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What are the taekwondo tenets?

Taekwondo training encourages students to be practise important taekwondo tenets. These are learnt in the Dojang in the hope that through the constant practise of these morals and ethics that they seep into students everyday lives. Having strong core believes and values are very important as they determine how you see yourself. The feeling of self worth, feeling safe and loved and knowing who you are and what you believe are vital for your self acceptance and self-discovery. How you behave is a reflection of you, how others treat you is a reflection of them.


The term respect means to acknowledge the feelings and interests of another and is can be shown in both your behaviour and your attitude. Respect is appreciated as demonstrating a sense of worth or value of a person, a personal quality or ability. In martial arts, respect is the cornerstone of all the teachings of martial arts. Respect begins with the individual and manifests outward meaning that those who respect themselves as well as others will, in turn, be respected. Respect must be earned as well as displayed. This is why we bow and why we use the title “Master” to those who have achieved this.


Humility comes with controlling one's pride and ego and remaining modest despite your achievements and acknowledging others in your journey and success. Pride and ego are the killers of good martial artists and good character. When we let pride and ego to infiltrate our rational judgment we start to make decisions based on self-pride and not the truth. When your ego and pride take over you will become satisfied with yourself and stop thinking deeply. Try daily to display humility in everything you do. The bow is symbolic of ridding yourself of pride and thinking of yourself as a student. Train for yourself and not the title or colour around your waist. Constant learning and self discovery is the key.

Your ego is your sense of self-esteem and self importance. People who constantly talk about their achievements and their input into success we describe as having a large ego. They tend to have arrogant and selfish impulses. People who have no self worth and who feel they don't deserve things in life, also have an ego. The martial artists job is to rid themselves of all ego so they become content and happy with who they are and are not worried by how others see them. How to achieve a healthy ego:

1: Adopt the beginners mindset.

2: Focus on the effort and not the outcome.

3: Work hard and talk less.

4: Every morning when you wake up tell yourself something you are grateful for.

5: Forget credit and recognition, money and power.

6: Pursue Mastery in your chosen craft. You then realise the more you learn, the humbler you are.

7: Forever the student and sometimes the teacher.

“The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bows.” – Chinese Proverb

Indomitable Spirit

Your indomitable spirit is the part of the person that makes them unique. It provides hope, inner strength and grit to overcome hurdles, whether physical or mental, and do your best. It is also the liveliness and energy that someone shows in what they do. In martial arts we cultivate our spirit by using our strong resilient kihap when training and reminding ourselves there is always someone in a worse situation than ourselves, who are trying their best to make the most of what they have.


Integrity is a personality trait which involves having a strong code of ethics to guide your actions. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It also means being trustworthy as a human being and having an incorruptibility. Being dependable and allowing people to rely on you and not let them down. Ways you can practise your integrity:

1: Keep your promises.

2: If you say you are going to do something, do it.

3: If you borrow something, give it back without being asked.

4: Be loyal. To your instructor, your club, your family and your friends.

5: Own up to mistakes, apologise if needed and learn from them.

Self- Control

Self control is about stopping a behaviour or starting a new one and is crucial if you want to achieve your goals and self improvement. It is the ability to consciously control one's actions, emotions and desires. Sometimes that means NOT doing something or saying something that could hurt someone else for example. Sometimes it can be the battle of doing something impulsive and doing what's right. It could mean you intentionally put your focus into being disciplined about doing something, like training or building good eating habits. Self control is a skill and martial artists use their meditation, discipline and breathing exercises to try and retain self control at all times. Ways to improve your self control:

1: Explore all the options before making a rash decision.

2: Never react to others emotions, eg temper or self pity. Make your own decisions.

3: When your temper rises, breathe and relax, take 10 seconds before you react.

4: Make fewer decisions. Your energy is limited so be careful how you use it.

5: Keep a positive mental attitude.


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