Proper Taekwondo Behaviour

Taekwondo rules of behaviour came from a combination of oriental values including reverence to parents and respect to seniors with strict martial ranking and discipline systems. Today, the same traditional rules of behaviour are used in a milder tone to develop a higher level of courtesy and respect among Taekwondo students. Taekwondo also develops humility in behaviour, pride in oneself, togetherness, and respect for the community.

You should always be loyal to your Club and your Instructor. When you enter any Dojang you should enter with a clear mind, and pay attention to all instruction given. All students must be on their best behaviour at all times in the Dojang: each student should set a high standard of discipline. The higher ranked students are expected to set an example while in the Dojang for the lower grade students to follow.

Basic Taekwondo Behaviour (Rules of the Dojang):

  • Bow when entering and leaving the Dojang.
  • Respect your instructor by bowing when you see them for the first time and when you leave after training.
  • Always address a Black Belt as Sir or Ma’am. For example if you are asked a question answer with “Yes Sir / Ma’am” (as appropriate). Black Belts will always address senior degree grades to themselves as Sir/Ma’am.
  • Mobile phones should be turned off or set to vibrate before a training session begins.
  • Long hair should be tied back during training.
  • No jewellery may be worn while training. This includes, among other things: earrings, chains, bracelets, watches, piercing studs, rings with sharp edges/points and any other potentially harmful items. Smooth surface wedding rings are an exception.
  • Nails (finger and toe) should be kept short to avoid any risk of cuts or scratches.
  • Your Dobok must always be clean and worn correctly with your belt.
  • Never be late for training. Always arrive early and ready for the start of the lesson.
  • Respect your instructor and fellow students regardless of age, sex, size or ability. If difficulties arise, immediately inform your instructor in private.
  • Lead by example. Earn respect rather than demand it.
  • When selected for a training exercise, or when your name is called by your instructor, a student should quickly move to the appropriate area and come to attention on that spot, ready to train.
  • No food or chewing gum is allowed in the Dojang.
  • Drinks are permitted only at the margins of the Dojang area.
  • Always ask the instructor’s permission to leave the Dojang area during training.
  • If in doubt defer to your instructor, let them guide you.
  • Receive feedback as an opportunity to learn.
  • Always do your best in all areas of your training, not just in areas you prefer.
  • After grading, remember to thank your instructor for their guidance.
  • Take pride in your club, your fellow students, and yourself.

Every effort should be made to preserve the traditional standards of Taekwondo. Well-trained classes of Taekwondo students will display proper respect for the traditions of Taekwondo. It is very important for each practitioner to take responsibility for these traditions, and preserve these forms of respectful behaviour. Each of us should do our part.

Why, How and When to Bow:

Bowing in any martial art is a sign of respect and should be a sincere slow bow. You must always be in attention stance when you bow. From your waist bend your upper body about 45 degrees forward, lowering your eyes to the floor. Hold the position for a split second and say “Taekwon” before coming back to your original attention position.