Deadline Extended For Special Dan Testing

Jan. 09, 2009, 4:43 p.m. (ET)

See Test Guidelines and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions  

USA Taekwondo, The USAT Martial Arts Commission and Kukkiwon are pleased to announce the planning of an unprecedented Special Dan Rank Promotion testing event.  This testing opportunity will apply to all Kukkiwon ranks from 1st-7th  Dan, as may be appropriate for the applicant. This opportunity is only being offered through USA Taekwondo (National Governing Body.) The special promotion tests will apply to the following categories of taekwondo practitioners.

  1. Kukkiwon Rank Recognition Test: Those who have never received a Kukkiwon Dan rank but who have received a Dan rank from a credible taekwondo organization or credible Master/Grandmaster Instructor and are seeking Kukkiwon recognition of the rank they have achieved.
  2. Skip Dan Test: Those who hold a Kukkiwon Dan rank, but who missed the opportunity (on more than one occasion) to test for subsequent Kukkiwon Dan ranks and would like to bring their Kukkiwon Dan current and will need to skip one or more Dan ranks (up to three ranks) to do so.
  3. Time Reduction Test: Those who wish to test for a higher rank, but whose age or time in the current rank do not meet Kukkiwon standards, may test if their overall training and experience otherwise satisfies Kukkiwon's requirements.

Kukkiwon will hold a mandatory 12-16 hour Poomsae seminar for black belts/poom age 10 and older on the 13th and 14th of February during the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, with testing to occur either later on the 14th or on the morning of the 15th.  All applicants shall submit a resume of their martial arts history, complete the Kukkiwon forms, and where applicable submit a copy of their current Dan rank certificate. In addition, 4th Dan and higher applicants must take the seminar. 6th Dan and higher applicants must also submit a 10-page thesis on their experience and philosophy of Taekwondo; such as "Taekwondo and My Life".

"This is an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for Masters to achieve their deserved Kukkiwon ranks," said USAT CEO David Askinas. "We are hoping to receive a positive response from the taekwondo community so we can schedule the testing event in Las Vegas at U.S. Open."

USAT will be posting application forms guidelines on this website.  We will want your current Kukkiwon Rank, your desired rank, and a letter detailing the reasons why you believe your promotion is justified.  The applications will be reviewed by USAT and the Martial Arts Commissions for acceptability and forwarded to Kukkiwon for final review.  Applicants who meet all necessary requirements to qualify for testing will receive notice of approval their application in advance of the test date.

"This is a remarkable and rare opportunity to make Taekwondo history," added Martial Arts Commission Chairman Grand Master JP Choi. "Every eligible Taekwondo Dan holder in the USA should embrace this moment with enthusiasm and apply for promotion without delay. The chance may never come again."

Fees for testing will be charged in the following manner and are due at the time the application is received.  An applicant will be charged for a maximum of three Dan rank tests regardless of the number of ranks involved in the test. For example, if an applicant is applying for the new Kukkiwon Rank Recognition Test or seeking a Skip Dan Test, he/she will be charged only for the three highest rank test fees. For example, a 3d Dan seeking 7th Dan would pay fees only for 5th, 6th, and 7th  Dan. Similarly, an applicant seeking a Rank Recognition test for 7th Dan, will also only pay test fees for the three highest testing ranks (in this case, 5th, 6th, and 7th Dan-). If only one or two rank promotions are being sought, the applicant will be charged for those requested ranks.

The planned test is conditioned upon 70 approved physical test (4th-7th Dan and/ or those who are skipping three Dans) applications from Kukkiwon.

1st Dan-3rd Dan applicants do not have to take a physical test and are not required to be in attendance at the testing.  However, these applicants are strongly encouraged to attend and compete at the U.S. Open and attend the poomse seminar, which will be taught by the best instructors from Kukkiwon.

A late deadline of January 16 has been imposed along with an accompanying late deadline fee of $75. USAT and the Martial Arts Commission will promptly review the applications and submit them to Kukkiwon. Kukkiwon will issue notice of approval in time for travel arrangements to be made. Should the test not go forward in Las Vegas in February, the back up plan is to hold it in July in conjunction with the Junior Olympics and Senior Nationals which will be held in Austin, Texas.

Another special testing opportunity for 8th and 9th Dan will be offered later in 2009 by the Kukkiwon if all applicants meet the Kukkiwon requirements.

Please address all questions to USAT CEO David Askinas or Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi, Co-Chairman of the USAT Martial Arts Commission