YELLOW STRIPE – PATTERN
You are required to know a pattern to achieve the next belt level. A pattern is a series of movements such as blocks, kicks, and punches in action and reaction against an imaginary opponent.
GREEN STRIPE – ONE STEP SPARRING (PUNCHING AND KICKING)
Up to two yellow stripes, you are required to know the basic punching and kicking drills that we do in class, i.e.. horse stance middle punches; hi-lifting, front kick, round house kick, side kick, back kick.
At two yellow stripes and above you learn One Step Sparring also known as One Step Self-Defense. You learn to defend against a one-step punch attack. As you learn these, you will also learn to attack, defend and in some cases, fall correctly.
BLUE STRIPE – BREAKING
One of the things that we do at our school is to take our techniques and put them into practice. We do this by breaking boards. Some may be intimidated by this, but they shouldn’t be. If you have the proper technique and form and keup, you will break the board!
RED STRIPE – SPARRING
Up to 1/2 yellow belt, sparring is non-contact. This is one of the most important times to be paying attention. It’s at this point that you start to work on putting the kicks and punches together in combinations. This is also the time that you learn to judge distance against your opponent and learn control.
At 1/2 yellow belt, the sparing now becomes contact sparring. This is the time to test and try your techniques. The sparring is full contact but with control, which means not with full power. The goal is not to hurt your opponent but to learn how to react against a real opponent. It’s like full contact chess.
At each level above 1/2 yellow belt, you are responsible to show the different techniques that you have learned.
WHITE STRIPE – ATTITUDE IN CLASS
This stripe is obtained from an instructor for overall attitude in class. Respectful, kind, positive, helpful, patient, obedient, punctual and participation are all characteristics we encourage to earn your white stripe.
*BLACK STRIPE – ATTITUDE*
This stripe is required for Children and Juniors. This is the only stripe that cannot be obtained from an instructor. This stripe must be given by the parent (guardian). The parent must feel that the student is deserving of this stripe with respect to how the student is with their attitude, whether it be respecting their parents, doing their home work, doing their chores, etc. It is the parent that must decide this and is the only person that can give the stripe, as well as has the right to take it away. Without this stripe the student cannot test.
Upon earning/maintaining each of the above stripes and required amount of classes, one is ready to test, with the permission of the head instructor.
One must realize that as they move up in rank towards black belt, you are still responsible for all that you have learned to that point. This does not mean that you can forget about any patterns that you have already learned, or the breaking techniques or one step or sparring or even attitude, you are still responsible for them!
At any time, the instructor may ask you to teach and show a lower belt their pattern or a kicking technique or one step or sparring. Even your attitude is reflected in class towards others.
Stripes from a Parents Perspective
There is nothing more rewarding then seeing your son or daughter RUN out of class with a new stripe on their belt. The sense of accomplishment that they feel is something that cannot be explained.
Although they earned this new stripe it is also just as important to keep that stripe. As mentioned above, the reward of earning a new stripe comes the responsibility of retaining that stripe by remembering each and every pattern and/or technique from one belt to another.
GOALS: We are always trying to encourage our children to set goals. Taekwondo is one sport that always has something to strive for. Within each and every belt level there are goals to learn the new techniques and thereby earn those 4 to 5 stripes per belt. And it doesn’t stop, not even once you hit a Black Belt!!