Taekwondo Black Belt

6:50:00 AM Tkd kwan 26 Comments

For many people, being a black belt is a great goal and achievement, and the result of hard work and commitment. 
It is not an easy mission to earn a black belt especially if the test was so strict and evaluating each corner of Taekwondo basics.
During the old days, the black belt was a biggest dream for many martial artists because the black belt holder gets some respect inside the dojang and outside of it. 

Even in kyorugi championships it was so scary for color belt holders to spar against black belts, because black belts that time were strong fighters comparing to this new generation, and masters were so strict with their students about the belt tests. Now things are different, and it seems that some Taekwondo masters became brokers between the costumer (Student) and the shopping mall (Kukkiwon or whatever taekwondo organization). I did not want to describe it this way, but maybe the reality is worst.
It would be acceptable if your master or grand master evaluates you and be convinced that you deserve that black belt. The fact that you train under your master guidance for years permits for him/her to test your taekwondo techniques and also morals. 
In case your master was not qualified according to Kukkiwon rules to test black belts in the dojang, then sending the students to other sides, such as national unions or kukkiwon should be a prove that the students have met the criteria required in both taekwondo skills and morals.

Poom and Dan
  This is to divide taekwondo black belts into two categories according to their age; the Poom was made for black belt holders under 15 years old, while the Dan is for people above that age. 
Students under 15 years old would be legitimate to test for the first Poom, the second Poom or the third Poom, without ignoring the period that must be respected between the last poom issue and the next test. When students get older than 15, it would be possible according to kukkiwon rules to convert the Poom into a Dan certificate.

Are Taekwondo skills the only criteria needed to be a black belt holder?? 
Well, for business-masters, the taekwondo student is like a costumer, and the real focus is on money. Whenever you go shopping, you can see that you do not need to be qualified to buy a certain item! This simple analogy explains everything.
To be qualified for a black belt test you have to reach a certain level of maturity and also to master the basic techniques of taekwondo.
The student must range in color belts and has to respect the period between the last belt and the next test, because it is not right to be a black belt after a short time of practice. The good commitment and hard work in the dojang are not enough to be qualified for your first Dan, but also time is needed.
A first Dan black belt who kicked 10,000 kicks is of course much better than the one whom kicked 5,000 kicks. MORE PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES YOUR TAEKWONDO PERFECT.
 Every kick, punch or a block you execute will improve your performance in the future, just keep kicking, and do it correctly.
I hope this small article does not bother anyone of the readers.

                         By Master S.H.S.M


  1. Replies
    1. i fully agree, i hate it when you can buy a certain dan belt, or go 2 dan degrees up with one examination ?? not fair
      thy have to earn it like the most of us

      greetings from Belgium


  2. In my club (www.mudo.fi) 1st Poom and Dan, minimum 4,5 years if You are over 12 ages (Poom), 15 and over 1st Dan. But then You have to be talent ad wery active. Even kids start 3 year ages the can not get Poom before 12 ages. We have rules that we don't give 6 kup under 7 years ages, 3 kup under 9 years ages and so on. In test is same for poom and dan, only breaking is 1 cm strong wood for jirugi and 2x1cm to chagis. Have to do Poomsaes 1-8 Tuguk, sparring against one and against 3 opponent, hosinsul 10 different attacks, 4 different tyo chagis (jump kicks), and more. But also show respect to others in training, to in streetbehavion /school/work, . . . . have to show inner strength, to provide assistance to others, be able to teach others also, and much more.

  3. Well in my dojang I have made a rule to test myself in order to give next belt...we don't take any special test but we take care that we and my instructors get 10 out of 10 while preparing anyone for the next belt...as I have noticed every individual is different. So when we announce his or her promotion, we both parties know what we have done...

  4. I agree and luckily my teacher too. When I asked if I could do the black belt test, he told me that it was not just a matter of practice time ... I took the exam after a third place in a national combat championship and a first place at the regional championships ...what a great teaching and what a great teacher...I still work on basic techniques to earn/deserve the fifth dan.

  5. thats very true. im a red two stripe. we have gradings so each belt level has something new added. and you get greed out of 5. we r all compared .which puts pressure on us students.

  6. I need convert my taekwondo Dan certificate from local instructor to recognize certificate, please someone help m

    1. I have been trying to do that but local Kukkiwon reps didn't seem interested.

  7. With respect, I think you mean "consumer" rather than "costumer".

  8. Nice article . Taekwondo is a marathon not a Sprint race.
    There is no hurry for grades.
    And as Vesa said, I too have delays in grading depending on the students age .

  9. Well, it seems now that a kukkiwon/wtf BB just needs more money.

  10. I am thankful to this blog giving unique and helpful knowledge about this topic. Karate Uniforms

  11. So truly said. There's much of a difference between something being earned than just getting it. I'm a player-turned-coach and am so very thankful to my master for having shown me the right way through years of being a successful player and now a successful coach. However, walking my way down in Taekwondo all these years till date, I've come to realise with bitterness that 'giving' or 'getting' a black belt degree too easily and earlier than is fit to be done and eaten most vigorously into 'discipline', 'respectfulness'and such other moral values. Instead of making such a criterion that all participants for championships must be black belts from beforehand, it perhaps would be more healthy if colour belt performing competitors are allowed for championships till at least National level and then be awarded black belts which will leave them with the feeling at least that that they have to earn performance in order to earn their Poom and Dan

  12. I entirely agree with the philosophy or description of the old and new black belt. It is not an art any more and hasn’t been for years. It is a business and monopoly amongst associations. I left to associations while I was teaching and competing because on the political situations amongst them.

  13. I find it almost impossible to reconcile teaching and business. I have been consistent in my promotion rules. Students take time to reach black. I continue to lose many students for that.

  14. 1st poom at age 14 now dan @ 19 yes is so difficult

  15. Ten lots of cracked ribs by the time I got First Dan. My Master at the time said to me " at least I taught you to block". If we are not equal to Black Belts in other styles of Martial Arts, It is not a worthy Black Belt I believe. I can still surprise many other Black Belts, even at my age. If your grade is not earned and proved, I believe it is only decoration.

  16. Everyone in your taekwondo association knows who the best practitioners of Taekwondo are in your Dojang. I have been in taekwondo for decades and I earned my 4th degree black belt. I've seen 12 year old 1st degree blackbelts who are very skilled. Seen plenty at all ages that weren't. But, I am just glad that young people are participating in the great endeavor Taekwondo that sharpens many life skills. Don't get too hung up on the "the black belt factory" thing. Be glad there are tournaments to demonstrate your prowess.

  17. Being a practioner for over 44 years of tradional Tae Knon Do OH Do Kwan style, I am a true believer in teaching tradional Tae Kwon Do! I am a Grandmaster in my art and have taught a great number of students over the years. I would not promote any student to 1st. Dan without a very grueling 3 hour test! They must demonstrate proficiency in everything I have taught them, to include the basics,forms, and their ability to fight and defend themselves. A lot of times I made little or no money at it,as it was more important to me to share my art to those who really wanted to learn.
    I have witnessed many students from other schools who get promoted when it's a certain time frame.
    I never set a time limit on how long it takes to achieve the next level, everyone learns at different levels. NOBODY,moved up until I thought they were ready.

  18. A good article but it doesn’t really talk about the teaching aspect of being a black belt. Once you’ve achieved black belt then it is expected that you will continue to learn but also assist your school in teaching/helping other students at the same time. This process is even more difficult because you need to have mastered all the skills of a color belt and not have forgotten them so you can help others. You also need to be able to demonstrate a move in a way that others of all ages will be able to understand and learn. It is harder than most would believe. That is the process of becoming a master and the ultimate goal.. to learn and master and pass on that knowledge.

  19. I agree 100%. I trained in Taekwondo in the 70's under a Korean 7th Dan master, who was plenty tough, but fair with his students, and beleive me you earned whatever you got in that class, never worked out so hard before or since.