How to Advance to Yellow Belt in Taekwondo
The second belt in most tae kwon do organizations is the yellow belt. Advancement requirements vary between schools, but typically you must demonstrate proficiency at basic techniques before earning this rank. Basic stances, punches, blocks, kicks, self-defense techniques and poomse are usually included on a yellow belt test.
Display proper etiquette in your pursuit of a yellow belt. Wear a clean uniform and tie your white belt correctly. Bow upon entering and exiting the tae kwon do studio, which is known as a dojang. Remember that a bow shows respect. Bow to your instructor before and after every class.
Build a strong tae kwon do foundation by practicing the correct stances. The front, back and horse stances are typically required for yellow belt. Practice the horse stance frequently to strengthen your legs. Perform a horse stance by spreading your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees so you look like you are riding a horse. Point your toes straight ahead and keep your back straight. Tae kwon do students frequently practice punches from the horse stance.
Make tight fists before practicing your punches. Place your fists on your hips with your palms facing up. Throw a punch straight out at your target. Quickly turn your fist over just before it hits the target. Hit with the knuckles of your forefinger and middle finger. Practice punches on focus pads, shields or a heavy bag. Do not hyperextend your arms when throwing punches.
Learn to block incoming punches and kicks. High and low blocks are usually expected on a yellow belt test. Use a high block to protect yourself from punches toward your face. Perform the high block by raising your outer forearm up across your face and then above your head. The low block is used to defend against kicks toward your midsection. Swing your outer forearm outward across your stomach to block a kick.
Perform kicking techniques with balance, power and speed. The front kick is one of the first kicks you learn in tae kwon do. Lift your knee and point it at your target before delivering a front kick. Quickly kick with the ball of your foot. Remember to immediately pull your foot back after kicking. Slow kicks can be caught by an opponent.
Find a partner to help you practice your self-defense techniques. Ask your partner to grab you. Common self-defense requirements at this level include wrist grabs, hair grabs and choke holds. Swiftly break free from all grabs and perform the necessary punches or kicks as counterattacks.
Practice the steps of your first poomse. Watch and listen attentively when your instructor is explaining this choreographed routine of techniques. Learn the self-defense applications of each technique. Practice your poomse at home on a regular basis so you can remember it and perform it with proficiency.
Ask your tae kwon do instructor for a complete list of yellow belt requirements.
Practice safety at all times while participating in martial arts.
- International Taekwon-Do Federation: The Black Belt: Myth and Reality - Putting It Into Perspective
- World Martial Arts Academy WTF Taekwondo: Student Handbook
- Taekwondo Basics; Scott Shaw
- Tae Kwon Do Handbook; Mark and Ray Pawlett
Mike McLaughlin has been writing news, entertainment and sports articles since 1990. McLaughlin has written for “The Maine Campus,” “The Bangor Daily News" and various websites. McLaughlin is also a martial arts instructor and certified personal trainer. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an associate degree in filmmaking.