Tenets of Tae Kwon-DO

Courtesy – Ye Ui
Integrity – Yom Chi
Perseverance – In Nae
Self Control – Kuk Chi
Indomitable Spirit – Beakjul Boolgool

The Tenets of Taekwon-Do (Taekwon-Do Jungshin)

It would be fair to say that anyone who has participated in the art of Taekwon-Do would admit how it can have a great effect and a strong influence on a persons life. This would be the case whether they are actively participating in the art, have suspended their training temporarily, or have completely retired from Taekwon-Do altogether. The effect and influence is always there.

This can be seen in how the individual uses, applies, and interprets the Tenets of Taekwon-Do, not only in their training but in their everyday life. These tenets come under the following five headings:


First impressions? Many an opinion of a person is made on an initial meeting, whether it be in social circles or a work environment. General Choi states that courtesy is an important unwritten regulation in everybody’s life in order to maintain an harmonious society. A person should always try to exercise this tenet, not only in their Taekwon-Do training, but also in both their social and professional life. It is of the most importance when being an instructor. On entering the Dojang for the first time, the new student will undoubtedly be influenced not only by how courteous the instructor is to them, but also by how courteous the senior students are to the instructor. This will in turn create an atmosphere conducive for the students to train in. To be constantly courteous and polite in a professional environment can often prove difficult, especially when dealing with a person who does not have the same attitude. However, when one perseveres in courtesy, one will eventually win and gain people’s respect in the end. Courtesy can also mean tolerance, for example tolerance of of other peoples opinions, ideals, and beliefs. This notion is compatible with the Taekwon-Do ideal, found in the student oath, of building a more peaceful world.


In Tae Kwon-Do the word integrity means being able to distinguish right from wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking: The instructor who misrepresents themselves and their art by presenting improper techniques to their students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy. The student who misrepresents themselves by “fixing” breaking materials before demonstrations. The Instructor who hides bad techniques with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students. The student who requests rank from an Instructor, or attempts to purchase it. The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power. The Instructor that teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains.


There is an old oriental saying; “patience leads to virtue to merit”. One can make a peaceful home by being patient 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 of a technique, one must set his goal and then constantly persevere. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Tae Kwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.


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 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.

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 Thermoplae 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 Tae Kwon-Do will at all times deal with the belligerent, without any fear or hesitation, with indomitable spirit regardless of whosoever or however many the number may be.

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