When you decide to wear a Taekwondo Uniform you’re not only deciding to embrace in the learning of martial arts style, also you are deciding to embrace in a road that will ultimately change your life in many different ways. This means that you will change the way you think, and also that will you understand that the knowledge that will be bestowed upon you is important and that you need to apply it mindfully.
To achieve this Taekwondo provides its students with a series of principles or Tenets that need to learn and understood because they represent what Taekwondo is all about: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit. For those who reach the black belt level, two more are added: Community Service and Compassion.
These principles or Tenets are the guidelines of those who embrace Taekwondo, and it is of critical importance for every student to learn and apply them in daily life because this is not just a martial art and not just learning to punch and kick but to learn a new way of life.
That is why they are recited prior to every class so they are memorized and students understand the importance of the knowledge that is passed upon them by their teachers.
THE TAEKWONDO OATH
Once you know the Tenets or principles comes the oath that sets the primary “rules” that will guide your way once start on the road of Taekwondo: Observe the Tenets of Taekwondo; Respect Instructors and Seniors; Never Misuse Taekwondo; Be A Champion of Freedom And Justice; Help To Build A More Peaceful World.
Notice the importance of each of these lines, first comes the learning and observance of the Tenets, why? Because they are the foundation of what Taekwondo is. That’s critical and that is why we say that you should understand them and apply them.
Then comes another very important and critical line that can be unified in one word: Respect. You need to respect those who have not just walked more than you but also those who are teaching you. If you learn to respect them, you will respect everyone else.
Never Misuse Taekwondo. Nothing more important than that. You are going to be the bearer of ancient knowledge in martial arts, and you need to act and use it accordingly, remember what we have said, what you learn must not be your first resource when it comes to solving conflict but instead the last. And of course, like the oath says, never use in the wrong way.
Finally, use it for good, use to defend justice when there are no other means and always use what you know to make a better world, always.
The tenets and the oath are recited before each class begins with the sole intention of being memorized and understood because, as we mentioned before, the minute you wear your Taekwondo uniform you become the recipient of knowledge that has been passed from masters to students for millennia and this means you are part of a select group and thus you need to act and conduct yourself accordingly.