Theory for Taekwondo Students

Objectives of TAEKWON-DO

To develop an appredation for TAEKWON-DO as a Sport and as an Art
To achieve physical fitness throught positive participation
To improve mental discipline and emotional equanimity
To learn self-defense skills
To develop a sense of responsibility for one self and others.



"TAE" means "Foot" or " to strike with the feet". "KWON" means"Hand" or " to strike with the hand"  “DO" means "Discipline", art or way. Hence Taekwon-Do (foot-hand-way) means literally" the art of the feet and the hands" or "the art of kicking and punching".

Different schools and / or styles may impose different variations on the format definition however. For example,some styles add the words "self defense" to the literal definition and /or throw in some form of the  phrase "physical and mental training".

Taekwon-do is far cry from the unarmed combat employed in the misty past. It is also distinguished from other martial arts in its high degree of sophistication, technical efficiency as well as the overall Fitness developed in its student.

Benefits of Taekwondo for Children

This list is prepared from published research and anecdotal reports from parents
· Children who practice Taekwondo develop a high degree of self-respect Taekwondo builds their self-confidence, self- esteem,and self-discipline.
· They gain confidence by finding that they can achieve their goals by practice and perseverance
· They develop better manners
· They develop leadership abilities
· They obtain a desire to set and achieve goals
· They develop better concentration skills
· Parents observe better grades in school plus increased attendance
· With progressive training children become more enthusiastic and optimistic
· They develop a “Yes, I can” attitude
· They learn to take responsibility for their actions
· They develop the strength to say NO to unhealthy peer pressure
· They develop better motor skills, coordination, and strength, i.e. better fitness
· They acquire skills for physical and mental self-defense
· They learn how to defend themselves in self-defense situations



  1. Never tire of learning. A good student can learn anywhere, any time. This is the secret of knowledge.

  2. A good student must be willing to sacrifice for his art and instructor. Many students feel that their training is a commodity bought with monthly dues, and are unwilling to take part in demonstrations, teaching and working around the do jang. An instructor can afford to lose this type of student.

  3. Always set a good example for lower ranking students. It is only natural they will attempt to emulate senior students.

  4. Always be loyal and never criticize the instructor , Taekwon-Do or the teaching methods.

  5. If an instructor teaches a technique, practise it and attempt to utilize it.

  6. Remember that a student's conduct outside the do jang reflects on the art and instructor.

  7. If a student adopts a technique from another do jang and the instructor disapproves of it the student must discard it immediately or train at the gym where the technique was learned.

  8. Never be disrespectful to the instructor. Though a student is allowed to disagree with instructor,the student must first follow the instruction and then discuss the matter latter.

  9. A student must always be eager to learn and ask questions.

  10. Never betray the instructor.


The sine wave movement is unique to ITF Taekwon-Do. Its purpose is to maximize the power in each technique by maximizing body mass and kinetic energy. Sine wave permits greater control over body movements enabling smoother changes in direction and transition from one movement to another.

There are 3 stages to the sine wave motion:

Stage 1

The body drops slightly by bending the knees. At this stage the body is relaxed and moves into a balanced position while keeping the arms in a neutral position (the arms move slightly to a natural relaxed position but should not drop or make unnecessary movements)

Stage 2

The body rises up but the knees must not straighten completely. The arms extend to prepare for the technique, but must not extend fully (approximately 80% is sufficient). This stretches the muscles that will be used to execute the technique. The whole body should still be relaxed at this stage.

Stage 3

The body drops quickly to maximize the acceleration of the technique. This dropping motion helps the muscles in other parts of the body to remain relaxed (like in freefall), while the muscles used for accelerating the arms work more freely and effectively. At the end of the movement the muscles are tensed to stop the body’s dropping motion, to stop the arms moving (usually ending with a twisting motion), and to end the breath control all at the same time.
The secret to a good sine wave motion is to perform the 3 stages in a continuous flowing motion without stopping.


Every students must observe the following conduct in the
do-jang in order to maintain an orderly and effective training hall.

  1. Upon entering the do-jang, bow to the International

    Taekwon-Do Federation flag on the wall.

  2. Bow to the instructor at a proper distance.

  3. Exchange greetings between students.

  4. Bow to the upon falling in line before training. Bow to the upon falling in line before training.

  5. Meditate for one minute sitting cross-legged after training.

  6. Bow to the instructor upon falling inline again prior to dismissal.

  7. Bow to the International Taekwon-Do Federation flag before leaving the do-jang.


Grading is a test whereby an examiner judges a student’s proficiency in his technical performance and theoretical knowledge. This is also an assessment of a candidate’s character as a Taekwon-Do artist.Points are awarded and the student will be promoted or demoted accordingly.

In various countries and schools, different terms are used instead of the word “grading”.
Some of the more common names are “Test”, “Grading test”, “examination”, etc.


Only the 4th degree black-belt and above who have successfully completed the 5-week International instructor and Examiner’s Course conducted by the International Taekwon-Do Federation are qualified to grade. As a rule, the grading power is awarded to each examiner according to his degree as follows:-

  1. 4th and 5th degree black-belt may grade up to 2nd degree,

  2. 6th degree black-belt may grade up to 3rd degree.

  3. Only the promotion committee of ITF can grade 4th to 8th degree

Note: It is mistake to think that all 4th degree holders and above can grade. Those who have not completed the above mentioned course conducted by the ITF are not allowed to grade.


Be Sure You Are Ready

Before deciding to go for a grading, a student should make sure that he knows the syllabus required and can perform the programmes well. If he feels that he is not ready or has problems executing some of the programmes, he should consult the advice of his instructor as to whether he should go ahead with the grading. Normally, the instructor’s advice is right. Once given the green light to go ahead, the student should train hard and prepare himself physically and mentally for the test ahead.


When you leave home for the grading, make sure you leave all your problems and other responsibilities behind. Go to the grading hall with a light and clear mind. Be happy and care free, like a little kid eager to go the fun-fair.

Be at the grading hall early. At the grading hall, refrain from taking and idling. warm up yourself and go through the motions of the grading programme, for example, patterns, foot and hand combinations, pre-arranged sparring, kicks, etc. Go through the programme as many times as you can and perform as if you are in front of the examiners. Be serious! When you have properly warmed up yourself, Sit down quietly and wait for the grading to begin. Whenever you feel that your body is cooling down or your muscles are becoming tight, do some exercise to warm up again. If possible, and if it is allowed, wear some warm over-suits.


The following are what I consider standard grading procedures, including some tips and personal advice as to what the examiners want and expect of you.

Right Attitude

When you appear at the grading hall, the examiner will have already formed some opinion about you from your attitude, the manner you carry yourself, your fashion of walking, sitting, bowing, how you position yourself, your general posture, and the way you look at him (from your mind) when you face him. when you speak to him, even though humbly and with respectful language, he would know the inner truth of your attitude and sincerity (language of the heart) from the muscles in your face and the spirit reflected within your eyes. Thus, when you come face to face with a genuine martial arts master, he should be able to knowsomething about your true character just by observing you. So do not display correct behaviour only during the grading; cultivate good speech, thoughts and actions at all times, and the right attitude will manifest itself naturally without any effort.


One of the most important qualities which is essential in qualifying you for a promotion is character. Without character, one would only be an animal in human form. Taekwon-Do students should express the virtues of human values. The examiner would look for such qualities in deciding the promotion of a student to a higher rank, especially at the advanced level. therefore, a student should all times humble, soft spoken, sincere, calm and possess forbearance. These are the qualities that will bring you up the ladder of promotion and privileged responsibilities.

Procedures of Conduct

The following are standard procedures of conduct during a belt promotion test:-

  1. When your name is called, you should answer, ”Yes sir!” clearly, move quickly and smartly to your designated location, bow respectfully to the examiners and report clearly your full name, date of birth, present rank or grade, and the name of your club (this applies only if you are in a combined grading involving more than one club in the area). Stand at ease and wait further instructions.

  2. Always reply, “Yes sir!”, “No sir”, “I am sorry I don't understand your question sir!” If u do not know the answer to a certain question, do not try to fabricate or guess. Be sincere and answer, “I am sorry I don't know the answer, sir!” Examiners appreciate sincerity and honesty from students.

  3. When your turn is over and the return signal or command is given, bow to the examiners, but do not turn your back to them and walk away. In the orient, it is disrespectful to show your back to your elders or seniors or even your enemy especially at a near distance, for it indicates a can’t be bothered attitude. You should either move backward with your body slightly bowed, or move sideways until you are away from the line of the examiner’s table. Bow towards the space where you have taken your grading as a sign of respect to that place, then bow to the examiner’s again, before turning and returning to your place.


Patterns are a serious of attacking and defending techniques performed by the Taekwon-Do student as if defending himself against imaginary opponents.

The examiner will judge your pattern according to the following points:-

1. Accuracy of diagram
2. Equilibrium
3. Breath Control
4. Smoothness of movement
5. Timing of each movements
6. Power
7. Rhythmic Movement
8. Characteristic beauty

Reason for 24 Patterns

There are a total of twenty four patterns in ITF Taekwon-Do.

Per General Choi from the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do:

The life of a human being, perhaps 100 years, can be considered as a day when compared with eternity. There-fore, we mortals are no more than simple travelers who pass by the eternal years of an eon in a day. It is evident that no one can live more than a limited amount of time. Nevertheless, most people foolishly enslave themselves to materialism as if they could live for thousands of years. And some people strive to bequeath a good spiritual legacy for coming generations, in this way, gaining immortality. Obviously, the spirit is perpetual while material is not. Therefore, what we can do to leave behind something for the welfare of mankind is, per-haps, the most important thing in our lives.Here I leave Taekwon-Do for mankind as a trace of man of the late 20th century.

THEORY OF POWER - (Him Ui Wolli)

The beginning student may ask; “Where does one obtain the power to create the devastating results attributed to TaekwoPn-Do?” This power is attributed to the utilization of a person’s full potential through the mathematical application of Taekwon-Do techniques. The average person uses only 10 to 20 percent of his potential. Anyone, regardless of size, age, or sex who can condition himself to use 100 percent of his potential can also perform the same destructive techniques.

Though training will certainly result in a superb level of physical fitness, it will not necessarily result in the acquisition of extraordinary stamina or superhuman strength. More important, Taekwon-Do training will result in obtaining a high level of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control and speed; these are the factors that will result in a high degree of physical power.


According to Newton’s Law, every force has an equal and opposite force. When an automobile crashes into a wall with the force of 2,000 pounds, the wall will return a force of 2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of the seesaw down with a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same weight; if your opponent is rushing towards you at a high speed, by the slightest blow at his head, the force with which you strike his head would be that of his own onslaught plus that of your blow.

The two forces combined; his, which is large, and yours, which is small is quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right fist is aided by pulling back the left fist to the hip.


By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore, increase its effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a water hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. Conversely, the weight of a man spread out on snow shoes makes hardly any impression on the snow. The blows in Taekwon-Do are often concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to
the crook of the fingers.

It is very important that you should not unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and particularly at the point of contact with your opponent’s body, the force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out blow. That is to say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the greater will be the power of the blow. The utmost concentration is required in order to mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area simultaneously.

In conclusion, concentration is done in two ways: one is to concentrate every muscle of the body, particularly the bigger muscles around the hip and abdomen (which theoretically are slower than the smaller muscles of other parts of the body) towards the appropriate tool to be used at the proper time;
the second way is to concentrate such mobilized muscles onto the opponent’s vital spot. This is the reason why the hip and abdomen are jerked slightly before the hands and feet in any action, whether it be attack or defence. Remember, jerking can be executed in two ways: laterally and vertically.


Controlled breathing not only affects one’s stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of exhaling at the critical moment when a blow is landed against a pressure point
on the body can prevent a loss of consciousness and stifle pain. A sharp exhaling of breath at the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of a movement tense the abdomen to concentrate maximum effort on the delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the preparation of the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will this impede movement but it will also result in a loss of power.

Students should also practice disguised breathing to conceal any outward signs of fatigue. An experienced fighter will certainly press an attack when he realizes his opponent is on the point of exhaustion. One breath is required for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.

MASS (Zilyang)

Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be increased during the execution of a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool as in figure F. Another way of increasing body weight is the utilization of a springing action of the knee joint. This is achieved by slightly raising the hip at the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to drop the body weight into the motion.

In summarizing, it is necessary to point out that the principles of force outlined here hold just as true today in our modern scientific and nuclear age as they did centuries ago.

I am sure that when you go through this art, both in theory and in practice, you will find that the scientific basis of the motions and the real power which comes out a small human body cannot fail to impress you

SPEED (Sokdo)

Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration (F = MA) or (P = Mv2).

According to the theory of kinetic energy, every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement. This very principle is applied to this particular art of self-defence. For this reason, at the moment of impact, the position of the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder and the foot lower than the hip while the body is in the air.

Reaction force, breath, control, equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation of the muscles cannot be ignored. However, these are the factors that contribute to the speed and all these factors, together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in Taekwon-Do.


Taekwon-Do is an art that implies a way of thinking and life, and particularly in instilling moral civilization and generating the power for justice. Taekwon-Do is also known as one of the best means of developing and enhancing the emotional, perceptual and psychological characteristics that enable the younger generation, regardless of age, social status or sex, to effectively learn and participate in the social demands of his peers.

Every movement of Taekwon-Do is scientifically designed with specific purpose and a skilful instructor may, therefore, develop in the student a belief that success is possible for anyone. Constant repetition teaches patience and the resolve to overcome any difficulty. The tremendous power generated from one's body develops the self-confidence to meet any opponent, at any place, and in any situation. Sparring teaches humility, courage, alertness and accuracy, adaptability as well as self-control. Pattern teaches flexibility, grace, balance and coordination, while the fundamental exercises develop precision and teaches the method, principle, imagination and purpose. Eventually, this training permeates every conscious and subconscious action of the student.


An old proverb says that even heaven cannot make a diligent worker poor. However, in Taekwon-Do, diligence or intensive training alone does not produce quality techniques. On the contrary, instructions from a false or unqualified instructor would be worse than not being taught at all because unscientific movements not only reduce the power but require a tremendous amount of time to correct. On the other hand, under the proper guidance of a competent instructor, a student who trains earnestly with dedication will learn the true techniques of Taekwon-Do in a comparatively short period of time with less effort.

Students should keep in mind the following secrets:

1.To study the theory of power thoroughly.

2.To understand the purpose and method of each movement clearly.

3.To bring the action of eyes, hands, feet and breath into one single coordinated action.

4.To choose the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot.

5.To become familiar with the correct angle and distance for attack and defence.

6.Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while movement is in motion.

7.All movements must begin with a backward motion with very few exceptions. However, once the movement is in motion it should not be stopped before reaching the target.

8.To create sine wave during the movement by utilizing the knee spring.

9.To exhale briefly at the moment of each blow except a connecting motion.


1. I shall observe the tenets of Tekwon-do.
2. I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
3. I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
4. I shall be a championship of freedom and justice.
5. I shall build a more peaceful world.


PREAMBLE Since Taekwon-Do is an art of self defence which aims at a noble moral rearmament, high degree of intellectual achievement, graceful techniques, formidable power and beauty of physical form, it can be considered as a part of one's daily life, just as are breathing and thinking. As the founder of Taekwon-Do, I would like to define its philosophy, principles, and purposes so that these might be applied to bring about the powering of morality, beauty, and power in harmony with the immortal spirit.

PART 1. Through scientific practice of Taekwon-Do one can significantly improve his health and nourish his intellect. One can be in a position to aid others in the cause of justice, thereby promoting social ethics and morals, thus helping to bring about a happier and more peaceful society.

PART 2. In order to come to terms with life, in spite of its detestable aspects, and with the idea of death, one ought to continue studying the art of Taekwon-Do to learn techniques of power and grace, and to enlarge his spiritual realm. This is the motivations to study shall be an inheritance to limitless value succeeding generations.

PART 3. Human beings come into the world with simple needs and desires. They need not become avaricious but ought to remain always humble and merciful, never compromise their principles, nor be swayed by selfish motives, to insure freedom and independence of Taekwon-Do so that it will be passed on in its pure form.

PART 4. Since all students of the art are subject to the same rules of conduct and judged according to the same criteria regardless of their stations in life, their origins, and their religious convictions, they demonstrate to the world the essential equality and brotherhood of man.

PART 5. Modern society is characterized by selfish preoccupation with material excess and unnecessary dependence on machines. Moral society is characterized by self discipline, sacrifice, and devotion. Dedication to the art can promote change toward a moral society.

PART 6. Those who devote themselves to their fellows and live accordingly to the dictates of their consciences are always helpful toward their juniors and show respect toward their instructors and their seniors.

CONCLUSION A beginning constitutes a significant part of the whole endeavour. Therefore, students of Taekwon-Do should not fail to take action whenever to do so might benefit the society. If he behaves thus, he himself will benefit most.



Taekwon-Do was thus named to distinguish its technique, philosophical system, spiritual foundation & rules of competition from other oriental martial Arts. For the same reason, we have a uniform unique to Taekwon-Do.

The dobok is considered a primary necessity in both trainingand tournament for the following reasons:

  1. The wearing of the do bok should instill pride in the student as a practitioner of Taekwon-Do.

  2. It identifies the degree of skill and cultural education in Taekwon-Do that individual has attained.

  3. The style of the do bok is symbolic of Taekwon-Do heritage and tradition.

  4. Grade & degree changes indicated by belt color create incentive while simultaneously preserving humility.

  5. The do bok is extremely practical and healthy.

  6. The official do bok distinguishes orthodox Taekwon-Do from its imitators.

The do bok consists of a shirt, pants and belt made of a synthetic material, Raymond mixed with cotton.

How to Properly Fold the Uniform:

  1. Lay the jacket out flat, front side up.

  2. Fold the pants neatly in thirds on top of the jacket and lay it at the chest of the jacket.

  3. Fold one side of the jacket across the pants and fold the sleeve back even with the pants.

  4. Fold the other side of the jacket the same way.

  5. Fold the bottom of the jacket up over the sleeves.

  6. Fold in half upward once more and turn the folded uniform over.

  7. Tie your belt around your uniform using a square knot.

1. Lay the jacket out on
a flat surface, ensuring
there are no creases.

2.Place the trousers on the
centre top of the jacket and,
starting with the bottom cuff,
fold the trouser into thirds

3.Fold one edge of the jacket
inward to cover the trousers.

4.Fold the sleeve back across itself

5.Fold the other side of the jacket and sleeve likewise

6.Fold the jacket in half

7. Fold the jacket in half again

Tie the belt around the folded jacket



There are also a number of obligations the serious student must fulfill, and the following steps have been taken by each Taekwon-Do school under the International Taekwon-Do Federation to maintain the high standards of instructors and students.

1. A close scrutiny must made of the mental make-up and back ground of applicants before their admission to the do-jang or school.
2. Orientation to patriotism, obedience, behavior, practices, discipline, and humility must be undertaken.
3. Personal morals, sincerity, as well as techniques should be taken into consideration upon awarding the higher ranks.
4. Higher ranks who are found fighting should be punished by the local Taekwon-Do Association.
5. All black belts must register with the local Taekwon-Do Association and International Taekwon-Do Federation.

How to Tie Your Belt:

Traditionally ITF Taekwon-do Belts are single wrap, meaning that they are wrapped only once around the waist to symbolize:

1.Pursue one goal.
2.Serve onemaster with unshakable loyalty.
3.Gain a victory in one blow.

Note - when tying, make sure there are no twists. Also white belts will be double wrap. For double wrap belts, start wrapping in front then pulling around back and follow directions below. In step 2, make sure you tuck the right side through the first wrap as well.

1.Wrap belt around waist from back towards the front.
2.Put right side over left side and tuck the right side up to create a half knot.
3.In half knot, make the ends equal length. Adjust if necessary until they are equal.
4.While in half knot, put left side over right side and push left side through to create the final knot.
5.Tie the final knot tightly while making sure that the ends of the belts end up equal in length. If not equal, star over.

What it means to be a Black Belt.


What does it mean to be a Black Belt? By definition the meaning of Black Belt is, “Opposite of white, therefore, signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do” (Gen. Choi Hong Hi, 1999, pp. 373). As any Black Belt would know, the journey towards gaining a Black Belt is a long and arduous undertaking, and every individual who undertakes this journey, will have their own perspective on what being a Black Belt really means.

As an instructor and examiner I have heard many Black Belts talk about their experiences. Most speak of many hours of study and practice, others describe their Black Belt grading, others even describe the extra benefits of becoming a Black Belt. In the case of one recently graded Black Belt who trained for nearly six years before finally gaining Black Belt status. He was a Black Tip (1st Gup) for two years. He said that he never really knew why he waited for so long, mentioning that he often told himself that it wasn’t really that important or that he wasn’t ready. It wasn’t until after a conversation with a close friend and senior training partner of his at our Dojang that he finally decided to do his grading. She told him that getting your Black Belt wasn’t just a symbol of your training. She said that she couldn’t explain it but you change, you feel different and people see you differently. After that he booked his grading and had six months to prepare. Like everyone else he spent hours in the garage laying into boards and repeating patterns a thousand times. For six months he trained with one goal in mind, waiting for that day to come. Upon returning to training the week after the grading, everyone congratulated him. Many of the Black
Belts asked how it went. He told them about seven hours in the heat and joked about getting really hungry. At that point he said that he felt no different, he didn’t feel like a Black Belt. Shortly afterwards a group of juniors came running up to him. They all wanted to see and touch the new belt. It was then when a young yellow belt looked up at him and said, “Wow, some day can I be like you? Can I be a Black Belt?” It was that moment that he knew what his friend had tried to tell him, he knew then what it meant to be a Black Belt.


What does being a Black Belt mean to you? Or for those still on the journey to achieve it, why do you want to become a Black Belt? Everyone will give a different answer to these questions because every ones journey is different. We all must achieve the same basic requirements, but our struggle is as different as the individuals themselves. If everyone’s journey is different and everyone’s perception of what a Black Belt really is then how can we describe it? It is often much easier to compare it to what it is not. You don’t have to look far on the Internet these days to find forums and bulletin boards that talk about martial arts. Often the people talk about having the ability to do tricks or fight multiple opponents. Often there is criticism towards children or elderly Black Belts, usually in reference to their physical capability. Does being a Black Belt automatically mean that you can do flying kicks or fight any opponent? Of course not. Unfortunately these days, Black Belts are viewed almost with a mystical superhuman quality. Most likely due to the influence of movies of men and women doing these fantastic stunts. How many Black Belts out there can honestly say that they can fight multiple opponents and expect to win? Now of those Black Belts, how many can say that they can take on one 120 kg man who has your young child? No amount of flying kicks and tricks will help you. Being a Black Belt has much more to do with maturity, intuition and discipline rather than physical ability.

A student who begins studying as a white belt is considered a beginner with no prior learning. They will begin with the basic fundamentals and gradually climb the ranks through a structured training program. Each new rank means new techniques and harder grading requirements, each of which the student is tested on. All ranks up until you have achieved Black Belt are structured. General class time is spent specifically on the necessary requirements up until Black Belt. After that it’s up to the Black Belt to take on their own self directed learning. Becoming a Black Belt is a new beginning. You have learned the basics and now you are ready to start your real training.

Requirements for Black Belt

In ITF Authentic Taekwon-Do there are two different categories per say of Black Belt 1st Dan. There is a Junior Black Belt and a full (senior) Black Belt. The only difference between the two as far as grading requirements go are the number of boards broken during the grading. To begin with the student is usually content with just learning the basic techniques and only train in their regular class time. As the student progresses through the ranks their thirst for further knowledge increases and Taekwon-Do becomes an increasing part of their life. To achieve the Rank of Black Belt a student must be committed to the Art, a great deal of hours and hard work go into any grading but by the time a student achieves the Black Belt rank, Authentic Taekwon-Do is a part of Life.

As the student grades through the Gup ranks their knowledge of techniques and applications increases. Once the rank of Black Tip is achieved the grading syllabus requires the student to actively train for a minimum of six-twelve months before they can grade for Black Belt. In this time frame the student will be expected to learn their new pattern Choong-Moo, but they are also given ample time to perfect the techniques from previous Gup patterns. The Grading syllabus for Authentic Taekwon-Do has been standardized in that each person grading for the rank of Black Belt will need to perform patterns, sparring, board breaking, self defense applications, theory and write a thesis. The Patterns required are exactly the same throughout the world, in this sense General Choi has left behind an International
Style. The techniques a student learns here in Australia are the same as a student in Korea, England or Slovenia. A Black Belt student can therefore go to any other country and perform the same techniques. Unlike Gup gradings, Black Belt gradings are conducted in front of a Grading Panel. In Authentic Taekwon-Do this panel is made up of at least one Master and 5 -6 Internationally ranked Seniors. Throughout the grading each member of the panel has the opportunity to comment on each individual’s performance and give positive and at times negative feedback to the student grading. With so many eyes scrutinizing every aspect of a grader’s technique one can imagine the preparation that goes into perfection of oneself as a martial artist.

In the following section we are going to break down each aspect of the Black Belt grading and explain what it means.

Reference - Stances


The forceful and finer techniques of attack and defence are largely dependent on a correct stance since the stance is the starting point of every Taekwon-Do movement. Stability, agility, balance and flexibility are the controlling factors.

Basic principles for a proper stance are:

1. Keep the back straight, with few exceptions.
2. Relax the shoulders.
3. Tense the abdomen.
4. Maintain a correct facing. The stance may be full facing, half facing
or side facing the opponent.
5. Maintain equilibrium.
6. Make use of the knee spring properly.

Attention stance (charyot sogi)

This is an attention position used before and after each exercise.

• feet form a 45 degree angle
• drop the fists down naturally, bending the elbows slightly
• the fists are clenched slightly
• eyes face the front slightly above the horizontal line

Parallel stance (narani sogi)

• full facing or side facing
• body weight even on both feet

Sitting stance (annun sogi)

This is a very stable stance for lateral movement. It is also widely used for punching exercise and muscle development of the legs. One of the advantages of this stance is to shift into walking stance without relocating the foot.

• full facing or side facing
• body weight even on both feet
• extend the knees outward, bending until the knee caps come over the ball of the foot
• infuse the strength into the inner thighs and tense inward by scraping the ground or floor with the side soles
• push both the chest and abdomen out and pull the hip back tensing the abdomen

Close stance (moa sogi)

• full facing or side facing
• body weight even on both feet


Walking stance (gunnun sogi)

This is a strong stance for front and rear, both in attack and defence.

• full facing or half facing
• body weight even on both feet
• when the right leg is in the front it is a right stance, and vice versa
• bend the front leg until the knee cap forms a vertical line with the back heel, straighten the rear leg fully
• tense the muscles of the feet with the feeling of pulling them toward each other

L-stance (niunja sogi)

This is widely used for defence, though used in attack as well. The front foot is readily available for kicking with a slight shift of the body weight and with the advantage of half facing as well as body shifting.

• Move one foot to the either the front or rear a distance of 1.5 shoulder widths from the foots word of the rear foot to the toes of the front foot, almost forming a right angle
• The toes of both feet point 15 degrees inward
• Place the heel of the front foot 2.5cm beyond the heel of the rear foot.
• always half facing
• about 70 percent body weight on the rear leg and 30 percent on the front leg
• when the right leg is in the rear it is a right stance, and vice versa
• bend the rear leg until the knee cap forms a vertical line with the toes, bending the front leg proportionally

Fixed stance (gojung sogi)

It is an effective stance for attack and defence to the side.

• Move one foot to the either the front or rear a distance of 1.5 shoulder widths from the big toe of the rear foot to the toes of the front foot, almost forming a right angle
• always half facing
• body weight even on both feet
• when the right leg is in the front it is a right stance, and vice versa

Diagional stance (sasun sogi)

This is very useful for shifting into a walking stance without relocating the foot. It is used for attacking or defending against the front or rear.

• full facing or side facing
• body weight even on both feet
• when the right leg is in the front it is a right stance, and vice versa.


Low stance (nachuo sogi)

The advantage of this stance is the ease with which one can extend the attacking tool. It can also develop the leg muscles and is effective to adjust the distance to and from the target.

• full facing or half facing
• body weight even on both feet
• when the right leg is in the front it is a right stance, and vice versa.

X-Stance (kyocha sogi)

This is a very convenient stance, in particular for attacking the side or front in a jumping motion. It is frequently used for blocking and serves as a preparatory stance for moving into the next manoeuvre.

• full, side or half facing
• body weight on the stationary foot
• when the weight is rested on the right foot it is a right stance, and vice versa
• cross one foot over or behind the other, touching the ground slightly with the ball of the foot
• one foot always crosses over the front of the other with the exception of a jumping motion.

Vertical stance (soojik sogi)

• always half facing
• 60 percent body weight on the rear leg and 40 percent on the front leg
• when the right leg is in the rear it is a right stance, and vice versa
• keep the legs straight

Rear foot stance (dwit bal sogi)

This is used for defence and occasionally for attack.
The advantage of this stance is the ability to kick or
adjust the distance from an opponent with the front
foot which can move spontaneously without any additional
shifting of the body weight to the rear foot.

• Always half facing
• Body weight mostly on the rear foot
• When the right leg is in the rear it is a right stance, and vice versa
• Bend the rear leg until the knee comes over the toes, placing the heel slightly beyond the heel of the front foot
• Bend the front leg, touching the ground slightly with the ball of the foot
• Be sure to keep the knee of the rear leg pointing slightly inward