The 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do

On a philosophical level, Taekwon-Do is based on the culture and ethics held in the ancient Orient, and as a practitioner you are obliged to live by the five tenets of Taekwon-Do. The five tenets of Taekwon-Do are one of the most important aspects of the martial art. All students are obliged to observe and implement these tenets not only while practicing Taekwon-Do, but also throughout daily life.

  1. courtesy;
  2. integrity;
  3. perseverance;
  4. self-control;
  5. indomitable spirit.

Each of the 5 tenets is explained in more detail below.

Courtesy (Ye Ui / 예의)

To be courteous is to show excellence of manners and social conduct and to exhibit polite behavior. Examples in Taekwon-Do might be to distinguish instructor from student,senior from junior and elder from younger, and to maintain the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang (training hall 도장)

Integrity (Yom Chi / 염치)

To adhere to moral and ethical principles and to be able to define right from wrong. A Taekwon-Do instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge, or a student who 'fixes' breaking materials before a demonstration, would show no sign of possessing integrity.

Perseverance (In Nae / 인내)

A steady persistence in a course of action, in spite of any difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. In Taekwon-Do, one must set a goal and then constantly persevere to achieve this.

Self Control (Guk Gi / 극기)

The ability to control or restrain oneself, or one's actions or feelings. This is one of the most important of the Taekwon-Do tenents both inside and outside the dojang. A loss of self control in the dojang can prove disastrous for both student and opponent, and likewise outside the dojang during daily life.

Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool / 백절불굴)

An attribute shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. If confronted with injustice, the Taekwon-Do student 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.


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