“Martial Arts without philosophy is street fighting”
Etiquette plays a significant role in Martial Arts training regardless of style. All martial arts students will encounter and adhere to some form of etiquette whether they practice Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Chinese Kung Fu, Aikido, Judo, or one of the many other styles of martial arts. In its most basic form martial arts etiquette is a prescribed set of standards for a person’s conduct and attitude toward themselves and others. Etiquette in the Dojang ensures a positive and safe environment that is necessary to accompany the physical aspects of Tae Kwon Do training.
Bowing is a strong tradition in the martial arts. It is a sign of respect and humility. The martial artist bows towards the flags before entering and leaving the training area as well as before and after practice with a partner. The Asian custom of bowing is comparable to the western handshake.
1. Stand with your feet together and hands at your the sides of your legs.
2. Bend over at the waist 30-45 degrees while keeping your back straight.
3. It is Korean tradition not to look up at the person to whom you are bowing – this implies a lack of trust.
4. A lower belt should wait for the senior belt to straighten first.
Shoes should always be removed before entering the training area. All students should help keep the dojang neat and orderly. Always observe the highest standard of personal cleanliness in class. Personal hygiene is important. Keep nails on both hands and feet trimmed back to protect both yourself and your partner. Uniforms should be kept clean and neat, do not leave them lying around. Traditionally, a student’s belt should never touch the ground. And it should never be worn outside of the dojang.
Behavior in the Dojang
Students should arrive to class on time. Students who are late need to ask permission to join class before participating in the class in session.
During class students should maintain a level of respect and seriousness. Self awareness is emphasized: unnecessary noise or talking from students practicing on their own or watching may be disruptive to the other students in class and the instructor. Never disturb a class in progress.
Never tie your belt or straighten your uniform while facing the flags or other students, especially higher-ranking belts. In some dojangs it is considered disrespectful to stand with your hands on your hips or with your arms crossed while in class.
All Instructors and other Black Belts should be addressed by their respective titles. Use “sir” or “ma’am” or the title “Mr.” Or “Ms.” With the last name.
No free-sparring or contact is allowed without Black Belt supervision. Do not attempt to practice or execute techniques in sparring which you have not been shown directly by your Master or Instructor. Students are responsible for their own equipment – take care of it.
Always show respect for others and take it upon yourself to help and encourage others. Be courteous to other people’s time and space.
Cell phones. Use common sense. Take conversations outside the dojang.
Master Kim says “Be nice”.