ITF Tae Kwon-do

Tenets of Tae Kwon-do

COURTESY (Ye Ui)

It can be said that courtesy is an unwritten regulaion prescribed by ancient teachers of philosophy as a means to enlighten human beings while maintaining a harmonious society. It can be further be as an ultimate criterion required of a mortal.

INTEGRITY (Yom Chi)

In Taekwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in Webster’s dictionary. One must be able to define right and wrong and have a conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt.

PERSEVERANCE (In Nae)

There is an old Oriental saying, “Patience leads to virtue or merit, One can make a peaceful home by being patient for 100 times.” Certainly happiness and prosperity are most likely brought to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection or a technique, one must set his goal, then constantly persevere. Robert Bruce learned his lesson of perseverance from the persistent efforts of a lowly spider. It was this perseverance and tenacity that finally enabled him to free Scotland in the fourteenth century. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance. Confucius said, “one who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance.”

SELF CONTROL (Guk Gi)

This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the dojang, 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.

According to Lao-Tzu “the term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else.”

INDOMITABLE SPIRIT (Baekjool Boolgool)

“Here lie 300, who did their duty,” a simple epitaph for one of the greatest acts of courage known to mankind. Although facing the superior forces of Xerxes, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermoplylae showed the world the meaning of indomitable spirit. 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 and however many the number may be.

Confucius declared,” It is an act of cowardice to fail to speak out against injustice.” As history has proven, those who have pursued their dreams earnestly and strenuously with indomitable spirit have never failed to achieve their goals.

Reproduced from “Taekwon-Do” (The Korean Art of Self Defense) also known as The Condensed Encyclopedia.

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