The tenets of Taekwondo are often given in a list of five: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. Young Brothers Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, adds a sixth tenet: modesty.
Courtesy (Ye Ui):
Taekwondo students should attempt to be polite to one another and to respect others. Students should address instructors as Sir and to bow to the instructors before and after classes. Turning up early or on time for classes is also an aspect of courtesy.
Integrity (Yom Chi):
One who has integrity is able to define what is right or wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Taekwondo students should strive to be honest and to live by moral principles.
Perseverance (In Nae):
Perseverance means having patience. One of the most important secrets of becoming a leader in Taekwondo is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance. Confucius said,” One who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance.”
Self-Control (Guk Gi):
Without self-control, a Taekwondo student is just like any fighter in the street. Loss of self-control is disastrous both in sparring and personal affairs. “The term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else”, Lao Tzu.
Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool):
A true student of Taekwondo will never give up, not even when faced with insurmountable odds. The most difficult goals can be achieved with indomitable spirit.
Taekwondo students are expected to be humble about their accomplishments. Those who flaunt their achievements may have physical power, but their achievements are hollow, for they lack the spirit of Taekwondo. The Yin cannot exist without the Yang, so Taekwondo cannot exist without the Spirit.
This means being free of vanity and conceit. A student should not boast about merits or achievements.
- I shall observe the tenets of Taekwondo.
- I shall respect my instructor and seniors.
- I shall never misuse Taekwondo.
- I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
- I shall build a more peaceful world.
Children’s Student Pledge
I will live each day with respect for my parents and instructors, practicing to the best of my abilities and having courtesy for everyone I meet.