Tenets of Taekwon-Do and The Student Oath
Explanation of Tenets
1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)
Taekwon-Do students should attempt to be polite to one another and to respect others. Students should address instructors as Sir and to bow to the instructors before and after classes. Turning up early or on time for classes is also an aspect of courtesy.
2. Integrity (Yom Chi)
One who has integrity is able to define what is right or wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Taekwon-Do students should strive to be honest and to live by moral principles.
3. Perseverance (In Nae)
Perseverance means having patience. One of the most important secrets of becoming a leader in 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."
4. Self-Control (Guk Gi)
Without self-control, a Taekwon-Do student is just like any fighter in the street. Loss of self-control is disastrous both in sparring and personal affairs. "The term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else", Lao Tzu.
5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)
A true student of Taekwon-Do will never give up, not even when faced with insurmountable odds. The most difficult goals can be achieved with indomitable spirit.
Taekwon-Do Student Oath
I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do.I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
I shall build a more peaceful world.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF MORAL CULTURE IS BASED AROUND WHAT THE GENERAL CALLED THE 5 GIFTS FROM HEAVEN. BELOW IS A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THOSE 5 GIFTS.
1. HUMANITY (In)
The ability to feel sorrow for the misfortunes of fellow men and love them all equally as parents love their children equally. Confucius defined humanity in the following ways:
A. To love people, especially one's parents.
B. Not asking others to do what you would rather not do.
C. To behave with the nature of propriety by controlling on oneself.
D. To have unbending desire to accomplish what is right regardless of how insignificant the result may initially seem when compared to the amount of effort put forth.
E. To value others' honor before your own.
F. To put others' freedom, before your own.
To implement humanity he said one should:
1) Practice utmost prudence, modesty and discretion in everyday life.
2) Devote oneself to assigned work be it large or small.
3) Demonstrate sincerity with whole-heartedness to others at all times.
Tae Kong Mang (12th century BC) said; "The heaven provides us four seasons while the earth has the power to produce all living things. This privilege is not reserved for any specific person but for all human beings... Therefore, humanity lies in the idea of sharing the fruits of nature with all people."
2. RIGHTEOUSNESS (Ui)
The ability to feel ashamed of unjust acts and to do one's duty to others.
Mencius said; "for the ordinary person life and death are the most important in the life. However, for the virtuous person to and live and die for righteousness is far more important than life and death themselves."
Righteousness is well defined in the act of a certain army general depicted in the book of "War Manual" written about 2,400 years ago. A General was taking a break from the grueling war with his soldiers by a river bank when an aide brought him a small carafe of wine for his refreshment. He took the carafe and slowly emptied it into the flowing river in full view of the puzzled soldiers and invited them to share the wine with him by taking a sip of the water from the river.
3. PROPRIETY (Ye)
Unlike animals fighting over food, a courteous man would offer another man a piece of bread even though both were starving, out of respect and good manners.
Confucius said, "propriety must be practiced for the proper development of personality, and whoever lacks sincerity in his words, cannot be considered a gentleman." He also said:
"Frankness without courtesy can be rather ruthless."
"Respectfulness without courtesy can make the recipient rather uncomfortable."
"Courageousness without courtesy can be rather violent."
"Prudence without courtesy can be rather cowardish."
Ye is a term describing proper code of conduct between various social status, for example: superior and inferior, noble and common, old and young, rich and poor, etc.
4. WISDOM (Ji)
The ability to judge right from wrong, not especially in matters concerning the right and wrong of others but in matters concerning oneself.
A wise man (Yu Bee) once said to his sons, "no matter how small it is you should not do what you realize is wrong. On the other hand you must do what is right no matter how small it may seem."
5. TRUST (Shin)
The ability to keep one's words and promises, not only to one's friends but to everyone in general. Without trust a person loses all principles and dignities and becomes a liar and a cheater.