Grading in martial arts is an important part of the self defence learning curve. Each grading sets certain goals for you, which in turn promotes the motivation to learn and push yourself to achieve. This leads to an improvement in skill and also martial arts understanding, on a regular basis. Each grading level will introduce specific techniques which will challenge you and keep it interesting. Remember, you are only competing against yourself, so you may go at your own pace and grade when you are ready. But you will only get back what you put in.
Self defence training and martial art classes are enjoyable, social and challenging. They require you to not only to work physically, but also to think about your martial art techniques, as well as your self defence strategies. There are many grading levels to achieve, so the learning and the practice (and the enjoyment) never ceases. Success at each of your gradings is a great achievement, for which you can be very proud of your effort. Upon each grading, you will receive:
Membership Booklet: updated and signed as a record of your grading.
At Sun Bae, you will grade in Taekwondo first. It is much easier, especially for kids. It has a great philosophy of movement which is especially good for girls. As you progress through the Taekwondo ranks, you will then be allowed to grade in Hapkido and also Kumdo (sword). Each martial art style has its own system through to black belt. Taekwondo and Hapkido are very complimentary fighting styles and all Sun Bae classes include these styles together. Kumdo classes however are separate.
Eventually, you will be able to attain your black belt in all three Korean martial art styles.
Beginners - White Belt
White-Yellow (stripe) belt
White-Blue (stripe) belt
White-Red (stripe) belt
White-Brown (stripe) belt
White-Black (stripe) belt
Yellow I belt
Beginners wear a white belt upon joining. The colour represents purity and innocence. White is the beginning. It is the colour of the winter’s snow that covers the newborn seed. Any other colour added will change its reflection. Students at this level are about to commence their journey of knowledge.
What to expect: You will grade from your white belt to a full yellow belt, usually at an area grading test, in front of the Master Instructor. But before that happens, you will be able to grade at your centre, in front of your own Instructor, to achieve the sub-levels of white belt. These gradings have less content at first, but eventually build up to the full yellow belt grading. At first you can expect to grade for the white-yellow stripe belt, usually within 4 weeks. The full time to yellow belt is approximately 3-5 months, all good practice and experience for the full yellow belt test.
Colour Belts - Yellow to Red
Yellow I (9th)
Yellow II (8th)
Yellow III (7th)
Blue I (6th)
Blue II (5th)
Blue III (4th)
Red I (3rd)
Red II (2nd)
Red III (1st)
Yellow is the warmth of the winter’s sun that melts the snow and allows the seed to grow. Students at this level are building a strong foundation much like the plant’s roots reaching into the soil to take hold.
Blue is the colour of the sky and the heavens towards which we all aspire. The natural direction of the growing plant is always upwards. Students at this level are reaching new heights of learning martial arts.
Red is the sign of danger and the colour of the setting sun. Those at this level have learned much but know very little.
Red III Belt
Red III - White (Stripe)
Red III - Blue (Stripe)
Red III - Red (Stripe)
Red III - Black (Stripe)
Applying for black belt requires dedication and extra training time. The content of the grading encompasses all areas of your training, including board breaking. The expected time to apply for black belt, after attaining Red III (1st Gup), is 12-18 months. The sub levels of Red III are attained by grading in front of your Instructor at your own centre. Each sub level grading represents a portion of the black belt test. This promotes experience and confidence, before attempting black belt.
Black is the colour of mastery. No colour added to this can change it or improve it. Students at this level now start a new beginning. The apprenticeship of coloured belts is over and the road to understanding and the pursuit of perfection begins.
There are 9 levels on black belt, which can only be achieved after waiting a minimum time. For example, the waiting time between 7th Dan and 8th Dan is eight years, but lower levels are less (eg 2nd Dan is 2 years). Patience and dedication are essential.