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Black Belt Grading Results

Senior Dan Grading Requirements 2021

Requirements for candidates grading in 2021

*New Requirement

On-Line Applications MUST BE STARTED 6 months prior to the grading. This is so we can do an initial check our your credit points and certifications to avoid disappointment closer to the grading date. Please enter all the information you have 6 months prior to the grading.

Please also note ITF waiting time and ITF teaching licence requirments here

Maintaining the highest of standards is our top priority, and all candidates must be up to the required standard in all areas.

It is important to take such a senior grading very seriously, and be prepared to dedicate at least 6 months towards achieving your potential. All senior dans should be good role models to our other members in terms of dedication to training, physical condition, technical knowledge, technical competency and moral culture.

We have placed a large emphasis on the build up to this grading. The idea is that all the hard work is to be done before the day – proving you have the dedication and will-power to achieve the goal of a senior dan in our organisation. With the help of your “Supervisor” you will have some direction in the 6 months ahead, and you will be able to improve your overall standard.


All candidates must come under the guidance of a Supervisor leading up to the grading. We will be asking to see a brief monthly assessment from your Supervisor providing results and comments on your technical ability.

It is our preference that your Supervisor be someone senior in rank to you. Once you have decided who you would like as your Supervisor, please carry out the following procedure:

  • Invite the person of your choice to be your Supervisor, explaining that it will require a monthly assessment as well as their technical advice and guidance. They may or may not require payment for their time, that is up to them, but please offer.

  • Once you have someone agreeing to be your Supervisor send us their name for our approval.

  • Once confirmed as suitable, you can begin your training with your Supervisor.

    Ask your supervisor to create an account at http://seniordan.memberme.co.nz/ and begin recording your monthly accessments.

Monthly Assessment

All candidates must complete a monthly assessment with your Supervisor. We are interested in your work and progress over the 6 month time period. We recommend the assessment be carried out around the first week of each month, beginning 6 months prior.

Below are the tests required and information that your Supervisor will need to provide. Assessment results must be uploaded by the supervisor by the 7th of each month starting 6 months prior.

Mr Craig Hannah has built an on-line system for entering the monthly fitness scores, so Supervisors need to create an account to enter the test results. Any technical issues relating to the recording of the results should be directed to Mr Hannah.
Note with Mr Hannah's new system:
  • Students can see their own tests if they are signed in.
  • Supervisors can see the tests they have supervised for students, if they are signed in.

  • Weight & Waist measurement
    Use a tape measure to measure your waist circumference in cm, level with your umbilicus.

    See more information and help on correct measuring technique here

  • Core Strength Test
    Record how long you can stay in the Front Plank Position. Front Plank demonstrated

    Aim is to hold for 4 minutes. Record the time in minutes / seconds.

  • Strength-Endurance Test*
    Record how many of each exercise you can correctly complete in one minute. There is a one minute rest between exercises. Complete the exercises in the following order each month.

Exercise 1: Hand Release Press Ups
Keep the knees and hips off the floor at all times.

Exercise 2: Air Squats
Make sure the hips are lower than the knees on each squat. Stand up completely upright at the completion of each squat.

Exercise 3: Chin Ups
Perform with the hands facing you at one shoulder width apart.

Exercise 4: Burpees
Jump and clap at the top. How you get down and back up off the floor is up to you - it is not necessary to bring the feet to the outside on the hands as demonstrated in the video.

See these exercises demonstrated

*The Strength Endurance Test is optional for candidates over 60 years of age.
*There are scaling options for anyone who can not complete the exercises prescribed. Please check with Master McPhail for details in these cases. For example: See band assisted Chin-up option and training advice » Or consider the Ring Row or inverted Row if you are unable to do Chin-Ups. For press ups of the hand release method causes strain on the shoulders then revert to the normal press up technique.

  • Technical Assessment

Your Supervisor is required to give a brief update on your technical ability. This may be achieved by watching you perform patterns or other physical aspect of the syllabus, and providing you with feedback. The purpose of this is mainly for your benefit, and also so that we have an idea of how your technical level is progressing.

The results of your monthly assessment plays an important part of your grading result. If due to injury or medical condition you are unable to complete some of the tests, please provide a medical certificate or adequate information about your condition.


Candidates testing for 4th dan are required to produce a thesis as per our requirements. Those testing for 5th and 6th dan must write an essay on the following topic:

  • How does Taekwon-Do provide leadership qualities for youth? What do you do in your club specifically to develop leadership and what ideas do you have to further develop leadership in your club or the organisation?

Length for the essay is at least 1000 words. This can be submitted at any time up to one month before the grading.


Those wishing to test for 4th dan and above must have a character reference from two key people within your own region, e.g Regional Director or senior Instructor. The reference must be in support of your application to grade. This reference must be supplied at the time you begin your grading application and should be completed by the referee using this form. It is up to the candidate to request the reference completed at least 6 months prior to the grading.

Syllabus Notes

Please see the Dan Handbook for the current syllabus. Other points to note:

  • Those testing for 5th and 6th dan are required to do the same breaking as those testing for 4th dan (as per handbook).

  • Self Defence for those testing to 4th dan is per the handbook: Multiple attackers, non-pre-arranged.
    Although the handbook says pre-arranged partners are allowed, but we will be just using each other for this, so no special partners will be allowed. Self Defence for 5th and 6th dan will be the same - multiple attackers, no weapons and no pre-arranged partners.

  • No specific partners are required for this grading. All sparring and self defence will be carried out with the other grading candidates.

  • There will be an exam at the grading based on the theory syllabus in the handbooks, plus some general knowledge Taekwon-Do questions. You should be familiar with the structure and personnel of our organisation in New Zealand and the ITF. Concentrate your study on your own level syllabus theory.

  • Candidates will need to bring a laptop, tablet or smart phone to the grading. See here for more information. There is Wifi available but suggest you have your own data as back up.

  • Candidates testing for 4th dan may be required to speak on their thesis and answer questions from the other candidates and examiners. Those testing for 5th and 6th dan may be also required to answer general questions from the examiners. These may be technical, history or general TKD knowledge questions.

Other Requirements

Please check the handbook to make sure you comply with requirements such as time period, umpiring, IIC attendance, ITF Teaching Licence and credits. e.g. Being a qualified umpire means you must have attended an umpires course within the last 3 years - check you are on the list. If you are an instructor, have all your certifications up to date (First Aid, Instructors Update Course or IIC within your waiting period).

The ITF database will not accept applications if the time period and IIC requirements are not met, so please don't ask to grade if you have not met these requirements.


The On-Line application should be started 6 months prior and must be fully completed (including thesis, references etc) one month prior with the fee paid in full. To start your application. Sign In to the website then click on Black Belt Grading Applications. Then click the grading date. This will automatically save your application for that grading.

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