Each belt achieved is truly an accomplishment worthy of respect.
Our belts reflect a member's proven level of competence and (just as importantly) the progression of colors reflects an inner journey that never truly ends. Each belt achieved is truly an accomplishment worthy of respect.
It is also worth noting that achieving a belt isn't just a matter of "spending enough time" in a previous belt. In order to achieve their next rank, a student must demonstrate their proficiency in their current belt's techniques, to include Basic Moves, Sparring, and Forms.
"Pure and without the knowledge of Songahm Taekwondo. As with the Pine Tree, the seed must now be planted and nourished to develop strong roots."
The student has no knowledge of Songahm Taekwondo and begins with a clean (pure) slate.
"The seed is beginning to see the sunlight." The student begins to understand the basics of Taekwondo.
"The sun is beginning to rise. As with the morning's dawn, only the beauty of the sunrise is seen rather than the immense power." The beginner student sees the beauty of the art of Taekwondo but has not yet experienced the power of the technique.
"The pine tree is beginning to develop and grow in strength." The student's technique is developing power. The components of the basic techniques are beginning to work in unison.
Coming to the mountain. The tree is in the mid-growth and now the path becomes steep." The student has crossed over into a higher level of Songahm Taekwondo. The techniques, poom-sae (forms), and level of gyeo-roo-gi (sparring) becomes more difficult, creating a "mountain" that must be overcome.
"The tree reaches for the sky toward new heights." Having passed the mid-way point, the student focuses his/her energy upward toward black belt.
"The sun is setting. The first phase of growth has been accomplished."
The first day (the period of time from white belt to red belt) of growth is coming to an end. The physical skill has been developed but lacks control; therefore, physical and mental discipline must now be achieved.
"The tree is firmly rooted in the earth."
At this point the student has mastered the basics and developed deep roots in Taekwondo.
"The dawn of a new day. The sun breaks through the darkness."
The previous day has ended, giving way to a new dawn. The student must begin a new phase of training; that of being a black belt.
"The tree has reached maturity and has overcome the darkness... it must now 'plant seeds for the future." The color black is created when all the colors of the light spectrum have been absorbed into an object. That object has "taken control" of the colors and retained them. If one color was to "escape", the object would no longer be black but would appear as that color. The student has mastered the nine geup (grades) of Taekwondo. He/she has "absorbed" all the knowledge of the color ranks and overcome or "mastered" that level or training.