Why are there nine degrees of black belt in Taekwondo

The goal of anyone that starts to practice TaeKwonDo is to get a black belt. Getting to your first-degree black belt will take a minimum of 2 to 3 years. To go from one black belt degree to the next will take as many years as the belt you are going to test for. Getting a black belt is not an ending to your training but, it is just the beginning of learning Taekwondo, and that is why there are nine degrees of black belts.

Black Belt Levels in Taekwondo.

1st Degree Black Belt

When you get your first Degree, you are considered a “senior student,” You can start teaching the lower belts if your instructor allows you.

2nd Degree Black Belt

When you get your 2nd Degree, your title will change to “Kyo San Nim.” A 2nd Degree black belt is naturally more experienced and skilled. At this level, you will often be a certified Instructor teaching the older students and those that are more advanced under the guidance of a Master. You need to be at least 18 years old to obtain this level.

3rd Degree Black Belt

This is where it starts to change, and your title will change to “Sam Dan.” A 3rd Degree has gained a higher proficiency of both the color belt material and advanced Black Belt training and is qualified to be certified as a Sr. Instructor. You need to be at least 21 years old to test for this level.

4th Degree Black Belt

A 4th Degree is considered either a Master rank or a Junior or Associate Master. They are usually qualified to lead the Black Belts and promote color belts under their teaching up to the 1st Dan. Your title will change to “Sa Bum Nim,” and you will have the ability to open your school. You need to be at least 25 years old to test for this level.

5th Degree Black Belt

From that point on, it is less about what you can do physically and more about what you have done for Taekwondo and the organization. Therefore, a 5th Degree is essentially an experienced 4th Degree with greater knowledge and skills in both the physical and technical side and one’s teaching ability.

6th Degree Black Belt

At 6th Degree, one is at even more rarefied air and this level and the main job, in addition to continuing one’s training, is to teach other instructors. One is under direct supervision (8th and 9th Degree). You are referred to as a Senior Master.

7th Degree Black Belt

The earliest one can reach this rank is thcan6, and it’s very difficult to reach this rank before that regardless of one’s training schedule. As with the 6th Degree, one is under the direct supervision and constant instruction of a Grandmaster 8th or 9th Dan.

8th Degree Black Belt

At this stage, one is referred to as a Grandmaster.  One will need to get a physical exam and a doctor’s note. In addition, sparring and breaking are not mandatory. One has to be at least 53 years old, and one is looking at probably 40 years to get it.

9th Degree Black Belt

This is the last and highest active rank. It is very difficult to reach and cannot be done unless you are 53 years old. It takes incredible devotion to the art, hard work, and consistent training for life.

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