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Terminology::Korean martial arts

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Terminology Korean martial arts are usually practiced in a dojang (도장), which may also be referred to as cheyukkwan (체육관 / 體育館, i.e., gymnasium). The practitioners wear a uniform or tobok (도복) with a belt or tti (띠) wrapped around it. This belt usually shows which grade the practitioner has attained. A student usually starts with a white belt and moves through a range of coloured belts (which differ from style to style) before reaching the black belt. The grades before black belt are referred to as geup or kup (급), while the grades of black belts are referred to as dan (단). In some cases, students less than 16 years old are not given dan grades, but rather "pum" or poom (품) or "junior black belt" grades. Some styles use stripes on the black belt to show which dan the practitioner holds. It is common for a system to have nine geup grades and nine dan grades. While it might only take a few months to go from one geup to the next, it can take years to go from one dan to the next. Most of the above terms are identical to those used in Japanese styles such as judo and karate, but with the Chinese characters read in Korean pronunciation, with a few exceptions (tobok and tti have been altered to fit the Korean language).

In some styles, like taekgyeon, the hanbok is worn instead of a tobok. The v-neck of many styles of taekwondo uniform was supposedly fashioned after the hanbok, but may simply be a modification for a pullover top to accommodate the modesty of female practitioners (standard jacket construction often requires females to wear a T-shirt, leotard, or sport bra underneath the jacket, whereas the pullover v-neck jacket does not).


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Terminology
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