A Taekwondo student’s progress is marked by his attainment of coloured belts. The beginner starts at white belt with the aim of achieving black belt. For senior students and instructors the a new journey begins at black belt. You become a 1st DAN when you pass your black belt and thier are 8 more exams to take if you wish to achieve the ultimate Grand Master status at 9th DAN.
In order to progress from one belt to the next the student must undergo grading exams. An exam will involve the demonstration of his learning to date and a strict curriculum demands that he show his experience in Poomsae (forms) and breaking, kicking and hand techniques. Breaking boards successfully will demonstrate power and speed of his techniques while Poomsae will prove his memorisation of individual techniques in a set sequence.
Each Grade level is known as a geup, or kup and there are ten exams to pass to get to black belt. Each belt has a different colour with its own symbolic meaning.