt geup or group) is a rank that is typically held by beginner practitioners who are just starting to learn the art. The kup system is used to indicate the rank of a practitioner in taekwondo, with the lower kup ranks (such as 10th kup) indicating a lower level of proficiency and the higher kup ranks (such as 1st kup) indicating a higher level.

The specific requirements for attaining the rank of 10th kup may vary depending on the governing body or organization for taekwondo in a particular region or country. However, generally, practitioners at the 10th kup level are expected to have a basic understanding of taekwondo techniques and terminology and to be able to demonstrate a few basic techniques and forms.

As practitioners progress through the kup ranks and demonstrate increased proficiency in taekwondo, they will typically be promoted to higher kup ranks. They may be eligible to earn a higher-coloured belt. In many taekwondo organizations, the rank of 10th kup is represented by a white belt with a colored stripe or tag, which practitioners usually wear until they are ready to test for the next rank.

9th Kup (white belt with yellow stripes)

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Achieving the 9th Kup in Taekwondo: A Step Towards Mastery

Embarking on the journey of Taekwondo, the achievement of the 9th Kup, signified by the white belt with yellow stripes, marks an important milestone. This level, designed for beginners, serves as the foundation for future growth and learning in the World Taekwondo (WT) style.

Training Requirements: To attain the 9th Kup, a minimum preparation time of three months or at least 20 training sessions (TE) is essential. This period allows students to develop a basic understanding of Taekwondo and to practice the required techniques consistently.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Tap Exercises: These exercises, which can be performed with or without a partner, are crucial for developing agility, coordination, and a sense of rhythm, all key components in Taekwondo.

  2. Pad Exercises: These drills involve striking pads held by a partner or instructor. They help in honing accuracy, power, and technique in various strikes and kicks.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: This aspect of training teaches students the basics of sparring. It involves practicing predetermined attack and defense moves with a partner, laying the groundwork for more advanced sparring techniques.

  4. Theory: Understanding the Korean, English/German names of the techniques demonstrated is an integral part of the 9th Kup curriculum. This theoretical knowledge deepens the student’s connection to the art and its cultural roots.

Achieving the 9th Kup is the first step in a long, rewarding journey in Taekwondo. It sets the stage for further advancement and represents a commitment to the discipline, philosophy, and physical prowess that Taekwondo embodies.

Preparation time three months or at least 20 TE

  • Elementary school
  • Tap exercises with or without a partner
  • Pad exercises
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Theory (Korean and German/English names of the techniques shown)

8th Kup (yellow belt)

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Advancing to the 8th Kup in Taekwondo: Building on Foundations

Progressing to the 8th Kup, symbolized by the yellow belt, is a significant step in a Taekwondo practitioner’s journey. This level in the World Taekwondo (WT) style represents an enhancement of skills and a deeper understanding of the martial art.

Training Requirements: The 8th Kup requires a preparation time of three months and a minimum of 25 training sessions (TE). This period is crucial for refining the skills learned at the 9th Kup and introducing new, more complex techniques.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Tap Exercises: Continuing from the 9th Kup, these exercises, both solo and with a partner, are crucial for improving coordination, timing, and reaction speed.

  2. Pad Exercises: More advanced pad work is introduced at this level, focusing on improving the power and precision of strikes.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: Building on the basics, these exercises become more intricate, preparing students for realistic sparring scenarios.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: This introduces students to the concept of free-fighting, emphasizing fluid movements, quick thinking, and adaptability. Students engage in 1-on-1 sparring using various techniques.

  5. Self-Defense: A key addition at this level is self-defense, including techniques for dodging hand attacks, escaping from grabs and holds. This training is crucial for practical self-protection skills.

  6. Theory: Along with the Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises, students also learn about the right to self-defense and the intellectual background of Taekwondo. This theoretical knowledge is essential for understanding the ethical and philosophical aspects of Taekwondo.

Achieving the 8th Kup in Taekwondo is more than just learning new techniques; it’s about deepening one’s commitment to the art, understanding its principles, and preparing for more advanced challenges ahead.

Preparation time three months, at least 25 TE

  • Elementary school
  • Tap exercises with or without a partner
  • Pad exercises
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Free-fighting exercises
  • 1 x 1 with different techniques
  • Self-defence (dodging hand attacks, grabbing yourself and holding on
  • Theory (Korean and English/German names for the techniques and exercises shown, the right to self-defence and the intellectual background of TKD

7th Kup (yellow-green belt)

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Progressing to the 7th Kup in Taekwondo: Enhancing Skills and Techniques

The journey to the 7th Kup, represented by the yellow-green belt, in Taekwondo, is an exciting phase where students delve deeper into the art and begin to master more complex skills. In the World Taekwondo (WT) style, this level demands dedication and a commitment to expanding one’s repertoire of techniques.

Training Requirements: For the 7th Kup, a student must undergo a preparation period of three months, with a minimum of 25 training sessions (TE). This time is crucial for refining existing skills and introducing new elements into the training.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. 1st Form – Taeguk Il-Jang: This form is a significant addition at this level. Taeguk Il-Jang is the first of the Taeguk series in WT Taekwondo, focusing on basic stances, blocks, punches, and kicks. Mastery of this form is essential for progression.

  2. Pad Exercises: These are intensified to improve striking techniques, focusing on power, speed, and accuracy.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: Advanced one-step sparring techniques are introduced, which require more precise timing and technique.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: Students continue to develop their free-fighting skills, engaging in 1-on-1 sparring with varied techniques. Emphasis is placed on developing a more spontaneous and adaptive fighting style.

  5. Self-Defence: This level includes simple exercises from the fall school for injury prevention, which are vital for safe practice and self-defence scenarios.

  6. Theory: Understanding the Korean and English/German names of all techniques and exercises remains a key component. This theoretical knowledge helps in connecting deeper with the cultural and philosophical aspects of Taekwondo.

Achieving the 7th Kup is a testament to the student’s growing expertise in Taekwondo. It marks a transition from basic proficiency to more advanced skills, preparing the student for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in their martial arts journey.

Preparation time three months, at least 25 TE

  • Elementary school
  • Pad exercises
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Free-fighting exercises
  • 1×1 with different techniques, late
  • Self-defence (simple exercises from the fall school for injury prevention)
  • Theory (Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises shown)

6th Kup (green belt)

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Achieving the 6th Kup in Taekwondo: Green Belt Advancement

Attaining the 6th Kup, symbolized by the green belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, represents a significant advancement in a student’s Taekwondo journey. This level focuses on reinforcing previously learned skills while introducing more complex techniques and concepts.

Training Requirements: To reach the 6th Kup, students must undergo a preparation period of four months, with at least 25 training sessions (TE). This extended time frame allows for a thorough review and deeper understanding of the techniques.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: Students revisit and refine the techniques and forms learned up to this point, ensuring a solid foundation.

  2. Up to and including 2nd Form – Taeguk I-Jang: At this level, students learn the second form in the Taeguk series, Taeguk I-Jang, which introduces more complex movements and combinations.

  3. Pad Exercises: Continuing from the previous levels, pad exercises become more challenging, focusing on developing greater power and fluidity in strikes.

  4. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: One-step sparring is further advanced, requiring students to demonstrate improved precision and control in their techniques.

  5. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring at this stage involves more dynamic movements and strategies, enhancing students’ adaptability and quick-thinking skills in combat situations.

  6. Close-Range Self-Defense (without weapons): This important addition focuses on self-defense techniques at close range, a vital skill for practical self-protection.

  7. Theory: Deepening their theoretical knowledge, students continue learning the Korean and English/German names for techniques and exercises. Additionally, they explore the right to self-defense and delve into the intellectual background of Taekwondo, understanding its ethical and philosophical underpinnings.

Achieving the 6th Kup or green belt in Taekwondo is a proud moment, indicating a student’s growing mastery and commitment. It sets the stage for more advanced learning and represents a deeper engagement with the art’s physical and intellectual aspects.

Preparation time four months, at least 25 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Pad exercises
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Free-fighting exercises
  • Close-range self-defence (without weapons)
  • Theory (Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises shown, the right to self-defence and the intellectual background of TKD)

 

5th Kup (green-blue belt)

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Advancing to the 5th Kup in Taekwondo: The Green-Blue Belt Journey

The progression to the 5th Kup, denoted by the green-blue belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, marks a deeper dive into the art, emphasizing refinement of techniques and a broader understanding of Taekwondo principles.

Training Requirements: The journey to the 5th Kup requires a dedicated preparation time of six months, with at least 30 training sessions (TE). This extended period is crucial for enhancing skills and integrating more complex techniques into the student’s repertoire.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: Reinforcing all previously learned techniques and forms ensures a solid foundation and prepares students for more advanced learning.

  2. Up to and including 3rd Form – Taeguk Sam-Jang: This level introduces Taeguk Sam-Jang, the third form in the Taeguk series. It comprises more intricate movements and requires greater control and precision.

  3. Pad Exercises: Pad training at this stage focuses on improving the power, speed, and accuracy of strikes, emphasizing the application of force.

  4. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: One-step sparring is enhanced with more complex sequences, demanding higher skill levels in timing and execution.

  5. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring becomes more challenging, incorporating advanced techniques and strategies to adapt to various sparring situations.

  6. Self-Defense (without weapons): This includes defense against unarmed attacks, focusing on techniques to counter and neutralize threats from close and medium range.

  7. Defense Against Combined Attacks: A new addition at this level is the defense against combined attacks from close and medium range, which trains students to handle multiple and simultaneous threats.

  8. Theory: Continuing with the theoretical aspects, students deepen their knowledge of the Korean and English/German names of techniques and exercises. They also explore the right to self-defense and the intellectual background of Taekwondo, gaining insights into its philosophical and ethical dimensions.

Achieving the 5th Kup in Taekwondo represents a significant step forward in a student’s martial arts journey. It reflects a deeper commitment to the discipline and a growing mastery of its physical and intellectual elements.

Preparation time six months, at least 30 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Pad exercises
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Free-fighting exercises
  • Self-defence (without weapons)
  • Defence against combined attacks from close and medium range
  • Theory (Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises shown, the right to self-defence and the intellectual background of TKD)

Program 4th to 1st Kup (advanced)

4th Kup (blue belt)

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Progressing to the 4th Kup in Taekwondo: The Blue Belt Achievement

Earning the 4th Kup, represented by the blue belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, is a notable accomplishment that signifies an advanced level of skill and understanding in Taekwondo. This stage focuses on further refining techniques and introducing more complex aspects of the art.

Training Requirements: The journey to the 4th Kup demands a preparation period of six months with at least 45 training sessions (TE). This extensive training is essential for mastering the skills required at this advanced level.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: A thorough review of all previously learned forms and techniques is crucial at this stage to ensure a strong foundation.

  2. Up to and including 4th Form – Taeguk Sa-Jang: Taeguk Sa-Jang, the fourth form in the Taeguk series, introduces more advanced and complex movements, requiring higher levels of precision and control.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: One-step sparring at this level involves more intricate and challenging sequences, testing the practitioner’s skill and adaptability.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring becomes increasingly sophisticated, with a focus on strategic thinking and quick reflexes to handle diverse combat scenarios.

  5. Self-Defense: Training now includes free defense against attacks from long, medium, and close range, equipping students with comprehensive self-protection skills.

  6. A Breaking Test: An exciting addition at this level is a breaking test, where the candidate is free to choose their technique, considering age and skill. This test is a demonstration of power, accuracy, and technique.

  7. Theory: The theoretical component expands to include the Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises, an understanding of competition rules (both full contact and forms), and technical principles of Taekwondo. This knowledge is essential for a holistic understanding of the art.

Achieving the 4th Kup or blue belt in Taekwondo is a testament to the student’s dedication, skill, and deepening understanding of the martial art. It sets the stage for further advancement and challenges, paving the way towards mastering the intricacies of Taekwondo.

Preparation time six months, at least 45 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • Free-fighting exercises
  • Self-defence (free defence against attacks from long, medium and close range)
  • A breaking test; the candidate is free to choose (note age)
  • Theory (Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises shown, competition rules (full contact and forms) and technical principles)

 

3rd Kup (blue-red belt)

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Achieving the 3rd Kup in Taekwondo: Advancing to the Blue-Red Belt

The progression to the 3rd Kup, signified by the blue-red belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, represents an advanced stage where students refine their skills and tackle more challenging aspects of Taekwondo.

Training Requirements: To achieve the 3rd Kup, a student must undergo a rigorous preparation period of six months, with a minimum of 45 training sessions (TE). This intensive training is crucial for mastering the advanced skills required at this level.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: A comprehensive review of all previously learned forms and techniques ensures a solid foundation and readiness for advanced training.

  2. Up to and including 5th Form – Taeguk Oh-Jang: Learning Taeguk Oh-Jang, the fifth form in the Taeguk series, students encounter more complex movements and combinations that require precision, control, and balance.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: Advanced one-step sparring challenges students with more complex and varied techniques, fostering quick decision-making and adaptability.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring at this level involves more strategic and complex combat scenarios, enhancing the practitioner’s ability to react and adapt quickly.

  5. Self-Defense: Self-defense training includes free blocking of attacks from long, medium, and close range, defense against coordinated attacks in the ground position, and defense against agreed stick attacks (considering the age of the student).

  6. Two Breaking Tests: An important addition at this level are two breaking tests. The candidate has a free choice of techniques (with consideration of age), and different techniques must be shown. These tests demonstrate skill, power, and technique.

  7. Theory: The theoretical study deepens with continued learning of the Korean and English/German names of techniques and exercises, as well as an understanding of competition rules (both full contact and forms) and technical principles of Taekwondo.

Achieving the 3rd Kup in Taekwondo is a significant accomplishment that reflects the student’s advanced skill level and deep commitment to the art. It prepares the student for the final stages of their journey towards black belt mastery.

Preparation time six months, at least 45 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Up to and including 5th Form – Taeguk Oh-Jang
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • free-fighting exercises
  • Self Defense
  • Free blocking of attacks from long, medium and close range. Defence against coordinated attacks in the ground position. Defence against agreed stick attacks (note age)
  • Two breaking tests; the candidate has a free choice (note age) different techniques must be shown.
  • theory; Theory (Korean and English/German names of the techniques and exercises shown, competition rules (full contact and forms) and technical principles)

2nd Kup (red or brown belt)

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Reaching the 2nd Kup in Taekwondo: The Red or Brown Belt Milestone

Achieving the 2nd Kup, marked by the red or brown belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, is an advanced stage that demonstrates a high level of skill and deep understanding of Taekwondo principles and techniques.

Training Requirements: To attain the 2nd Kup, students need to complete a six-month preparation period, engaging in at least 45 training sessions (TE). This period is essential for mastering the complexities of the advanced techniques and forms.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: A thorough review of all previously learned techniques and forms is critical to ensure a strong foundation for advanced training.

  2. Up to and including 6th Form – Taeguk Yuk-Jang: Learning Taeguk Yuk-Jang, the sixth form in the Taeguk series, challenges students with intricate movements and sequences, demanding high levels of precision and coordination.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: One-step sparring at this level requires advanced techniques and strategic thinking, further developing the student’s combat skills.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring becomes increasingly complex, requiring students to utilize a wide range of techniques and adapt to various sparring scenarios.

  5. Self-Defense: The self-defense curriculum at this level includes free defense against attacks from different distances, stick attacks, and collusive knife attacks, with a focus on practical and effective defense strategies (considering the student’s age).

  6. Two Breaking Tests: Continuing from the 3rd Kup, students perform two breaking tests, showcasing different techniques of their choice (age-appropriate). These tests are a demonstration of the student’s power, accuracy, and technical prowess.

  7. Theory: The theoretical aspect includes training theory, building upon the knowledge acquired at the 3rd Kup level. This includes an in-depth understanding of training methodologies and principles in Taekwondo.

Reaching the 2nd Kup signifies a Taekwondo practitioner’s advanced capabilities and readiness to approach the final stages before achieving the coveted black belt. It represents a significant achievement in the martial arts journey, reflecting dedication, skill, and a deep appreciation of Taekwondo’s discipline.

Preparation time six months, at least 45 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • free-fighting exercises
  • Self-defence (note age) Free defence against attacks from different distances. Free defence against stick attacks. Defence against collusive knife attacks
  • Two breaking tests; the candidate has a free choice (note age) different techniques must be shown.
  • Theory (training theory; otherwise see 3rd Kup)

1st Kup (red-black or brown-black belt)

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Advancing to the 1st Kup in Taekwondo: The Red-Black or Brown-Black Belt Journey

The progression to the 1st Kup, represented by the red-black or brown-black belt, in the World Taekwondo (WT) style, is a significant milestone that brings a student to the brink of black belt mastery. This level demands a profound understanding of Taekwondo principles and advanced technical skills.

Training Requirements: The journey to the 1st Kup requires a preparation time of six months, though a year is recommended, with at least 45 training sessions (TE). This period allows for comprehensive skill development and refinement.

Curriculum Focus:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: An extensive review of all previously learned techniques and forms is crucial to solidify the foundation for the most advanced level of training.

  2. Up to and including 7th Form – Taeguk Chil-Jang: Learning Taeguk Chil-Jang, the seventh form in the Taeguk series, introduces more complex and dynamic movements, requiring advanced levels of concentration, precision, and physical control.

  3. Partner Exercises – 1-Step Fight: Advanced one-step sparring at this stage involves complex techniques and quick decision-making, reflecting a high level of sparring proficiency.

  4. Free-Fighting Exercises: Free sparring requires the integration of a wide array of techniques, strategic thinking, and adaptability in various combat scenarios.

  5. Self-Defense: Self-defense training includes free defense against both unarmed and armed attacks, emphasizing practical and effective techniques in confined spaces and against surprise attacks.

  6. Two Breaking Tests: Students undertake two breaking tests, choosing different techniques (age-appropriate). These tests are a testament to the student’s power, technical skill, and precision.

  7. Theory: The theoretical component builds upon the training theory learned at the 2nd Kup level. It involves a deeper understanding of Taekwondo’s training methodologies, principles, and philosophical aspects.

Achieving the 1st Kup in Taekwondo is a remarkable achievement, signifying a practitioner’s readiness to step into the realm of black belt mastery. It reflects a deep commitment to the art, embodying the discipline, skill, and philosophical understanding that Taekwondo espouses.

Preparation time six months (1 year recommended), at least 45 TE

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Partner exercises – 1-step fight
  • free-fighting exercises
  • Self-defence (note age) Free defence against unarmed and armed attacks. Self-defence under the aspect of space shortage. Defence against surprise attacks
  • Two breaking tests; the candidate has a free choice (note age) different techniques must be shown.
  • Theory (training theory; otherwise see 2nd Kup)

DAN exams

All Dan exams are generally held annually at one or two fixed dates and locations. Exceptions are possible after consultation with the board of the ITO.

Black Belt 1st Dan / Poom

Earning a black belt in taekwondo is a significant achievement, and passing the belt promotion exam to 1st dan (1st-degree black belt) is a significant milestone in your taekwondo journey. To help you prepare for your 1st dan promotion exam, here are a few tips:

  1. Review the taekwondo curriculum: Familiarize yourself with the techniques and skills expected of you at the black belt level. Pay particular attention to the techniques and skills specific to the 1st-dan level. This may include advanced strikes, kicks, and blocks, as well as more complex forms (also known as poomsae or hyeong).

  2. Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the better prepared you will be for your promotion exam. Try to fit in extra training sessions on your own or with a partner to hone your skills and increase your confidence.

  3. Pay attention to your taekwondo etiquette: Remember to respect your instructor and other students by bowing and using proper terms of address. Proper etiquette is an essential aspect of taekwondo and will be considered during your promotion exam.

  4. Stay focused and calm: During your promotion exam, it is essential to stay focused and stay calm, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. Please take a deep breath, stay relaxed, and remember to give it your best effort.

  5. Have fun: While taking your promotion exam seriously is essential, it is also important to remember to enjoy the experience. Taekwondo is a fun and rewarding martial art, and earning a black belt is a great accomplishment.

By following these tips and putting in the necessary work and preparation, you will be well on your way to successfully passing your 1st dan belt promotion exam in taekwondo. Good luck!

Requirements for Dan-Gradings

To qualify for a Dan grading, specific requirements must be met. These include:

Attend the Pre-Grading Seminar

If being offered or available, attend the Pre-Grading / blackbelt Seminar. If you cannot participate, please attend regular classes and follow the seminar to meet all the examiners.

Attend Regular Classes

Attend as many classes at your club as possible before the grading.

Complete the Application Form

Complete the application form and include the following:

  • 2 Passport photos
  • Proof of residency (for the last six months) such as a utility bill, school letter, residency permit, etc.
  • Photocopy of your most recent 1st Kup Certificate or Kukkiwon Certificate
  • Grading fee

Bring Protective Equipment

Bring all protective equipment to the seminar and grading.

Get Permission for External Clubs

External clubs should get permission from their club instructor for the seminar and grading.

Submit Medical Issues/Certificates in Writing

If you have any medical issues or certificates, they must be submitted in writing.

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Achieving the 1st Dan/Poom in Taekwondo: The Black Belt Excellence

The attainment of the 1st Dan/Poom (black belt) in Taekwondo represents a significant milestone in a martial artist’s journey. It signifies a high level of skill, dedication, and understanding of the art. This level requires a comprehensive evaluation of the practitioner’s abilities and knowledge.

Training Requirements: The preparation for the 1st Dan/Poom demands at least one year of dedicated training, reflecting the depth of knowledge and skill required at this level.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The assessment is conducted by at least one Dan holder with a minimum of an ‘A’ license, from 3rd DAN onwards.

  2. Assessors: The candidate is evaluated by at least two Dan holders, ensuring a thorough and fair assessment of their skills and knowledge.

  3. Further Education and Master’s Degree Courses: Evidence of ongoing learning and advanced courses is often required, especially for Poom exams, which are adjusted according to the age of the candidate.

Examination Content:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: A comprehensive review of all previously learned techniques and forms, including up to and including Taeguk Pal-Jang, the eighth form in the Taeguk series.

  2. Partner Exercises: Advanced one-step sparring exercises with increased difficulty to test precision, timing, and technique.

  3. Free Fight: Free sparring sessions, sometimes with specific tasks, challenge the candidate’s adaptability, strategy, and proficiency in combat scenarios.

  4. Self-Defense: Free defense against unarmed and armed attacks by a partner from different distances, demonstrating practical and effective self-protection skills.

  5. Three Breaking Tests: Candidates are required to perform three breaking tests with different techniques, including a combination of two, showcasing their power, precision, and technical skill.

Achieving the 1st Dan/Poom in Taekwondo is not just an attainment of a rank; it’s a recognition of the practitioner’s commitment to the art, their mastery of skills, and their understanding of Taekwondo’s philosophy and principles. It opens the door to further learning and growth within the martial art.

The preparation time of at least one year

Examination board: One Dan holder (at least A license, from 3rd DAN )

Assessors: at least two Dan holders

Evidence of further education and master’s degree courses Poom exams are age-adjusted

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Partner exercises
  • 1-step Sparring with higher difficulty
  • Free fight
  • Free sparring, optionally with tasks
  • Self-defence (note age), free defence against unarmed and armed attacks by a partner from different distances
  • Three breaking tests with different techniques – a combination of two must be shown.

Black Belt 2nd Dan / Poom

2nd dan e1672427849807

Advancing to the 2nd Dan in Taekwondo: Black Belt Enhancement

Earning the 2nd Dan (black belt) in Taekwondo symbolizes a deeper mastery and a greater commitment to the discipline. It represents an advanced understanding of techniques, forms, and the philosophical aspects of Taekwondo.

Training Requirements: The preparation for the 2nd Dan requires a substantial commitment of 1.5 to 2 years. This extended period allows for in-depth refinement of skills and knowledge.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The assessment is overseen by a Dan holder with at least an ‘A’ license, from 3rd DAN onwards.

  2. Assessors: The examination is conducted by at least one licensed Dan holder and another Dan holder. This ensures a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the candidate’s abilities.

  3. Further Education and Master’s Degree Courses: Candidates are expected to provide proof of ongoing education and advanced training, signifying their commitment to continuous learning in Taekwondo.

Examination Content:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: Candidates review all previously learned techniques and forms, including Poomsae-Koryo, the first black belt form.

  2. Partner Exercises: Advanced one-step sparring exercises with higher difficulty, focusing on precision, control, and strategy.

  3. Free Fight: Free sparring sessions, possibly with specific tasks, to evaluate the candidate’s adaptability and proficiency in various combat situations.

  4. Self-Defense: Free defense against both unarmed and armed attacks by a partner, demonstrating practical self-defense skills over different distances.

  5. Four Breaking Tests: The candidate is required to perform four breaking tests with different techniques. This includes a combination of two techniques and at least one jumping technique, showcasing advanced skill, power, and technical prowess.

Achieving the 2nd Dan in Taekwondo is a testament to the practitioner’s advanced level of skill, dedication, and understanding of the art. It indicates a significant progression in the martial arts journey and a deepening of the practitioner’s engagement with Taekwondo

Preparation time 1.5 to 2 years

Examination Board: A Dan carrier (at least A license, from 3. DAN)

Assessors: at least 1 Dan carrier (with license) and 1 Dan carrier Proof of further education and master’s degree courses

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Up to and including Poomsae-Koryo
  • Partner exercises
  • 1-step battle with higher difficulty
  • free fight
  • Free sparring, optionally with tasks
  • Self-defence (note age) Free defence against unarmed and armed attacks by a partner from different distances
  • Four breaking tests with different techniques – a combination of two and at least one jumping technique must be shown.

Black belt 3rd Dan

3rd dan e1672427889315

Achieving the 3rd Dan in Taekwondo: The Path to Advanced Black Belt Mastery

The attainment of the 3rd Dan black belt in Taekwondo marks a significant stage in the martial arts journey, showcasing an advanced level of skill, deeper knowledge, and a profound commitment to the discipline.

Training Requirements: Preparing for the 3rd Dan involves a dedicated two-year period of training, emphasizing the refinement of advanced techniques and a deeper understanding of Taekwondo’s philosophy.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The assessment is led by a Dan holder with at least an ‘A’ license from 3rd Dan.

  2. Assessors: The candidate is evaluated by at least two other licensed Dan holders or one Dan holder with an ‘A’ license from 4th Dan. This ensures a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation.

  3. Admission Requirement: Candidates must have completed a Dan preparatory course, signifying their preparedness for this advanced level.

Examination Content:

  1. Review of the Pre-Program: Candidates review all previously learned techniques and forms, including Poomsae Keumgang, which is known for its complexity and depth.

  2. Partner Exercises: Advanced one-step sparring with higher difficulty, requiring exceptional precision, strategy, and control.

  3. Free Fight: Free sparring sessions, which may include specific tasks, test the candidate’s adaptability, tactical thinking, and proficiency in diverse combat scenarios.

  4. Self-Defense: Training in self-defense at this level involves defending against unarmed and armed attacks by multiple attackers, demonstrating a high level of practical self-protection skills.

  5. Five Breaking Tests: Candidates perform five breaking tests with different techniques, including a combination of three and at least two jumping techniques. These tests demonstrate advanced technical skill, power, and agility.

Achieving the 3rd Dan in Taekwondo is a testament to a practitioner’s advanced technical skills, deep understanding, and enduring dedication to the art. It reflects a significant progression in the martial artist’s journey and a deeper engagement with the discipline’s physical and philosophical elements.

Preparation time two years

Examination board: A Dan bearer (A license from 3rd Dan)

Assessors: at least two other Dan holders (with license) or one Dan

holder (A license from 4th Dan) Assessors: at least two other Dan

holders. Admission requirement: Dan preparatory course

  • Review of the pre-program
  • Partner exercises
  • 1-step battle with higher difficulty
  • Free fight (free sparring, optionally with tasks)
  • Self-defence (note age) Free defence against unarmed and armed attacks by multiple attackers
  • Five breaking tests with different techniques (a combination of three and at least two jumping techniques must be shown)

Black belt 4th Dan

4th dan e1672427925867

Advancing to the 4th Dan in Taekwondo: The Journey of Deepening Mastery

Earning the 4th Dan black belt in Taekwondo represents a profound level of mastery, both in terms of technical skill and understanding of the art’s deeper philosophical aspects. This level is a significant milestone in a martial artist’s journey.

Training Requirements: The preparation for the 4th Dan involves an extensive three-year training period. This duration is essential for refining advanced skills and deepening the understanding of Taekwondo.

Minimum Age Requirement: The candidate must be at least 25 years old, ensuring a mature level of physical skill and mental understanding.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The assessment is overseen by a Dan holder with an ‘A’ license, at least 4th Dan, ensuring a high standard of evaluation.

  2. Assessors: The candidate’s skills are evaluated by at least two other Dan holders with ‘2’ licenses or one Dan holder with an ‘A’ license from 5th Dan. This ensures a comprehensive and thorough evaluation.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae – Taebaek & Poomsae Pyeongwon: Mastery of these forms, which are known for their complexity and depth, is crucial at this level.

  2. Partner Exercises (with your partner): Advanced exercises that require a high level of coordination, timing, and technique.

  3. 1-Step Battle (Free Program): This involves a free-form one-step sparring program, showcasing creativity, technique, and strategic thinking.

  4. Self-Defense: Demonstrating advanced self-defense techniques, including defending against multiple attackers and various types of attacks.

  5. Own Program with up to 3 Own Partners: Candidates present a self-designed program, demonstrating their unique understanding and approach to Taekwondo, with the assistance of up to three partners.

  6. Special Break Test: A unique breaking test that requires demonstrating advanced breaking skills, which might include complex or multiple breaking techniques.

Achieving the 4th Dan in Taekwondo is not just a recognition of technical prowess; it’s an acknowledgment of the practitioner’s deep commitment to the art, their maturity in understanding its principles, and their ability to impart knowledge and skills to others. It marks a significant step in the lifelong journey of learning and growth in Taekwondo.

Preparation time three years

Minimum age 25 years

Examination board: A Dan holder (A license, at least 4th Dan)

Assessors: at least two other Dan holders (2 licenses) or one Dan bearer

(A license from 5th Dan) Assessors: at least two other Dan bearers.

  • Partner exercises (with your partner)
  • 1-Step Battle (Free Program)
  • Self Defense
  • Own program with up to 3 own partners
  • Special break test

Black belt 5th Dan

5th dan e1672428207717

Achieving the 5th Dan in Taekwondo: Attaining Advanced Black Belt Expertise

The journey to the 5th Dan black belt in Taekwondo is a testament to a martial artist’s deep commitment, advanced skills, and profound understanding of the art. It represents a level of expertise that encompasses both physical prowess and intellectual mastery.

Training Requirements: Preparing for the 5th Dan requires a comprehensive four-year period of dedicated training. This time is crucial for honing advanced techniques and deepening the understanding of Taekwondo’s philosophy and practice.

Minimum Age Requirement: Candidates must be at least 30 years old, ensuring a sufficient level of experience and maturity in the practice of Taekwondo.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The examination is led by a Dan holder with an ‘A’ license, at a minimum of 5th Dan, ensuring a high standard of evaluation.

  2. Assessors: The candidate’s abilities are assessed by at least two other licensed Dan holders or a single Dan holder with an ‘A’ license from 6th Dan, guaranteeing a rigorous and comprehensive assessment.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae Pyeongwon and Poomsae Sipjin: Mastery of these forms is critical at this level, demonstrating advanced techniques and a deep understanding of form execution.

  2. Partner Exercises (with your partner): Advanced exercises that challenge coordination, timing, and technique, reflecting a high level of skill in Taekwondo.

  3. 1-Step Battle (Free Program): A creative and strategic demonstration of one-step sparring, showcasing the candidate’s individual style and mastery.

  4. Self-Defense: Demonstrating advanced self-defense skills, including techniques against various types of attacks and multiple attackers.

  5. Own Program with up to 3 Own Partners: The candidate presents a self-designed program, which reflects their personal approach and understanding of Taekwondo, utilizing up to three partners to demonstrate these skills.

  6. Special Break Test: A challenging breaking test that requires advanced skill and technique, often including complex or multiple breaking sequences.

Further Education and Master’s Degree Courses: Evidence of ongoing learning, including participation in further education and master’s degree courses in martial arts or related fields, is often required, reflecting the candidate’s commitment to continual growth and learning.

Achieving the 5th Dan in Taekwondo signifies not only a high level of technical proficiency but also a mature understanding of the art’s philosophy, teaching ability, and contribution to the Taekwondo community. It is a significant milestone in a martial artist’s journey, representing years of dedication and growth.

Preparation time four years

Minimum age 30 years

Examination board: A Dan holder (A license, min. 5th Dan) Assessors: at least two other Dan holders (with license) or a Dan holder (A license, from 6th Dan) Assessors: at least two other Dan -Carrier.

Evidence of further education and master’s degree courses

  • Partner exercises (with your partner)
  • 1-Step Battle (Free Program)
  • Self Defense
  • Own program with up to 3 own partners
  • Special break test

Black belt 6th Dan

6th dan e1672428246503

Reaching the 6th Dan in Taekwondo: Mastery at a Higher Level

The attainment of the 6th Dan black belt in Taekwondo is a distinguished achievement that marks a deep commitment to the art, representing a high level of skill, knowledge, and teaching ability.

Training Requirements: A comprehensive preparation period of five years is required for the 6th Dan. This extended duration is vital for mastering the intricate techniques and deepening the philosophical understanding of Taekwondo.

Minimum Age Requirement: Candidates must be at least 36 years old, ensuring a mature level of experience and expertise in the practice of Taekwondo.

Examination Process:

  1. Examination Board: The assessment is overseen by a Dan holder with an ‘A’ license, from 6th Dan onwards, ensuring an elevated standard of evaluation.

  2. Assessors: The candidate’s skills and knowledge are evaluated by at least two other licensed Dan holders or one Dan holder with an ‘A’ license from 7th Dan, guaranteeing a thorough and comprehensive assessment.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae Sipjin and Poomsae Jitae: Mastery of these forms is crucial at this level, demonstrating advanced techniques and a deep understanding of form execution.

  2. Partner Exercises (with your partner): Advanced exercises focusing on coordination, timing, and technique, reflecting a high level of skill in Taekwondo.

  3. 1-Step Battle (Free Program): A creative and strategic demonstration of one-step sparring, showcasing the candidate’s individual style and mastery.

  4. Self-Defense: Demonstrating advanced self-defense skills, including techniques against various types of attacks and multiple attackers.

  5. Own Program with up to 3 Own Partners: The candidate presents a self-designed program, which reflects their personal approach and understanding of Taekwondo, utilizing up to three partners to demonstrate these skills.

  6. Special Break Test: A challenging breaking test that requires advanced skill and technique, often including complex or multiple breaking sequences.

Further Education and Master’s Degree Courses: Evidence of ongoing learning, including participation in further education and master’s degree courses in martial arts or related fields, is often required, reflecting the candidate’s commitment to continual growth and learning.

Achieving the 6th Dan in Taekwondo signifies not only a high level of technical proficiency but also a mature understanding of the art’s philosophy, teaching ability, and contribution to the Taekwondo community. It is a significant milestone in a martial artist’s journey, representing years of dedication and growth.

Preparation time five years

Minimum age 36 Years

Examination board: One Dan holder (A license, from 6th Dan) Assessors:

At least two other Dan holders (with license) or one Dan

Carrier (A license from 7th Dan)

Assessors: at least two other Dan holders.

Evidence of further education and master’s degree courses

  • Partner exercises (with your partner)
  • 1-Step Battle (Free Program)
  • Self Defense
  • Own program with up to 3 own partners
  • Special break test

Black belt 7th Dan

7th dan e1672428371624

Attaining the 7th Dan in Taekwondo: A Testament to Advanced Mastery and Leadership

Achieving the 7th Dan black belt in Taekwondo is a prestigious accomplishment that signifies a profound level of expertise, leadership, and dedication to the martial art. This rank reflects a mastery that transcends physical skills, delving into the deeper philosophical and teaching aspects of Taekwondo.

Training Requirements: The journey to the 7th Dan requires an extensive preparation period of six years since obtaining the 6th Dan. This period is crucial for deepening the understanding of Taekwondo’s advanced techniques and philosophies.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae Jitae and Poomsae Cheonkwon: Mastery of these advanced forms is essential at this level. Jitae symbolizes the earth, emphasizing stability and balance, while Cheonkwon is inspired by the heavens, representing a higher level of thinking and spirituality. These forms require not only physical prowess but also a deep understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of Taekwondo.

The 7th Dan is typically not just a reflection of martial arts skills but also of the individual’s contributions to the art of Taekwondo. This includes teaching, promoting Taekwondo, and contributing to the martial arts community at large. It’s a rank that recognizes not only technical expertise but also leadership, mentoring, and the advancement of Taekwondo.

As practitioners reach this high level, the focus often shifts more towards these broader contributions, alongside continued personal development and mastery of the art. Achieving the 7th Dan is a significant milestone, marking a transition to a role of greater leadership and responsibility within the Taekwondo community.

(Preparation time: 6 years since 6th Dan)
Up to and including Poomsae Jitae and Poomsae Cheonkwon

Black belt 8th Dan

8th dan e1672428532273

Achieving the 8th Dan in Taekwondo: Embodying the Highest Levels of Mastery and Wisdom

The attainment of the 8th Dan black belt in Taekwondo represents a level of mastery that goes beyond technical skills, encompassing profound wisdom, leadership, and a deep commitment to the art. It is a rank that is revered and signifies a lifelong dedication to Taekwondo.

Training Requirements: The preparation for the 8th Dan requires an extensive seven-year period since achieving the 7th Dan. This lengthy duration reflects the depth of knowledge, experience, and maturity expected at this advanced level.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae Cheonkwon: This form is inspired by the heavens, representing higher spiritual consciousness and philosophical depth. Mastery of Cheonkwon requires not only physical agility and strength but also a deep understanding of its symbolic and philosophical meanings.

  2. Poomsae Hansu: Hansu symbolizes water, embodying adaptability, fluidity, and depth. Mastery of this form requires a high level of technical skill and an understanding of the fluid and adaptable nature of water, reflecting the practitioner’s deep internalization of Taekwondo principles.

The 8th Dan in Taekwondo is not just a recognition of physical prowess but also an acknowledgment of the practitioner’s wisdom, teaching ability, and contributions to the art. Holders of this rank are often seen as mentors and leaders in the Taekwondo community, responsible for guiding the next generation and preserving the art’s traditions and values.

Achieving the 8th Dan is a rare and significant accomplishment, marking a practitioner’s lifelong journey in Taekwondo. It represents a mastery that extends beyond the dojang, influencing the practitioner’s approach to life and their impact on the Taekwondo community and beyond.

(Preparation time: 7 years since 7th Dan)

Up to and including Poomsae Cheonkwon and Poomsae Hansu

Black belt 9th Dan

9th dan e1672428632463

Attaining the 9th Dan in Taekwondo: The Pinnacle of Taekwondo Mastery

Achieving the 9th Dan black belt in Taekwondo is a monumental milestone, representing the highest level of mastery, wisdom, and dedication in the art. It is a rank that very few attain, symbolizing a lifetime commitment to Taekwondo.

Training Requirements: The preparation for the 9th Dan involves an extensive eight-year period since achieving the 8th Dan. This preparation time is indicative of the profound depth of knowledge, skill, and philosophical understanding required at this elite level.

Examination Content:

  1. Poomsae Hansu: This form, symbolizing water, requires mastery of fluidity, adaptability, and depth. Achieving proficiency in Hansu at the 9th Dan level means embodying these qualities, both in physical movement and in one’s approach to life and teaching.

  2. Poomsae Ilyeo: Ilyeo represents the Buddhist concept of oneness, where mind and body are unified. Mastery of Ilyeo at this level demands a deep spiritual and philosophical understanding, harmonizing physical skill with mental and spiritual discipline.

The 9th Dan is not solely about physical prowess in Taekwondo; it is equally about the practitioner’s contributions to the art, their role as a mentor and leader, and their embodiment of Taekwondo’s principles in all aspects of life. Holders of the 9th Dan are highly respected within the Taekwondo community and are often regarded as guardians of the art’s traditions and philosophy.

Attaining the 9th Dan in Taekwondo is a rare and revered achievement. It signifies not just a mastery of techniques but also a life lived in accordance with the deepest values of Taekwondo, including integrity, perseverance, and indomitable spirit. It marks the practitioner not only as a master of the art but also as a role model and leader in the Taekwondo community worldwide.

(Preparation time: 8 years since 8th Dan)
Up to and including Poomsae Hansu and Poomsae Ilyeo

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