The Tae Kwon-Do Uniform & Order of Belts


I believe strongly in the uniform and training in the uniform. It sets the proper attitude for your training, gives the respect the art deserves, the instructor deserves, the dojang deserves, and the school deserves.

The Dobuk (Tae Kwon-Do Uniform)

A Tae Kwon-Do practitioner’s uniform is called the dobuk (pronounced dough buck). The dobuk is typically white, but can also be black to signify certain clubs and membership levels. The tops either velcro across the front or have a v-neck, and the pants run down over the feet. The dobuk is loose and baggy to allow easy, fluid movement. The material varies depending on training or competing. Personally, I like training in 100% cotton. It’s more sturdy and heavier, and really makes you sweat!

You treat the dobuk with great respect. It is always clean and pressed. It should look sharp, never sloppy or dirty. There is even a proper way to fold the dobuk. IT IS NOT A HALLOWEEN COSTUME. I’ll kick you out of the school if I find out you wore it on Halloween.

The main purpose of the dobuk is to set a proper attitude for your training. One thing I tell my students is that when you change into your dobuk you should change your attitude. You are preparing to train for Tae Kwon-Do and there’s nothing else at this moment except Tae Kwon-Do.

Depending on your black belt ranking, the dobuk is marked with variations of black trim and stripes, either around the venting, collar, pant legs, arms, or cuffs. These are rank markings and not to be taken lightly. They may look cool on the dobuk, but they’re not a decoration. They’re there for a reason.

Tae Kwon-Do Order of Belts

The belt is a label. It signifies the level in a student’s training. More importantly, we need to think about how to earn and keep the belt. The colors can vary depending on the system you teach, but mine are pretty traditional.

Before you advance to the next full colored belt, you must earn the proceedings color stripe on your current belt.

  • White (pure, ready to learn and grow)
  • Yellow (sunshine)
  • Green (grass)
  • Blue (sky)
  • Red (danger)
  • Black (deadly)

Once you’ve achieved the black belt, there are nine additional degrees to fully complete your journey.

Unlike the dobuk, the belt is not washed as a symbol to the knowledge we learn during our time training. As the story goes, every student begins with a white belt, and as we train and sweat and bleed and get dirty, the belt becomes darker over time until it becomes black. Yet, the belt is treated with great respect. There is a specific way to tie the belt, to have the ends hang evenly. It is a discipline to present yourself in the best light possible, to be a martial artist.

Belts are earned by testing and consistent training. Testing requirements include executing all the different techniques and patterns and self defenses you’ve been taught, as well as being able to explain what you’ve learned. There is a very detailed student manual curriculum book to help you.

Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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