The TAGB has a carefully structured grading syllabus that introduces new skills and techniques to students at regular intervals.
As training in Taekwondo progresses, the student has the opportunity to undertake regular gradings, being awarded with a new colour of belt and promotion of rank if successful in demonstrating the necessary requirements.
This system of setting goals, working towards them and achieving them- is a healthy way to train and although gradings are optional, the vast majority of students enjoy the challenge and reward associated with the grading and belt system.
The order of belts are as follows:
White belt 10th kup
Yellow Stripe 9th kup
Yellow belt 8th kup
Green Stripe 7th kup
Green belt 6th kup
Blue Stripe 5th kup
Blue belt 4th kup
Red stripe 3rd kup
Red belt 2nd kup
Black stripe 1st kup
Black Belt 1st dan
The minimum training time to achieve your black belt is 3 and half years, but this is not a target time – Taekwondo is a personal thing, and you can take it at your own pace, with no pressure to grade.
A student of Tae Kwon-Do who has been awarded a TAGB black belt has shown years of dedication and perseverance.
They have demonstrated that they can perform advanced techniques including line work, set sparring, patterns and free sparring.
However attaining your black belt is by no means the end of the road!
As a recently graded 1st Dan Black belt you can then work towards you higher Dan Grades – 2nd dan, 3rd dan, etc.
Attaining your black belt also allows the wearer to practice the Destruction element of Tae Kwon-Do: Using bare hands and feet to break objects such as wooden boards, showing the perfect application of technique, mental focus and power.
As a TAGB Black Belt you can then undertake other qualifications including becoming an Umpire, Referee and Instructor.
Using coloured belts is a fairly modern idea. Originally all students wore white uniforms with a white belt around the waist. These students trained hard, sometimes for hours at a time, learning how to fight, using their hands and feet as weapons to defend themselves. After months and years of practising, their white belts, which were never washed, became soiled and darkened in colour. This became a visual sign of the amount of training and experience a student had and why the black belt symbolises an expert in the arts.
Training today is very different, students generally train indoors and their belts are not exposed to the elements that would automatically darken them during the course of their training. Therefore a system of coloured belts has been adopted imitating this progression from light to dark, appropriately distinguishing students based on their level of knowledge, experience and skill.