The ATA uses a rank system to measure a student’s progress towards obtaining his or her goals. The rank system provides a visible measurement of the student’s progress. As he or she learns the basic techniques of Taekwondo an tests successfully, he or she is awarded the colored belts that signify the rise in rank and the achievement of his or her short term goals. The student feels accomplished and is encouraged to learn the next set of new material with renewed enthusiasm.
There are nine ranks in the colored belt series, and nine degrees in the Black Belt series. Because it is the highest number in a single digit, the number nine, in Oriental culture, represents the highest attainable goal of any measurable endeavor.
WHITE – “Pure and without knowledge of Songahm Taekwondo.”
ORANGE – “The sun is beginning to set. As with the morning’s dawn only the beauty of the sunshine is seen rather than the immense power.”
YELLOW – The seed is beginning to see the sunlight.”
CAMO – “The sapling is hidden amongst the taller pines and must now fight its way upwards.”
GREEN – “The pine tree is beginning to develop and grow in strength.”
PURPLE – “Coming to the mountain. The tree is in mid-growth and now the path becomes steep.”
BLUE – “The tree reaches for the sky, towards new heights.”
BROWN – “The tree is firmly rooted in the earth.”
RED – “The sun is setting. The first phase of growth has been accomplished.”
RED/BLACK – “The dawn of a new day. The sun breaks through the darkness.”
BLACK – “The tree has reached maturity and has overcome the darkness. It must now begin to plant seeds for the future.”