Hapkido Belt Grading Levels

Although all classes are different, with a wide variety of Martial Arts content taught, essentially students learn Hapkido according to the Curriculum of the Australian Hapkido Association. This allows students to train Hapkido at any of the AHA Clubs around Australia with consistent content and goals.

White Belt

White Belt: All beginners start here.

  • Basic Kicks, Punches , knee strikes, Blocks and linear stances
  • Basic falling skills to learn rolls and how to land safely
  • Traditional Patterns to reinforce form, technique and power generation
  • Introduction to circular footwork
  • Basic yet effective Self Defence release techniques and pressure points
  • Meditation and Breathing techniques
  • Free sparring is non contact focussing on safe evasion and basic attacking techniques
Download White Belt Syllabus
Yellow Tip
  • Introduction to more twisting and sideways kicks
  • Stances lowering to incorporate stability while moving
  • Hand techniques incorporate Boxing combinations.  Jabs, cross, uppercuts, hooks, rips whilst learning guard positions and evasion parrying
  • Application of self defence techniques into set combinations known as drills. This prepares the student for multiple attacking grabs from various positions
  • More advanced falling and rolling techniques
  • Groundwork games introduced quite early to get the feel for grappling and how to move around whilst on the floor with an opponent
Download Yellow Tip Syllabus
Yellow Belt
  • Use of open hand strikes and blocks
  • Introduction of rotational and circular kicks and kicking combinations
  • As student is now becoming more proficient in safe falling techniques, they are able to learn and practice the start of the Core Self Defence techniques which will eventually create the backbone of their effective Hapkido self defence.
  • Pattern involves short, quick blocks and strikes being applied against realistic attacks emphasising balance and precision
  • More advanced pressure points, kicks and leverage principles
  • Free sparring more involved and use of more complex combinations of kicks and upper body strikes
Download Yellow Belt Syllabus
Green Tip
  • Defensive kicks off front foot.  Start of jumping and spinning kicks
  • Longer and higher catrolls learning to roll smoothly whilst protecting the spine and vital body parts
  • More advanced combinations of self defence emphasising continuous unbalancing of an opponent throughout an entire technique
  • Introduction of using a rolled up magazine as a weapon or extension of ones hand and arm
  • Introduction of Pong Ryu Do, a Korean form of Tai Chi to learn breathing, meditation and movement using actual circular Hapkido technique applications
  • Groundwork games start incorporating more lock up and choke techniques, plus encouraging escape back into standing
Download Green Tip Syllabus
Green Belt
  • Introduction to a low impact form of turning side fall. This allows the student to be on the receiving end of a self defence technique and safely fall to ground without risk of injury
  • Pattern is focussed on footwork stability and balance, using the traditional walking and L-Stances. This level re-inforces the importance of the linear movements for generating power and gives a stable base from which to produce circular forces.
  • Sparring becomes more complex and involves more techniques to take opponent down to floor and throws, tackles etc
Download Green Belt Syllabus
Blue Tip
  • Low spinning kicks and takedown kicks not often practised in other styles
  • Student now capable of defending from most front on attacks. Self defence now focuses on attacks from the rear and side eg headlocks
  • Throws, leg reaps and unbalancing techniques
  • Drills now being attacked from behind and introduction to the many forms of hip throws available
  • Use of Danbon or short stick  to extend reach and use circular forces to apply pressure points and joint locks. This can be adapted using common items such as pens, newspapers, small sticks. This is very effective and painful on the receiving end.
Download Blue Tip Syllabus
Blue Belt
  • Refining of kicks learnt so far with constant progression of these as the student is ready
  • The last three of the 15 Core Self Defence Groups covered at this level.
  • Crane Pattern becomes more circular and reinforces the water principle of Hapkido. Softness in blocks combined with hardness in strikes all the while further unbalancing the opponent.
  • Sparring drills to give variety of fighting styles according to your opponents strengths and weaknesses.
Download Blue Belt Syllabus
Red Tip
  • Flying kicks, jumping and 180 degree spin versions.
  • Self defence now fairly well rounded covers specifics such as bear hugs, full nelson, escaping chokes
  • Basic knife defence principles. Our philosophy is always “Steel beats flesh!”. Always get away if you can. If your life is threatened and you have no choice, the techniques taught may just save your life.
  • Basic strikes using a Jukto (Korean bamboo sword). This prepares the student for more advanced weapon understanding such as Komdo and real sword work later in the syllabus.
  • More advanced Pung Ryu Do pattern taught
Download Red Tip Syllabus
Red Belt
  • Self Defence against kicks
  • More advanced throwing techniques finishing with lock ups or ways of controlling opponent with minimal aggression yet maximal effect
  • Pattern is based on real application against real attackers. Students are not just learning a set of fancy moves, they must need to make them work against a moving attacker

Free sparring becoming more physical and applied. Contact levels are varied according to the Instructor’s assessment of competency and control shown by students. Sparring is encouraged to continue when taken to ground

Download Red Belt Syllabus
Black Tip
  • Self Defence taught from unorthodox positions of preparedness such as sitting cross legged, in chairs, laying down etc
  • Use of Jangbon or Long Pole as weapon. Student develops forearm strength and co-ordination in handling a long weapon. This develops the basics for the Jangbong patterns taught after Black Belt level
  • Introduction to Eagle Pattern, which is essentially the Black Belt pattern that encompasses all of the hard, soft, flowing , kicking and throwing aspects of Hapkido covered thus far.
  • The students at this point feel like they have covered an enormous amount of training and techniques. They have usually been training for 5-6 years and are  well equipped in their ability to defend themselves, have increased confidence and respect for themselves and their peers, and their fitness levels are looking good. What they won’t realise until later, is that they have been in the process of gathering all of the tools to help them along this journey
Download Black Tip Syllabus
Black Belt
  • This is where the true journey begins and it all gets even more interesting. At this point the students learn how to utilise their tools. They are taught to re-evaluate  their skills, refine and enhance what they have learned to make them a well rounded Martial Artist.
  • Once achieving their Black Belt 1st Degree there is a structured pathway to continue to higher levels of competency and effectiveness. This usually involves the use of smaller movements, less force and often less spectacular looking techniques, yet the end result is usually more effective end result in a shorter time.
  • This Syllabus section has focussed primarily on technical content and the self defence side of Hapkido. The Personal Development and Character Moulding which occurs when learning Hapkido far outweighs the physical component.
  • The following link illustrates the Syllabus from 1st to 5th Degree levels in Hapkido.
Download Black Belt Syllabus