Students in our Children’s Program have a curriculum specially designed to prepare them for learning our adult-level techniques while avoiding the more dangerous joint-locks and instead focuses on striking, kicking, and takedown techniques which involve larger, safer motions. Students in our Children’s Program earn colored belts, just like the Youth and Adult Programs despite the different curriculums.
Students who start in the Children’s Program will earn a child-level black belt. The next step after a child-level black belt is to work towards a youth-level black belt by learning the remainder of the youth curriculum. The level of the youth curriculum a Child Black Belt student is currently learning is indicated by a colored stripe through the middle of his black belt. As he progresses through the remainder of the youth material, the color of the stripe on his belt will advance.
After achieving a youth-level black belt, students begin working toward their adult-level black belt by learning the rest of the adult curriculum. (Youth students will have already learned half of the adult curriculum. They will be working toward learning the remaining adult techniques.) The double colored stripe through the middle of their black belt signifies the level of adult material they are learning. Generally, upon reaching 16 years of age, provided they have learned the full adult curriculum, they will be eligible to test for their first degree adult black belt (1st Dan).
After achieving a 1st Dan Black Belt, students begin working towards their 2nd Dan. During this time, in addition to refining the techniques they have already learned, students learn advanced techniques including weapons techniques and are also introduced to concept-based training in which they will learn how to apply refinements and modifications to all the techniques they already know. There is a minimum requirement of 3 years of active training between 1st and 2nd Dan. Although the ranks beyond 2nd Dan have increasing time and material requirements, the process between these ranks is the same.
All Adult Black Belt Ranks (Dan) and the first test of either Children’s Black Belt or Youth Black Belt are registered with and include certification from the United States Korean Martial Arts Federation (USKMAF). Children and Youth Black Belt Stripe Ranks are not registered with the USKMAF. All black belts including the striped ones have the student’s name embroidered on the belt. All Adult Black Belts will have a small character painted onto the Black Belt Wall in their likeness.