Understanding Belt Ranks | Westfield Area Y

Understanding Belt Ranks

In Tae Kwon Do, our belts reflect a student's proven level of competence and the progression of colors reflects an inner journey that never truly ends.  Each belt achieved is truly an accomplishment worthy of respect.

Ranks

White Belt
The student has no knowledge of Tae Kwon Do and begins with a clean (pure) slate.  Purity is often signified by the color white.

Orange Belt
The beginner student sees the beauty of the art of 
Tae Kwon Do but has not yet experienced the power of the technique.  Orange is found among the many colors of the sunrise.

Yellow Belt
The student begins to understand the basics of 
Tae Kwon Do.  The sun appears to be yellow.

Camouflage (Camo) Belt
The student begins to realize his/her place in the world's largest martial art.  The student must now begin to spar in order to promote in rank.  Camouflage (greens) is used to hide among the trees in the forest.

Green Belt
The student's technique is developing power.  The components of the basic techniques are beginning to work in unison.  As the pine tree develops, it sprouts green pine needles.

Purple Belt
The student has crossed over into a higher level of 
Tae Kwon Do.  The techniques, forms and level of sparring becomes more difficult, creating a mountain that must be overcome.  Mountains are often depicted as being purple.

Blue Belt
Having passed the mid-way point, the student focuses his/her energy upward toward black belt.  The sky appears as blue.

Brown Belt
At this point the student has mastered the basics and developed deep roots in 
Tae Kwon Do.  Brown is known as an earthy color, such as dirt.

Red Belt
The first day (the period of time from white belt to red belt) of growth is coming to an end.  The physical skill has been developed but lacks control; therefore, physical and mental discipline must now be achieved. Variations of red are found among the many colors of the sunset.

Red/Black Belt
The student must begin a new phase of training; that of being a black belt.  The red is the sun (in a sunrise) as it breaks through the black of night.

Black Belt
The color black is created when all the colors of the light spectrum have been absorbed into an object. That object has "taken control" of the colors and retained them.  If one color was to "escape," the object would no longer be black but would appear as that color.  The student has mastered the nine grades of 
Tae Kwon Do.  He/she has "absorbed" all the knowledge of the color ranks and overcome or "mastered" that level or training.  The colors of the spectrum are bound together and are not reflected off an object, resulting in the absence of color which we call black.

For more information on the belts of Tae Kwon Do visit the American Taekwondo Website.

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The Westfield Area YMCA is a nonprofit human service organization dedicated to developing the full potential of every individual and family in the communities it serves through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.