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Grade Theory

Every belt (Kup) has a unique set of basic movements that must be mastered before progressing up to the higher belts. All these moves and patterns must be second nature to students aiming to go for their 1st Dan Black Belt.


10th Kup (White Belt)

This is the belt that is given to all beginners that decide to start their Tae Kwon-Do journey.

The white belt signifies innocence, it represents the starting student who has no previous knowledge of taekwondo. The tenets of Tae Kwon-Do should serve as a guide for all serious students, and are as follows: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit.

The founder of Tae Kwon-Do was General Choi Hong Hi, 9th Degree, Grand Master (1918-2002)

At this level there are two patterns that need to be learned, Saju Jirugi and Saju Makgi.

Stances

  • Attention Stance (Chariyout Sogi)
  • Parallel Stance (Narani Sogi)
  • Sitting Stance (Annun Sogi)
  • Walking Stance (Gunnun Sogi)

Hand Parts

  • Outer Forearm (Bakat Palmok)
  • Inner Forearm (An Palmok)
  • Forefist (Ap Joomuk)
  • Knifehand (Sonkal)

Height

  • Low (Najunde)
  • Middle (Kaunde)
  • High (Nopunde)

9th Kup (White Belt, Yellow Tags)

Yellow belt signifies the earth from which the plant takes root and sprouts as Tae Kwon-Do  foundation is laid.

The pattern, Chon-Ji, literally translates to "the Heaven and the Earth". It is, in the Orient, interinterpreted as the creation of the world or the beginning of human history, therefore, it is the initial pattern played by the beginner.
This pattern consists of two similiar parts; one to represent the Heaven and the other the Earth. The pattern consists of 19 movements.

Stances

  • L-stance (Nuinja Sogi)

Foot Parts

  • Ball of Foot (Ap Kumchi)
  • Sword Edge (Balkal)

Movements

  • Front Kick (Ap Chagi)
  • Side Kick (Yop Chagi)
  • Punch (Baro Jirugi)
  • Reverse Punch (Bandae Jirugi)
  • Double Punch (Dool Jirugi)
  • Rising Block (Chookyo Makgi)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

8th Kup (Yellow Belt)

Green belts signifies the plants growth as Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.

The pattern, Dan Gun, is named after the Holy Dan-Gun the legendary founder of korea in the year 2333BC. The pattern consists of 21 movements.

Movements

  • Turning Kick (Dollyo Chagi)
  • Back Piercing Kick (Dwit Cha Jirugi)
  • Knifehand Guarding Block (Sonkal Daebi Makgi)
  • Knifehand Side Strike (Sonkal Yop Taerigi)
  • Twin Forearm Block (Sang Palmok Maki)
  • High Forefist Punch (Nopunde Ap Joomuk Jirugi)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

7th Kup (Yellow Belt, Green Tags)

Green belts signifies the plants growth as Tae Kwon-Do skills begin to develop.

The pattern, Do-San, is the pseudonym of the patriot Ahn Chang-Ho (1876-1938) The 24 movements represent his entire life which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea and its independence movement.

Stance

  • Fixed Stance (Gojung Sogi)

Hand Parts

  • Back Fist (Dung Joomuk)
  • Fingertips (Sonkut)

General

  • Thrust (Tulgi)
  • Strike (Taerigi)

Movements

  • Straight Fingertip Thrust (Sun Sonkut Tulgi)
  • Backfist Side Strike (Dung Joomuk Taerigi)
  • Outer Forearm Wedging Block (Bakat Palmok Hechyo Makgi)

Sparring

  • 3-Step (Sambo Matsogi)
  • 3-Step semi-free (Ban Jayoo Matsogi)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

6th Kup (Green Belt)

Blue belt signifies the heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon-do progresses.

The pattern, Won-Hyo, is named after the noted monk of the same name who introduced Buddhism to the Silla Dynasty in the year of 686 A.D. The pattern consists of 28 movements, and the ready stance is the closed ready stance A.

Stances

  • Close Stance Type A (Moa Sogi A)
  • Bent Knee Stance (Goburyo Sogi)
  • Fixed Stance (Gojung Sogi)

Foot Parts

  • Heel (Dwichook)

Movements

  • Reverse Hooking Kick (Bandae Dollyo Goro Chagi)
  • Reverse Turning Kick (Bandae Dollyo Chagi)
  • Downward Kick (Naeryo Chagi)
  • Knifehand Inward Strike (Sonkal Annuro Taerigi)
  • Side Punch (Yop Jirugi)
  • Bent Knee Ready Stance (Goburyo Junbi Sogi)
  • Inner Forearm Circular Block (An Palmok Dollimyo Makgi)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

5th Kup (Green Belt, Blue Tags)

Blue belt signifies the heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon-do progresses.

The pattern, Yul-Gok, is the pseudonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yil (1536-1584) nicknamed the "Confucious of Korea".
The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th degree of latitude and the diagram represents "scholar". 

Stances

  • X-stance (Kyocha Sogi)

Hand Parts

  • Front Elbow (Ap Palkup)
  • Palm (Sombadak)

Movements

  • Palm Hooking Block (Sombadak Golcho Makgi)
  • Front Elbow Strike (Ap Palkup Taerigi)
  • Double Forearm Block (Dool Palmok Makgi)
  • Twin Knifehand Block (Sang Sonkal Makgi)

Kicks

  • Turning Kick (Dollyo Chagi), foot part used is Ap Kumchi
  • Back Piercing Kick (Dwit Cha Jirugi), foot part used is Dwit Chook
  • Front Kick (Ap Chagi), foot part used is Ap Kumchi
  • Side Kick (Yop Chagi), foot part used is Balkal

4th Kup (Blue Belt)

Blue belt represents the heaven toward which the plant matures into a towering tree as Tae Kwon-Do progresses.

The pattern, Joon-Gun, is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assassinated Hiro-Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea.
The 32 movements in this pattern represent Mr. Ahn's age when he was executed at Lui-Shung prison in 1910.

Stances

  • Low Stance (Nacho Sogi)
  • Rear Foot Stance (Dwit Bal Sogi)

Hand Parts

  • Upper Elbow (Wi Palkup)
  • Reverse Knifehand (Sonkal Dung)

Movements

  • Reverse Knifehand Block (Sonkal Dung Maki)
  • Palm Upward Block (Sombadah Ollyo Maki)
  • Upper Elbow Strike (Wi Palkup Taerigi)
  • Twin Forefist Vertical Punch (Sang Joomuk Sewo Jirugi)
  • Twin Forefist Upset punch (Sang Joomuk Dwijibo Jirugi)
  • "X" Fist Rising Block (Kyocha Joomuk Chookyo Maki)
  • Palm Pushing Block (Sombadah Miro Maki)
  • "U" Shape Block (Digucha Maki)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

3rd Kup (Blue Belt, Red Tag)

Red signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control, and the opponent to stay away.

The pattern, Toi-Gye, Is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century), an authority on neo-Confucianism.
The 37 movements of the pattern refer to his birthplace on the 37th degree of latitude, and the diagram represents "scholar".

Stances 

  • Close Stance (Moa Sogi)

Hand Parts

  • Upset Fingertip (Dwijibun Sonkut)
  • Flat Fingertip (Opun Sonkut)

Foot Parts

  • Knee (Moorup)

Movements

  • Upset Fingertip Thrust (Dwijibun Sonkut Tulgi)
  • Forearm "W" Shape Block (Paka Palmo San Maki)
  • "X" Fist Pressing Block Kyocha (Joomuk Noollo Maki)
  • Double Forearm Pushing Block (Dool Palmo Miro Maki)

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

2nd Kup (Red Belt)

Red belt signifies danger, this belt cautions students to exercise control while warning opponents to keep away.

The pattern, Hwa-Rang, is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early 7th century. The 29 movements refer to the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity.

Stances

  • Vertical Stance (Soojik Sogi) the width is one shoulder width
  • Close Ready Stance C (Moa Junbi Sogi C)

Hand Parts

  • Side Elbow (Yop Palkup Tulgi)

Movements

  • Palm Pushing Block (Sombadah Miro Maki)
  • Upset Punch (Ollyo Jirugi)
  • Knifehand Downward Strike (Sonkal Naeryo Taerigi)
  • Side Elbow Thrust (Yop Palkup Tulgi)

Extra questions you may be asked.

  • What are the two purposes of a stance?
  • What is a vital spot?
  • What is the purpose of 2 against 1 sparring?
  • Name all hand/foot parts you know?
  • What is the height of the first move in Do-san?
  • What Is the first move in Yul-Gok for?
  • What does sang makgi block?

All previous terminology can be tested as well as the terminology relevant to your grade.

1st Kup (Red Belt, Black Tags)

Black belt signifies the opposite to white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency in Tae Kwon-Do. It indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

The patter, Choong Moo, was the name given to the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He was reputed to have invented the first armoured battleship (Kobukson) in 1592, which is said to be the precursor of the present day submarine. The reason why this pattern ends with a left hand attack is to symbolize his regrettable death, having no chance to show his unrestrained potentiality checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king. The pattern consists of 30 moves.

Sparring

  • 1-Step Sparring (Ilbo Matsogi)

Hand Parts

  • Side Fist (Yop Joomuk)

Stances

  • One Leg Stance ( Wae Bal Sogi)

Movements

  • Checking Block – Momchau Makgi
  • Downward Block – Naeryo Makgi
  • Double Arc Hand Block – Doo Bandalson Makgi
  • Sweeping Kick – Goro Chagi

1st Dan (Black Belt)

The opposite of white, this belt signifies maturity and proficiency in taekwondo. What's more, it indicates the wearer is impervious to darkness and fear.

Contact me today, in Broxburn, West Lothian, to sign up to my martial arts academy.