Belts and promotion

Taekwondo has coloured belt ranks from beginner to advanced called Kup Grades. Opportunities to progress through these ranks usually occur approximately every three months in a club setting.

These promotion opportunities (or ‘gradings’) test student’s knowledge of basic technique, poomsae, self defence and sparring skills. Some clubs also include a degree of theory testing of rules, general understanding and knowledge of Taekwondo.

New students begin at 10th Kup (white belt) and advance to 1st Kup.

Kup ranks and belt colours

The Martial Art belts

Black belt – ‘Dan‘ ranks

It can take approximately three years of training from a beginner level to achieve black belt.

When a student achieves black belt this is termed as 1st Dan (degree), or 1st Poom if the student is 14 years old or younger.

Students progress through the Dan system over a period of time, learning advanced techniques and application skills in addition to deepening their understanding of the theory and values of the traditional martial art.

Students promoting from one Dan rank to the next are required to learn new poomsae (patterns), refine their skills and after a minimum waiting period are permitted to test for the next Dan rank. This is usually:

  • 1st Dan to 2nd Dan – 1 year
  • 2nd Dan to 3rd Dan – 2 years
  • 3rd Dan to 4th Dan – 3 years
  • 4th Dan to 5th Dan Master – 4 years
  • 5th Dan Master to 6th Dan Master – 5 years
  • 6th Dan Master to 7th Dan Master – 6 years
  • 7th Dan Master to 8th Dan Grand Master – 8 years
  • 8th Dan Grand Master to 9th Dan Grand Master – 9 years

All British Taekwondo members receive a graduation award certificate and a Kukkiwon certificate from the World Taekwondo Headquarters in Korea, recognising their rank in any Taekwondo club around the world.

National Dan Gradings

Visit the British Taekwondo National Dan Grading event page for further information.