System of rank and coloured belts

Here you will find information on both the syllabus for each grade and also the protocol for the way in which the grading is carried out. The Chief Examiner for Maynooth Taekwon-Do School is Mr. Gareth Curran, 5th Degree.

It is important that each student is familiar with the grading procedure and the syllabus content they will be examined on. Both the grading syllabi and protocol given on this web site are indicative and the student should also be knowledgeable of any other practical or theoretical material covered in training. If in doubt about any aspect of this the student should speak with the instructor.

System of Rank

The promotional scale in Taekwon-Do is divided into nineteen ranks:

The grades begin with the 10th Kup and end with the 1st Kup; the degrees begin with the 1st Dan and ultimately end at 9th Dan.

In the Orient, three is the most esteemed number, with the lines of the Chinese character for three representing the heaven, mortals and the earth. If we multiply three by three we obtain the number nine, the highest single digit, therefore representing the highest ranking belt. Also, if the number nine is multiplied by any other single digit, the digits making up the resulting number add up to nine, again pointing to this number as one of great significance.

Belt Colours, rank and meaning of each colour

There are six belt colours in total, with the beginner starting at white belt and the student who has progressed through the grades being awarded a black belt. The following is the sequence of the belts:

10th Kup: White Belt
9th Kup: White Belt with Yellow Tag

Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

8th Kup: Yellow Belt
7th Kup: Yellow Belt with Green Tag

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

6th Kup: Green Belt
5th Kup: Green Belt with Blue Tag

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

4th Kup: Blue Belt
3rd Kup: Blue Belt with Red Tag

Signifies the Heaven, towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwon-Do progresses.

2nd Kup: Red Belt
1st Kup: Red Belt with Black Tag

Signifies Danger, cautioning the the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.

1st Dan: Black Belt

Opposite of white, therefore signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do. It also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.