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What are the Taekwondo WTF Belts?

Taekwondo WTF Belts. WTF Taekwondo Black belt

WTF taekwondo belt ranks are a Taekwondo system of colored belts to signify a practitioner’s progress and skill level. However, what many might not realize is that there isn’t just one universal taekwondo belt system; rather, there are several variations based on different organizations. This diversity stems from the distinct affiliations that taekwondo schools have with specific governing bodies. In this article, we’ll dive into the intricacies of one of these prominent systems – the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) belt system.

We here at FamilyProz have already given a comprehensive guide on the Taekwondo Belt System however today we will focus exclusively on the WTF belt system. This exploration will cover the WTF Taekwondo Belt order, requirements, WTF Taekwondo Black Belts, and so much more

What is the WTF Taekwondo Belt Order?

The WTF consists of 11 belts in the following order:

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Blue Senior Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Brown Senior Belt
  • Red Belt
  • Junior Black Belt

After the Junior Black Belt, the next successful grading would award the practitioner with a WTF Taekwondo Black Belt.

How Many Belts are there in Taekwondo WTF?

In WTF Taekwondo, there are typically 11 belts before achieving a black belt with degrees up to the 10th dan. Some schools adjust the pre-black belt progression. Compared to ITF, WTF has fewer striped belts and more distinct colored belts. However, the requirements to achieve a WTF Taekwondo Black Belt are similar to both ATA and ITF

All the Taekwondo Belts from the WTF. world taekwondo federation belt system illustration

Reaching the WTF Taekwondo Black Belt

Achieving the WTF Taekwondo Black Belt holds similarities with the ITF system in terms of time commitment. On average, individuals can attain a WTF Taekwondo Black Belt within 4-5 years of dedicated and consistent training

A typical timeline for world taekwondo federation belts is as follows:

Geup(Degree) WTF Taekwondo Belt Color Time to Advance
11th Geup White Belt 2-3 Months
10th Geup Yellow Belt 2-3 Months
9th Geup Orange Belt 2-3 Months
8th Geup Green Belt 2-3 Months
7th Geup Purple Belt 2-3 Months
6th Geup Blue Belt 2-3 Months
5th Geup Blue SR. 6 Months
4th Geup Brown Belt 6 Months
3rd Geup Brown SR. 6 Months
2nd Geup Red Belt 6 Months
1st Geup Jr. Black 6-12 Months
1st Dan Black Belt 1-2 Years


Requirements for Advancing through WTF Taekwondo Belts

Advancing through the World Taekwondo Federation Belt requirements is no small feat. Taekwondo schools generally conduct tests every three to four months, although traditional schools may extend this interval to six months. These tests evaluate various aspects of a practitioner’s abilities, encompassing multiple dimensions of Taekwondo proficiency.

The testing criteria for belt advancement are comprehensive and demanding. They include:

  • Poomsae (Patterns/Forms): Practitioners are required to perform specific sequences of movements known as poomsae or patterns. These routines showcase their understanding of Taekwondo techniques and principles.
  • Sparring: Some tests incorporate sparring to assess the practitioner’s ability to apply techniques in real-time combat scenarios.
  • Physical Conditioning: A certain level of physical fitness, strength, and stamina is expected of practitioners at each belt level.
  • Flexibility: As one progresses, greater flexibility becomes essential for executing advanced techniques.


Notably, the demands intensify with higher belt levels. Achieving black belt status necessitates comprehensive skills, a deep-rooted connection to the philosophy, and a profound understanding of the art’s history.

What is the meaning behind WTF Taekwondo Belts?

The WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) Taekwondo belts represent a structured system of progression. Each belt color signifies a specific level of proficiency and experience within the art.

White Belt

This is the first belt among the WTF taekwondo belt ranks

  • Geup (Degree): 11th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 2-3 Months
  • Experience Needed: Basic introduction to Taekwondo techniques and training. You will learn simple kicks like the front Kick and be introduced to Taekwondo forms such as the Taegeuk Il Jang (the first form in WTF Taekwondo)

Yellow Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 10th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 4-6 Months
  • Experience Needed: Building on basics, refining techniques, and demonstrating fundamental skills. Kicks such as the Front Kick and side Kick should have been introduced to you.

Orange Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 9th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 6-9 Months
  • Experience Needed: Developing more advanced techniques and understanding of forms. Depending on your school you should have a had experience with your first grading which required you to demonstrate the Taegeuk Il Jang form. The next form will be Taegeuk Ee Jang.

Green Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 8th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 8-12 Months
  • Experience Needed: Improved execution of techniques, and increased physical fitness. You should have been taught multiple kicks including the Roundhouse Kick

Purple Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 7th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 10-15 Months
  • Experience Needed: Proficiency in forms, sparring, and self-defense techniques. More new forms such as Taegeuk Sam Jang.

Blue Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 6th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 2-3 Months
  • Total Time: 12-18 Months
  • Experience Needed: Enhanced technique accuracy and strategic understanding in sparring. The use of simple Kicks such as the sidekick should be semi-proficient showing readiness for more advanced techniques.

Blue Senior Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 5th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 6 Months
  • Total Time: 18-24 Months
  • Experience Needed: Continued development of advanced techniques, tactics, and sparring skills.

Brown Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 4th Geup
  • Time to Advance: 6 Months
  • Total Time: 2-3 Years
  • Experience Needed: Refinement of techniques, deeper understanding of forms and application. The Brown Belt in WTF Taekwondo is usually a place from which more difficult kicks are introduced such as back kicks or spinning kicks.

Brown Senior Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 3rd Geup
  • Time to Advance: 6 Months
  • Total Time: 2.5-3.5 Years
  • Experience Needed: Mastery of techniques, increased focus on teaching and mentoring.

Red Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 2nd Geup
  • Time to Advance: 6 Months
  • Total Time: 3-4 Years
  • Experience Needed: High proficiency in forms, sparring, and instruction.

Junior Black Belt

  • Geup (Degree): 1st Geup
  • Time to Advance: 6-12 Months
  • Total Time: 3.5-5 Years
  • Experience Needed: Preparation for the transition to black belt, mentoring lower-ranked students. Junior Black Belts are required to be able to perform all previous forms during their Black Belt grading. This is a substantial requirement and people often struggle with memorizing all of them.

Black Belt (1st Dan)

  • Geup (Degree): 1st Dan
  • Time to Advance: 1-2 Years
  • Total Time: 4.5-7 Years
  • Experience Needed: Profound expertise in Taekwondo techniques, forms, and instruction.

What are the WTF Taekwondo Black Belt levels (Dans)?

The Taekwondo Black Belt levels (WTF), referred to as “Dans,” symbolize distinct levels of mastery and expertise within the discipline. Dan levels are common in a wide range of martial art belt systems. In the WTF Taekwondo system, the Black Belt (Dan) levels span from 1st Dan to 10th Dan. The requirements for achieving a Black Belt in WTF Taekwondo often parallel those of ITF Taekwondo, typically demanding around 4-5 years of consistent training to achieve a Black Belt.

The table below shows the WTF Taekwondo black belt levels (Dans) test requirements. It is noteworthy that WTF or any other main Taekwondo Organisation only gives out 9th/10th degree Black Belts on an honorary basis. There are no WTF taekwondo Black Belt tests for the 10th Dan.

WTF Taekwondo Black Belt Dan Time to Advance WTF Black Belt Form Name
1st Dan (Il Dan) 1-2 Years Koryo
2nd Dan (Ee Dan) 2 Years Keumgang
3rd Dan (Sam Dan) 4 Years Taebaek
4th Dan (Sa Dan) 4 Years Pyongwon
5th Dan (Oh Dan) 6 Years Sipjin
6th Dan (Yook Dan) 6 Years Jitae
7th Dan (Chil Dan) 8 Years Cheonkwon
8th Dan (Pal Dan) 8+ Years Hansu
9th Dan (Koo Dan) 8+ Years Ilyo

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