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Ethics of ITF Union

As in all Martial Arts, ethics are of great importance. One can look at individual ethics, treat a fellow-man right, or one can look at social ethics, as part of a whole.

Ethics basically all comes down to one point, the difference between ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

We practise Taekwon-Do, often seen as an aggressive sport, but does this mean that we can be aggressive? Do we want to be aggressive? The answer is NO!

We wear protection, because we don’t want someone else to be injured, nor do we want to get hurt ourselves. Taekwon-Do is not a destructive and aggressive sport, but a sportive one. As I see it, taking part in a competition is not to hurt your opponent, but to test your strength, in both physical and mental ways.

Taekwon-Do students can improve themselves physically and mentally by training. The final goal is to achieve harmony with nature and oneself. Balance is gained by controlling both evil and good forces (Yin vs. Yang): A true Taekwon-Do student knows how to behave in all situations.

In my opinion, Taekwon-Do (and I guess this goes for every Martial Art) is not only a way to improve skills of self defence, but it’s a way of life. Practicing Taekwon-Do gives the student more self-confidence, but this should not result in a false sense of superiority.


Because of the military background, there is a general code. These codes are reflected in the so-called ‘Commandments of modern Taekwon-Do’ and is strongly influenced by Buddhism. These commandments are influenced by the HwaRang Do code of honor:

  1. Serve your lord with loyalty
  2. Serve your parents with filial piety
  3. Trust your friends
  4. Never retreat from a battle
  5. When taking life, be selective

The commandments of Taekwon-Do are used as a guide for the moral development of students and art. No student who does not fully understand these tenets can ever hope to master the true essence of the art.


  1. Loyalty to your country
  2. Respect your parents
  3. Faithfulness to your spouse
  4. Respect your brothers and sisters
  5. Loyalty to your friends
  6. Respect your elders
  7. Respect your teacher
  8. Never take life unjustly
  9. Indomitable spirit
  10. Loyalty to your school
  11. Finish what you begin


Courtesy (Ye Ui).

To be thoughtful and considerate of others. Taekwondo practisers (both students and instructors) should be polite, and show consideration for others.

Integrity (Yom Chi).

Integrity describes how you should interact with others. To be honest and good, earn respect and trust.

Perseverance (In Nae).

This basically stands for your internal drive. Challenges allow us to improve ourselves and should therefore not be avoided.

Self control (Guk Ki).

To have control of your body and mind. A Taekwondo student should practice controlling his actions and reactions.

Indomitable spirit (Baekjool Boolgool).

To have courage in the face of adversity. A Taekwon-Do student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another.


  1. Always wear a clean Dobok.
  2. Clean hands, feet, short nails.
  3. Don’t wear sharp things (if you do not have a Dobok, do not wear pants with zippers etc.)
  4. No jewelry is allowed
  5. Don’t drink, smoke or eat in the dojang (no chewing gum!)
  6. Be on time.
  7. When entering and leaving the dojang, make a proper bow
  8. Don’t talk, unless it is necessary
  9. Take part in at least 4 lessons per month as anything less you will not learn correctly.




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