International Taekwon-Do is a martial art, but like most martial arts it's not about kicking and punching, or fighting.
The encyclopaedia of Taekwon-Do, written by the founder, General Choi Hong Hi, states:
"The utmost purpose of Taekwon-Do is to eliminate fighting by discouraging the stronger’s oppression of the weaker with a power that must be based on humanity, justice, morality, wisdom, and faith, thus helping to build a better and more peaceful world.”
General Choi emphasised the importance of mental conditioning, and he defined a moral code for Taekwon-Do students with the Tenets of Taekwon-Do and the Student Oath, along with a code of conduct and etiquette.
The student oath is spoken by all students at the start of all classes and outlines the basis for the expected moral code and behaviour of all students.
Tenets of Taekwon-Do
Courtesy (Ye Ui)
Taekwon-Do students should attempt to practise the following elements of courtesy to build up their noble character and to conduct their training in an orderly manner as well.
Integrity (Yom Chi)
In Taekwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in a dictionary. One must be able to define right from wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking:
Perseverance (In Nae)
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 to come to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection of a technique, one must set a goal then constantly persevere. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.
Self-Control (Guk Gi)
This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the do jang, whether conducting oneself in free sparring or in one’s personal affairs. An inability to live and work within one’s capability or sphere is also a lack of self control. According to Lao-Tzu "the term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else."
Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)
Indomitable spirit is shown when a courageous person and their 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/she will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number.
Rules of Conduct - Preparation for Training & Entering the Do-Jang
Preparation for Training
Entering the do jang
Rules of Conduct - Inside the do-jang
Inside the do jang
Rules of Conduct - Dress for training
Dress for training
Student instructor relationship - student
Student / Instructor relationship - Students
Student instructor relationship - Instructor
Student / Instructor relationship - Instructors