Range System in I.T.F. Taekwon-do.

In Taekwon-do, the development of Character, Strength, Tenacity and Technique, are graduated as an individual capacity. The promotional scale is divided into 19 ranges (10 degrees -Gups- and 9 degrees advanced -Danes-). The practitioner starts with the 10th Grade (10th Gup), the lowest and ends in the 1st Grade (1st Gup). Advanced grades start with the 1st Grade (1st Dan) and end with the last 9th Grade (9th Dan).

There is a certain meaning in the numerical system. With advanced degrees, the number 9 is not only the lowest among single-digit numbers, but also the number 3 multiplied by 3. In the East, the number 3 is the most estimated of all numbers. The character of the Chinese alphabet representing number 3, contains 3 lines: the one above symbolizes heaven, the middle to mortals and the one from bottom to Earth.

The Chinese character for the number 3 and for the word King are almost synonymous. When the number 3 is multiplied by itself, the equation is 9, the highest of the high, therefore the 9th Dan is the highest of the high within the belt range.

It is also interesting to note that when the number 9 is multiplied by some other simple digit and then the 2 numbers of the resulting one are added up, the equation will always give 9. For example:

9×2-18, 1+8-9———9×9-81, 8+1-9

Taking the use of number 3 a little further, the Danes are divided into 3 different classes. From 1st Dan to 3rd Dan is considered a black belt that is located within the novice scenarios of Taekwon-do. Students are beginners compared to the higher graduations. From 4th Dan, the student crosses the puberty barrier and enters the expert class. The range between 7th Dan and 9th Dan is composed of the Masters of Taekwon-do, the elite who understand Taekwon-do in a complete way on both their mental and physical face.

There's a question out there that's left; Why start with the smallest of the 2-digit numbers (10), and why not start with a lower single-digit number (1) and continue from 1st Grade to 9th Grade and then start there with the advanced grades?

Although it would be more logical, the numerical system from 10 to 1 and then 1 to 10 in the East is ancient. It would be impossible, but also impertinent, to try to change a practice that is still brought to children's games.
There was a logical reason for this, anyway, it seems to have been lost in the old age. Equal, 10 is the lowest number within 2 digits; Consequently, a beginner should start with this number instead of 11 or 12 that are numerically higher.

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