The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do
The art of Tae Kwon Do aims not only to improve a student’s physical ability, but also to encourage their personal psychological and social development. It is for this reason that, at the end of each class, students recite the Tenets of Tae Kwon Do.
COURTESY Good Manners
Courtesy is demonstrated in the Tae Kwon Do class each time we bow or shake hands with our partners but such good manners should also extend beyond the training hall. Politeness and good manners will make those around you feel good and will make you feel good about yourself.
As the old saying goes “Honesty is the best policy.” In terms of Tae Kwon Do training, Integrity is especially important with regard to the student – instructor relationship. There is no point in a student pretending to his/her instructor that he/she has been practicing something that they have not, since inevitably, it is the student’s own progression that will suffer. Likewise, an instructor who teaches technique that he/she knows to be incorrect or gives undue criticism or praise to a student will merely produce sub-standard students which will, in turn, reflect poorly on the instructor.
PERSEVERANCE Never Giving Up
This particular tenet is one which bears great relevance to both Tae Kwon Do training and everyday life. In Tae Kwon Do, it is the student who tries their hardest and does not give into distraction or the temptation to slacken off that will achieve the most, in terms of the physical art and their own psychological development. The emphasis on Perseverance in Tae Kwon Do not only encourages a higher level of physical fitness in students but also improves the student’s ability to focus on goals outside of the class, such as work deadlines or academic studies.
SELF-CONTROL Never Losing Your Temper
Self-Control is a valuable quality and one which may not come as easily as most people think. To be able to control one’s temper in certain situations can be very difficult. While sparring in a Tae Kwon Do class may, at first, seem to be a purely physical exercise, this element of our training stresses the importance of Self-Control. Through our training, we learn that anger serves only to cloud our judgement and cause foolish mistakes, whereas, a calm mind can make logical and intelligent decisions.
INDOMITABLE SPIRIT Believing In Yourself
This tenet can be difficult to explain in simple terms but it is more easily understood when coupled with the idea of Perseverance. In this context, the word “Indomitable” can be defined as “incapable of being defeated, overcome, or subdued.” This tenet promotes an unbreakable belief in oneself and one’s abilities. Indomitable spirit means standing up for what is just, regardless of who tells you that you are wrong. It means having the courage to be yourself at all times, and to do what you think is right regardless of the pressures people put on you. Finally, it means having a strong spirit that is not crushed or swayed by adversity or obstacles.
It is through the implementation of these Tenets in our training and our everyday lives that we can develop ourselves on a personal and social level. These tenets not only help us to relate to others around us, but also allow us to appreciate our own self-worth, thus encouraging us to constantly strive to be the best that we can be, in all aspects of life.