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Tenets of Taekwondo apply to daily living.

5 Tenets of Tae Kwon Do

COURTESY (Ye-Ui) in a broader sense is kindness, humility, good manners, politeness, and respect.

INTEGRITY (Yom-Chi) generally speaking, is honesty, straight dealing, purity, moral soundness, and uprightness. To have integrity means to be honest with everyone and with yourself at all times.

PERSEVERANCE (In-Nae) is persistence, a steadfast pursuit of and an understanding of the aim, continuation in the practice of Tae Kwon Do regardless of the amount of obstacles, hindering circumstances, difficulties, or occasional "let downs" which are only temporary situations. The strong will to hold on, regardless of obstacles. Loyalty.

SELF-CONTROL (Guk-Gi) is a double edged sword: on the one hand, it is the physical control with regard to motions, precision of execution, prevention of unnecessary injuries (as opposed to acting wildly) or killing, due to lack of control. Experience is the best teacher, but all the physical reactions are based on the psychological makeup, maturity, and moral, ethical, and religious codes. Emotions are usually involved, to a certain degree, in the majority of situations, hence the need for emotional self control. The degree of controlling the particularly strong emotions such as love, hate, anger, surprise, joy, sadness, etc., show the level of achievement of each practitioner of Tae Kwon Do.
Emotions should be governed by a strong and conscious reason and aided by experience in principles. The success of application of this tenet in practical everyday life should result in creating the indomitable spirit.

INDOMITABLE SPIRIT (Baekjul-Bool Gool) Indomitable means unconquerable, unbreakable, unquenchable. To put it simply, it means that one has such strong unshakeable beliefs and principles that even sacrificing the most precious possession one has, one's own life, is not too high a price to pay in defending them. The most classical example of the application of this tenet is found in ancient Greek history, in the story of the Thermopylae, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans.


There are five tenets defined in the ITF.[16]

Courtesy (Ye-ui / 예의);    Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang (도장) (designated training area).

Integrity (Yeom-chi / 염치);    Although it may be similar, this form of integrity takes on a more wider role then defined in the common dictionary. In Taekwondo, integrity means not only to determine what is right or wrong but also having the conscience to feel guilt if one has done wrong and to have the integrity stand up for what is right.[16]

Perseverance (In-nae / 인내);    One will persevere time and time again until they have achieved a result which is adequate towards what one was trying to achieve.[16]

Self-control (Geuk-gi / 극기);    This means to not only have control over one's physical acts, but also their mental thoughts and actions.[16]

Indomitable spirit (Baek-jeol-bul-gul / 백절불굴);    To have indomitable spirit means to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in,[16] no matter what odds you are up against, and to always give 100% effort in whatever you do.

From the WTF website.

Taekwondo today is similar to the martial arts in other Oriental countries and shares some features with them, because in the course of its evolution it has gained many different styles that existed in the martial arts of the countries surrounding Korea, like Japan and China.
But Taekwondo is very different from many such oriental martial arts. First, physically it is very dynamic with active movements that include a mirage of foot skills. Second, the principle physical movements are in simpatico with that of the mind and life as a whole. Third, it possesses dynamic poses from another perspective.

Taekwondo can be characterized by unity: the unity of body, mind, and life, and the unity of the pose ["poomsae"] and confrontation, and cracking down. When you do Taekwondo, you should make your mind peaceful and synchronize your mind with your movements, and extend this harmony to your life and society. This is how in Taekwondo the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and the principle of life become one and the same. On the other hand, the right poomsae lead to the right confrontation, which will eventually produce great destructive power.

How come we reach such a unity in Taekwondo? Taekwondo is a way of life, much like having a job, raising a family, fighting for a cause, or any one of numerous raison d'etre. What makes Taekwondo different from these is that it is an activity for survival in extremely antagonistic situations. One must always overcome the enemy that is trying to cause harm. But simply winning a fight is not enough to guarantee one's safety, because the enemy may recuperate and attack again. Moreover, there may be many other enemies than the one that was just defeated. One cannot ever feel safe unless one gains permanent peace. To attain this permanent or lasting peace, one needs unity. This is what Taekwondo aim for. Otherwise Taekwondo would be no different from any other street-fighting skills.

Taekwondo pursues harmonious growth and improvements of life through its unique activities. This is why one could say Taekwondo is a way of life. To ultimately enable ourselves to lead more valuable lives, we would do well by finding the guiding principles deeply hidden in Taekwondo.

Thoughts for the day.......

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