Tae kwon do Belt Colors follow a Structure of Merit.
Tae kwon do belt colors from beginner to black belt. These colors represent a general tae kwon do belt system followed in some way by all TKD schools.
For the WTF promotion requirements see the Kukkiwon page.
There are 9-10 levels of rank below 1st degree black belt and as many as 18-20 rank levels in total depending on which style of tae kwon do you practice.
We refer to the ranks below black belt as Kup in Korean and the levels of black belt as Dan in Korean. The black belt levels are further segmented by title like Instructor, Master, Grandmaster and Great Grandmaster.
The lack of color signifies purity and innocence. The novice has no knowledge of tae kwon do.
The color of the rising sun. Seeds in the ground begin to germinate and grow. Basic tae kwon do techniques begin to be learned.
The sun deepens in color and rises higher in the sky. It gives energy to new growth. Techniques start to take form.
The color of growing things that all can see. Power begins to develop.
Blue / Purple:
The color of the sky which growing things reach for. Physical and mental power starts to stabilize.
The color of the ground where growing things are rooted firmly. Stability of physical and mental power is apparent.
Red / Bodan:
The color of blood, the essential life force. Maturity, honor and respect are exhibited as character begins to perfect.
Black is the combination of all color. The final stage where technique is mastered within the humble and serene beauty of the plant.
Some colored belts are solid and some have a stripe of another color down the center. These differences are merely variations of school and/or style preference.
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Tae kwon do belt colors or ranks are earned and awarded based on merit.
The belt colors give instructors a means of monitoring development and skill progression of the student.