ESA has a proud history of accepting students into our Academy that have trained in other Taekwondo schools/clubs and from different Martial Art styles. Unfortunately, many transfer students do not have physical proof of their current rank in the form of their previous school's certification or through their respective Martial Arts Organization. Therefore, we have found it necessary to develop the following policies and procedures to fairly determine the placement that we feel transfer students deserve within our system and organization.

ESA will accept you at the current rank that you have earned from your previous Taekwondo school. You must however, provide a copy of your previous schools gup, poom or dan certification. We will accept certification from your previous Taekwondo School, Martial Arts Organization, and/or National or International Governing Body. If you cannot provide proof of your current rank in hard copy, then ESA will determine your placement in our school's ranking system upon the completion of a rank proficiency test. This test will not require a fee and in most cases will require only a half hour of your time which will allow us to assess your placement. The final placement within our ranking system will be left to the discretion of the Master Instructors and the parties involved.

ESA currently follows the gup ranking system of the World Taekwondo Federation/Kukkiwon. The World Taekwondo Federation and the Kukkiwon work together to provide a standard ranking system for all schools to use in regards to each schools respective students earning their next rank level in Taekwondo. Many schools still choose to use their particular "Kwan" or Martial Arts Organization systems of rank. Whenever someone transfers to ESA, it is often very difficult to place them in our system of rank, because they transfer from a school that continues to use their "Kwan" system of rank rather than come under the standardized ranking system given to us by our International Governing Body, the World Taekwondo Federation.

The gup - colored belt ranking system that we use at ESA is as follows:

We do not recognize the rank that you are wearing according to the color of the belt you are wearing, but rather will recognize your rank based on the gup level within your current system, by matching it to the gup system shown above. Example of colors we do not wear in our ranking system include but are not limited to: Orange, Gold, Purple and Brown.

After it has been determined what belt rank level you will wear at ESA, you will be given ample time to get "caught up" in our curriculum and system of Taekwondo instruction. ESA will work with each transfer student to make sure that their transition is efficient, effective and hassle free. Your correct placement in the ranks can be a critical factor in regards to your effort and enthusiasm while training in a new environment.

Any student that transfers to our school as a green belt or above, must spend at least one year in our system before given the opportunity to test for your next belt rank level. Any student that transfers from another school that is at the level of 2nd gup or higher may need at least 2 years to get caught up in our system. Each and every student that transfers to ESA from another Taekwondo school will immediately be given copies of all the belt rank level requirements up to one level above what they are wearing so they can begin their process of getting caught up in our system.

All students that transfer from another school will be given sufficient time to purchase a new uniform and/or belt if the uniform and belt you are wearing has the name, logo, or patch from your previous school. ESA permits only black belts to wear black collar uniforms. If you transfer as a black belt, and don't want to wear a black belt with ESA embroidered on it, then you must wear a plain black belt with no embroidery at all. Any transfer student that comes from another Taekwondo school as a black belt of any poom/dan level will not be considered for their next poom/or dan level until they show a complete proficiency of our curriculum up to the level that they are wearing. Time-in-grade for the next level of poom/dan will start once that student is able to demonstrate a complete mastery of our curriculum up to the level that you are currently wearing to an ESA Master Instructor.

If you transfer from another school as a black belt and did not receive Kukkiwon certification, or was promised and paid for Kukkiwon certification, ESA can obtain it for you. We will obtain Kukkiwon certification without you having to pay the full testing fee in only the following situations:

Please ask a Master Instructor for the costs of 1st Dan and 2nd Dan. Full testing fees for 3rd Dan and 4th Dan will be required even if the transfer student is not required to physically test for these respective levels. Pick up a registration form at ESA's Training Studio or here on our website from our Hardcopy Forms link above.