How long will it take to get a black belt? This question is asked by many students learning Taekwondo. Being curious is understandable. Every student wants to measure progress from the very first day. They want to know how long it will take to reach the ultimate destination.
Let’s find the answer:
How Long Does It Really Take to Earn a Black belt?
A study conducted from 1998 to 2014 concludes that an average student takes 10 years to earn the first-degree black belt. The average duration can differ when it comes to various types of martial arts. The longest time taken to earn a first degree black belt is 27 years while the shortest training period recorded was 4 years.
Going by this study, you can say that it can take anywhere from 5 years to 25 years of rigorous practice.
Understanding the Levels of Black Belt
Keep in mind that black belt is not the ultimate destination. It’s true that achieving black belt status confirms that you have reached an expert level but there’s a lot more to achieve after that.
Black Belt Levels
1st Dan (1st Degree): This is the first stage. It usually takes 3 to 5 years to get to this level.
2nd Dan (2nd Degree): It will take another two years before you can reach the second degree. Both second and third degree levels mean that you can serve as an assistant instructor.
3rd Dan (3rd Degree): Another couple of years after the second degree will take you to 3rd Dan level.
4th Dan (4th Degree): 3 to 4 years after achieving 3rd degree level
5th Dan (5th Degree): Can take up to 5 or 6 years to earn
6th Dan (6th Degree): Can take 6 to 7 years
7th Dan (7th Degree): 7 to 8 years of practice and you can be considered a Master Instructor.
8th Dan (8th Degree): This is where the Grand master status starts.
9th Dan (9th Degree): This is the ultimate level but even this doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to learn or improve. The journey never ends.
How important is a black belt?
It is good to set long term goals but you really shouldn’t be thinking of black belt right from the day you start because when you are thinking about a goal that you will achieve after 5 years, it is easy to get sidetracked or get de-motivated. Instead, focus on the improvements in your physical and mental fitness on a monthly basis.
With Black Belt, Your Journey has only BEGUN
The black belt does not mean that you have reached the pinnacle of Taekwondo and there’s nowhere else to go. As earlier explained, there are various different levels of black belt. It’s more like a process and you must be looking to enjoy the journey more than the destination. Many people think of a black belt as ultimate mastery which is a misconception.
Still, How Long Does It Really Take?
It all comes down to several factors. Some of these factors include …
- How much time you are spending on practicing on a daily basis
- The quality of your training center or instructors
- Style or approach of instructors
- Your willingness and determination
At Dragon Taekwondo, you are working with the best instructors, so it will all come down to your determination. If you are really serious about learning and practicing new skills, you will reach there more quickly but if you are just doing it as a pastime or a way to get physically active, it might take a bit longer. But in both cases, you will achieve a lot.
Setting the right goals:
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set any goals. It is important to set benchmarks and set short and realistic goals. However, black belt should be your long term goal because it shows you have spent years learning the art. Make sure that you are practicing under qualified instructors and from recognized training centers because all black belts are not equal.
It might be tempting to speed up the process and earn a black belt as soon as possible. But you can’t master anything overnight. It is far more important to focus on developing new skills instead of focusing on the belt you have.