Each stripe is earned in class for achieving a short term goal that breaks up the requirements for advancement from one belt to the next. At the higher ranks it may take longer to earn certain stripes because the form and other skills are more challenging. To better understand what the stripes are for and how to earn them use the link at the bottom of the What We Teach page. What is testing?
Belt Rank Testing is a formal event in which students have the opportunity to demonstrate whether they are ready to progress to the next level of training. What is expected of students depends on the rank, age and physical ability of the student. What is required to pass testing increases dramatically as a student increases in rank. White through Recommended Black Belts test every 2 months (if they have earned the necessary skill tape stripes on their belt). Once you reach the rank of 1st Decided Black Belt, testing cycles are longer ― 4 months, 6 months, 8 months. If a student does not pass testing, you do not pay for testing again to have them retest for the same rank. We hold Belt Rank Testing every February, April, June, August, October and December, typically during the first week of those months. Any student, including Black Belts up to 2nd Decided Black Belt, who do not pass testing or are unable to participate in testing may test at the very next testing in two months. Black Belts do not need to meet the time-in-rank requirement again. There is more information on our News page on this site explaining why it is important for each student to participate in testing.
If a Black Belt takes a break from our program, the chief instructors will determine when they have regained the skill level to be prepared to test even if they met the time-in-rank requirement before taking a break.
Black Belts who have earned the rank of 2nd Degree Senior Black Belt and are testing for the rank of 3rd Degree and higher have age requirements as well as time-in-rank requirements and are only able to test at a Taekwondo America national event (typically the September National, the January National and the Summer Black Belt Conference. Age and time-in-rank requirements for national testings are considered met if they fall no later than 30 days after the national event. For example, a student who must be 13 and have been a 2nd Degree Senior Black Belt for at least 10 months to be eligible to test could test at the September National if their 10 month time-in rank would be met in early October and if their 13th birthday fell in early October, both after the testing event, but within 30 days of the event.