Saturday, August 18, 2007

Exactly what colored belts are there?

Invariably, whenever I bring up Taekwondo to someone, they always ask "What belt are you?" I tell them and they really have no idea what it really means because they always follow up with...."Uhh...what are the belts?" The best I've been able to figure out is that there are several types of Taekwondo organizations. My dojang follows the one that is closely associated with the Olympics....the Kukkiwon in Korea. Note that the Kukkiwon and the Olympics are 2 separate organizations but they do appear to have close ties to each other.

However, the Kukkiwon affiliation doesn't really mean anything with respect to the colored belts. You can go from one Kukkiwon affiliated place to another and the colored belts could be completely different in color. Black belts and above seem to be more standardized. For colored belts, there is a "Gup" system. I can take my Gup certificate to any Kukkiwon affiliated dojang and get whatever belt they have that represents that Gup.

But, for future reference as I write in this blog, my dojang has the following belts: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, blue senior, brown, brown senior, red, red senior, red executive, and cho dan bo.

That is the order I would progress through them. "cho dan bo" means "black belt candidate" the best I can tell. If I were to keep on pace, I would progress through the belts at 1 a quarter until I get to red executive. Red executive is a 6 month stint. The "cho dan bo" is 14 weeks. There is no guarantee that I or my kids will stay on pace though. If you aren't ready to progress, you don't get to take the test.

So....if you're doing the math, you're looking at about 3 1/2 years to become a black belt provided you stay on track.

No comments: