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The Belt System - Philosophy of the Belt System - Taking Care of the Do Bohk - The Do Bohk Code

The Uniform


Philosophy of the Belt System  

Our Tang Soo Do belt system in its progress from white to black represents the cycle of the seasons. Each color stands for a specific stage of achievement. In this way we realize an essential concept of oriental philosophy, i.e., that which is born must grow, reach maturity, die, and leave behind the seeds of a new birth.  

The only markings placed on the Do Bohk shall be the Association patch, national flags (left arm shoulder Korean flag and right arm shoulder student's national flag), appropriate trim and printing on the back to identify each individual school. Any other symbol, sign or lettering is not permitted on the Do Bohk without permission from the Association.  

Grade Belt Minimum Req. Time
10th Gup White Belt Beginner
9th Gup White Belt with 1 black stripe 6 Weeks
White - Beginner's belt color. White represents a primitive stage of achievement. Thus, the seed as it lies dormant beneath the snows of winter.
8th Gup Orange Belt 3 Months  
7th Gup Orange Belt with 1 white stripe 4 Months  
Orange - Orange represents new growth, which appears in spring. Our Tang Soo Do knowledge begins to reveal itself. 
6th Gup Green Belt  6 Months
5th Gup Green Belt with 1 white stripe 9 Months
Green  - represents the speedy development of youth as summer arrives.  
4th Gup Brown Belt 12 Months  
3rd Gup Brown Belt with 1 white stripe 15 Months  
Brown - Brown represents power, stability, agility, weight and wisdom. This stabilizing stage, both mentally and physically, analogous to the plants, which curtail their growth and prepare to flower in late summer. 
2nd Gup Red Belt 18 Months
1 st Gup Red Belt with 1 white stripe 21 Months  
Red - Red represents blood, life, energy, attention and control. The student’s power and techniques begin to bloom and ripen.  
Cho Dan Bo 
(Black Belt Candidate)  
 Dark Blue Belt 24 Months  
Dark Blue -  Dark Blue represents maturity, respect, and honor. Our dark blue belt is given to the Cho Dan Bo (Black Belt candidate). He must now prepare mind and body for the final step needed to attain Black Belt.  
Black Belt
Black  - represents mastery, calmness, dignity, and sincerity. Black Belt is the final stage of one life cycle and the beginning of the next. Thus, we see that it is not only the end of one stage but, more importantly, the beginning of a path which leads up through the ranks of the higher Black Belts to true mastery.  

Do Bohk (uniform) Code:

"Do" means way of life or martial arts as Do in Tang Soo Do and "Bohk” means robe or training clothes. This type of Do Bohk is worn universally in most kinds of martial arts but its origin can be traced to 600 AD in Korea  

The Do Bohk is not simple training clothes but traditionally has been treated and maintained in special ways as an instrument in achieving the goal of martial arts. Students should be aware of ways of cleaning, carrying and storing their Do Bohk.  

Cho Dan Bo and Orange belt rank students shall have no trim on their Do Bohk jackets. Green, Brown and Red belt students shall have trimmed o Bohk jackets on lapel only. Dan members must have trimmed Do Bohk jackets, which include lapel, sleeve cuffs, and all around the bottom border.

Taking care of the Do Bohk:

1.      Place jacket flat on back; fold sleeves inward at seam towards center. Fold pants in half. Center on jacket with be strings even with bottom edge of jacket.

2.      Fold right and left sides of jacket inward to meet at center (covering pants), then fold the Do Bohk in half, lengthwise.

3.      Fold the Do Bohk in half.

4.      Fold belt evenly in half, wrap around Do Bohk and tie with overhand knot.  


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World Tang Soo Do Association Headquarters
2436 Hanford Road
Burlington, NC 27215
Phone:(336) 223-0056 or
(215) 468-2121
fax: (215) 336-2121