Okay who wants a black belt then? And just how long is this going to take? (Oh for the matrix in real life)
It rather depend on how keen a student you are, and an absence of a life elsewhere! I would like to train more, but neither my body nor my wife will let me (actually that's not true the wife's a sweetee and lets me do whatever I want and training gives her a reason for going out boozing with the boss but you don't get a laugh for that). Fitness and flexiability are important to making progess, as is learning some korean words (a task that is sadly beyond me).
Classes also vary in how often the instructor will do a grading, I am attempting to find a list of what you need to know for a grading; although the pattern does account for a major part of the scoring.
Not matter what the grade, you will take great pride in the achievement (the sweat, the pain, the time and the determination; and that's just getting the uniform ironed for the grading test). For those who might be interested, I'm on the 6th kup. If you are not interested, why not?
Anyway, here is the path to glory.
White Belt (10th kup): Signifies innocence, as that of a new student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwondo.
Yellow Tags (9th kup): Interim stage between white belt and yellow belt.
Yellow Belt (8th kup): Signifies earth, from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the Taekwondo foundation is being laid. 1st pattern.
Green Tags (7th kup): Interim stage between yellow belt and green belt. 2nd pattern.
Green Belt (6th kup): Signifies the plant's growth as the Taekwondo skill begins to develop. 3rd pattern.
Blue Tags (5th kup): Interim stage between green belt and blue belt. 4th pattern.
Blue Belt (4th kup): Signifies the Heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwondo progresses. 5th pattern.
Red Tags (3rd kup): Interim stage between blue belt and red belt. 6th pattern.
Red Belt (2nd kup): Signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away. 7th pattern.
Black Tags (1st kup): Interim stage between red belt and black belt. 8th pattern.
Black Belt (1st Dan): Opposite of White, therefore signifies the maturity and proficiency in Taekwondo. Also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear. All the patterns.
How to tie your Taekwondo belt
Okay, no one is going to own up to this but it is difficult to tie up a belt when you are a beginner. So this is how you do it, I think.
First you need the belt to be the right length. Not easy if you are overweight like me. It should go round twice, have a knot in it, and a few inches (10cm) to hang down either side.
1. Hold an end down by your left thigh, about pocket hight (I am going to call this the left end).
2. Take hold of the belt and wrap the belt around your waist clockwise.
3. Lap the belt around the first loop on top of the first loop (keeping the left end on your left thigh).
4. Bring the belt around for the second time and ready to tie the knot in the middle.
5. You should be in a position holding the belt with the left hand, palm up, fingers between the belt and your stomach, tumb horizontal near your belly button.
6. Take the right end (which should be on top) and take it down and loop underneath all the horizontal loops and bring it up towards your chin behind the belt loops next to your tummy.
7. Now bring the left end across horizontally so it is near your right pocket.
8. Bring the right end down vertically over the horizontal left end.
9. Tuck the right end under the left end and bring it up under the left end, towards the left.
10. Pull the left and right end tight. Note: the right end finishes up on your left and the left end finishes on your right.
Step 8, should give you a nice up down loop to make your belt look tidy, but his is difficult to get right to begin with, particularly with a new stiff belt.
Of course both hanging down length should be the same length. Back to the beginning again.
Should anyone successfully follow these instruction, can they email me as I am not sure it is possible to write an instruction on how to tie a belt :)