Tae Kwon-Do’s moral values are similar to the values stressed throughout society as a whole, and evolved from various philosophical and religious traditions. There are five basic tenets that have been adopted from Korea’s ancient warrior societies. These modern principles are referred to as the Tenets of Tae Kwon-Do.
Courtesy – Ye Ui
Courtesy is a thoughtfulness and consideration of others. A courteous person exhibits humility, civility, and politeness. Tae Kwon-Do students should practice proper etiquette to:
- Promote a spirit of mutual concessions.
- Be polite to one another.
- Encourage the sense of justice.
- Distinguish instructor from student, and senior from junior.
Integrity – Yom Chi
Integrity is honesty, sincerity, knowing right from wrong, possessing high ethics, and having a guilty conscience when doing wrong. It is an uncompromising adherence to a code of moral values and principles. Some examples of where integrity is lacking are:
- An instructor who teaches improper techniques to students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy.
- A student who cheats by “fixing” breaking materials before a demonstration.
- An instructor who camouflages bad techniques by having luxurious training facilities and giving false flattery to students.
- The student who requests rank from an instructor or attempts to purchase it, and the instructor who would give it.
- Students who gain rank for ego purposes or feelings of power.
- An instructor who teaches and promotes students for purely monetary gains.
Perseverance – In Nae
Perseverance is the steadfast pursuit of your goals in spite of any obstacles to reaching those goals . An old Oriental saying states “patience leads to virtue or merit.” A serious student will learn to overcome difficulties by patience and steadfastness. Another old saying states “one can make a peaceful home by being patient for 100 times.” Success most likely will come to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher rank or the perfection of a technique, one must set a goal and then persevere to reach it.
Self Control – Guk Gi
Self-control is the internal restraint of your emotions and reactions. It is extremely important both inside and outside the dojang, whether in free-sparring or conducting personal affairs. A loss of self-control may prove disastrous to both the student and his or her opponent. Performing outside one’s capability also demonstrates a lack of self-control.
Indomitable Spirit – Baekjul Boolgool
A serious student is always modest and honest. However, if confronted with an injustice, he or she will deal with the belligerence without any fear or hesitation, with an indomitable spirit. Indomitable spirit is demonstrated when a courageous person and his or her principles persevere, even when facing overwhelming odds. Courage is the spirit which enables us to face danger with confidence and resolution. It is a reserve of moral strength on which we may draw in time of emergency. A courageous person does not tolerate injustice. It takes courage to do what is right even when it is not the popular thing to do, to face our fears, and to continue when the way seems impossible.