Hello Everyone and Thank you for your support at the Academy 

We have had some questions recently about “Time in Grade”.

So let’s discuss this.

I have previously had this discussion with several senior masters and Grandmasters.

What is time in grade? Well it actually differs to Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido as established by Grandmaster.

Time in Grade at the Black Belt level means “YEARS”.. Ex from 1st – 2nd it is 1 year. 2nd to 3rd is 2 years and so on. Now this is the normal Tae Kwon Do progression. Our Hapkido has different progression but it is still in years. 

So in saying this I feel very comfortable talking about 2 classes minimum per week training required for desired length of time. 

Ex. a Black Belt testing from 1st to 2nd should have 100 classes in from 1st Dan to 2nd Dan. This is an easy number to attain as we have over 8 classes a week in both Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, there really isn’t a reason someone can’t get at least 2 classes per week. But we also know students have family obligations, vacations, school & Jobs requirements. Again I feel this is something very fair and achievable.

Now in saying this the school is closed X times per year, Yes it is, it is also closed very few Holidays. The federal Holidays are usually when we are closed. Now if a student comes to 2 classes a week for a year he can get 96 classes in per year if the school is even closed 4 weeks out of the year. Now, that’s not much. So he/she would only have to get 4 extra classes in to meet the desired minimum amount.

Now if a students goes on vacation they have knowledge of this ahead of time and they can get extra classes in before the vacation or after the vacation that is up to them. Again with 8 classes a week this should not be a problem.

So Whatever the minimum years is from one level to another is the same number of classes.

Ex. 1 year = 100 classes, 2 years = 200 classes, 3 years = 300 classes etc.

I feel that again this is a minimum needed to progress. If students wish to do minimum effort then we will see exactly that demonstrated on test day. Is this what you want, to just barely get by?

Black Belts should also help others buy leading class, teaching class, demonstrations at extra martial arts functions. This is REQUIRED of all of our Black Belts 1st Dan and above both in Tae Kwon Do & Hapkido

Black Belt expectations:

Black Belts are also expected to put in extra effort by leading extra classes, this is an easy way to get mores classes in per night. Black Belts are expected to help with Demonstrations such as School Self-Defense Classes, Youth Hapkido for Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do Black Belts have the ability to help out with both our Ankeny Parks & Recreation Dept. Classes and our DMAC Trail Point and Aquatics program as well as Academy Classes. A great way to get extra classes in. 

So are your goals minimum effort to reach your next level in Black Belt? Or do you want to be good at what you do? 

As a Black Belt you should ask yourself: 

  • How have you helped the Academy? 
  • How many classes have you assisted in? 
  • How many demonstrations have you attended? 

If the answer is NONE you have work to do to achieve your next level of Black Belt. 


Please ask yourself are you wanting to do the bare minimum’s to get to the next goal. Are you wanting to do the Bare minimums in life as well. Our Tenets should work outside the Dojang as well as inside the Dojang.

Are you going to help other grow because teaching and helping others helps us grow internally. 

All of the Master’s feel that by giving (Teaching others) you get! It helps us grown as a person and makes us better people and better black belts.

After all a Black Belt is a Teacher!

If I can be of any additional help, or if you have any questions, please ask.

      Thanks again


            Master Kevin Deaver

          Owner/Chief Instructor