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Grading and Training Frequencies

The age old question of ‘How long until I become a Black Belt’ is the one most asked by new students. The reality is that no 2 students are the same and we all learn over different timescales.

Students should be aware that they are expected to attend the correct number of training sessions within any grading period in order to be eligible to grade. Irrespective of whether a student has attended the required number of training sessions and completed the appropriate training period, students will only be allowed to grade if the Instructor believes they are ready to do so. The Instructor will not deliberately prevent a student from grading and if the student is not permitted to grade the reason will be clearly stated to the student concerned. Equally if a Student fails a grading the reasons for failure will be clearly stated. Remember failure is only important if you decide never to try again

Students will normally grade every three months up to Blue Belt. Beyond Blue Belt, gradings are undertaken every six months up to First Degree Black Belt. Beyond First Degree gradings become increasingly more demanding and the standard of performance required is naturally higher.   You are expected to show an increased level of proficiency and understanding of the art at each grading.

To become a senior grade in Taekwon-do will take many years. Students will be expected to train for a minimum of 2 hours per week to be eligible to grade within these timescales. When a student misses a training session they may make up the lost training time in a subsequent week or at any other school with the approval of their Instructor.

It should be noted that if you are late for your Black Belt Grading, you are late handing in your essay or fail to pay your grading fee on time you will automatically fail. Gradings are usually conducted on a fairly tight timescale with little leeway for changes to timings of particular activities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with all the stated timescales re applications essays and attendance on grading day.

The table below gives an indication of timescales to reach each grade. There are no guarantees that you will be ready for your grading within the stated timescale. Remember the final decision always rests with your Instructor.

Belt Colours and Grading Periods 

It should be noted that Tag Belt holders still retain the grade of the previous belt. i.e. a Red Tag is still classed as a Blue Belt. This classification is especially used in competition patterns where Yellow Belts compete against Green Tags and so on.

Belt Colour or Degree Tag Belt holders retain the grade of the previous belt Grading Period Minimum Total Training Time necessary to achieve grades
White Belt to Yellow tag 3 months 3 Months
Yellow Tag to Yellow Belt   3 months 6 months
Yellow Belt to Green Tag 3 months 9 months
Green Tag to Green Belt   3 months 1 year
Green Belt to Blue Tag 3 months 15 months
Blue Tag to Blue Belt   3 months 18 months
Blue Belt to Red tag 6 months 2 years
Red Tag to Red Belt   6 months 2˝ years
Red Belt to Black Tag 6 months 3 years
Black Tag to 1st degree


6 months 3˝ years
1st Degree to 2nd Degree


18 months 5 years
2nd Degree to 3rd Degree


2 years 7 years
3rd Degree to 4th Degree


3 years 10 years
4th Degree to 5th Degree


4 years 14 years
5th Degree to 6th Degree


5 years 19 years
6th Degree to 7th Degree


6 years 25 years
7th Degree to 8th Degree


7 years 32 Years
8th Degree to 9th Degree


8 years 40 years


The Meanings of Belt Colours

WHITE:        Signifies the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

YELLOW:    Signifies the earth from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the Taekwon-Do foundation is being laid.

GREEN:       Signifies the plant's growth as Taekwon-Do skills begin to develop.

BLUE:           Signifies the heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwon-Do progresses.

RED:              Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control, whilst warning the opponent to stay away.

BLACK:         Signifies maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do. Also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

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