Students and practitioners wear belts ranging in colors from white (lowest) to black (highest). Colors of the belts may be solid or with stripes.
To advance from one rank to the next, a student will complete a set of promotional tests to demonstrate proficiency in aspects of taekwondo art.
The colors differ from school to school. However the common color ranks for the belts in ascending order are as follows:
1. White Belt
A White Belt signifies a birth or the genesis of a seed.
No test is required for this belt. This color white symbolizes the student’s innocence and ignorance of taekwondo.
As a white belt student, you are a beginner searching for knowledge of taekwondo art. To move to the next rank, you must achieve the white belt with yellow stripes with a taekwondo practitioner or constructor.
2. Yellow Belt
Yellow is the first full color. Its present is an indication of some foundational knowhow in taekwondo.
This step is also referred as 9th Gup. It is the only step that is sometimes skipped for fast learning students.
3. Green Belt
From Yellow with Green stripes to a solid Green Belt. Green signifies, sprouting, the growth of the seed from the earth towards the sun. You will learn to refine and strength your techniques.
The milestone here is experience.
4. Blue Belt
Blue represent the sky color which the plant reaches as it matures.
At this point your taekwondo foundation is firm. You are prepared to begin advanced techniques and theories.
As a blue belt student, you move higher in the rank just like the plant grows taller. More taekwondo knowledge of art is given to you for the growth and development of body and mind, just as the plant is fed by light in to more growth.
5. Red Belt
The student of taekwondo at red belt is knowledgeable enough to be dangerous. Red signifies danger or the red –hot heat of the sun signaling the need to take control. The student at this level is skillful enough to course harm yet you can lose yourself in the skill. Thus the need to manage and use what you have positively.
6. Black Belt
It’s the darkness beyond the sun. A black belt signifies profound knowledge of taekwondo. It’s the highest achievable rank that requires a lot of work.
Black belt (1st degree): It takes 3-5 years to get here.