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Tenets of Taekwon-Do

(Taekwon-Do Jungshin)

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Taekwon-Do Aims To Achieve:
1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)
2. Integrity (Yom Chi)
3. Perseverance (In Nae)
4. Self-Control (Guk Gi)
5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

“Needless to say, the success or failure of Taekwon-Do training depends largely on how one observes and implements the tenets of Taekwon-Do which should serve as a guide for all serious students of the art.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.15)


“Taekwon-Do students should attempt to practise the following elements of courtesy to build up their noble character and to conduct the training in an orderly manner as well.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.15)

Courtesy includes promoting the spirit of mutual concessions, and to be ashamed of one’s vices while considering vices of others with contempt. A practitioner must be polite, behave according to etiquette, and encourage a sense of justice and humanity.

A practitioner must distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger. A practitioner must refrain from giving or accepting any gift when in doubt, respect the possessions of others, and handle matters with sincerity and fairness.

Taekwon-Do practitioners must show courtesy at all times.


“One must be able to define right and wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.15)

In Taekwon-Do, the term “integrity” signifies the ability to distinguish between right and wrong; as well as having a conscience, which makes one feel guilt, if one is wrong.

An instructor should not misrepresent oneself or the art, by presenting improper techniques to students, due to apathy or lack of knowledge. A student should not misrepresent oneself or the art, by “fixing” breaking materials before demonstrations. An instructor should not camouflage bad techniques with luxurious training halls or falsely flatter the students. A student should not strive to gain rank to feel power or boost the ego. A student should not request an instructor to give a rank or attempt to purchase it. An instructor should not teach or promote the art for materialistic gains. A student should not feel ashamed to seek opinions from junior students. The words and actions of a student should not contradict each other.

Taekwon-Do practitioners must display integrity at all times.


“To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection of a technique, one must set his goal, then constantly persevere. […] One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.16)

Taekwon-Do practitioners must persevere at all times.


“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 free 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.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.16)

Taekwon-Do practitioners must observe self-control at all times.


“It is shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest. If confronted with injustice, he will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever or however many the number may be.” – Gen. Choi Hong Hi (Vol.1, p.17)

One must pursue one’s own goal. Those who have pursued their own dreams strenuously and earnestly with indomitable spirit have always achieved their goals.

Taekwon-Do practitioners must possess an indomitable spirit at all times.

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



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