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Ranks and Belts

A student's rank is indicated by the color of his or her belt. Each solid color has a symbolic meaning; the stripe belts indicate an intermediate level. Various federations use various color schemes; below are the colors used by the World Tae Kwon-Do Alliance. In the WTA, the highest rank is 9th dan (reached by both Grandmaster Han Cha Kyo 한차교, founder of the Universal Tae Kwon Do Federation, and his brother, WTA president Grandmaster Han Min Kyo 한민교).

The "high pattern" is the pattern that the student has not yet performed at a promotion test. It is the pattern a student should be learning for the next test. Example: a student who is currently a yellow belt should be learning Dan-Gun so that he/she can perform it at the next test, after which (if successful) he/she will become an orange belt. (The term "low pattern" refers to the pattern that the student has already learned and performed at his/her most recent test.)

Junior rank (color belt): (geup)
Senior rank (black belt): (dan)

Note: in order to view the Hangeul characters, you need to have Korean language support installed on your computer.

BeltBelt in KoreanRankHigh patternMeaning
White
White
흰색 띠
Huin-saek tti
10th geup Four-directional
punch and kick
Representing the innocence of the beginner.
Yellow stripe
Yellow stripe
9th geup 천지
Cheon-Ji
Yellow
Yellow
노란색 띠
No-ran-saek tti
8th geup 단군
Dan-Gun
Representing the Earth from which the plant sprouts as Tae Kwon-Do skill develops under the heat of the sun.
Orange
Orange
주황색 띠
Ju-hwang-saek tti
7th geup 도산
Do-San
Green
Green
녹색 띠
Nok-saek tti
6th geup 원효
Won-Hyo
Signifying the plant's growth and development.
Blue stripe
Blue stripe
5th geup 율곡
Yul-Gok
Blue
Blue
파란색 띠
Pa-ran-saek tti
4th geup 중근
Jung-Geun
Representing the Heavens toward which the maturing plant grows.
Red stripe
Red stripe
3rd geup 퇴계
Toi-Gye
Red
Red
빨간색 띠
Ppal-gan-saek tti
2nd geup 화랑
Hwa-Rang
Warning the student to master self-control, and opponents to stay away.
Black stripe
Black stripe
1st geup 충무
Chung-Mu
Black
Black
검정색 띠
Geom-jeong-saek tti
1st dan 광개
Gwang-Gae
The opposite of white, signifying maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do. It indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.
Black
Black
2nd dan
... ...
Black
Black
9th dan


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