Gradings

Taekwondo consists of a series of Grades which are known as Kup and Dan. Kup grades are marked with belts and tags, a different colour for each one.

You make your way through these coloured belts before reaching the black belt. This could take at least four years with hard training.

Once you have gained your first Dan (black belt), the journey has not ended, in fact it has just begun. There are years of hard training between each level of black belt or Dan as they are known. The gradings aim to demonstrate what you know and help you identify areas to work on. It”s a continuous learning process.

Kup Gradings

UTA NI Gradings from white belt (10th Kup) to red tag (1st Kup) are conducted quarterly by Master Glen Culbert 7th Dan WT:

  • September
  • December
  • March
  • June
UTA NI Kup Grading Panel
Master Glen R. Culbert
7th Dan
Master Thomas Needham
6th Dan
Master Peter Stewart
6th Dan

Details of Grading Dates and times are passed to the students by club instructors.

Dan Gradings

UTA Dan Gradings (black belt) are conducted bi-annually by Grand Master TW Shin 9th Dan WT:

  • April
  • October
UTA Dan Grading Panel
Grand Master TW Shin
9th Dan
Grand Master David Bailey 8th Dan Master Peter Johnson
7th Dan

Details of Grading Dates and times are passed to the students by club instructors.

Ranking System

Belt Kup Grade Belt & Meaning
10th Kup

9th Kup

White Belt

Signifies innocence as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwondo

8th Kup

7th Kup

Yellow Belt

Signifies the earth from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the foundations of Taekwondo are being laid

6th Kup

5th Kup

Green Belt

Signifies the plants growth as Taekwondo skills begin to develop

4th Kup

3rd Kup

Blue Belt

Signifies the heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwondo progresses

2nd Kup

1st Kup

Red Belt

Signifies danger cautioning the student to exercise control and warning opponents to stay away

Belt Dan Grade Belt & Meaning
1st Dan – 9th Dan Black Belt

Opposite to White, therefore, signifies the maturity and proficiency in Taekwondo. Also indicates the wearer”s imperviousness to darkness and fear

Requirements for Kup Gradings

  • Applicants must have membership of UTA / UTA NI and hold a valid license and insurance The UTA (NI) Registrar will confirm membership for each applicant
  • Applicants must hand in their Grading Application form with UTA Grading Booklet and valid License / insurance slip attached, plus grading fee
  • Applicants must complete the required minimum training period and number of sessions between each grade
Grade:
from / to
Minimum
Training period
Minimum
Training Sessions / week
Minimum
Sessions between grades
10th – 9th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 26 Sessions
9th – 8th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 26 Sessions
8th – 7th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 26 Sessions
7th – 6th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 26 Sessions
6th – 5th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 32 Sessions
5th – 4th Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 32 Sessions
4th – 3rd Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 32 Sessions
3rd – 2nd Kup 3 Months 2 Sessions per week 32 Sessions
2nd – 1st Kup 6 Months 2-3 Sessions per week 60 Sessions + 80% of official technical classes
  • Students who received a weak standard result at the previous grading must have trained for a minimum of 6 months before being eligible to take the next grading
  • Applicants must be recommended by their club Instructor
  • Applicants 2nd Kup to 1st Kup are required to be recommended by their club instructor and the Area Chief Instructor
  • Applicants must show correct attitude and etiquette throughout Taekwondo training
  • Applicants must show support to Club, UTA NI and UTA
  • Applicants must apply the Tenets of Taekwondo

Requirements for Dan / Poom Gradings

  • Applicants must have Membership of UTA NI/ UTA and hold a valid license and insurance for a minimum of 12 Months before Grading date
  • Applicants must hand in their Grading Application form with UTA Grading Booklet and valid License / insurance attached, plus Grading fee
  • Applicants must have the required qualifications as set down in the Grading Syllabus and the 1st Kup and Dan Qualifying Conditions (Grading Policy: 002) before applying for the grading
  • Applicants 1st Kup and above are required to be recommended by their Club Instructor and by the Area Chief Instructor (Master Glen Culbert 7th Dan)
  • Applicants 3rd Dan and above are required to be recommended by the UTA (NI) Executive Committee, Area Chief Instructor and approved for grading by the Chief Instructor (Master T.W. Shin 8th Dan)
  • Applicants must complete the required minim training period between each Grading
Time & age limits for Poom / Dan Promotions
Poom / Dan: from / to Min. Training Time Age Limit for Promotion Min. Sessions / week
1st Kup – 1st Poom 6 months Below 15 yrs 2-3 Sessions per week
1st Poom – 2nd Poom 2 years Below 15 yrs 2-3 Sessions per week
2nd Poom – 3rd Poom 3.5 years Below 15 yrs 2-3 Sessions per week
1st Kup – 1st Dan 6 months Age 15 yrs + 2-3 Sessions per week
1st Dan – 2nd Dan 2 years Age 15 yrs + 2-3 Sessions per week
2nd Dan – 3rd Dan 3.5 years Age 15 yrs + 2-3 Sessions per week
3rd Dan – 4th Dan 4 years Age 18 yrs + 3-4 Sessions per week
4th Dan – 5th Dan 4.5 years Age 22 yrs + 4-5 Sessions per week
5th Dan – 6th Dan 5 years Age 30 yrs + 4-5 Sessions per week
  • Applicants Require a minimum of 80% attendance at official Technical training sessions one year before date of grading
  • Applicants require a minimum of 100% attendance at Master Training Seminars one year before grading date
  • Applicants must show correct attitude and etiquette through out Taekwondo training
  • Applicants must show support to their club, UTA NI, UTA and WTF
  • Applicants must apply the Tenets of Taekwondo

Poom Recognition

A Poom holder under UTA rules shall wear a black and red belt and a black and red V neck uniform and a Dan holder shall wear a black belt and black V neck uniform. There is no difference in status between Dan and Poom grades only that a Poom is a junior member. He/she will still take their earned place i.e. 2nd Poom above 1st Dan belt in all aspects.

A Poom grade holder on becoming 15 years old will become a Dan grade holder.

If a Poom holder who has passed the age of 15 applies for a promotion to a next higher Dan grade, the required period of training shall be calculated from the first day when he/she obtained the present grade. However, when a 3rd Poom holder wants to be promoted to the 4th Dan, his/her age shall be over 18 years.

Grading Costs


Kup Grading fees

Grade UTA Fee
10th Kup – 9th Kup £15
9th Kup – 8th Kup £15
8th Kup – 7th Kup £20
7th Kup – 6th Kup £20
6th Kup – 5th Kup £20
5th Kup – 4th Kup £20
4th Kup – 3rd Kup £20
3rd Kup – 2nd Kup £20
2nd Kup – 1st Kup £20


Dan Grading fees

Grade UTA Fee Kukkiwon Fee
1st Kup – 1st Dan / Poom £80 £50
1st Dan – 2nd Dan / Poom £90 £60
2nd Dan – 3rd Dan / Poom £120 £80
3rd Dan – 4th Dan £140 £100
4th Dan – 5th Dan £150 £200


UTANI - United Taekwondo Association of Northern Ireland TANI - Taekwondo Association of Northern Ireland SCNI - Sports Council of Northern Ireland UTA - UTA UK WT - World Taekwondon kukkiwon ETU - European Taekwondo Union Association of Summer Olympic International Federations Rio Olympics 2016 British Taekwondo UK GB Taekwondo TeamwearIreland

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