two boys doing taekwondo kicks

The Taekwondo belt order is typically determined by your level of skill and training. Beginning trainees typically start out with a white belt, which represents purity and inexperience.

As you progress through your training, you will move up through the belts in color and number.

The American Taekwondo Association has white, orange, yellow, camo, green, purple, blue, brown, red, and black belts.

Each belt has its own set of requirements and rules governing it, with each rank representing a greater degree of mastery over the sport.

Ultimately, your goal in Taekwondo is to achieve a black belt and become a master of this dynamic martial art.

What is the Taekwondo belt order for all the different governing systems?


There are different colors of belts that you can earn in Taekwondo. Each belt represents a different level of skill, and they are worn in order from least advanced to most advanced.

Here are the different belts for ITF, WTF, and ATA.

ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) Taekwondo belt order:

  • 10th Geup White belt
  • 9th Geup White belt with a yellow tip
  • 8th Geup Yellow belt
  • 7th Geup Yellow belt with a green tip
  • 6th Geup Green belt
  • 5th Geup Green belt with a blue tip
  • 4th Geup Blue belt
  • 3rd Geup Blue belt with a red tip
  • 2nd Geup Red belt
  • 1st Geup Red belt with a black tip
  • 1st Degree Black belt
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt – (Assistant Instructor)
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt – (Assistant Instructor)
  • 4th Degree Black Belt – (Instructor)
  • 5th Degree Black Belt – (Instructor)
  • 6th Degree Black Belt – (Instructor)
  • 7th Degree Black Belt – (Master Instructor)
  • 8th Degree Black Belt – (Master Instructor)
  • 9th Degree Black Belt – (Grandmaster)

WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) belt order:

  • White belt
  • Yellow belt
  • Orange belt
  • Green belt
  • Blue belt
  • Purple belt
  • Brown belt
  • Red belt
  • Red and black stripe
  • 1st Dan Black belt
  • 2nd Dan Black belt
  • 3rd Dan Black belt
  • 4th Dan Black belt
  • 5th Dan Black belt
  • 6th Dan Black belt
  • 7th Dan Black belt
  • 8th Dan Black belt
  • 9th Dan Black belt

Taekwondo belt order in ATA (American Taekwondo Association)

  • White Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Camo Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Red 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

1st Degree Black Belt

To achieve a 1st-degree black belt in martial arts is to reach a pinnacle of physical and mental strength.

This prestigious designation symbolizes the dawn of a new day when one has overcome the darkness of their past struggles and embarked on a path toward greatness.

It represents the maturity of the student, who has gained the knowledge and abilities necessary to become a true master.

2nd Degree Black Belt

Achieving the 2nd-degree black belt signifies that the student has achieved mastery over both body and mind and is now ready to start cultivating their potential in order to create a lasting impact in the world.

At this point, they become a pillar of hope and inspiration for others as they progress through their journey.

3rd Degree to 7th Degree Black Belt

With every successive level attained, from 3rd-degree up to the 7th-degree black belt, this individual becomes more resilient, calmer, and more insightful than ever before – an embodiment of wisdom and peace that others can look to for guidance and support.

Thus, achieving excellence in martial arts takes great dedication and perseverance, but it is ultimately worth it in order to gain mastery over oneself and achieve one’s full potential.

8th Degree Black Belt

Earning this advanced belt requires many years of dedication, training, and discipline, as well as a deep understanding of the art itself. To obtain an 8th Degree Black Belt, a martial artist must have extensive knowledge of both striking and grappling techniques, as well as advanced knowledge of weapons such as swords or nunchaku.

9th Degree Black Belt

With unwavering determination and incredible focus, he embodies the essence of the 9th-degree black belt (Dong Seung), which is defined as “continuing to move forward and never giving up.”

Whether he is developing new techniques in the practice studio or taking on a difficult opponent, this martial artist never backs down from a challenge and refuses to settle for anything less than his personal best.

Through perseverance, dedication, and hard work, he has truly become an inspiration to others. And by constantly striving to be his best self, he continues to embody the ideals of balance and excellence that are symbolic of martial arts.

Myth Story on Belt Colors

A fictional and fantasy story tells, new students began training with white belts as they started. Over time, their sweat discolored it to yellow, then dust and dirt rendered it even darker, where it went to red with bloodstains and eventually turned black with a lot of dust, dirt, and blood.

The students were not allowed to wash the belt as it could wash away the experience.

This story has been passed from generation to generation and from one martial art to another, but it has nothing to do with history.

Taekwondo Belt System Beginnings

Let’s see how the belt system started.

The masters derived the belt system in Taekwondo from the traditional martial arts belt system that was used in Japan.

The Japanese martial arts were divided into two main categories: Kendo (sword fighting) and Judo (grappling and unarmed fighting). Each category had its own set of colored belts, which denoted one’s level of mastery over the art.

A man named Choi Hong Hi. Choi developed the Taekwondo belt system. He was a Korean martial arts master and politician who founded the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in 1966.

The ITF is still active today, though it is no longer the largest governing body of Taekwondo.

Choi is also credited with creating the ITF’s ranking system, which assigns colored belts to show a student’s level of mastery over the art.

Mr. Choi developed this system to standardize Taekwondo and make it easier for students who were already familiar with other martial arts styles to learn this one.

The ITF created a belt system that many other governing bodies of Taekwondo have adopted.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) used this system when they accepted Taekwondo as an Olympic sport in 2000.

Belt Color Meaning

White Belt

White is a beginner’s belt. The student needs to learn basic kicks and punches, how to fall safely, and proper etiquette for the Dojang.

Yellow Belt

This is when the student needs to learn more advanced kicks and punches, self-defense techniques, and how to spar with a partner.

Green Belt

The third belt is green and requires even more advanced techniques, such as spinning kicks and high jumps.

Blue Belt

This belt even requires even more advanced techniques, such as spinning kicks and high jumps.

Red Belt

The red belt is the highest belt level in the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). Achieving this level represents many years of dedication and hard work, and it signifies a true mastery of the art of taekwondo.

Black Belt

To achieve the coveted rank of black belt in ITF taekwondo, one must demonstrate mastery of all aspects of the art. This includes technical proficiency in all kicking and hand techniques, as well as detailed knowledge about proper form and body posture.

In addition, a black belt candidate must show a deep understanding of the underlying philosophy behind taekwondo, demonstrating respect for others, strong self-discipline, and unwavering focus and determination.


Q: How long to get a black belt in TKD?

The time it takes to get a black belt in Taekwondo varies from person to person. This is because each student has different abilities, and this will be reflected in how fast they progress through their belts.

Q: What is the highest belt in Taekwondo? 

The highest belt in Taekwondo is the ninth-degree black belt. This is also referred to as “supreme master level” and is awarded by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). This is the equivalent of a Ph.D. and represents a lifetime of dedication and hard work in the art of Taekwondo.

Q: What is a Dan in Taekwondo and How Do You Get Them?

A Dan, or dan degree, is a high-ranking rank in the art of Taekwondo. There are various levels of Dan ranking, each signifying a different level of mastery and skill in the practice.

To earn a Dan in Taekwondo, you must pass rigorous tests that demonstrate your ability to perform specific techniques as well as your knowledge of the history and philosophy of this martial art.

These tests typically involve demonstrating proficiency in a range of moves and sparring sessions with multiple opponents at once.

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