An Explanation of
Traditional Moo Doe

Oom Yung Doe Grand Master Iron Kim demonstrates Kyong Gong Sul Bope
One of the many...

Belt Ranking and Uniforms

All students will begin their training as white belts (with a white belt and a white uniform); and will progress in rank as they achieve higher levels of skill and understanding. Each new level that a student tests for on his way to First Degree Black Belt is called a “section” so named, because the belt turns black in sections as the student achieves higher rank. Each time a student passes a test, a section of his belt is dyed black (there are seven sections to be dyed on the way to First Degree Black Belt), starting with the ends and working equally, one side then the other, toward the center of the belt.

This belt system is a 1500-year-old tradition. Originally, a student's belt would blacken from his sweat during many hours of earnest practice. The gradual darkening of the student's belt is symbolic of the effort and concentration a student uses in his practice, and of the increased skill and understanding gained as a result.

At 6th section, 1/7 of the belt remains to be dyed. When the student passes the next test, which is for First Degree Black Belt, the entire belt is dyed black. Also, starting at 4th section, the student begins to wear black trim on his uniform, which increases with each rank advancement. An easy way to understand this is to remember that black symbolizes knowledge. The more black on the uniform or belt, the higher the rank of that instructor or student.

1st Degree Cho Dan, or probationary 1st Degree Black Belt, means that the student has successfully passed the first phase of the 1st degree Black Belt test. The probationary period will last no longer than three months. During this time, the student must show improvement in at least three categories they were deficient in, at the time of their 1st Degree test. A 1st Degree Cho Dan uniform has a single gray stripe sewn down the outside of each pant leg.

The rank of 1st Degree Il Dan, or full 1st Degree Black Belt, may be awarded with the consent of the group of instructors who initially tested the individual for 1st Degree. A 1st Degree Il Dan uniform has a single black stripe sewn down the outside of each pant leg.


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