How Long Does It Take To Get A Black Belt In Taekwondo (And Why?)

Exact Answer: 3-5 years

Taekwondo is a form of Korean martial arts that gained momentum and fame all over the world after the year 1945, along with many other martial forms due to the opening up of various martial arts schools (Kwans) in Seoul, Japan. It is characterized by a combination of various kinds of kicks including jumping kicks, spinning kicks, head-height kicks, and fast kicking techniques. What sets it apart from other martial arts styles such as Karate is that it employs tactics and techniques to increase agility and faster movements. 

The time taken to achieve a black belt is very relative and objective from person to person. But generally, it takes somewhere between 3 to 5 years for a dedicated student to at least take the test for the level one Black belt (II Dan). 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Black Belt In Taekwondo?

The most important thing to remember to achieve any sort of belt is that it is a symbol of hard work, determination, dedication, and commitment more than anything else. But coming to the period taken to achieve a black belt is between 3 to 5 years. In some institutes it is mandatory to have at least 4 years of training to take the Degree one exam of Taekwondo, however, that is not the standard rule. And passing the exam is another hurdle, it takes many people more than one attempt to clear the exam. 

Just “passing a test” however cannot be the superior scale for a person’s ability to perform the Art itself, hence with more hard work, more time, and more practice the person is supposed to get better and move onto other designations like a yellow belt and so on. There are various degrees of Dans which range from Dan 1 to Dan 9, and one can climb up the ladder with more hard work and practice, depending upon the individual. From the first Dan black belt to the 10th Dan it may take up to a minimum of 10 years for a person to achieve all of the belts. 

In Summary:

Degree LevelAchievement timeDesignation
1st degreeAt least 2 – 3 yearsCho Dan
2nd degreeAt least 2 yearsEe Dan
3rd degreeAt least 3 yearsSam Dan
4th degreeAt least 4 yearsSa Dan
5th degreeAt least 5 yearsOh Dan
6th degreeAt least 6 yearsYuk Dan
7th degreeAt least 7 yearsCh’il Dan
8th degreeAt least 8 yearsP’Al Dan
9th degreeAt least 9 yearsKoo Dan
10th degreeAt least 10 YearsSip Dan

Why Does It Take So Long To Get A Black Belt In Taekwondo?

Getting a first-degree black belt gets the pupil the “senior student” tag, and the pupil must be at least 16 years of age to take the degree one test. After getting this degree of the black belt the pupil can instruct lower students if allowed. The second-degree belt is given to more experienced students and is at least 18 years of age. It takes nearly two years to complete the 2nd degree of the black belt. The most important characteristic of Taekwondo is speed and agility and it comes under the “theory of power”. The main components of this theory are reaction force, followed by concentration, maintaining equilibrium, practicing breath control, mass, and speed. 

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Then there are various forms or styles of Taekwondo practiced in various schools which include styles like  Traditional Taekwondo, International Taekwondo Federation, Songahm-style Taekwondo, Jhoon Rhee-style Taekwondo, and Kukki-style. In the most concentrated term, this is an art of using legs, with speed and agility for self-defense and also counter-attack. A bout in Taekwondo consists of dynamic punches and kicks to generate a force which is essentially the product of mass and speed. This form of art can be practiced by all pupils irrespective of age or gender. 


It is one of the few martial arts forms that can take part in the Olympic games and is governed by World Taekwondo. The most important factor while doing any form of martial arts is to keep in mind that learning through hard work is more important than just going up the degree ladder to collect belts. Also in taekwondo practice the speed and agility are more important than overall strength and weight, thus the stances are more narrow and taller. In conclusion, with determination and hard work, any pupil can get better in this form over time.