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The range of coloured belts can be confusing for someone who is new to the sport. Here are the most common colours and the ranks they correspond to.
A test is not required for the white belt, but in order to move on to the next rank, one first has to achieve the white belt with yellow stripes. The test requires the individual to carry out a predetermined pattern, as well as go through the three-step and one-step sparring process
with another taekwondo practitioner. He also has to be able to defend himself against holds and be able to successfully break free using either kicks or blows. It typically takes around two to three months for an individual to proceed to the white with yellow stripe belt.
The test for promotion to a yellow belt is similar to the test mentioned above, but with a different pattern, and the breaking of boards with both hands and feet. It takes roughly two to three months of training before one can take the test.
From yellow, you can proceed to the yellow with green stripe belt. While all the promotion tests are largely the same, the test from yellow to yellow with green requires one to go through a different pattern from the previous tests, as well as breaking a two-inch board with the hand and one-inch board with the feet. Additionally, one-step sparring is required.
From yellow with green stripes to a solid green belt, the player has to do a test with another pattern, along with a one-step spar and a freestyle spar. In addition, he also has to break through two-inch boards with both his hands and feet, as well as demonstrate an ability to defend himself.
To earn the green with blue stripes belt, you must practice another pattern, and defend yourself against both holds and clubs. In addition, the player has to break a two-inch board with his hands and a one-inch board using a jump kick. As with the other tests, he has to undertake the one-step sparring and free sparring. The move from green to green with stripes requires around four months of training before a test can be taken.
The test to attain the blue belt is similar to that of the green with blue stripes, except for the induction of a different pattern and an addition of two-step sparring. Besides that, one must demonstrate the breaking of a two-inch board with a punch and a one-inch board with a turning kick. All of this typically takes four months to achieve.
To achieve the blue with red stripes belt requires finesse, as the individual needs to defend against holds, clubs and knives as well as multiple unarmed opponents. He also has to break two-inch boards with a punch and a turning kick. It takes five months from the blue belt to achieve this.
Along with a different pattern, the test for the red belt replaces the two-step sparring with multiple free sparring. He also has to break a three-inch board with any kick, while other elements of the test remains the same.
From red, there is the red and black stripe belt. The test is identical to the red belt, except with a different pattern and the need to break two three-inch boards. It takes five months to train for this.
The highest rank achievable, the black belt test requires a lot of work: one pattern, one-step sparring
, two-step sparring, free sparring and multiple free sparring. You must also be able to defend against holds, clubs, knives and unarmed opponents, as well as break two three-inch boards with any kick or blow. To get to this stage, it requires at least nine months of training after one has completed the red and black stripe belt test.
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