The System of Rank (Dan Gup Jedo)

The grade system of Taekwon-Do consists of nineteen ranks: ten grades (kups) and nine degrees (dans).
The nine degree grades are significant. The number nine is the highest of the single digit figures and is also the square of three, the most esteemed of all numbers. The Chinese characters for 'three' and 'king' are almost identical and are closely linked.
The number nine has one other unique feature: when multiplied by any other single digit number, the figure produced can be added together to equal nine. Therefore, this points to nine being the most positive of the single digits.
It is noticeable too, that the degree grades are divided into three groups; novice, expert and elite.

The Taekwon-Do Syllabus

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WHITE (hayan ti)   White Belt (10th Kup)
Signifies innocence. No previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do, as that of the beginner student.

YELLOW (noran ti)   Yellow Tag (9th Kup)   Yellow Belt (8th Kup)
Represents the earth where the seed of Taekwon-Do is planted as the foundation of Taekwon-Do is being laid.

GREEN (nok ti)   Green Tag (7th Kup)   Green Belt (6th Kup)
Represents the green plant growing as the skills of Taekwon-Do develop.

BLUE (ch'ong ti)   Blue Tag (5th Kup)   Blue Belt (4th Kup)
Signifies the sky and the heavens, towards which the tree grows as Taekwon-Do training progresses.

RED (hong ti)  Red Tag (3rd Kup)   Red Belt (2nd Kup)

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

BLACK (komun ti)   Black Tag (1st Kup)
The opposite of white, therefore signifying a maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do. It also indicates the holder's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

BLACK I to III Degree – National/Assistant Instructor (Boo Sabum)
Wear black piping along the lower edge of dobok shirt. Considered 'novice.'

BLACK IV to VI Degree – International Instructor (Sabum)
All grades from IV Degree wear additional black piping along sleeves and trouser legs. Considered 'Expert.'

BLACK VII to VIII Degree – Master (Sahyun) IX Degree – Grand Master (Sasung)
Considered 'the elite'. Grand Master denotes a full knowledge of Taekwon-do, and many decades of experience at the fore of teaching & promoting the art.

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