One of the core motivations of our students at RBBA is getting that next belt. Whether it’s a white belt striving for their first promotion to yellow, or a black belt working for over a year toward their second degree, belts drive most of our students on a weekly–if not daily–basis.
The belts are broken down as follows:
- White Belt: Beginners are given a white belt when they start their training.
- Yellow/Adv. Yellow: Yellow belt is the first earned belt. Students next earn an advanced yellow belt, which is a yellow belt with a black stripe through the middle. Students are just beginning to gain control over basic kicks and punches.
- Green/Adv. Green: At this level, students begin to spar. This is a significant time in a student’s training, as they begin to apply their techniques to competition fighting.
- Blue/Adv. Blue: Students at the blue and advanced blue level are putting together techniques to execute combinations. They are also gaining control of their strength and speed. Most students are also seeing significant flexibility gains at this level, as well.
- Red/Adv. Red: This is perhaps the hardest advancement. At the red belt level, students are allowed to punch to the head in sparring. The competition intensifies, and many students struggle. Keep persisting! This is an opportunity to press forward and learn the joy of perseverance.
- Brown/Adv. Brown: This is a stage where the student reviews and reflects their training to date–often nearly two years worth! Brown and Advanced Brown belts review all the earlier patterns as well as looking eagerly forward to their black belt.
- 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt: At this level, students have shown the required skills to earn their black belt. However, they much demonstrate consistency at this level for six months to earn their full black belt. This belt, due to the white stripe through the black belt, is often called the “skunk belt.”
- Black, 1st degree: This is the goal for many students. It will take two to three years of hard, consistent work, and takes students who break for a time even longer. However, it is truly a graduation: the student has understood and incorporated the techniques of TaeKwon-Do into their daily lives, and is in control of these techniques.
- Black, 2nd-9th degree: The pursuit never ends! There are additional degrees to earn, although each takes a greater degree of commitment and time. However, the rewards–and the appreciation by other martial artists–only grows with these advanced degrees.
Each student works to earn stripes toward their belt; there are always four stripes to be earned throughout each testing period. High ranks (from red belt upward) must earn an additional “board breaking” stripe each testing period, as well. Once a student earns their stripes, they are ready for the next testing.
For lower ranks (white through blue advanced), testing occurs every ten weeks. At the red and brown belt level, testing occurs once every three months. Once a student has earned their first degree recommended (the “skunk belt”), they must wait six months until they earn their black belt, and test for a chevron three months into that period to show progress toward their black belt.
The promotion process changes fairly significantly once a student has earned their first degree black belt. At this stage, it’s best to speak with Mr. Robert Powell to understand the additional requirements for advancing toward additional degrees of a black belt.