Dan Nomenclature for Tae Kwon-Do Black Belts

Korean pronunciation: (Tᾱ Kwonʹ Dō)   Chung do Kwan spelling: (Tae Kwon-Do)

Korean title: SabBumNim (Instructor/Father)   Korean title: KwanJangNim (Head of Household/Grand Master)

In Tae Kwon-Do, character development, fortitude, and tenacity are graded as well as individual capability. The promotional scale is divided into nineteen ranks -- 10 grades (Gups) and 9 Degrees (Dans). The former begins with the 10th grade, the lowest, and ends at 1st grade.
Dans begin with the 1st Dan and end with the ultimate, 9th Dan. The 9 Dans are further divided into three distinct classes. 1st through 3rd Dan are considered the novice stages of Black Belt. Students are still merely beginners in comparison to the higher Dans.
At 4th Dan, the student crosses the threshold of puberty and enters the expert class. 8th and 9th Dans are composed of Tae Kwon-Do Grand Masters -- the elite who fully understand all the particulars of Tae Kwon-Do, both mental and physical.Tae Kwon-Do students should always refer to their Instructor as SabBumNim. However, parents, family members, and friends should use the following examples when addressing their students' Instructor.
At 8th and 9th Dan, the Instructor's sir name is not used...only their title, Jr. Grand Master, Grand Master or KwanJangNim.
The sir name "Philip" is used for the following examples.

Degree Black Belt

Referred to by students

Referred to by non students

1st Dan

SabBumNim

Mr. Philip
(Title: Assistant Instructor)

2nd Dan

SabBumNim

Mr. Philip
(Title: Head Instructor)

3rd Dan

SabBumNim

Mr. Philip
(Title: Head Instructor)

4th Dan

SabBumNim

Jr. Master Philip
(Title: Chief Instructor)

5th Dan
Master Instructor

SabBumNim

Master Philip
(Title: Chief Instructor)

6th Dan
Master Instructor

SabBumNim

Master Philip
(Title: Chief Instructor)

7th Dan
Senior Master Instructor

SabBumNim

Senior Master Philip
(Title: KwanJangNim)

8th Dan
Grand Master

SabBumNim

Jr. Grand Master/Grand Master
(Title: KwanJangNim)

9th Dan
Grand Master

SabBumNim

Grand Master
(Title: KwanJangNim)

Proud to have the first non Asian KwanJangNim as our SabBumNim

Honored to be respected among the elite Traditional Tae Kwon-Do DoJangs in America