Advancement

In taekwondo, advancement is measured on a regular basis. The different levels are called geups and are symbolized by different colored belts. Different schools use varying colors of belts, but in most taekwondo schools there are 9 geups. Lion Taekwondo uses these colors: white, yellow, orange, green blue, purple, red 1 stripe, red 2 stripe, red 3 stripe, black-red. Once you reach black belt, ranks are measured in Dans.

Three factors are considered for advancement: forms (poomse), sparring (kyorugi), and breaking (kyukpa). The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) (now WT) originally used the palgwe forms for advancement, but switched to taegeuk in the early 70s. Some schools, including Lion Taekwondo, uses both. Taegeuk and palgwe have 8 forms each and represent the 8 symbols (keon, tae, ri, jin, seon, kam, kan, kon).

Everyone starts as a white belt. Once you sign up for the class you will meet the requirements and be allowed to wear the uniform and white belt. You will be a 9th Geup white belt.


8th Geup – White to Yellow Belt Requirements

Taegeuk 1 Jang is a series of actions applying the principles of Keon of 8 symbols. Keon represents heaven and light. Heaven gives us rain and the sun gives us light and makes things grow. Therefore, Keon is the beginning of everything on earth and the source of creation. Keon symbol is the powerful and manly symbol. It can be compared to a dragon going up to Heaven from its living place on Earth. In analogy, Taegeuk begins with Keon, namely the Heaven.

Blocks

  • Low Block
  • Middle Block
  • High Block

Stances

  • Attention (charyeot)
  • Ready (Junbi)
  • Walking
  • Full
  • Fighting

Strikes

  • Middle punch
  • High punch
  • Knife hand
  • Spear hand
  • One-Two Punch

Kicks

  • Snap Kick
  • Side kick
  • Roundhouse
  • Swing Kick

Defense

  • Throat
  • Wrist (1)
  • Cross Wrist (1)
  • Collar Grab

Forms


7th Geup – Yellow to Orange Belt Requirements

Taegeuk 2 Jang is a series of actions applying the principles of Tae of 8 symbols. Tae means joyfulness. This is the state in which one’s mind is kept firm and ostensively appears gentle so that smile and virtue prevail. Accordingly, this action should be performed gently but forcefully.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Blocks

  • Knife Hand Middle Block Back Stance

Stances

  • Back Stance

Strikes

  • Reverse Punch
  • Blocking Spear Hand

Kicks

  • Crescent Kick

Defense

  • Throat
  • Wrist (2)
  • Back Attack (1)
  • Overhand Knife Attack

Forms


6th Geup – Orange to Green Belt Requirements

Taegeuk 3 Jang is a series of actions applying the principle of Ri of 8 symbols. Ri means fire and the sun. What distinguishes man from animal is that man knows how to use fire. Burning fire gives man light, warmth, enthusiasm and hope. Taegeuk 3 Jang actions, accordingly, should be performed with variety and with passion.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Strikes

  • Back Stance Backfist
  • High Block Knife Hand Strike
  • Back Stance Knife Hand Strike

Kicks

  • Exchange Kick

Defense

  • Hair Grab Front
  • Wrist (1)
  • Pressure Point (cross)
  • Underhand Knife

Forms


5th Geup – Green to Blue Belt Requirements

Taegeuk 4 Jang is a series of actions applying the principle of Jin of 8 symbols. Jin symbolizes thunder. Thunder and lightning are the objects of fear and trembling. This principle suggests to us that we should act calmly and bravely even in the face of danger and fear. Then the blue sky and bright sunlight will appear again.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Strikes

  • Low Block Middle Punch
  • High Block High Punch

Kicks

  • Reverse Side Kick

Defense

  • Hair Grab Back
  • Push

Forms


4th Geup – Blue to Purple Belt Requirements

Taegeuk 5 Jang is a series of actions applying the principle of Jeon of 8 symbols. This symbol is wind. These are such horrible winds as typhoons, storms, and tornados. But the nature of wind is gentle. Spring breezes caress weeping willows. Wind symbolizes a humble state of mind. It expresses repetitive good-natured actions. Actions proceed sometimes gently and monotonously as breezes, and sometimes as forcefully as storms.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Blocks

  • High Block Middle Block Back Stance

Stances

  • Horse riding

Kicks

  • Jump swing kick

Strikes

  • Back Stance middle block Middle Punch
  • Elbow strike

Defense

  • Neck behind
  • All escapes (body grab, head lock)
  • Knife-hand slice

Breaking

  • Fore Fist
  • Side Kick

Forms


3rd Geup – Purple to Red Belt – 1 stripe Requirements

Taegeuk 6 Jang is a series of actions applying the principle of Kam of 8 symbols. This means water. Water is liquid and formless. Water never loses its nature. It always flows downward. This principle teaches the lesson that we can overcome difficulties and hardships if we go forward with self-confidence.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Blocks

  • Scissor block
  • Palm block
  • Double forearm middle block
  • Low spreading block
  • High side block

Stances

  • Crane

Breaking

  • Snap Kick
  • Inner Knife Hand

Strikes

  • side kick hammer fist strike
  • Reverse knife hand strike

Forms


2nd Geup – Red 1 to Red Belt – 2 stripe Requirements

Taegeuk 7 Jang is a series of actions applying the principle of Kan of 8 symbols. Kan means “top stop.” It symbolizes a mountain. We should stop when we should and we must go forward when we must; moving and stopping should match with time in order to achieve things. A mountain never moves. Man must learn the stability of a mountain. We should not act in a hasty manner. This principle is well adapted to Taekwondo. Though fast actions seem fine, we should know where and when to stop.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Blocks

  • Middle spreading block
  • X-fist low block

Stances

  • Cat

Strikes

  • Knife hand high block palm strike
  • Kack fist
  • Overturn punch
  • Knee strike
  • Target kick

Breaking

  • Outer Knife Hand
  • Push Kick
  • Axe Kick

Forms


1st Geup – Red 2 – Red Belt – 3 stripe Requirements

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Blocks

  • High x-block
  • Low x-block

Breaking

  • Palm Strike
  • Jump Front Snap Kick
  • Jump Front Raising Kick

Forms


Red 3 to Bo-Dan Requirements

Taegeuk 8 Jang is a series of actions applying the Kon principle of of 8 symbols. Kon symbolizes the earth. The earth is the source of life. Things take life from it and grow on it, drawing limitless energy from it. The earth is where the creative force of heaven is embodied. The earth is always Wordless; it hugs and grows everything. The 8 Jang is the grader’s last round of training, and a stepping stone to the way of a Dan-holder. Here you brush up fundamental actions and review them.

Must remember all they’ve learned in prior belts plus:

Stance

  • X-stance

Strikes

  • Jump front kick

Breaking

  • Reverse Side Kick
  • Flying Side Kick
  • Spin Heel Kick

Forms


Bo-Dan to 1st Dan Requirements

Blocks

  • Escaping Yoke

Stances

  • Close ready stance

Strikes

  • High back fist
  • Swing punch

Breaking

  • One Cement Block
  • 4-Way Break (student choice)

Forms

Black Belt Forms