Stripe System


Mrs. Johnson, Smiling Tigers Instructor

Once a student has their dobolk and patches, they may begin to earn colored stripes. There are no extra charges for advancement at this level, stripes are awarded at the end of each class.

The first six colors represent the belt structure in Tang Soo Do.


Orange–An orange stripe is awarded when a student learns five required stances.

Green–A green stripe is awarded when a student learns five main blocks and the fighting stance.

Brown–A brown stripe is awarded when a student learns to say and demonstrate nine basic hand techniques. We use Korean terms for the techniques.

Red–A red stripe is awarded when a student learns the first five basic kicks.

Blue–A blue strip is awarded when a student learns basic terminology, including the five codes and seven tenets of Tang Soo Do.  Click to print the pdf, and fulfill part of that requirement by coloring the flags. (The codes and tenets are also on that sheet.)

Black–A black stripe is awarded when a student has learned the first two forms, or hyungs.

There will also be three additional achievements but the instructor will need feedback from you to award them.

Additional Achievements:

Yellow–As obedience to parents is one of the five tenets we encourage parents to tell us if their child begins to display or improve in obedience at home. If they do, the student will be awarded the yellow stripe. We will not remove stripes once they are awarded so please wait until you see consistent effort.

Grey–Since Tang Soo Do promotes self betterment, effort in school is essential. The grey stripe is not merely awarded for “Straight As” but for students who either show improvement or receive comments of effort from their teacher as verified by the parent.

Purple–The purple stripe is for a personal goal. It is our desire at Family Tang Soo Do to augment the priorities you as parents place on your children. Design your own achievement such as “continued kindness to siblings,” “memorization of Bible verses,” or “consistency in brushing teeth.” The goal and the duration is left up to you as the parent. Please set an attainable goal, but do not award it too lightly. We will not remove stripes once they are awarded.

For the last three awards send a note, such as 3×5 card, with your child and he/she will be awarded. If the student is able to write, please have them write it out in their own words.

After Smiling Tigers

At eight years old, students are encouraged to begin transitioning into the main class so they may progress through the ranks to black belt. Depending on coordination and attention span, students may be invited to participate in the regular Family Tang Soo Do class sooner. They enter with their stripes and will be placed accordingly at their first test. They do not start over at white belt even though we do not use the same colored stripe structure in the “big” class.