Moving Up in the Ranks

Annyeong! So, in case you guys didn’t know, here in Pennsylvania, we just got like 30 inches of snow in one day. I’ve been stuck at home for the past few days. I wasn’t even able to make it to work today, that’s how bad the roads are. So, instead of having our promotional Taekwondo test on Saturday like we usually do, we had it on Thursday. And guess who passed?

That’s right, I’m a brand new green belt.

So, it seems important that I should point out something. From what I have seen and read, different schools will have different ranking systems. So, one school might have white, orange, and then yellow, and another school might have green and brown before purple. It just depends on your school. My belt ranking goes like this:

  • White
  • Yellow Stripe
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown Stripe
  • Brown
  • Red Stripe
  • Red
  • Danbo
  • Black

The Danbo belt is like a red/black hybrid with half of the belt red and the other half black. Its also important that I should point out that in my school, you have to wait at least three months in between belts before you can test again, and six to get your black belt after you’ve had your danbo. With each belt you receive, you learn a new set of controlled sparring, a new skill such as kicking or punching, and a new set of forms as well. You also gain responsibility with each belt. For example, if you only had to do 20 push-ups as a white belt, you’ll have to do 30 as a yellow belt, and maybe 80 as a black belt. I could have been a green belt in December as I got my orange belt in September, but I broke my foot in the beginning of October and was out for two months. So I was especially eager to get my green belt, especially upon seeing my Hoobae become a yellow belt and a Sunbae I’m close with become a brown stripe. Plus I’ve seen more and more black belts appearing. So I feel 100% accomplished that I’ve made it this far.

As for my Hoobae…alas, I feel as though he does not have the heart. I’ve been there. I remember being a brand new white belt, and even a new yellow belt. We’re a very open school. All of the instructors are incredibly nice. They’ll yell at you if they have to, but other than that, it’s a very warm environment. The instructors will pair us up either according to size or belt ranking. This usually doesn’t work out in my favor though, as I might be paired with my Hoobae, one of my Sunbae’s, or the Sunbae that I’m close with. I should point out that my Hoobae is a 12 year old chubby kid. Most of my other Sunbae’s are black belts, and the Sunbae that I’m close with is a 6′ something, 38 year old ahjussi. Next to him, I look like a dwarf at 16 and 5’3.5″. So when holding the targets, we have to either hold at solar plex (which is right at the sternum) or at head level depending on the kick or technique. This is where size comes into play. My Sunbae is a whole head, probably more, taller than me. It is virtually impossible for me to hold it at head level for him, and when I hold it at solar plex, it’s at my head. So as you can see, size is important. Which doesn’t really matter because if I’d join the tournament team, I’d be paired with similar ranks and sizes in tournaments anyway.

But back to my Hoobae.

I’m incredibly short. So I’m always paired with my junior. He’s a yellow belt right now, so he’s still learning the basics. BUT WHEN I TELL HIM HE SHOULD DO THIS OR DO THAT HE SHOULD LISTEN. Instead I feel like it goes in one ear and out the next. I’m constantly telling him to widen his stance, hold the target at solar plex, GODDAMMIT I SAID MOVE.

Guys, he stresses me.

I’m waiting for that day that he does adult fight night. I’ll be there that day and I’ll be sure to spar with him.

So I’m hoping that he’ll see what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. I was a yellow belt when he started, so he’s pretty much watched me rise in the ranks.


I’M A GREEN BELT NOW! Officially an intermediate level. ASA!


tao marital arts


2 thoughts on “Moving Up in the Ranks

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