Starting from 2018 there will be a few changes to grading requirements. The main changes are the requirement to compete in either poomsae or sparring competition and the introduction of "Taeguk" poomsae for blackbelt gradings.
Why have we done this? Competition participation has been introduced to provide an external benchmark. This allows students to gauge their own level against other people similar age and rank. Our training is in line with what is used currently in Korean and top dojangs globally but we know the student's self drive and effort during class is a major factor in their own development.
We have included both options of sparring and poomsae (patterns) competition. Some people prefer sparring and some will prefer the non contact patterns. Both forms of competition have their own challenges.
Taeguk poomsae has been introduced because they are the global standard poomsae for Kukkiwon syllabus schools and what the global Chung Do Kwan HQ in Korea expects us to know. If we travel to Korea or have guest instructors, they will expect students know taeguk poomsae.