How Many 10th Degree Black Belt Holders Are There In The World?

Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Chase Reiner

There are approximately 20-30 10th-degree black belt holders in the world. This is a very rare and prestigious rank, and it is only awarded to those who have dedicated their lives to martial arts and have achieved a deep understanding of the art.

10th Degree Black Belt Holders

What Are The Levels Of Taekwondo Black Belt? 

The levels of Taekwondo black belt are:

  • 1st Dan
  • 2nd Dan
  • 3rd Dan
  • 4th Dan
  • 5th Dan
  • 6th Dan
  • 7th Dan
  • 8th Dan
  • 9th Dan
  • 10th Dan (Grandmaster)

Each dan level represents a higher degree of mastery in Taekwondo. To achieve a new dan level, students must pass a rigorous test that includes demonstrations of their skills in forms, sparring, and breaking.

Here is a more detailed description of each dan level:

  • 1st Dan: This is the first level of black belt, and it represents a solid foundation in the basics of Taekwondo.
  • 2nd-4th Dan: These levels represent a continued refinement of the basics, as well as the development of more advanced skills, such as sparring and breaking.
  • 5th-7th Dan: These levels represent a deep understanding of Taekwondo, as well as the ability to teach and mentor others.
  • 8th-9th Dan: These levels are reserved for Taekwondo masters who have made significant contributions to the art.
  • 10th Dan: This is the highest level of black belt, and it is only awarded to a few select individuals who have dedicated their lives to Taekwondo.

It is important to note that the time it takes to achieve each dan level varies from person to person. Some students may achieve a new dan level every few years, while others may take many years or even decades. The most important thing is to focus on your own progress and to never give up.

Beginning Of TaeKwonDo Training- The Black Belt  

Many students who start practicing for TaeKwonDo have goals to achieve, as many black belts as they can. But it is a fact that most of them leave the training after getting their first black belt. It is mainly because of the time it takes to achieve the belts. It makes them move on with what they have achieved so far. 

Getting your 1st Dan is hard when compared to the 2nd Dan. Because of this, you will have a good feeling at the start while eventually realizing how hard it becomes to attain what you want. After 1st Dan, it will take two years for 2nd Dan, and three years for 3rd Dan; this is how it works. 

Black Belts For Adults 

One has to tolerate hardship while getting a black belt; we have different Black belts for both adults and children. Here we will discuss the Black belts for adults.  

Belt Level Required Age Poomsae 
1st degree 16 years Koryo 
2nd degree 18 years Keumgang 
3rd degree21 years Taebaek 
4th degree25 years Pyonwon 
5th degree30 years Sipjin 
6th degreebelow 36 years Jitae 
7th degree 36 years Chongkwon 
8th degree 40-52 years Hansoo 
9th degree 53 years Ilyeo 
10th degree Nearly 60 It is the highest rank without specific Poomsae 

1st Degree Black Belt 

You will be considered as a “senior student” when you get your first-degree Black belt. After this, you will be able to teach other students who are in lower positions with the instructor’s permission. 

Holders of white belts and younger students are the ones with whom you will start your teaching. At first, you are allowed to gain experience in teaching, and then it is followed by teaching to older and more advanced students. Sixteen years is a required age to test for 1st Dan. Koryo is the Poomsae to learn at this level. 

2nd Degree Black Belt 

After achieving the 2nd Dan, you will get the title of “Kyo San Nim.” It needs lots of skills and experience to get this 2nd-degree Black belt. 

You can quickly become a certified instructor at this level and can train students who are older and with more advanced skills. You can do this under the instructions of a Master. Eighteen years is the required age for obtaining this level. Keumgang is the Poomsae to learn at this level.  

3rd Degree Black Belt 

When you get your 3rd degree, your title will change to “Sam Dan.” The color belt material and advanced training involved in the 3rd degree enabled it to gain more proficiency than other levels. After achieving this, you will become a certified instructor. 

You are required to have 21 years for this level. Taebaek is the Poomsae to learn at this level. 

4th Degree Black Belt 

Master rank or a Junior or Associate Master are the expressions considered for obtaining the 4th Degree Black belt. They are supposed to train the Black Belts and are usually involved in promoting color belts under their teaching of 1st Dan. 

After achieving the 4th Dan, you will get the title of “Sa Bum Nim.” Here you will be able to open your school. You are required to have at least 25 years to achieve this level. 

5th Degree Black Belt 

It starts with the point of how much you have done for Taekwondo and the institution. The more excellent knowledge and skills of advanced 4th level are considered as 5th degree. It includes both the physical and scientific expertise and teaching ability of the person. 

A 5th-degree achiever is a person involved in promoting Black belts to higher levels and training them to become Masters and Instructors. You should be at least 30 years of age to test for this level. Sinjin is the Poomsae to learn at this level. 

6th Degree Black Belt 

It is where the real Taekwondo features start to affect. Teaching others is a unique factor for these 6th-degree holders and continuing their practice. Teaching will become their main job. They will be under the Grandmaster’s straight guidance, who are holders of the 8th and 9th Degree Black Belt. 

At this stage, you will be called a Senior Master. Jita is the Poomsae to learn at this point. 

7th Degree Black Belt 

Thirty-six years is an early age to achieve this level, only if you are working tremendously hard for it. It makes it even more hazardous to get this milestone. Because you will be teaching younger ones at the 6th level, it takes more effort to obtain 7th, Dan. The direct supervision of a Grandmaster will help to achieve this. 

Chongkwon is the Poomsae to learn at this level. 

8th Degree Black Belt 

You are supposed to be called a Grandmaster at this level. A physical exam, along with a doctor’s note, is a necessary thing to have at this stage. At this level, sparring and breaking are not compulsory. 

Hansoo is the Poomsae to learn at this point, and the age required to achieve this level is at least 53 years. 

9th Degree Black Belt 

With the view of active participation, this level is considered as the last and highest. It is tough to get up to this point and not recommendable below the age of 53 years. It requires limitless devotion towards the art with hard work and consistency in training throughout the person’s life. 

You should have a service record of any board or perform as a referee for some years to achieve this goal. You must have experienced a possible number of black belts or any similar achievements at this stage. 

Ilyeo is the Poomsae to learn at this level. 

10th Degree Black Belt 

If you make it here, it indeed proves your devotion and hard work, as this is the last rank for Black Belt in Taekwondo. It is favored by those who helped in Taekwondo’s development and influenced many others with their extreme skills. 

Levels Of Black Belt In TaeKwonDo For Children 

“Pooms” have four levels. These are the ranks for the black belt holders among children. Children under the age of 16 are considered for these ranks. Children are supposed to experience different testing methods compared to adults.  

They are not allowed to teach an adult class until the age of 17 years. It shows how variable are the rules of this martial art. Poom holders will be able to transfer their title to Dan at the age of 15. 

Last Notation On TaeKwonDo Black Belts 

It should be noted that receiving teaching certificates for Instructor, Master, Senior Master, and Grandmaster is different from the Black Belts testing. Both of these need all your effort and require your extreme patience. 

Your ability to perform different skills like sparring, breaking, and tricking is the final factor leading to achieving more number of Black belts. You will need limitless devotion and hard work to obtain these ranks. 

You should also keep in mind that different schools or training institutions offer different testing methods depending on their way. Examples of this are World TaeKwonDo, American TaeKwonDo, etc. Even though the methods are different in multiple TaeKwonDo institutions, they are assured to give spectacular training and practice that will surely help you become an expert in this martial art. 


1. Is It Very Tough To Reach The 10th Degree Black Belt level?

Yes, it requires all your effort and consistency to reach this higher level in TaeKwonDo. Achieving your 1st Dan and following up with all the next levels, up to 10th Dan, is not at all easy. You need to set it as a lifetime goal to achieve this milestone. 

2. How Can I Start TaeKwonDo Training?

The most important thing to remember when you opt to get trained in TaeKwonDo is your age. You need to have at least 15 years to start this. When you are ready, consider any reliable institution for your practice. 

3. What Are The Tenets In TaeKwonDo?

The tenets refer to the rules of TaeKwonDo. These are listed as five in numbers like courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and eternal spirit. Respect towards seniors and Instructors is also essential in this martial art. 


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