World Taekwondo is a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and is the international federation governing the sport of Taekwondo.
World Taekwondo has the most affiliation of schools in the World. The majority of schools are using the belt system cited below, but others use it with slight variations.
- White Belt
- Yellow Belt
- Orange Belt
- Green Belt
- Purple Belt
- Blue Senior Belt
- Brown Belt
- Brown Senior Belt
- Red Belt
- Junior Black Belt
International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is an international taekwondo organization, ITF is geared towards a taekwondo self-defense style.
There are 10 Geups until black belt and 9 dans after. The word “dan” means degree in Korean, it is used to designate ranks of black belts.
White Belt (10th geup): Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do
White with yellow tip (9th geup): A middle phase between a total beginner and yellow belt.
Yellow Belt (8th geup): The metaphor of yellow is the seed planted.
Yellow with green tip (7th geup): Middle phase between yellow and green
Green Belt (6th geup): The seed now is starting to grow a plant and the practitioner is growing slowly but surel
Green with blue tip (5th geup): Middle phase between the green belt and the blue belt.
Blue Belt (4th geup): Signifies the sky as the plant is aspiring to go high towards the sky without limits
Blue with red tip (3rd geup): Middle Phase between blue belt and red belt
Red Belt (2nd geup): Red is a sign of blood, this is a warning to the student that they are aquiring a lethal weapon, self-control should be very present.
Red with black tip (1st geup): Middle phase between red belt and black belt
Black Belt: The student is rewarded the black belt once they pass the 1st Geup.
ATA is one of the largest Taekwondo organizations in the world and it has great dominance in the United States.
ATA Martial Arts uses a rank system divided into two series: the colored belt series, and the black belt series. Each series has nine ranks. According to the ATA, each belt has a symbolic meaning that compares the student’s growth in taekwondo to the growth of a pine tree.
White Belt: Pure and without the knowledge of Songahm Taekwondo.
Orange Belt: The sun is beginning to rise. As with the morning’s dawn, only the beauty of the sunrise is seen rather than the immense power.
Yellow Belt: The seed is beginning to see the sunlight.
Camouflage Belt: The sapling is hidden amongst the taller pines and must now fight its way upwards.
Green Belt: The pine tree is beginning to develop and grow in strength.”
Purple Belt: Coming to the mountain. The tree is in mid-growth and now the path becomes steep.
Blue Belt: The tree reaches for the sky towards new heights.”
Brown Belt: The tree is firmly rooted in the earth.”
Red Belt: The sun is setting. The first phase of growth has been accomplished.
How long does it take to get a black belt in taekwondo?
Many schools in South Korea consider black belt as the end of the beginners’ stage and the starting of the “real” knowledge.
To get a black belt in Taekwondo depends on how long you have spent in the dojang. In general, it takes around 1200 hours (equivalent of 4 years) of practice to get a black belt. Also, it depends on the quality of the teaching and your learning abilities. Some people spend around 6 years to get their black belt, others spend less than 4 years.
In South Korea, there are some schools offering training programs for foreigners to get a black belt within 10 to 12 months of training intensely.
Training is on a daily basis for around 4 hours. Once the training is complete, the student is tested by a national committee.