Ethics and Etiquette

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Ethics all comes down to one point, the difference between 'good' and 'evil'. We practice taekwondo, but does this mean that we can kick one on the head? We wear protection, because we don't want a person to be injured, so this is not really a problem. It is all part of the sport. Taekwondo is not a destructive sport, but a sportive one. As I see it, taking part in a competition is not to hurt your opponent, but to test your strength, in both physical and mental ways.

Taekwondo students can improve themselves physically, and mentally by training. The final goal is to achieve harmony with nature and oneself. Balance is gained by controlling both evil and good forces (Yin vs. Yang): A true Taekwondo student knows how to behave in all situations.

In my opinion, Taekwondo (and I guess this goes for every Martial Art) is not only a way to improve skills of self defence, but it's a way of life. Practicing Taekwondo gives the student more self-confidence, but this should not result in a false sense of superiority.



Because of the military background, there is a general code.  These codes are reflected in the so-called ‘Commandments of modern Taekwondo’ and are strongly influenced by the Buddhism.  These commandments are influenced by the

HwaRang Do code of honor:


  1. Serve your Lord of loyalty
  2. Serve your parents with filial piety
  3. Trust your friends
  4. Never retreat form a battle
  5. When taking life, be selective


The commandments of Taekwondo are used as a guide for the moral development of students and art.  No students who odes not fully understand these tenets can ever hope to master the true essence of the art.

Commandments of modern Taekwondo:


  1. Loyalty to your country
  2. Respect your parents
  3. faithfulness to your spouse
  4. Respect your brothers and sisters
  5. Loyalty to your friends
  6. Respect your elders
  7. Respect your teacher
  8. Never take life unjustly
  9. Indomitable spirit
  10. Loyalty to your school
  11. Finish what you  begin




The Tenets of Taekwondo


  1. Courtesy (Ye Ui).  To be thoughtful and considerate of others.  Taekwondo practisers (both students and instructors) should be polite, and show considerate for others.
  2. Integrity (Yom Chi).  Integrity describes how you should interact with others.  To be honest and good, earn respect and trust.
  3. Perseverance (In Nae). This basically stands for your internal drive.  Challenges allow us to improve ourselves and should therefore not be avoided.
  4. Self Control (Guk Ki). To have control of your body and mind.  A Taekwondo student should practice controlling his actions and reactions.
  5. Indomitable spirit (Baekjool Boolgool). To have courage in the face of adversity.  A Taekwondo student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another.


How to behave in the dojang


There are a few general rules


  • Always wear a clean and ironed Dobok.
  • Clean hands, feet and short nails
  • Don’t wear sharp things (if you do not have a Dobok, do not wear pants with zippers etc.)
  • No jewelry allowed
  • Don’t drink, smoke or eat in the dojang (no chewing gum)
  • Be on time
  • When entering and leaving the dojang, make a proper bow
  • Don’t talk, unless it is urgent


DoJo Ettiquette:

When entering the DOJO (training hall) students formally must bow in (Rei) acknowledging senior students, instructors and Shomen (the spiritual aspect of the Dojo) and bow in the same manner again when exiting.  This is also done when entering and exiting the main floor for practice.  Bowing is our way of showing respect to the Dojo, its members, the effort and hard work put into the system by those who came before us.  The following formalities are also taught to those students beginning study and commonly practiced.  Those protocols listed below and underlined can be found posted in our Dojo.  Those not underlined are expected to be communicated to students and followed as rules of their own home:


Be proud of your study of Goju Ryu.

Practice courteous manners

Students must bow when entering or leaving the Dojo. 

Students shall wait to be admitted by the instructor of any given class of by the highest-ranking students attending. 

Strive to develop courage and fighting spirit.

Cultivate fellowship and understanding by seeing things through others eyes.

Respect the ideals of loyalty, honor and those elders who have come before you.

Students must wear the traditional Uniform (Gi) to all practice sessions.

Your Karate Gi (uniform) must be clean and in proper order.

If you arrive late for class, you must proceed with your warm-up exercises including push-ups before entering class, must wait until instructor invites you to do so.

If you must leave early, please advise the instructor as soon as possible.

Please keep finger and toenails short and hair kemp so as not to injure yourself or others.

There is no Kumite (sparring) permitted without the instructor’s permission.

Address Sensei and Shihan as such and by saying “yes Sensei” or “no Sensei”

Students must not engage idle talk while in the Dojo and should remain attentive at all times.

Students must always be courteous and helpful to each other.

Demonstrate your utmost courtesy in regards to anything that may have matters tied to Karate or to your Dojo, whether during training or not, both on and off premises and especially when representing your Dojo.

Have a clean body and clear mind before entering the Dojo.

Resolve conflicts before they occur by not allowing them to.

Students must not chew gum or candy, or eat while in the Dojo

Try to go to the restroom before class begins.  It is also recommended not to eat at least one hour before class.

Refrain from outbursts and comments no matter what it pertains to.

Refrain form violent behavior.

All classes and groups of exercises should begin and end with bowing.

Students should never use their skills, except in self-defense.

Students should take note of the discipline in class regarding rank.  And that there is an order of authority.