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Taekwondo Information

Kukkiwon : World Taekwondo Headquarters



Kukkiwon is the World Taekwondo Headquarters founded in 1972 in Seoul, South Korea. It is a hub for learning and research. It is also the home of the World Taekwondo Academy where instructional seminars are held.

The Academy also trains and certifies Taekwondo Instructors from around the world through it regularly held leadership courses. In 1998, the Academy held its first instructor training seminar for Foreigner instructors which included only 20 Americans. This is a very prestigious certification.

It is the organization that issues dan rank and guidelines on belt promotion and certification including required poomse, breaking and sparring (kyorugi) techniques.

Additionally, it is the only taekwondo organization whose dan ranks are recognized by World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

"According to the Korean/English Taekwondo Magazine "Taekwondo People" September 2007, the Kukkiwon and the WTF are separate organizations, although the two are often confused with each other. As a result, the term WTF is sometimes used to refer to the Kukkiwon-style taekwondo." Quoted from Wikipedia.

Kukkiwon website in English.

Promotion Rank Requirements

There are very specific belt rank requirements in every taekwondo style. This chart defines the specific requirements of WTF style.

Color belt systems vary by school. There are two different variations shown in this chart.

Minimum Term refers to the minimum amount of time that must be spent at a rank before promotion. This time frame is based on 40 hours of training time per month.

Total Training Time refers to the minimum amount of time invested in total to achieve a given rank.

In the U.S., the average student reaches first degree black belt in 3 years.


Belt Color

Minimum Term

Total Training Time





10th Kup


2 months


9th Kup

White/White with stripe

2 months

2 months

8th Kup


2 months

4 months

7th Kup

Orange/Yellow with stripe

2 months

6 months

6th Kup


2 months

8 months

5th Kup

Blue/Green with stripe

2 months

10 months

4th Kup


2 months

1 year

3rd Kup

Brown/Blue with stripe

2 months

14 months

2nd Kup


4 months

16 months

1st Kup

Red with stripe

4 months

20 months

1st Degree

Cho Dan

1 year

2 years

2nd Degree

Ee Dan

2 years

3 years

3rd Degree

Sam Dan

3 years

5 years

4th Degree

Sa Dan

4 years

8 years

5th Degree

O Dan

5 years

12 years

6th Degree

Yook Dan

6 years

17 years

7th Degree

Chil Dan

7 years

23 years

8th Degree

Pul Dan

8 years

30 years

9th Degree

Ku Dan

9 years

38 years

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