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Taekwondo Belt Meanings

Meaning of White Belt

The white belt represents purity; the innocence of an individual about the art itself and about the specific system that each particular Master teaches.  It represents the open mindedness that a student must have in order to learn anything new, and to be able to understand the complexities of daily life.

A white belt is like a piece of white paper allowing anything to be written on it.  The white belt student has no preconceived thought to hinder any new thought to be absorbed.  There is total faith and trust in the Master that he will guide the student towards optimum development. In order to learn anything in life, an individual must possess the curiosity, openness and intensity of a white belt.

Meaning of Yellow Belt

The yellow belt represents gold, which means truth.  It is important that an individual be truthful (have integrity) to him/herself, as it eliminates egotistic behavior (conceitedness) and creates personal contentment.

The yellow belt also symbolizes the concept of the seed.  It is only a quality seed that can grow into a quality plant.    The planted seed cannot expect to grow into something that it is not. We must accept who we are as individuals and excel to the best of our abilities.

Meaning of Green Belt

The green belt represents growth.  In living for the future, growth is necessary and essential for living.  Since growth is normally associated with change, we must accept changes although they may cause feelings of insecurity.

Memories of our achievements in Taekwondo serve many functions.  As a green belt, it must serve as a reference for our development, but must not hinder our progress.  Techniques learned up to this point should be polished and refined; striving for constant self-improvement and growth.

Green in a plant represents life (living).  Being a green belt reminds us that we are living, and that living is experiencing the future in little bits of “presentness”, occurring one after another.  Re-experiencing the past continuously is not living; it is a state of stagnancy, rigidity, and death.

Meaning of Blue Belt

The blue belt is symbolic of the sky or the ocean.  Although our naked eye can see only a portion of the vastness, this does not represent all there is.  The color blue depicts the mental depth or maturity of an individual.  Like the sea, we cannot see how deep the water is, or the continuously moving current underneath the surface.

An individual must train to be strong mentally as well as physically.  It is our determination and perseverance that gives us the ability to conquer difficult tasks.

Meaning of Red Belt

The red belt represents the brightness and energy of the sun and is symbolic of the physical acts of the individual.  It is only through physical activity that an individual is given identity through his her mental depth and capabilities.

It is through the physical training in Taekwondo that an education of the mind and reevaluation of self occurs. By overcoming physical setbacks, stressful situations, and disappointment through perseverance and determination, the development of indomitable spirit takes place… the ultimate goal of Taekwondo.

The red belt also represents limitation, which is opposite of the limitless blue belt.  In contrast, limitation permits an individual to evaluate his or her progress.  It prepares us to reach our short-term goals, which in turn, leads to achieving an ultimate goal.

Meaning of Black Belt

The black belt combines all of the belt colors and thus represents all of the various concepts of each belt color. It represents the commitment to the value system of the colors and the dignity that comes from pride in oneself.  This pride is achieved only through overcoming difficult tasks using a combination of physical achievement and mental determination.  Attaining the rank of Black Belt should be viewed as a new beginning; now you are ready to learn, using the tools that you have been given.

“A Black Belt represents an achievement through years of dedication and commitment.  It symbolizes hard work, self-discipline, and perseverance.  Becoming a Black Belt instills a responsibility to one’s self and others. This responsibility is to pass on knowledge, experience, motivation and encouragement to other students without hesitation.  A true Black Belt recognizes the fact that there is an infinite amount of knowledge remaining to be discovered.  To call one’s self a Black Belt with pride and integrity, one must endeavour to continue their relentless pursuit of personal development and growth, with consistency, sweat, and humility”.