This made it easy to change the color for each promotion, and meant that the student could physically SEE their progression within the system, and know how far from, or how close they are to the black belt.
Not long after Master B started training as an adult (he first started his training at the age of 9 in 1966!), the coloured belts were swapped and re-cycled between students at each grading (the instructor also kept a bag full of old sweaty belts).
Today, students are usually presented with a brand-new belt of a new colour when they advance at each new rank, and they can keep their old belts as a reminder of their journey each step towards the coveted black belt.
Different styles of martial art may use different colours, but essentially use the same belt and rank system from white to black belt.
The belt (or ranking) system is one way of recognising a student’s experience and accomplishment throughout their training in the martial arts. Think of the belts as a ladder of success…
In Tae Kwon Do (and Korean Kickboxing), each primary belt colour has a philosophical meaning at Martial Art World:
The systematic use of belt color to denote the student rank was first used in Japan by Jigoro Kano (the founder of judo). He first devised the colored belt system in the 1880s, and we use a similar ranking system today at Martial Art World.
Kup, a Korean term, is used to denote beginner grade within the Leadership Programme (Positive Start annd foundation levels use a slightly different system).
Each grade has a correlating number and belt color. The system counts down from 10 kup (white belt) to 1 kup (red belt with black stripe).
After that a student reaches black belt ranking, and the system counts up (black, 1st Dan, 2nd Dan etc, up to 9th Dan).
At MAW we follow the following Dan grade format for the levels of black belt:
Some oriental systems award the master grade at 4th Dan, some at 5th Dan, some at 6th Dan and some at 7th Dan (Olympic WTF TKD = 4th Dan for master)
How long is it for you to finish your coloured belt journey? This will allow you to train with the black belts, and to begin a new pathway where the real learning starts! If you are already within the black belt circle, how long until your next Dan grading?
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