Gradings

There are a series of exams that test the student for promotion. These include the five pillars of Taekwon-Do;
fundamental techniques; patterns;  sparring;  breaking/destruction;  Self defence. Students are also tested with some theory questions.

The exams are usually about four months apart but there is a set amount of time you have to train before you are eligible to be examined.

The Grading is a very formal occasion and full respect must be shown to the examiner and other Black Belts who are there. In A.C.E. Taekwon-Do we are fortunate that gradings are carried out by a Master or Grandmaster.

If you have trained hard and learnt your theory there is never anything to worry about at a grading. It is a chance for you to demonstrate what you have learnt and how you have progressed.

The information given on this site references the official A.C.E. Handbook (available from your instructor). This site in no way replaces the Handbook in content or detail, and should be used in conjunction with the Handbook and training under a qualified Instructor

Here are the grading criteria for all exams from White Belt to 1st Degree Black Belt:

White to Black belt

10th Kup White Belt to 9th Kup Yellow Tag

10th Kup White Belt to 9th Kup Yellow Tag10th Kup White Belt to 9th Kup Yellow Tag

Pattern:
Saju Jirugi (Four Direction Punch)
Saju Magki (Four Direction Block)

This is not a pattern but rather a training technique or exercise. “Saju” means “Four Direction” and “Jirugi” means “Punch”.

Practical
Stances (sogi): Attention (charyot); Bow (kyong ye); Parallel Ready (narani junbi); Walking (gunnun)

Techniques: Parallel Stance front punch; Front Rising Kick; 10 Push-Ups; Walking Stance Middle Punch; Walking Stance Inner Forearm Middle Block; Walking Stance Inner Forearm Middle Block Reverse Punch; Walking Stance Outer Forearm Low Block; Walking Stance Knifehand Low Block;

Theory
The meaning and history of Taekwon-Do; Founder of Taekwon-Do and it’s introduction to the UK; the Tenets of Taekwon-Do; the International Taekwon-Do Oath; how to tie your belt; basic commands; counting to 10 in Korean Terminology; what is a punch?; what is a block?; full- and half-facing; stepping; obverse techniques; reverse techniques; The names of the movements in Saju Jirugi; the definition of Yellow Belt; Instructor Grades
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9th Kup Yellow tag to 8th Kup Yellow Belt

9th Kup Yellow Tag to 8th Kup Yellow Belt9th Kup Yellow Tag to 8th Kup Yellow Belt

Pattern: Chon-ji

Practical
Stances (sogi): sitting (anun); L- (niunja)

Techniques: Sitting Stance Front Punch; 20 Push-Ups Walking Stance Front Snap Kick Reverse Punch; Walking Stance Inner Forearm Middle Block Reverse Punch; L-Stance; Front Snap Kick Obverse Punch Reverse Punch; Fast Motion (barun dongjak)

Theory
Pattern definition and names of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Yellow Belt; Basic Commands; counting to 20 in Korean Terminology; explain what a ‘pattern’ is
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8th Kup Yellow Belt to 7th Kup Green Tag

8th Kup Yellow Belt to 7th Kup Green Tag8th Kup Yellow Belt to 7th Kup Green Tag

Pattern: Dan-Gun

Practical

Techniques: Forearm Guarding Block; Knifehand Guarding Block; Twin Forearm Block; Forearm Rising Block; Knifehand Side Strike, High Punch; Continuous Motion (yonsok dongjak);

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Green Belt; Inside Block, Outside Block; Inward Block; Outward Block; Parts of the Hand; Parts of the Foot

Sparring
Three-Step Sparring.
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7th Kup Green Tag to 6th Kup Green Belt

7th Kup Green Tag to 6th Kup Green Belt7th Kup Green Tag to 6th Kup Green Belt

Pattern: Do-San

Practical
Techniques: Backfist; Footsword; Fingertips; Outer Forearm High Block; Outer Forearm Wedging Block; Twisting Release from a Grasp; Straight Fingertip Thrust; Backfist High Side Strike; Turning Kick; Side Piercing Kick

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Green Belt.

Sparring
Three-Step Sparring and Three-Step Semi Free Sparring (Basic).
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6th Kup Green Belt to 5th Kup Blue Tag

6th Kup Green Belt to 5th Kup Blue Tag6th Kup Green Belt to 5th Kup Blue Tag

Pattern
Won-Hyo

Practical
Close Ready Stance ‘A’; Bending Ready Stance ‘A’; Fixed Stance; Circular Block; Knifehand Inward Strike; Fixed Stance Obverse Punch; Side Piercing Kick, Turning Kick; Reverse Turning Kick.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Blue Belt.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 2 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Sparring
Free Sparring and Three-Step Semi Free Sparring and Two Step Sparring
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5th Kup Blue Tag to 4th Kup Blue Belt

5th Kup Blue Tag to 4th Kup Blue Belt5th Kup Blue Tag to 4th Kup Blue Belt

Pattern
Yul-Gok

Practical
Front Elbow Strike; X-Stance; Twin Knifehand Block; Palm Hooking Block; Double Forearm High Block.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Blue Belt.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 3 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Sparring
Free Sparring and Two Step Sparring and Semi Free Sparring (Advanced)
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4th Kup Blue Belt to 3rd Kup Red Tag

4th Kup Blue Belt to 3rd Kup Red Tag4th Kup Blue Belt to 3rd Kup Red Tag

Pattern
Joong-Gun

Practical
Reverse Knifehand; Upper Elbow Strike; Arc Hand Strike; Close Ready Stance ‘B’; Rearfoot Stance; Low Stance; Revers Knifehand Outward Block, X-Fist Rising Block; U-Shaped Block; Side-Front Snap Kick; Angle Punch.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Red Belt.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 4 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Sparring
Free Sparring and One Step Sparring (Basic)
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3rd Kup Red Tag to 2nd Kup Red Belt

3rd Kup Red Tag to 2nd Kup Red Belt3rd Kup Red Tag to 2nd Kup Red Belt

Pattern
Toi-Gye

Practical
Upset Fingertip Thrust; Flat Fingertip Thrust; Forearm W-Shape Block; Double Forearm Low Pushing Block; Knifehand Low Guarding Block; Backfist Side-Back Strike; Twin Side Elbow Thrust; Reverse Turning Kick.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Red Belt.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 5 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Sparring
Free Sparring and One Step Sparring (including Take Downs)
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2nd Kup Red Belt to 1st Kup Black Tag

2nd Kup Red Belt to 1st Kup Black Tag2nd Kup Red Belt to 1st Kup Black Tag

Pattern
Hwa-Rang

Practical
Side Elbow Thrust; Close Ready Stance ‘C’; Vertical Stance; Palm Pushing Block; Forearm Side-Front Block; Knifehand Downward Strike; Upward Punch; High Turning Kick; L-Stance Obverse Punch; L-Stance Side Elbow Thrust; Upset Fingertip Thrust; Flat Fingertip Thrust; Backfist Side-Back Strike; Twin Side Elbow Thrust.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Black Belt; the Theory of Power.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 6 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used, including at least 2 hand techniques (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Sparring
Free Sparring (including 2 on 1) and One Step Sparring (including Take Downs)
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1st Kup Black Tag to I Dan Black Belt

1st Kup Black Tag to 1st Degree Black Belt

Pattern
Choong-Moo

Practical
Forearm Middle-Front Block; Twin Palm Upward Block; X-Knifehand Checking Block; Knifehand Front Strike; Flying Side Piercing Kick; Reverse Knifehand Front Strike; Back Piercing Kick; Backfist Side Strike.

Theory
Pattern definition and names and purpose of techniques in your pattern; the definition of Black Belt; the Theory of Power.

Power Test
Using standard focus board: Minimum 6 Breaks with choice techniques, identifying the techniques and attacking tool used, including at least 2 hand techniques (left and right count as 2 techniques).

Power Test
Using 2 focus boards: choice technique, identifying the technique and attacking tool used.

Power Test using a house brick: stamping kick.

Sparring
Free Sparring (including 2 on 1) and One Step Sparring (including Take Downs)
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