Taekwondo students progress in steps and stages, as do students in most other systems of instruction. Each of the ten coloured belt levels is known as a gup, and students are expected to learn new techniques, ideas and terminology in order to progress to the next gup. A student who has just started Taekwondo has a rank of 10th gup and wears a white belt with their uniform, or dobuk. To advance to 9th gup they must learn certain Taekwondo skills, and demonstrate a willingness to improve and to learn.

We have separated the requirements into eight different components, or areas:

  • kicks
  • punches and strikes
  • blocks and self-defense
  • stances and stepping
  • patterns (poomsae)
  • terminology
  • fitness and flexibility
  • ethics

As students learn the various techniques, they can get coloured stripes added to their belt to indicate that they know the requirements for that component. After they have earned all their stripes and attended at least the minimum number of classes, they are eligible to test for their next belt.


To advance to 9th gup the beginner student will be expected to learn the following:


  • front snap kick (ap chagi) – rear leg and front leg
  • turning (roundhouse) kick (dollyo chagi) – rear leg and front leg
  • double kick (narae chagi) – rear leg and front leg
  • combinations of the above kicks

punches and strikes

  • middle punch and high punch in horse-riding stance
  • middle and high punch in walking stance and front stance
  • backfist to temple

blocks and self-defense

  • low block
  • middle block (out to in and in to out)
  • high block
  • one-step sparring defense #1
  • release #1

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