Colorado Springs, CO, July 22, 2016 — USA Taekwondo is today announcing a new partnership with the prestigious United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society to provide U.S. National Dan testing and certification to all American taekwondo practitioners.
The U.S. National Dan Program is an important effort to establish a recognized national standard for Taekwondo in the USA, to include Black Belt certification.
USA Taekwondo Executive Director Keith Ferguson said: "This is an important step forward for taekwondo in the United States as we move to take more control over our own destiny, providing an efficient and easy way for our athletes to be certified and recognized for their hard work and ability, and begin to set and improve standards that meet our mission goal of delivering world class athletes to the Olympic medal podium. We believe that Americans will take great pride in being certified by the country that they live in and love, and we are excited to bring this program forward in partnership with the United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society as a service to our athletes, coaches and school owners."
President of the United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society Jin Song Chung said: "I am very excited and happy to be a part of this historic agreement between USA Taekwondo and the United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society. The United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society looks forward to working with USA Taekwondo as we ensure the continued growth of Taekwondo both as a sport and as a martial art."
From January 1 2017 USA Taekwondo will require that all Black Belt participants in USA Taekwondo national level events possess a US National Dan Certificate or Kukkiwon Dan Certification. This requirement does not affect participation in State Championships or other local USA Taekwondo sanctioned events, and also does not affect Color Belt level competition and competitors.
To make the transition as simple as possible USA Taekwondo has developed a Dan Conversion Program that allows holders of a local School/Club Black Belt to convert to a U.S. National Dan Certification at the same level simply by paying a processing fee. The Dan Conversion Program (up to 7th Dan) is also available to holders of National or International Taekwondo Organizations that are deemed as recognized by USA Taekwondo and the US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society (see FAQ below).
A National Dan Promotion Test will take place at our National Championships from 2017 onwards, and there will be other opportunities to take seminars and the promotion test regionally throughout the year - these will be detailed on our Events Calendar.
The USA Taekwondo Programs Manager is Ms. Michelle George. She may be contacted by email at Michelle.George@usa-taekwondo.us. She handles the USA Taekwondo Dan Program and the USA Taekwondo Referee Program, and will assist you with your conversion/application and any questions you may have.
Download these National Dan Application Form by clicking HERE (online version coming shortly)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. Why have a National Dan Program?
A. To provide a national certification for Taekwondo Black Belt practitioners in the United States of America.
Q. Who may participate in this National Dan Program?
A. The program is open to any Taekwondo practitioner in the USA.
Q. What is the benefit of a National Dan Program?
A. The program will establish standards that are consistent for all Taekwondo Black Belt practitioners in the USA. It will also provide Taekwondo Instructors a plan of instruction for a Dojang (Taekwondo school), should they choose to participate in this national program. Students and parents will have a set of guidelines regarding the instruction provided at any Taekwondo Dojang.
Q. Why is USA Taekwondo undertaking this program?
A. USA Taekwondo is the National Governing Body for Taekwondo in the USA, as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee. As such, USA Taekwondo is responsible for conducting programs that lead to Olympic Medals in the sport of Taekwondo. USA Taekwondo is also responsible for growing the sport in the USA. Providing a program that standardizes Black Belts nationally is under the purview of growing and developing Taekwondo in the USA.
Q. USA Taekwondo is the Olympic Sports organization for Taekwondo. How does this this program fit in with Sports Taekwondo when Belt Ranks are more a part of Traditional Taekwondo?
A. USA Taekwondo has an agreement with the United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society (USTGS) to outsource the conduct of the National Dan Program to this group of senior Taekwondo Masters and Grandmasters. USTGS has a mission of promoting and developing Traditional Taekwondo values through educational seminars and activities. The National Dan Program is a USA Taekwondo program that will be conducted by the USTGS under a cooperative agreement that is in place.
Q. Is a US National Dan going to be a requirement in order to participate in USA Taekwondo National Events?
A. Yes. Starting January 1, 2017, in order to participate in USA Taekwondo National Events (National Championships, National Team Trials, etc.) there will be a requirement that all participating athletes and referees possess a US National Dan Certification. Kukkiwon Dan Certification will also be accepted. However, local Black Belt and other Black Belt certifications will no longer be accepted for participation in USA Taekwondo National Events.
Q. What Black Belt certification is acceptable for participation at USA Taekwondo sanctioned State Championships and other Qualifying events for participation in USAT National Events?
A. USA Taekwondo State Associations and other qualifying events may still accept local Black Belt certification for participation in their events. However, those athletes that qualify to participate in USA Taekwondo National Events must possess either a US National Dan Certificate or a Kukkiwon Dan Certificate. No other Black Belt will be accepted for participation in USA Taekwondo National Events.
Q. I have a Black Belt Certificate from my local Taekwondo Instructor. Can I get the equivalent US National Dan Rank as my current local Black Belt Rank?
A. Yes. There is a $50 conversion fee for getting the equivalent of your current local belt certification. This conversion is applicable only up to 3rd Dan local Black Belt certification. After converting to a maximum of 3rd Dan (US National Dan) you are then eligible to follow the National Dan Promotion Program for future belt rank promotions.
Q. What are the requirements and benefits for Club Owners to participate in the U.S. National Dan Program?
A. Club Owners must have a currently registered USA Taekwondo Club in order to process U.S. National Dan Applications. The annual Club Registration fee is $135. This gives Club Owners $2M in liability insurance per year. Additionally, the Club Owner must be a currently registered member of USA Taekwondo. Individual membership is currently $45/year and provides Medical Insurance for each registered member up to $10K per year. Finally, the other is benefit is that of being a part of a national standardized Black Belt Program that may be recognized throughout the USA.
Q. I have a 6th Dan Black Belt Certification from Kukkiwon, but I would like to support the US National Dan Program. Am I able to convert my Kukkiwon 6th Dan to the equivalent US National Dan Rank?
A. Yes. Dan Certification from Recognized National or International Taekwondo Organizations is eligible for a one-time conversion to the equivalent. So, your 6th Dan Kukkiwon rank would be converted to a 6th Dan US National Dan for the conversion fee of $50.
Q. Who are the Recognized National and International Taekwondo Organizations that will be allowed to convert their Dan Certificates to a US National Dan?
A. The United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society and USA Taekwondo will determine which National and International Taekwondo Organizations will be “Recognized.” Currently, this list includes Kukkiwon, International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), and ATA. Other organizational may be added to this list once they apply for recognition and are vetted by USTGS and USA Taekwondo.
Q. I am an 8th Dan Kukkiwon. Is there a limit on the Belt Level that can be converted to the equivalent US National Dan Rank?
A. Yes. A Conversion Dan is limited to 1st through 7th Dan US National Dan equivalent. The US National Dan Program will include 8th and 9th Dan certification at a later rollout date.