How To Be Ready For Your Colour Belt Grading

Paul M Taekwon-Do hosts three colour belt gradings per year. Colour belt gradings are very formal events, where candidates have the opportunity to grade for an internationally recognised rank in ITF Taekwon-Do. That means if you move to another area in New Zealand or another country and continue training under the same international organisation, the rank that you gain with us will be recognised here and overseas.

Students who wish to grade are expected to start putting work in well before the grading date – it is not good enough to ramp your training into high gear two weeks before a grading date and expect to grade. All the techniques you will be tested on are in your small blue Techniques Handbook, and you will be tested on the syllabus at your current level and as well as all the syllabus for all the previous grades. This means there is more to learn and have mastered at every grading, so it means you may not be grading every time as more work is needed to reach the required standard each time – particular in the senior colour belt levels.

If you are keen to grade:

  • Bring a notebook to every club training session and write down all the tips your instructor gives you to improve, so you know what to practice at home
  • If you are not sure about something in your syllabus, ask questions! Instructors LOVE when students ask questions. If there isn’t time during class, make time to ask your instructor before or after your class.
  • Work out a training schedule so you can make sure you are covering off all of your syllabus – ask your instructor if you need some help with this
  • Work on your grading theory – which you will be asked orally

The Pre-Grading

The pre-grading is the time you are assessing to see whether your are ready to grade. This is normally the week before the grading. Factors taken into consideration in deciding whether to put a student forward for grading include attendance and conduct, as well as your Taekwon-Do techniques.

If you are not approved to grade, don’t be disheartened. It is not a race to get through the grades. Use the tenet of perseverance and stay focused on your goals, and you will achieve them.

Completing Registration

If you’re approved to grade you will receive a slip with a link to the registration form. Once you have your slip, you (and/or your parent/guardian) will need to:

At The Grading

You will need to make sure you have a clean dobok, your belt and all jewellery removed. If you are wearing a t-shirt underneath your dobok it must be white. You will need to conduct yourself in the most exemplary manner during the grading, staying quiet, sitting properly and staying until the end. Sometimes examiners may let juniors or children leave early, however until that happens they should remain to support the grading.

The dojang will be set up with an examination table and marshals at the front who help you find your place on the mats and demonstrate the techniques you will be asked. Sometimes there will be other clubs with grading candidates as well as members from papakura. Everyone will form up and be taken through some warm ups, there will be a short introduction and then candidates will be called up in groups according to rank to be tested. Sometimes candidates may be asked to come up more than once.


Results and new belts and stripes will be presented at the following class. As the certificates are sent to us by our national organisation, International Taekwon-Do, it can be a few months before we receive them.