TKD Belts


Taekwon-Do themed parties


Martial Arts Party Store


Ideas for decorating for a Taekwon-Do party can include the following:

  • If you already take Taekwon-Do, hang up belts that you have earned to use as streamers in some places, such as the middle of a room or around windows. Put balloons in the middle where the belts meet. This works especially well if you have double-wrap belts, which are longer.
  • Put sparring gear shoes on the bottom of chair or table legs.
  • Buy balloons the colors of the belts that you have in your style of Taekwon-Do (for example, white, yellow, green, blue, red, and black) If your party celebrates someone earning their black belt, use black and gold balloons.
  • If this party is celebrating someone earning a belt, put the certificates earned earlier on the walls as decorations.


  • On a large piece of paper or cardboard, draw a picture of a martial artist in uniform, specifically wearing the type of dobok and patches used by your do-jang, if you have one.  Attach light bean bags to different areas of the body, and have party guests kick and punch off the bean bags in order to win. They get one chance to knock down each bean bag. If they can knock down each one in one try, they win! With younger guests, give them more than one try.
  • Have a pinata, specifically one shaped like something martial-arts related (belt, sparring gear, punching bag, trophy, fist, etc.) but rather than have guests knock it down with a bat, have them attempt to kick it down instead! Pinata prizes, besides candy, could be Taekwon-Do stickers, small martial arts action figures, and a free week/month pass to your do-jang, if the guests do not already take TKD.
  • Have your guests stand and extend their legs in a side piercing kick position. Whoever stays up the longest without falling wins!
  • Since Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art, have a game of Korean chicken fighting! Have your guests bend their legs and lift them to their wastes, grabbing the leg with both hands. Then they must bump into other players to make them either fall down or let go of their leg with at least one hand. The aren’t allowed to poke people with their knees or push with their hands, to avoid injury.


Decorate your table with a martial arts table cloth, and possibly martial arts paper plates, and then serve some tasty Taekwon-Do treats!

  • TKD Cupcakes/cookies- make cupcakes or cookies and frost the top with icing in the shape of belts, fists, Taekwon-Do written in korean, the letters T-K-D, martial artists kicking and punching, or just ice the tops the colors of each of the belts in your do-jang.
  • TKD Cake- create a cake and frost the top with any of the same ideas for TKD cupcakes/cookies, or for a more complicated design, duplicate the logo for your do-jang.
  • Fist Foods- shape vegtables such as carrots or celery into fingers to create a punching fist that tastes good!
  • Tae Kwon Dip- make a thick cream cheese spread and mold it into the Korean characters for Taekwon-Do.

Happy Holidays from BestTKD

Have a wonderful holiday! And also have wonderful Taekwon-Do holiday parties, Demos, and award ceromonies! Are you going to give a gift to your instructor this year? Do you have the coolest new Taekwon-Do equipment on your wish list this year? Happy Holidays from BestTKD! We hope your winter is the BEST!

Martial Arts Product Sites

The following sites are not sponsoring BestTKD, they are simply sites that I believe will assist Taekwon-Do practitioners in finding all the equipment, books, training aids, clothes, jewlery, and much more, that they want and need.

Pine Tree Sang Moo Sa – Sangmoosa equipment, ect.

Century Martial Arts– Martial Arts equipment, ect.

Sharkwear Sports Top Ten Gear– official ITF gear

Adidas Taekwondo– official WTF gear– Martial Arts equipment, ect.– Martial Arts books, equipment, ect.

Comdo Pro Shop– The Legacy books, jewlery, ect.


Although some state that Taekwon-Do is thousands of years old, an ancient martial art,  this is not true. It is actually a fairly recent creation, but it is its origins that go back hundreds of years.

In the early 7th century, the Hwa-Rang Youth Group was a group of warriors that trained in Taekkyon, Korean foot-fighting. They were the actual driving force in unifying the three kingdoms of Korea. Their martial arts skills are legendary; they were said to be able to jump over a tall man or a six-foot-wall with no running start in a flying side kick, and their feet were so fast that enemies would commonly mistake their kicks for sword blows. Whether this is just a legend or if it based in fact, the Hwa-Rang Warriors were amazing. It is their Taekkyon that General Choi Hong-Hi, born on November 9th, 1918, combined with Japanese Shotokan Karate, a martial art he learned while in Japan for school, to create Taekwon-Do. His goal was to create the most effective, greatest martial art of all time. He improved techniques from Karate and Taekkyon, and added in new techniques all his own, and what he created became an entirely different, new martial art. On April 11th, 1955, General Choi Hong-Hi founded Taekwon-Do, the Korean martial art which means, “the way of the hands and the feet.”

This was the ITF style Taekwon-Do, and General Choi  spread it throughout the world, traveling with his demonstration team to many different countries. Then the WTF was later created, a sport Taekwondo that became different from the ITF. Now, there are many, many organizations (see ORGANIZATIONS page) that teach many styles of Taekwon-Do.

Pattern Meanings

This page is full of the meanings of patterns of various styles. It is unique in the fact that it offers meanings of patterns beyond just ITF and WTF.

ITF (and simmilar styles)/GTF Pattern Meanings:

Four Direction Punch/Saju-Jirugi:

The four represents the four ways of the compass, the direction means the direction you want to go in life, and the punch means to be agressive to achieve your goals.

Four-Direction Block/Saju-Makgi:

The four represents the four ways of the compass, the direction means the direction you want to go in life, and the block means to block out all negative things preventing you from achieving your goals.


Chong-Ji means literally the heaven and the earth, the first part of the tul represents heaven and the second part represents earth. It is named after Lake Chon-Ji. There are 19 movements in the pattern and the diagram is a cross or plus-sign. Patterns starts in a parallel ready stance.


The pattern Dan-Gun is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2033 BC. It has 21 movements and the diagram is a capital I. Pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Do-San is the psuedonym of the patriot Ahn-Chang-Ho (1876-1938) The 24 movements represent his entire life, which he devoted to furthering the education of Korea, and to its independance movement. The diagram is a right stair step, or a backwards Z. Pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Won-Hyo was the noted monk who introduced Buddisimto the Silla Dynasty in the year 686 AD. The pattern has 28 movements and the diagram is a capital I. Patterns starts in Closed Ready Stance A.


Yul-Guk is the pseydonym of the great philosopher and scholar Yi-I (1536-1584) Nicknamed the Confucious of Korea. The 38 movements of this pattern refer to his birthplace on the 38th latitude and the pattern diagram represents the Chinese character for scholar. Patterns starts in a parallel ready stance.


Joong-Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joong-Gun who assasinated Hirobumi Ito, the first Japanese governer-general of Korea. Ito was known as the man who placed the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. The 32 movements in this pattern represent Mr. Ahn’s age when he was executed at the Lui Shung prison in the year 1910. The diagram is a capital I. The patterns starts in a Closed Ready Stance B.


Toi-Gye is the pen name of the noted scholar Yi Hwang (16th century) an authority on Neo-Confucinisim. The 37 movements in the pattern represent his birthplace on the 37th Latitute and the diagram represents the Chinese character for scholar. The Patterns starts in a Closed Ready Stance B.


Hwa-Rang is named after the Hwa-Rang Youth Group, which originated in the Silla dynasty in the early 7th Century. This group eventually became the actual driving force of the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea. The 29 movements in this pattern represent the 29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do developed into maturity. The pattern starts in a Closed Ready Stance C.


Choong-Moo is named after the great Admiral Yi Soon-Sin of the Yi Dynasty. He is reputed to have invented the first armored battleship, Kobukson, in the year 1592, which is actually the precursor to the present day submarine. Checked by the forced reservation of his loyalty to the king, Yi Soon Sin was given no chance in his lifetime to show his unrestrained potentiality. The pattern has 30 movements and the diagram is a capital I. The pattern starts in a parallel ready stance.


Kwang-Gae is named after the famous Kwang-Gae-Toh-Wang, the 19th King of of the Koguryo Dynasty, who regained all of the previously lost territories including the greater part of Manchuria. The diagram represents the expansion and recovery of lost territories. The 39 movements refer to the first to figures of 391 AD, the year he came to the throne. It begins in the Heaven Hand position in a parallel stance.


Po-Eun is the pseudonym of the loyal subject and famous poet Chong-Mong-Chu (1400) whose poem “I Would Not Serve A Second Master Though I Might Be Crucified A Hundred Times” is known to every Korean. He was also a pioneer in the field of physics. The pattern represents his unerring loyalty to his king and country towards the end of the Koguryo dynasty, and the pattern has 36 movements. It begins in the Heaven Hand position in a parallel stance.


The pattern Ge-Baek is named after Ge-Baek, a great general in the Baek-Ji Dynasty (660 AD) The diagram represents his strict and severe military displine and the pattern has 44 movements.


Eui Am is the pseudonym of Son Byong Hi, the leader of the Korean independence movement on 1st March 1919. The 45 movements refer to his age when he changed the name of the Dong Hak (Oriental Culture) to Chondo Kyo (Heavenly Way) religion in 1905. The diagram represents the indomitable spirit he displayed whilst devoting his life to the prosperity of his nation. The pattern begins in a position with your hands in fists at your side, looking much like Joombi position.


Choong-Jang is the pseudonym given to General Kim Duk Ryang who lived during the Yi Dynasty (14th Century). This pattern ends with a left-hand attack to symbolise the tragedy of his death at 27 in prison. The pattern has 52 movements and begins in a closed ready stance A.


Juche is the philosopical idea that man is the master of everything and therefore decides and determines his destiny. It is said that the idea was rooted on the Baekdu Mountain, which symbolises the spirit of the Korean people. The diagram represents the Baekdu Mountain, and the pattern has 45 movements. The starting position is hands on hips in fists.


Ko-Dang was replaced by Juche in the ITF, but some organizations still teach this pattern, either with Juche or instead of Juche. More info coming soon.


Sam-Il denotes the historical date of the independence movement of Korea, which began throughout the country on 1st March 1919. The 33 movements in the pattern stand for the 33 patriots who planned the movement.


Yoo-Sin is named after General Kim Yoo Sin, a commanding general during the Silla Dynasty. The 68 movements refer to the last two figures of 668 AD, the year Korea was united. The ready posture signifies a sword being drawn from the right rather than the left, symbolising Yoo Sin’s mistake of following the kings orders to fight with foreign forces against his own nation. The pattern has 68 movements.

Choi Yong:

Choi Yong is named after General Choi Yong, Premier and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces during the 14th century Koryo dynasty. Choi Yong was greatly respected for his loyalty, patriotism and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders headed by General Yi Sung Gae, who later became the first king of the Yi dynasty. The pattern has 46 movements.

Yon Gae:

Yon Gae is named after General Yon Gae Somoon, a famous general during the Koguryo dynasty. The 49 movements refer to the last two figures of 649 AD, the year he forced the Tang dynasty to leave Korea after destroying nearly 300,000 of their troops at Ansi Sung.

Ul Ji:

Ul Ji is named after General Ul Ji Moon Dok who successfully defended Korea against a Tang invasion force of nearly 1,000,000 soldiers led by Yang Je in 612 AD. General Ul Ji used hit and run tactics to destroy a large number of the opposing force. The diagram represents his surname. The 42 movements represent General Choi’s age when he designed this pattern.


Moon-Moo honors the 30th King of the Silla Dynasty. His body was buried near Dae Wang Am (Great Kings Rock). According to his will, the body was placed in the sea ‘Where my soul shall forever defend my land against the Japanese’. It is said that the Sol Gul Am is a fine example of the culture of the Silla dynasty. The 61 movements represent the last two figures of 661 AD when Moon-Moo came to the throne.


So-San is the pseudonym of the great monk Choi Hyong Ung (1520 to 1604) during the Yi dynasty. The 72 movements refer to his age when he organized a corps of monk soldiers with the assistance of his pupil Sa Myung Dang. The monk soldiers helped repel the Japanese pirates who over ran most of the Korean peninsular in 1592.


The pattern Se-Jong is named after the greatest Korean king Se-Jong who invented the Korean alphabet in 1443, and was a noted meteorologist. The diagram represents the king, while the 24 movements refer to the 24 letters of the Korean alphabet.


Tong-Il denotes the resolution of the unification of Korea that has been divided since 1945. The diagram symbolises the homogenous race. It has 56 movements. This is the last of the ITF patterns learned.

Patterns Only Offered in the GTF:


Jee-Goo means “Global”. The ready stance is a parallel stance with forearms crossed. This stance symbolizes the crossing out of the years of strife in Taekwon-Do. The first movement represents breaking away from the past and reflects Grandmaster Park’s desire for world peace and harmony. The 30 movements are divided into 24, 4 and 2. The number 24 represents the hours in a day, so that the thought of world peace and harmony will be with us every second. The number 4 represents the four directions of North, South, East and West, for all people of all nations. The number 2 is demonstrated by playing the pattern twice in each direction to reaffirm our commitment to the idea of world peace and harmony.


Jook-Am is a pseudonym for the Grandmaster Park. Jook means bamboo which shoots up straight forward without any curvature, its roots intertwining to form an inseparable force. Am is an immovable boulder from which the bamboo plants its roots to form an unshakable foundation. This pattern represents Grandmaster Park’s life and his constant struggle for perfection. The diagram is a representation of a bamboo shooting up from the boulder. This pattern’s 95 movements (112 including combinations) symbolizes the year 1995 in which Jook-Am was created.

ATA/Songahm Pattern Word Meanings:


Pine Tree and Rock.

In Wha:

An unbroken glory.

Choong Jung:

All things turn out perfect and beautiful.

Shim Jun:

Begin planting seeds for the future.

Jung Yul:

With your noble character, you will develop a new permeance in your life.

Chung San:

Peace of mind and tranquility.

Sok Bong:

You will live confortably and in peace.

Chung Hae:

Mastered all kinds of knowledge and utilizes this to do many things.

Jhang Soo:

Long Life.

WTF Taeguk and Poomsae Meanings:

Il Chang Pattern:

This pattern represents heaven and light. Heaven gives us rain and the sun gives us light and making things grow. Therefore Keon is the beginning of everything on earth and the source of creation. When performing this Taegeuk the mind should be clear and allow all the basic techniques to flow. As with creation this Taegeuk is the simple, yet forms the basis for more complex movements and techniques to come.

I Chang:

This pattern is expressed by the symbol Tae, Meaning joyfulness. This is the state in which ones minds is kept firm, yet appears gentle so that smile and virtue prevail. When performing this Taegeuk all actions should be performed gently yet forcefully.

Sam Chung:

This pattern concerns actions applying the principles of RI. This symbol means fire and sun. What distinguishes man from the animals is that man knows how to use fire. Burning fire gives man light, warmth, enthusiasm and hope. The action therefore of Sam Chang accordingly should be performed with vitality and passion.

Sa Chang:

This pattern concerns actions applying the thoughts and principles of Jin, Thunder. Thunder and lighting are the objects of fear and fright. The principles of Jin suggest that we should act calmly and bravely in the face of danger and fear, and then the blue sky and bright sunlight will appear. When performing Taegeuk Sa Chang show a positive mind and a brave attitude. The movements should be strong powerful opposing Jin.

Oh Chang:

This pattern expresses the principle of wind. There are such winds as typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes. But the nature of the wind is gentle. Spring breezes caress weeping willows. Wind symbolizes a humble state of mind. Actions should be performed as gentle breezes, slow yet graceful, then strong and fast like hurricanes.

Yuk Chang:

This pattern represents water. Water is liquid and formless. Water never loses it’s nature, it always flows downwards. The principles behind this Taegeuk show us that we can overcome difficulties and hardships if we go forward with self confidence. Actions should be performed with a flowing motion, steadily through the techniques.

Chil Chang:

This pattern symbolizes a mountain. We should stop when we should go on when must. Moving and stopping should match with time in order to achieve things.
A mountain never moves. Man must learn this stability like a mountain. We should not act hastily or push too hard. This principle is well adapted to Taekwondo. Through fast actions seem fine, we should know where and when to stop. The stance Beom Seogi (Cat Stance) is included because it is very stable, yet still allows us free movement.

Pal Chang:

This pattern is a series of actions applying the Gon principle. Gon symbolizes Earth. The earth is the source of life. Things take life from it and grow, draining limitless energy. The earth is where the creative force of heaven is embodied. The earth is wordless, it hugs and grows everything. Taegeuk Pal Chang is the gardens last round of training, and stepping stone to the way of Dan grade holder.
Here you perfect all the fundamental actions and review them. Actions should be performed clearly and expertly. A strong character should be shown in technique and, as is the earth, an unbending force


Koryo is the name of an ancient Korean dynasty (AD918 – 1392). The English word Korea is derived from the name Koryo. Koryo’s legacy to the Korean people is very significant, as they successfully defeated and thus defended Korea from the attacking aggression of the Mongolian Empire, who were sweeping the known world at the time.
In Poomsae, Koryo the spirit of the Koryo dynasty should be emphasized. Consequently every motion of the Poomsae should show a strong conviction like that shown by the Koryo people in their struggle with Mongolians.


The word Kumgang has the meaning of the being too strong to be broken. The Korean people named their most beautiful mountain Keumgang-san, it is also the name of natures hardest substance, diamond, Keumgang Seok.
Therefore, Kumgang in Taekwondo means movements based on spiritual strength that is both beautiful and majestic, as are mountains and diamonds. Strong and beautiful.
The lines of the Poomsae correspond to the Chinese character for mountain. In the movement of Poomsae Kumgang therefore, such sharp and endlessly changeable majestic spirit, as that of mountains should be displayed. This is a rewarding art both physically and spiritually, and is applicable to people regardless of whether they play party poker or have learnt other martial arts- all skills must be learnt, and the rewards are easy to see.


There is an ancient Korean story about the origin of Korea. It says that about 4,300 years ago, legendary founded the nation for the first time in Taebek, the present day Mount Baekdoo.
Mount Baekdoo is the largest and highest mountain in Korea. As may be understood, poomsae Taebek has its basic principles of movement from the word “Taebek” with its meaning of light, and being looked upon as being sacred by the Korean people. Mount Baekdoo is regarded as the symbol of Korea. Therefore, every movement in Taebek should not only be displayed precisely and nimbly, but also with rigor and a determined will.


The definition of Pyongwon is “stretch, vast plain, big, majestic.”


Sipjin stands for decimal. This Poomsae represents the orderliness of the decimal system. It also means the endless development and growth in a systematic order: stability.


Jitae is derived from the meaning of the earth. All things evolve from and return to the earth, the earth is the beginning and the end of life. 37 movements.


Cheonkwon means ‘sky’. The sky should be seen as ruler of the universe. It is both mysterious, infinite and profound. The motions of Cheonkwon are full of piety and vitality. Has 38 movements.

Han Su:

This poomsae is derived from the fluidity of water which easily adapts within nature. It has 33 movements.

Il Yo:

The state of spiritual cultivation in Buddhism is called ‘Ilyo’ which means more or less ‘oneness’. In Ilyo, body and mind, spirit and substance, I and you are unified. The ultimate ideal of Taekwondo can be found in this state. It is a discipline in which we concentrate on every movement leaving all materialistic thoughts, obsessions and external influences behind. Has 28 movements.

Rhee Tae Kwon Do Hyung Meanings:

Although the belts and ways of pattern performance are different, the meanings are the same as in the ITF style Taekwon-Do.


Same as ITF Chon-Ji


Same as ITF Dan-Gun.


Same as ITF Do-San.


Same as ITF Won-Hyo.


Same as ITF Yul-Guk.


Same as ITF Joong-Gun.


Same as ITF Toi-Gye.


Same as ITF Hwa-Rang.


Same as ITF Choong-Moo.


Jhoon-Rhee Taekwondo:

Although the belts and ways of pattern performance are different, the meanings are the same as in the ITF style Taekwon-Do.


Same as ITF Chon-Ji. 


Same as ITF Dan-Gun


Same as ITF Do-San.


Same as ITF Won-Hyo.


Same as ITF Yul-Guk.


ATA/Songham Forms

The Songham Forms/Poom-Sae:

  • Songahm 1
  • Songham 2
  • Songham 3
  • Songham 4
  • Songham 5
  • In Wha 1
  • In Wha 2
  • Choong-Jung 1
  • Choong-Jung 2
  • Shim Jun
  • Jung Yul
  • Chung San
  • Sok Bong
  • Chung Hae
  • Jhang Soo

Black Belt Essays

Some do-jangs have testing black belts write essays for their promotion. For example, the topic might be set already, for example, ‘What Does A Black Belt Mean to You?’ or you might be able to choose your own topic. Depending on the do-jang and TKD style, you may write an essay at any or all or none of your degrees of black belt tests.


When writing an essay, make sure that you don’t rush it, or make it only one paragraph. Try to make your essay as good as you can possibly make it. Seriousness and making the essay come from the heart make it so much better, so make your essay from your personal opinion as well. Always use good grammer and spelling, too.


Taekwon-Do tests are performed when you will try to earn your next belt grade. (See the BELT GRADES page)

For your test, one usually performs the below:

  • Pattern/Form
  • Board Breaking
  • Self-Defence/Step-Sparring/Releases/Ho Sin Sul
  • Required Knowledge test
  • Sparring


  • Written test

Instructors normally only test color belts when they are sure to pass, but yes, it is possible to fail your test. If you do not pass your test, don’t worry: just practice hard and when you test again you will surely pass.

When one tests for any degree of black belt, the instructor will only allow those who are certain to pass to test. Black belt tests are more of a demonstration of your skill than an actual ‘test.’


To test, one needs to have been to a certain number of classes. For example, in ITF-style Taekwon-Do, one needs to have been to at least 18 classes to obtain their yellow stripe. When you are testing for your black belt, rather than months you will have to wait years to earn higher degrees/dans. In ITF-style, you must wait 1 1/2 years being a 1st dan to obtain your 2nd dan, 3 years as a 2nd dan to earn your 3rd dan, 4 years as 3rd dan to earn your 4th dan, and so on.

Age requirements are sometimes required, for example in WTF you cannot get your 1st dan unless you are a certain age, and you will have a poom belt while you are waiting. In ITF-style there are also sometimes age requirements (for example, you cannot get your 2nd dan unless 14 or older, 3rd dan when 17 or older, ect.) but these are sometimes ignored if the testing student has proven themselves ready for their next degree of black belt.


For your test, you will perform all the things you are required to know for your belt grade. For example, as an ITF green belt you are required to have memorized and perform correctly the pattern Won-Hyo. Board breaking and self-defence vary between belts, and of course, vary between do-jangs, but the basic idea for a test is the same: perform what you learned at your current belt to earn your upcoming one.


Try not to be nervous! Sure, you may be scared that you won’t break that wooden board or won’t remember your Step-Sparring, but it will be okay. Your instructor thinks you have it in you to pass, so trust him/her and trust in your own abilities! Besides, if you’re nervous, you will do far worse than you would be if you were calm.


Much of the required knowledge is here on BestTKD, or will be added here shortly. If you can’t find what you need here, go the the WEBSITES page on BestTKD and find a good information website, or look up the knowledge in an internet search. The best place, though, would be to look in The Enyclopedia of Taekwon-Do by General Choi Hong-Hi if you do ITF, GTF, ICTF, UITF, or simmilar. Also, your do-jang very likely offers a booklet about testing information, so ask your instructor or visit your training hall’s website.

Sparring Gear

Top-Ten gear

Sparring gear is used in sparring competition. The ITF’s official sparring gear is Top-Ten and the WTF uses Adidas, but at the do-jang or at smaller tournaments, the popular Macho gear is often used.  Below is a list of common sparring equipment pieces:

  • Hand Gear/gloves
  • Foot gear
  • Head gear (sometimes optional)
  • Chest protector (optional in ITF, required in WTF)
  • Shin gaurds (optional)
  • Groin cup (male) (often optional)
  • Breast protector (female) (optional)
  • Mouthgaurd (sometimes optional)

Common colors include red, white, black, blue and pink. Other colors include purple, orange, yellow, and silver. In the ITF National Championships, only the colors red and blue are allowed.

Adidas gear

The popular Macho gear

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