The Tenets of Tae Kwon-Do

Courtesy

Tae Kwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of etiquette.
  1. To promote the spirit of mutual concessions
  2. To be ashamed of one's vices contempting that of others
  3. To be polite to one another
  4. To encourage the sense of justice
  5. To distinguish instructor from student and senior from junior

Perseverance

There is an old Oriental saying, "Patience leads to virtue or merit, One can make a peaceful home by being patient for 100 times." Certainly happiness and prosperity are most likely brought to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection or a technique, one must set his goal, then constantly persevere. Robert Bruce learned his lesson of perseverance and tenacity that finally enabled him to free Scotland in the fourteenth century. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Tae Kwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.

Indomitable Spirit

"Here lie 300, who did their duty," a simple epitaph for one of the greatest acts of courage known to mankind. Although facing the superior forces of Xerxes, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermoplylae showed the world the meaning of indomitable spirit. It is shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest. If confronted with injustice, he will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.

Integrity

In Taekwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in Webster's dictionary. One must be able to define right and wrong and have a conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt.

Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking:

  1. The instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy
  2. The student who misrepresents himself by "fixing" breaking materials before demonstrations
  3. The instructor who camouflages bad technique with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students
  4. The student who requests ranks from an instructor, or attempts to purchase it
  5. The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power
  6. The instructor that teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains

Self Control

This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the Do-Jang, whether conducting oneself in free sparring or in one's personal affairs. A loss of self-control in free sparring can prove disastrous to both student and opponent. An inability to live and work within one's capability or sphere is also a lack of self-control.