Wearing a Taekwondo Dobok not only means getting ready to learn a martial arts style or learn a way to self-defend, it means you become part of an elite group of athletes that will be imbued with the knowledge that has been perfected generation after generation for several decades now.
And being part of this elite also means understanding that you represent the principles, values and knowledge that will be bestowed upon you. Remember, it is not just about learning to punch and kick, it is about learning a new lifestyle, a new way of thought and action that along the way, includes martial arts training.
As a new student wears a Taekwondo Dobok and begins training, he or she is requested to learn the Taekwondo Oath and the Taekwondo Tenets, each tenet represents each of the values in which Taekwondo is founded and are the guidelines to be followed by each individual who chooses to embrace this martial arts style.
Remember, the idea of Taekwondo is not just to teach you martial arts, the sole purpose is to teach you a new lifestyle.
- Ye Ui: The Tenet devoted to courtesy teaches students to be polite between themselves, to show proper respect to their Master, to bow in his presence. This also applies to showing up early to a class which does not only show courtesy but it is also a sign of respect to the Master.
- Yom Chi: The representation of Integrity shows the student to have character, to have the mental prowess to know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong as well as, when guilty to feel regret about it. This specific Tenet teaches students honesty and to live a life based on moral principles.
- In Nae: A Tenet devoted to Perseverance, helps students to reflect on being patient, on taking the time to strive to achieve their goals, to know that sometimes you might fall, but you also need to get up and move on, this is critical as one day you will be a Master and you will need to teach your students this.
- Guk Gi: Another critical Tenet, this one devoted to Self-Control. As you will be learning martial arts you will be imbued with the knowledge that can severely or fatally hurt other people, therefore you need to be careful on when you decide to use said knowledge. This Tenet teaches the student to know how to control oneself, to know when the use of the martial arts knowledge given is to be used, as we have stressed on several occasions, what you learn is not your first resource, it always needs to be the last.
- Baekjul Boolgool: The indomitable spirit, this is one of the most important Tenets, as you move on your way to mastership in Taekwondo, there will be moments in which you will feel as you can go no more, there is where your indomitable spirit will help you move on, as strong as the body needs to be, so needs to be the spirit.
So you see, each tenet points to a specific mindset that you need to have in order to become a taekwondo master. Remember then, the minute you put on your Taekwondo Dobok, you will start to learn and live by this principle.