What Is The Highest Belt In Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a much respected martial art that many people still practice to this day.

There are many belts in Taekwondo, and you have to earn belts in a certain order, working your way up to the highest. 

What Is The Highest Belt In Taekwondo

But what exactly is the highest belt? In this article, we will be discussing just that, and more! So, if this is of interest to you, then read on. 

What Is The Highest Belt In Taekwondo?

The highest belt you can get in Taekwondo is a 10th dan, also known as a 10th-degree Black Belt. Once you get your black belt, there are 10 different dans which you must successfully pass to be promoted to the next one. 

When it comes to testing you for your next dan, there are many physical necessities, including board break, sparring, fitness testing, and of course, form. 

What Is The Order Of The Belts In Taekwondo?

It is important to note that the order of belts will differ depending on what dojo you are a part of.

According to the American Taekwondo Association, the belt rank looks a little like this:

  • White Belt 
  • White Belt Stripe, also known as White Belt Decided 
  • Orange Belt 
  • Orange Belt Stripe / Orange Belt Decided 
  • Yellow Belt 
  • Yellow Belt Stripe / Yellow Belt Decided 
  • Camouflage Belt 
  • Camouflage Belt Stripe / Camouflage Belt Decided 
  • Green Belt 
  • Green Belt Stripe / Green Belt Decided 
  • Purple Belt 
  • Purple Belt Stripe / Purple Belt Decided 
  • Blue Belt 
  • Blue Belt Stripe / Blue Belt Decided 
  • Brown Belt 
  • Brown Belt Stripe / Brown Belt Decided 
  • Red Belt 
  • Red Belt Stripe / Red Belt Decided 
  • Red Black Belt 
  • Recommended Black Belt 
  • Black Belt (1st Degree)
  • Black Belt (2nd Degree)
  • Black Belt (3rd Degree)
  • Black Belt (4th Degree)
  • Black Belt (5th Degree)
  • Black Belt (6th Degree)
  • Black Belt (7th Degree)
  • Black Belt (8th Degree)
  • Black Belt (9th Degree)
  • Black Belt (10th Degree)

How Long Will It Take You To Achieve The Black Belt In Taekwondo?

It will take a minimum of three years to get your first dan black belt. Everyone who wants to do this will start at the white belt and then progress through all of the belts.

The belts have various requirements to pass, and you will need to pass them all to get to the black belt. 

When your minimum three years are up and you achieve the black belt, you will have to wait a certain period of time before you are eligible to test for further degrees of that black belt. 

For example, when you get your second dan black belt, you need to wait for at least a year before you can go for your third-degree black belt. 

Let’s check out the black belts and their meanings in more detail!

What Is The Highest Belt In Taekwondo (1)

1st Degree Black Belt 

Once you achieve this belt, you are considered to be a senior student and will be able to teach the lower belts provided you have the permission of an instructor.

You need to be 16 years old or older to test for this degree.

Koryo is the Poomsae to learn when you are at this level. 

2nd Degree Black Belt 

Once you achieve this belt, you will be a certified instructor able to teach older students. You need to be 18 years old or older to achieve this belt. 

Keumgang is the Pomsae to learn when you are at this level. Your title will become “Kyo San Zim.”

3rd Degree Black Belt 

With this belt, you will be considered a senior instructor, and your title will be “Sam Dan.” You need to be 21 or older to achieve this belt. 

Taebaek is the Poomsae to learn when you are at this level 

4th Degree Black Belt 

When you achieve this belt, you are at Associate Master or Master Rank. You will be able to train other black belts up to 1st Dan.

Your title will become “Sa Bum Nim”, but you need to be 25 years old or older to obtain this belt. 

Pyongwon is the Poomsae to learn when you are at this level. 

5th Degree Black Belt 

At this stage, you will be able to promote assistants to instructors to masters, and black belts to higher levels.

You need to be 30 years old or older to test for this dan. 

Sipjin is the Poonsae to learn when you are at this level. 

6th Degree Black belt 

Once you obtain this degree, you will be able to train instructors and you will be under the Grandmaster’s supervision. You will be known as a senior master. 

Jitae is the Poomsae to learn when you are at this level. 

7th Degree Black Belt 

Not much changes between the 6th and 7th degrees except your experience and skill level. You need to be at least 36 to test for this belt. 

Chongkwon is the Poomsae to learn when you are at this level. 

8th Degree Black Belt 

Once you reach this degree, you are a Grandmaster. You will need to get a doctor’s note and a physical exam.

You need to be 53 years old at least to test for this belt, which is a minimum of 40 years in training. 

Hansoo is the Poomsae to learn once you are at this level.

9th Degree Black Belt 

Again, you need to be at least 53 years old to get to this degree. It takes a lifetime of consistent training, as well as other accomplishments. 

Ilyeo is the Poomsae to learn once you are at this level. 

10th Degree Black Belt 

This is the highest belt of Taekwondo, but it is an honorary title that acts as a testament to your influence in the development and growth of Taekwondo. 

Is There A Way To Lose Your Black Belt?

No, unless you physically lose the belt that ties around your gi, then there is no way for you to lose your black belt.

The belt is symbolic of your skill and the effort you have made with the martial art.

Unlike other belts, such as the UFC championship belt, it cannot be taken away from you because of incidents that happen inside and outside of the gym. 

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! It takes a minimum of 3 years to achieve your black belt.

If you do this at 16 years old, it will take a minimum of 37 more years to achieve the 10th-degree belt, the highest one you can get!

Christopher Anderson