Tae Kwon Do Five Tenets

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The tenets of Tae Kwon-Do should serve as a guide for all students of the art.


Tae Kwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of etiquette:

  1. To promote the spirit of mutual concessions.
  2. To be ashamed of one’s vice contempting that of other’s
  3. To be polite to one another
  4. To encourage the sense of justice
  5. To distinguish the Instructor from student and senior from junior


In Tae Kwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in Weber’s dictionary. One must be able to define right from wrong, and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking.

  1. The Instructor who misrepresents him/herself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of lack of knowledge or apathy.
  2. The student who misrepresents him/herself by “fixing” breaking materials before demonstrations.
  3. The instructor who camouflages bad techniques with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students.
  4. The student who requests rank from an Instructor, or attempts to purchase it.
  5. The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power.
  6. The Instructor that teaches and promotes his art solely for materialistic gains.


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 of a technique, one must set his goal then constantly persevere. Robert Bruce learned his lesson of 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 Tae Kwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance.

Self Control:

This tenet is extremely important inside the Do-Jang, 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.

Indomitable Spirit:

“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 Thermopia 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 Tae Kwon-Do will at all times deal with the belingerent without any fear or hesitation at all, and with Indomitable Spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number be.