Global Taekwon-Do Federation
Student Oath:

As a member of the Global Taekwon-Do Federation, I shall:

1. Respect rank and seniors.
2. Be courteous to others.
3. Be loyal and trustworthy.
4. Strive for World peace and harmony.
5. Act in the true spirit of Taekwon-Do.

Explanation of Tenets

The tenets of Taekwon-Do serve as a basic guideline for all serious students of the art. The tenets, originally invented by the founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi, confirm the importance of ethics in martial arts training and also, applying this knowledge to all aspects of a student's life, even outside these arts ?

General Choi Hong Hi (founder of Taekwon-Do) once stated: "The degree of success (or failure?) of the Taekwon-Do training is greatly dependant on how one observes and impliments the tenets.

Having said that, the world has changed greatly since General Choi's day and can no longer be interpreted in shades of 'black' or 'white,' as suggested earlier. Therefore, we who fail to observe the tenets are not necessarily 'failures,' since both Taekwon-Do and Hapkido were invented as 'life-long studies' that were not designed to be 'mastered' in a short period of time ?

According to the teachings of the late Grandmaster Park Jung Tae (founder of G.T.F.), all students of Taekwon-Do should be learning patience, empathy and tolerance for less than ideal situations, in addition to perfection of character ?

"Taekwon-Do shall be our teacher to human kindness, to act as a bridge between different ethnic, religious and political groups and to help mantain world peace and understanding."

- Grandmaster Park Jung Tae, IX Dan

Courtesy (Ye Ui)

Students of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido should try to develop their character and carry out the training methodically by practising the following fundamentals of courtesy:

1) To promote the spirit of mutual concessions.
2) To be ashamed of one's vices or contempting those of others.
3) To be polite to one another.
4) To encourage a sense of justice and humanity.
5) To distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger.
6) To behave oneself, according to etiquette.
7) To respect others' possessions.
8) To refrain from giving or accepting 'graft' (a bribe), when in doubt.

Integrity (Yom Chi)

A person of integrity is able to differentiate 'right' from 'wrong,' and to have it on his conscience if he does something that is against his principles. Below are instances where integrity is wanting:

1. The student who misrepresents himself by "fixing" breaking materials before demonstrations.
2. The instructor who camoflages bad techniques with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students.
3. The student who requests rank from an instructor, or attempts to purchase it.
4. The student who gains rank for egoistic purposes or the feeling of power.
5. The instructor who teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains.
6. The student whose actions do not live up to his words.
7. The student who feels ashamed to seek opinions from his juniors.

Loyalty (Choong)

According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the word 'loyalty' originated from the medieval French word, Leial, meaning 'legal.' Hence, loyalty was originally defined as 'faithful in allegiance to one's lawful sovereign (i.e., the 'king' or 'queen').' It later became defined as: 'unswerving in allegiance; faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due; or faithful to a cause, ideal or custom.'

Although loyalty is not one of the original tenets of Taekwon-Do, it is worthy to note that loyalty is considered part of the Global Taekwon-Do Federation (G.T.F.) student oath. And perhaps for a good reason, since if one were to closely examine the current state of 'western values', it seems evident that we live in a world where a lack of allegiance (i.e. 'trust' no one ?) appears to be taught to our young children while intransigent, selfish behaviour is almost taken for granted ?

Meanwhile, there is an increasing sense of 'desperation' as we teach our young generation to cling to materialistic values, as a long-term solution to happiness. Unfortunately, a 'materialistic' lifestyle can often lead to other problems (i.e. an 'inflated' ego, selfishness and disrespectfulness towards others).

In contrast, one of the greatest values that Taekwon-Do and Hapkido teaches is through faithfullness and allegiance to one's personal goals and also, to one's teachers, a person can develop self-satisfaction, fitness, humility, mental-discipline and respect towards others, which can ultimately lead to a happier, more peaceful lifestyle.

Perserverance (In Nae)

Confucious said: 'One who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance.' This wise observation is certainly true, because a person of patience will usually accomplish what he has set out for, no matter how great the odds are against him. Through sheer perseverance and tenacity, he will definitely attain his goal.

The same applies to perfecting the skills of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido. Perseverance is one of the most important secrets in becoming a master of the arts.

Self-Control (Guk Gi)

Self-Control is very essential in performing the rituals of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido. A loss of self-control can be disastrous to the student, as well as his opponent. A person who has a tight reign over himself is able to live and work within his capacity. He knows his strengths and failings; thus, he can act in accordance to his sphere of capabilities.

Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Bool Gool)

When a brave person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds, an indomitable spirit is shown when he adheres to his beliefs.

A serious student of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido must be ever ready to defend the cause of justice. When confronted with iniquity, he will handle it without any fear or the least hesitation, in a spirit that is indomitable and uncompromising towards wrongs.

Confucious stated: "It is an act of cowardice to fail to speak out against injustice,' and history has verified that the courageous who are not afraid to pursue their dreams with the indomitable spirit never fail to achieve their goals."

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The Philosophy of Taekwon-Do
 (Taekwon-Do Chul Hak)

Taekwon-Do is based on the philosophy of the ethical, moral and spiritual standards by which mankind can live together in harmony. The art's patterns (TUL) stem from the ideals and exploits of great people from Korean history - well known military and civil leaders who have never infringed on their neighbors' rights, yet who fought valiantly and made self-sacrifices to defend their homeland against invading enemies.

Each Tul (or pattern) of Taekwon-Do depicts the thoughts and actions of these remarkable men, so the students of Taekwon-Do must reflect the true objectives of those whose name each Tul bears.

Thus, Taekwon-Do should never be used under any circumstances for selfish, aggressive or violent purposes, either by an individual or group. Nor should it be employed for any commercial or political designs.

The following philosophy and guidelines will be the foundation of Taekwon-Do by which all serious students of this art are encouraged to live:

1.  Be willing to go where the going may be tough and do the things that are worth doing, even though they may be difficult.

2. Be gentle to the weak and tough to the strong.

3. Be content with what you have in money and position, but never in skills.

4. Always finish what you begin, be it large or small.

5. Be a willing teacher to anyone, regardless of religion, race or idealogy.

6. Never yield to repression or threat in the pursuit of a noble cause.

7. Teach attitude and skill with action rather than words.

8. Always be yourself, even though your circumstances may change.

9. Be the eternal teacher who teaches with the body when young, with words when old, and by moral precept, even after death.

Copyright 1992 - Taekwon-Do - The Complete Grading Syllabus, (3rd Edition)
By: Master Leong, Wai Meng, 9th Degree

Thucydides (above) was a Greek historian and army general who was concerned about the decline of human morality during Ancient Greece.

"We must remember than one man (and his martial art) much the same as another.
And he who is best
is he who is trained
in the severest school."

THYCIDIDES (former Greek Army General
and historian - 450 to 400 B.C.)

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