There are five tenets of TaeKwon-DO and they are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit.  I would like to talk about the first one in this blog.

In the Encyclopedia of TaeKwon-Do written by General Choi Hong Hi, says that “It can be said that courtesy is an unwritten regulation prescribed by ancient teacher of philosophy as a means to enlighten human being while maintaining a harmonious society.  It can be further being as an ultimate criterion required of a mortal.”

It goes on to say that TaeKwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of courtesy to build up their noble character.

  1. To promote the spirit of mutual concessions. We should respect each others’ views and rights that we cannot always get what we want, there should be a compromise to get along in life.
  2. To be ashamed of one’s vices, contempting those of others. Do not be a hypocrite.
  3. To be polite to one another. Always treat others as you would like to be treated.
  4. To encourage the sense of justice and humanity. Be fair to everyone you meet and treat all equally.
  5. To distinguish instructor from student, senior form junior, and elder form younger. This means to show courtesy and respect to those who have gone the patch before you and respect you instructors, also instructors from other schools and arts.
  6. To behave oneself according to etiquette. Show respect for instructors, elders, teachers, and other people in accordance with etiquette you have been taught and know is right
  7. To respect others’ possessions. Be content with your own possessions and not what others have.
  8. To handle matters with fairness and sincerity. No matter who you are dealing with be courteous and do not show favorites.
  9. To refrain from giving or accepting and gift when in doubt. To have integrity and do what is right always.

So if you are an instructor ask yourself as I do at times and reflect on, are you walking the walk?  Or do you just teach them because it is part of your curriculum? Do you lead by example always, not just when someone is looking?  If you can say yes to all of these then you are walking the walk.