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What are the belt colors of Tae Kwon Do in order? Also could you add the degrees, I have had a hard time finding a reliable site?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Smartass Answer


TKD Belts

Serious Answer

Depends on the school/association. Some have over 10 colored belts before you even get to first degree black. Some have much fewer. An example:

  • White
  • Yellow 1st and 2nd Degree
  • Green 1st and 2nd Degree
  • Blue 1st and 2nd Degree
  • Brown
  • Black 1st Degree through 9th or 10th

The fewer belts the school has, the more time you can expect to spend on each one. For example, if one school has 10 colored belts, you will probably move through two belts in the same time that it would take you to move through one belt in a school that only has 6 or 7 colored belts.

You could conceivably narrow down the answer to your question if you would specify which association you're talking about. ITF, ATA, WTF, will each have their own list of belts. Then again, if you knew that, you could just look it up on each respective organization's official website...

Additionally, some individual instructors, whether they are affiliated with an association or not, may have their own belt list. So there's really no way of answering your question definitively. Best thing to do is to find a school you're thinking of joining and ask them what their belts are.

The most important thing I can tell you is this: if you see a camouflage belt anywhere in the school, you are in a McDojang. WALK AWAY!

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"if you see a camouflage belt" - I'm confused... which one was the smart arse answer? ;-] –  Tony D Jun 14 at 7:37
@TonyD The American Taekwando Association has a camouflage belt in their lineup. ataonline.com/taekwondo/belts/index.asp They get some ridicule for it. –  Sean Duggan Jun 14 at 13:34
Part of the testing requirements for camo belt is doing ten round kicks without spilling your beer. –  The Wudang Kid Jun 17 at 14:07
@TheWudangKid: :) Funny. While I see the camo belt as a silly marketing thing, I have to say that I really don't see it as any different than most of the belts. My understanding is that belt colors are essentially arbitrary choices that people have created backstories for rather than having any meaning from the start. –  Sean Duggan Jun 17 at 14:35

In ITF Taekwon-do, the coloured belts are numbered from 10th kup (also gup) to 1st kup. Black belt grades are numbered from 1st degree (also dan) to 9th degree.

In the organisation I'm a member of (P.U.M.A, in the UK), the colours used are:

  • 10th: White
  • 9th: Yellow stripe
  • 8th: Yellow
  • 7th: Green stripe
  • 6th: Green
  • 5th: Blue stripe
  • 4th: Blue
  • 3rd: Red stripe
  • 2nd: Red
  • 1st: Black stripe

The stripes are also called tags in some schools or organisations; historically, our stripes were insulating tape wrapped round the end of the belt! Now, though, striped belts have the lower colour as the background with the higher colour forming a band along the length of the belt (that is, a 9th kup belt round the waist of a student would have 3 parallel lines of white - yellow - white from top to bottom).

Our degree/dan grades use roman numerals to identify a black belt's grade (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VII, IX). Grades above 4th degree have vertical black stripes on the arms and legs of their dobok and masters (above 7th degree) have badges on their shoulders.

This page on Wikipedia has a good explanation of the ranks I'm used to!

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Simple answer: the gup.

So what the h&$@ is a gup? It's a taekwondo rank. There's gups and dans. My school has 8 gups. That is, eight official color belt ranks registered by the kukiwon and the wtf ( world taekwondo federation). We have other ranks, but only 8 are certified and recognized by 164 countries worldwide.

Gups go in opposite order. For example, an eighth gup is a hin tdi, or white belt. A 7th gup is a norang tdi, or yellow belt. This goes up to red belt, aka bbalgong tdi, or first gup. Once you hit black belt, it goes up. For example, a 1st Dan is the lowest rank of black belt, where 10th Dan is the highest. A fourth degree black belt aka fourth Dan is called a master. A sixth degree is a grandmaster, and an ninth degree is a great-grandmaster. Hope this helps.

Source- myself, a taekwondo 1st dan, trained for four years.

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