Yellow Belt

The color yellow represents the seed that is scattered over the ground, in the hopes that it will germinate and grow. The key to Yellow Belt is patience, as it takes time to grow roots and begin to sprout. This belt takes on the cardinal element of Earth, and is a time of being grounded.

As a brand new yellow belt, making contact during sparring classes has just now become available to you. Sparring is the practical application of the basic techniques you have been learning. Yellow Belt is referred to as “the honeymoon period” – in other words, a time when all the other students will be making room for your growth and learning. The “strike zone” (area where other students are allowed to make contact) is limited to the space between the belt knot and just below the neck. This is limited to light contact only, so you have a good space of time to figure out what is going on without fear of injury.

Sparring is always about the junior ranked person, which will almost always be you! You set the pace, level of contact and the general tone of the round. If at any time you feel as though control or speed becomes an issue, you can always request that the level be dropped a notch to accommodate your training. Be aware of your head! Even though no one is allowed to make head contact, they will focus strikes at your head to make you aware of the danger of dropping your hands or getting “tunnel vision”. Focusing strikes at the head also means that sometimes a strike may slip through – part of the danger of sparring. Generally speaking, there are no serious or chronic injuries in sparring class, but there is the occasional black eye or bloody nose. All students are asked to fight at a level that challenges them without risking serious injury. If you feel that you cannot control a technique, then don’t throw it. There will be a time and place where you have gained enough strength and understanding to apply your new techniques – sometimes it takes longer than others.

There are three different speeds that Yellow Belts are required to understand, the first of which is slow motion. Slow motion sparring is not about hitting targets, but more about showing a flow of breath and movement with balance. Another level of sparring is no contact – this is generally used for White Belts who are testing, for High White Belts, and when control becomes an issue. The third level is the one you will become the most familiar with – light contact at full speed. Control and caution are always the key words when fighting at this level.

There will be many more challenges for you at Yellow Belt. Your curriculum has now expanded into jumping and sliding kicks; your combinations have become more complex and footwork is much more important to understanding technique. Yellow is the color of the seed that is planted in the spring. Learning to sink roots and draw your energy up from the ground is at the center of learning your forms. Movement is key, and it takes a great amount of patience and focus on the task at hand to learn how to propel yourself across the floor. Your forms at yellow belt will teach you the necessary skills of flow and ground and will continue to focus you on the element of Earth.

Yellow Belt Curriculum (8th Gup)

Yellow Belt Techniques

Kicks

  • Sliding – Side, Round, and Front
  • Sliding Out-to-In Crescent
  • In-to-Out Crescent
  • Front Leg – Side, Round, and Front

Stances

  • Fighting
  • Back
  • Walking

Hands

  • Jab
  • In-to-Out Knife Hand Strike
  • Downward Knife Hand Strike
  • High Palm Heel Strike

Blocks

Guarding – Low, High

Yellow Belt One Steps

Attack

All one step attackers step back with the right foot, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.

Defense

  1. Step back with the right foot, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block. Execute a front-leg front kick, step forward, assume a front stance and execute a middle block (Inside-Outside). Execute a reverse palm-heel strike to the face.
  2. Step back forty-five (45) degrees with the left foot, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block. Execute a front leg side-kick to the ribs. Step forward and assume a guarding block.
  3. Step forward forty-five (45) degrees with the left foot, assume a front stance, execute a reverse middle-block (Inside-Out). Execute a rear-leg round kick, then step down to a back stance, guarding block.

Yellow Belt Form

Terra Motto

  1. Step forward with the left foot, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.
  2. Execute a front leg front-kick, step backward, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.
  3. Execute a front leg round-kick, step down into a horse stance and execute a right target elbow strike.
  4. Execute a step up side kick, step forward, assume a back stance and execute a knife-hand strike (Inside-Out).
  5. Grab attacker’s head and execute a target crescent kick (Outside-In). Step forward, assume a front stance and execute a palm heel strike (High).
  6. Execute a round kick, step forward, assume a walking stance and reverse punch.
  7. Execute a round kick, step forward, assume a walking stance and reverse punch.
  8. Step forward, assume a front stance and execute a triple punch (high, middle, low) and kihap.
  9. Shift the balance to the right foot, pivot two hundred seventy (270) degrees to the left, assume a front stance and execute a reverse middle block (Outside-In).
  10. Execute a front kick and reverse knife hand strike (Downward).
  11. Shift the balance to the left foot, pivot one hundred eighty (180) degrees to the right, assume a front stance and reverse middle block (Outside-In).
  12. Execute a round kick, step forward, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.
  13. Shift the balance to the right foot, pivot ninety (90) degrees to the left, assume a front stance and down block.
  14. Reverse punch.
  15. Step forward, assume a front stance and rising block.
  16. Down block.
  17. Step forward, assume a front stance and palm-heel strike (High).
  18. Step forward, assume a front stance and palm-heel strike (High).
  19. Step forward, assume a front stance and triple punch (low, middle, high) and kihap.
  20. Shift the balance to the left foot, pivot two hundred seventy (270) degrees to the right, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.
  21. Execute a front leg sidekick, step down, assume a horse stance and knife-hand strike (Inside-Out).
  22. Slide the right foot to the left foot, slide the left foot out to the left, assume a horse stance and knife hand strike (Inside-Out).
  23. Execute a front leg side kick., step down, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.
  24. Shift the balance to the right foot, pivot ninety (90) degrees to the left, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block and kihap.
  25. Move your left foot forward to the ready-stance.

High Yellow Curriculum (7th Gup)

High Yellow Belt Techniques

Kicks

  • Turning Side
  • Front Leg Out-to-In Crescent
  • Jumping Front
  • Jumping Out-to-In Crescent
  • Double Combination Kicks (low/high)
  • Rear Leg Fake, Front Leg Front Kick
  • Flying Side

Stances

Closed Ready Stance (A)

Hands

  • Spin Knife Hand
  • Palm Heel Strike – Low and Middle

Blocks

  • Double Knife Hand Guarding – Low and High
  • Square Block
  • Single Knife Hand Guarding

High Yellow Belt One Steps

Attack

All one step attackers step back with the right foot, assume a back stance and execute a guarding block.

Defense

  1. Step back 45 degrees with the left foot. Assume a back stance, double knife hand guarding block. Grab your attacker’s wrist and execute a front leg round kick. Without letting go of your attacker, step forward and assume a front stance and execute a downwards knife hand strike to the neck.
  2. Slide backwards, leading with the right foot and assume a back stance, double knife hand guarding block. Rotating on your front foot, spin backwards 180 to a horse stance. Execute a knife hand strike (inside – outside).
  3. Step back with the right foot to a back stance, and execute a guarding block. Quickly follow with a front leg side kick, then a turning side kick. Assume a back stance guarding block to finish.

High Yellow Belt Form

Riverbed

Start from Closed ready stance (A).

  1. Shift the balance on to the left foot, step back and assume a back stance, double knife hand guarding block.
  2. Step backwards, back stance double knife hand guarding block.
  3. Step backwards, back stance double knife hand guarding block.
  4. Front kick, step back while pivoting 180 to the right, assume a back stance, double knife hand guarding block.
  5. Rear leg fake, front leg front kick. Land in a front stance, reinforced middle block.
  6. Turn around in a back stance, guarding block.
  7. Three step flying side kick, kihap. Land in a back stance, double knife hand guarding block.
  8. Shift the balance to the left foot, pivot 90 to the left, assume a back stance, square block.
  9. Low round kick then high round kick, step forward while pivoting 180 to the left to a back stance, reinforced horizontal elbow strike to the rear.
  10. Shift your attention 180 to the left, execute a slide round kick and assume a horse stance, side punch to the ribs.
  11. Shift the balance to the right foot, and turn your attention 90 to the right. Step forward to a front stance, reverse rising block.
  12. Side kick, step forward fighting stance.
  13. Slide side kick, step forward fighting stance.
  14. Round kick, step forward fighting stance.
  15. Turn side kick, step forward back stance, knife hand strike.
  16. Step forward front stance, middle punch, kihap.
  17. Downwards knife hand strike.
  18. Crescent kick (outside – inside). Simultaneously rotate 180 to the left, and step backwards to a front stance, reverse punch.
  19. Step forward while pivoting 180 to the left, assume a back stance double knife hand guarding block.
  20. Step backwards, front stance, reverse rising block.
  21. Step backwards, back stance double knife hand guarding block.
  22. Shift your attention 225 to the right. Right leg side kick. Step forward while pivoting 180 to the left, front stance, reverse low palm heel strike.
  23. Bring the right foot to the left foot, and quickly shift the balance to the right foot. Turn your attention 90 to the right, and execute a turn side kick. Step forward while rotating 180 to your right. Assume a back stance double knife hand guarding block.
  24. Bring the left foot to the right foot, and quickly shift the balance to the left foot. Turn your attention 45 to the right, and step backwards to a back stance, double knife hand guarding block.
  25. Turn around, back stance double knife hand guarding block and kihap.
  26. Left foot forward to closed ready stance (A).