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Like many martial arts, taekwondo has ranks called ‘Kup’.

The grading in taekwondo consists mainly of patterns, ‘poomsae’, techniques and theory. Theory is displayed verbally and expresses information on Korean words, vital information such as the rules of the sport and a general understanding and knowledge of taekwondo.

New students begin at 10th Kup (white belt) and advance down in number to 1st Kup. students then advance into an intermediate rank called meaning “black belt candidate”. After this the student takes a dan test, after which the student becomes a 1st dan black belt.

 

Kup ranks and belt colours
The coloured belt system represents the progression of a student from white, the innocence of a beginner to the maturity of the black belt, who is impervious to darkness and fear. The coloured belt sequence from white to black is as follows:

JUINOR - LITTLE LEADERS

White /White Belt

Yellow /White Belt

Green /White Belt

Blue /White Belt

Brown /White Belt

Black /White Belt

TRADITIONAL TAEKWONDO

White Belt - Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Tae Kwon-Do.
White with Yellow Stripe Belt

Yellow Belt - Signifies earth, from which a plant sprouts root as the Tae Kwon-Do foundation is being laid.
Yellow with Green Stripe Belt

Green Belt - Signifies the plant's growth, as Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.
Green with Blue Stripe Belt

Blue Belt - Signifies heaven, toward which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon-Do progresses.
Blue with Red Stripe Belt

Red Belt - Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.
Red with Black Stripe Belt

Black Belt - Opposite to white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do. Also, indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

Black belt - Dan ranks

Dan ranks increase from 1st Dan to 10th Dan, generally, a dan black belt is either a plain black belt or has a stripe across the tip for each rank usually gold. For example, a 5th dan could have five gold stripes across the end of the belt.

All British Taekwondo members receive ranks of 1st dan and above issued from the Kukkiwon. To participate in the Olympic Games all black belt must be registered this way.