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Philosophy of Taekwon-Do

(Taekwon-Do Chul hak)

“The philosophy of Taekwon-Do is based on the ethical, moral, and spiritual standards by which men can live together in harmony, and its art patterns are inspired by the ideas and exploits of great men from Korean history.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.89)

Centring improves adults Taekwondo performance

Gen. Choi opines the views of psychologists and analysts who state that the youth represent a disillusioned segment of society, who find themselves searching for relevance and values in a materialistic, deceitful world of decadence and wars, where the strong preys upon the weak. However, through moral culture, mental discipline and physical training, the development of a moral civilisation can take place, which would lead to harmony and peace.

“The utmost purpose of Taekwon-Do is to eliminate fighting by discouraging the stronger’s oppression of the weaker with a power that must be based on humanity, justice, morality, wisdom and faith, thus helping to build a better and more peaceful world.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.88)

With the vision of a peaceful, harmonious and a better world, Gen. Choi outlined the philosophy of Taekwon-Do as follows:

“I have set forth the following philosophy and guidelines which will be the cornerstone of Taekwon-Do and by which all serious students of this art are encouraged to live.

1. Be willing to go where the going may be tough and do the things that are worth doing even though they are difficult.
2. Be gentle to the weak and tough to the strong.
3. Be content with what you have in money and position but never in skills.
4. Always finish what you begin, be it large or small.
5. Be a willing teacher to anyone regardless of religion, race or ideology.
6. Never yield to repression or threat in the pursuit of a noble cause.
7. Teach attitude and skill with action rather than words.
8. Always be yourself even though your circumstances may change.
9. Be the eternal teacher who teaches with the body when young, with words when old, and by moral precept even after death.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.89)

Gen. Choi states that each Tul (pattern) of Taekwon-Do reflects the lofty thoughts and the brave actions of a great person upon whose name the pattern is named. The true intentions and the greatness of the person should be remembered and therefore, Taekwon-Do should never be used for violent, aggressive, selfish, political, or commercial purposes.

“It is my sincere hope that through Taekwon-Do, anyone can garner enough strength to become a guardian of justice, to challenge social disunity and, to cultivate the human spirit to the highest level attainable. It is in this spirit, I am dedicating the art of Taekwon-Do to the people of the world.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.89)


Choi, H. H. (1985). Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do (Vols. 1–15). Vienna: International Taekwon-Do Federation.



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