Taekwondo literally means “the art of the foot and fist” in Korean. It is now the most practiced martial art in the world. We are proud to continue the strict heritage of the traditional and original forms of Taekwondo. From self-defense to discipline and meditation, taekwondo is a lifelong journey – both physical and philosophical.
The focus on kicking in Taekwondo distinguishes it from martial arts like karate or southern styles of kung fu. The leg is the longest and strongest weapon of a martial artist, and the kick has the greatest potential for powerful strikes without successful retaliation.
The word Kukkiwon refers to the home of taekwondo in Seoul, South Korea. It is where the heart of taekwondo beats. We are an extension of that home. We are as one – even though we are thousands of miles apart.
Do you understand the Tenets of Taekwondo?
We explain the principals of Taekwondo here!
There are five taekwondo principles or tenants.
On this page we describe what the tkd principles are and we explain what they mean using examples so you understand them fully.
We talk about the principles in the Dojang.
And in daily life.
So you have a clear understanding of how they affect you.
We also cover the taekwondo student oath because taekwondo students need to know this!
The first of the taekwondo principles is courtesy.
In the Dojang this means….
Simply being polite.
You can show courtesy by….
Bowing as you enter the Dojang. Greeting your instructor and fellow students with a handshake and bow.
Listening quietly when your instructor talks. And thanking your instructor at the end of the class.
And here’s what not to do….
We advise that you don’t. Yawn. Or fiddle with your belt or your feet. Or fold your arms. Or talk while your instructor is talking.
Also we advise that you don’t push ahead of other students.
And if a lower grade student pushes ahead of you. Or stands in what should be your place when you line up. Just let them. They’re the ones who’ll look impolite. Not you.
And outside the taekwondo Dojang. It’s also good to be polite. If you can find it in yourself to be courteous to everyone.
Even people you find it hard to be around. Or those who are rude to you.
You’ll probably find that life’s journey. Will be a bit smoother!
We think the easiest way to describe integrity is doing the right thing. And doing what you say you are going to do.
So in the taekwondo Dojang. Try not to cheat. If your instructor asks for 15 push ups. Don’t do 13 so you can finish first.
And if you say that you are going to be there every Friday for Demo training. You need to be there. Every Friday.
And outside the Dojang. It’s good not to follow the crowd if the crowd is doing something wrong.
And it’s good try to tell the truth. Even if this gets you into hot water.
The next of the taekwondo principles is perseverance. Sticking with it. Keeping on going.
And here’s how it works.
You think you’ll never do a spin hook kick. And you try a few times. And you fall over. And feel stupid.
So you try again. And you still can’t get it right. And you miss the target. Again. And again.
But you pick yourself up. Dust yourself down. And try again. And eventually. You start to get it. And a few months later.
Wham! That sweet sound when your spin hook hits the middle of the target! What a great feeling!
That’s the power of perseverance.
And in life. You can achieve pretty much anything you want. If you keep on trying.
Like Darren who broke this brick in his taekwondo black belt grading. Through perseverance.
Self-Control is one of the vital taekwondo principles.
When you train in taekwondo. You learn incredibly powerful techniques. Which could potentially cause great harm.
So if you are going to learn these techniques. You must learn to control yourself. So that you don’t harm others.
Over our years of taekwondo training, one of the things that has impressed us the most. Is the self-control shown by many black-belt students. Deb remembers her first grading.
‘I was asked to spar against a taekwondo black-belt. A tall, strong guy in his early twenties. I was literally shaking with fear. But I had no need to be scared.
My opponent showed huge self-control. He allowed me to score a couple of easy points. Just to let me calm my fears a little. Then he replied with a couple of very fast but controlled points. Which gently tapped my chest protector. There was no power behind the shots.
Of course he could easily have knocked me flying with any of his kicks. But I realize now. That he had nothing to prove. He was a gentle giant. With self-control. And he allowed me to pass the test. Which was this. Just to have enough courage to get in the ring!’
It’s easy to lose self-control at times. Like when you are angry. Or upset.
But as you train in taekwondo. You will find that you will develop more control over yourself. This helps you to think a bit more clearly about what you do and say.
Another thing that smoothes the journey!
Indomitable Spirit the Last of the Taekwondo Principles
And the last of the taekwondo principles.
That spirit in you.
Which keeps you going.
When really bad times strike.
And push you down.
And that spirit in you.
Which won’t be crushed.
However tough things are.
You develop indomitable spirit as you train in taekwondo.
It comes from persevering. From getting up when you fail. And trying again.
It comes from pushing yourself through physical and mental exhaustion. So you go further than you ever thought possible.
And indomitable spirit also comes from facing your fears.
- I shall observe the tenets of taekwondo.
- I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
- I shall never misuse taekwondo
- I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
- I shall build a more peaceful world.
Observing the taekwondo principles or tenants is a great start. Do this and you know how to behave in the Dojang. And you have a great attitude to your training. So you’ll make good progress.
Respect is hugely important in taekwondo. By bowing we show respect to our instructors and fellow students. And to taekwondo. And in time. Through training. We learn to respect ourselves.
It goes without saying that we should never misuse taekwondo. So outside of the Dojang.
Firstly we think it’s best to try to avoid confrontation. By being polite to everyone. By trying to walk away. Or by talking.
And as a last resort. If we are physically attacked. We can use taekwondo to defend ourselves until we can get away.
And what does it mean to be a champion of freedom and justice?
We think it means this. By training in taekwondo you become strong. Strong in body and strong in mind.
You then have a choice about how to use your strength. If you see something bad happens. Like bullying at school. You can ignore it. Or you can stand up for what you think is right.
This doesn’t mean wading in with your taekwondo. But it may mean speaking to a teacher.
And this might not always make you popular. But choosing to be a champion of peace and justice is not always the popular choice.
And Finally. How do you build a more peaceful world? And what’s that got to do with the taekwondo principles?
By practicing taekwondo. And following the taekwondo principles. You become a more peaceful person. Why?
Because you are happier in yourself. Fitter. Stronger. More relaxed. More balanced. And less stressed.
And because you are at peace with yourself. You are calmer to be around. And the calm energy spreads out from you.
Then things generally. Are a bit more peaceful around you.