Taekwondo Doesn't Have Orange Belts

"Taekwondo doesn't have orange belts!"

That's what a student of mine got from talking to a friend who is a Taekwondo black belt, and who was adamant that Taekwondo didn't have Orange belts. Instead the kyu or gup range had other colours plus lots of 'stripes.'

How many times do I hear what Taekwondo is and what Taekwondo isn't? And how many times do I have to use the word 'Traditional' in front of Taekwondo to denote that what I'm doing is the old forgotten cousin of ITF and WTF. The misbegotten love child of Karate.

In GM Keith D. Yates' Taekwondo Forms Book, it does explain, "colors will vary" due to the differences between "various schools of Taekwon Do" (1982 p29). And yes, if GM Yates says there is Orange, Orange is good for me.

What he doesn't mention is the presence of 'lots of stripes'.

Man ... I gotta keep up!


-- Colin Wee Traditional Taekwondo Techniques, Patterns, and Applications at the Traditional Taekwondo Blog. [Subscribe using email or RSS feeds] [Tkd Sitemap]. Colin is a martial art instructor with 25+ years of experience across three continents. Colin leads a small Traditional Taekwondo group for adults in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Colin on FaceBook and Traditional Taekwondo Group on FB.


B said…
Horse pucky!

Belt rankings.

At my first TKD school I was an orange belt. My second school did not use orange.

It just depends on the school and instructor.
Colin Wee said…

Horse pucky!

Spot on!


kalynna said…
That is so true. I get messages from visitors to my site all the time telling me that my information is wrong because there is no orange or blue, etc. Your quote is exactly correct. The belt colors are really governed by the master who owns the school. It's a way to keep track of your progress. Can you imagine if students received a white belt and never got another belt until they test for black? We are too impatient for that; therefore, lots of colors!
Yes, but is there a teal belt? Puce? Maroon? :-P

It's a progress meter, not an end-all be-all. I mean, they could have barber-pole striped belts so long as it was an important designation in advancement, in my opinion.

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