Taekwondo Etiquette

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
Hey everyone. Just wanted to hear some opinions and get some feedback. I feel that etiquette is a very important part of the art that we practice. It helps younger kids grow and mature into respecting adults and also keeps order in the martial arts circle that we often find ourselves. Not all of us that practice this art take it as seriously as others. I like to think that it is more than just an activity that we attend a couple times a week. It has been explained that Do in Taekwondo means "the art or way," meaning way of life. I believe that etiquette is a vital part of this and that (in my opinion) strict etiquette should be enforced. The military was a vital part of Taekwondo's birth and I believe that this foundation should still be clearly visible in the way it is practiced today. I know that not all of people who practice Taekwondo are in the military and that not all military etiquette needs to be applied, but non the less shouldn't it be a part of the backbone in which we conduct ourselves in the Dojang, while dining, while sitting and talking, or anywhere we would find ourselves in the company of other students and instructors? In this thread I would like to know what you think. Can you list some forms of etiquette that would help open my and other readers eyes into the proper way of conducting ourselves. I have been practicing Taekwondo for some time now, so I do know of a lot of ways to follow good etiquette but maybe I have not been placed in a situation that someone else has. Also when replying if you could list the style of TKD that you are talking about or practice, it could help as well.

Thanks for your help!
 

andyjeffries

Master of Arts
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
1,972
Reaction score
279
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
Wow, OK. As a tip, could you add some new lines in to your posts. That's one LOOOONG paragraph, which makes it much harder to read.

In terms of etiquette, two we've focussed on recently in class are:

1) Passing things to seniors with two hands or one hand under the elbow/on the sleeve.

2) Bowing with your eyes down, not looking up at your opponent/partner.

We do Kukkiwon Taekwondo.
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
Thanks for the tip. I will try to use that technique from now on.

Number 2 is interesting because I was always taught that a bow in Taekwondo was supposed to be 15 degrees in depth and TO maintain eye contact.
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
661
Sounds like you may have lineage to or thru the USTF. From an ITF perspective the bow is 15 degrees and you do look.

Various items, no particular order involving seniors.

Junior bows first and does not rise before the senior.
Shake hands using two hands or left hand under right elbow.
Seniors addressed by title or Sir, or Mam.
When eating, wait for Seniors to Start first and in groups Seniors go first.
Offer to carry things for seniors except personal items like a briefcase or purse.
Senior General walks at head of group unless host needs to lead to a location Senior is not familiar with and then guide may enter first to call group to attention.
When there are toasts, the rim of a Junior's galss is below the rim of any Seniors, (Fun with a group of several of various ranks)
Do not face a senior while adjusting uniform or personal grooming (Scratching, wiping sweat) in class.
If very high rank enters room come to attention and face senior (exceptions apply)
When driving Seniors various seating arrangements apply depending on how many and type of vehicle.
When asking questions in class Come to attention - Raise right hand with left hand at right elbow, wait to be recognized bow and address Senio as appropriate before asking. When question is answered Say "Thank You Sir or MAm from attention stance, bow, and return to appropriate position.
Generaly do not turn back on Senior in formal settings until reasoneable distance away - Exceptions apply.
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
Sounds like you may have lineage to or thru the USTF. From an ITF perspective the bow is 15 degrees and you do look.

Various items, no particular order involving seniors.

Junior bows first and does not rise before the senior.
Shake hands using two hands or left hand under right elbow.
Seniors addressed by title or Sir, or Mam.
When eating, wait for Seniors to Start first and in groups Seniors go first.
Offer to carry things for seniors except personal items like a briefcase or purse.
Senior General walks at head of group unless host needs to lead to a location Senior is not familiar with and then guide may enter first to call group to attention.
When there are toasts, the rim of a Junior's galss is below the rim of any Seniors, (Fun with a group of several of various ranks)
Do not face a senior while adjusting uniform or personal grooming (Scratching, wiping sweat) in class.
If very high rank enters room come to attention and face senior (exceptions apply)
When driving Seniors various seating arrangements apply depending on how many and type of vehicle.
When asking questions in class Come to attention - Raise right hand with left hand at right elbow, wait to be recognized bow and address Senio as appropriate before asking. When question is answered Say "Thank You Sir or MAm from attention stance, bow, and return to appropriate position.
Generaly do not turn back on Senior in formal settings until reasoneable distance away - Exceptions apply.

Sir, you are correct in my lineage. My instructor has made sure to fill us in on all of the things that you have mentioned. Thank you very much for your input.

I have recently been thinking about the title to this thread and how to make myself better and help emphasize the importance of this to lower ranks. To tell you the truth, sir, (if you are who I think you are, just because on the internet you can never be too sure) I noticed that you post here quite often and was hoping that you would have some input on this subject.

I am wanting to make sure that I am crossing my T's and dotting my I's. I am sure that I can ask my instructors these things and they would be more than happy to answer, and I have. I just thought it would be an interesting thread to see what other peoples view points are. I hope that I will not cross any lines that I should not and that you would correct me if I do.

Again, Thank you sir
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
661
. To tell you the truth, sir, (if you are who I think you are, just because on the internet you can never be too sure) I noticed that you post here quite often and was hoping that you would have some input on this subject.

Well, Sir (or Mam?), I post under my real name. If you have any doubts as to who i am you could always send me a private message. You could also share your lineage if you feel so inclined to do so privately. I post under my real name. I know there are some others out there with the same name (In fact a funny story or two about that) but none with the same name that I know of with my TKD or MA background.
 

RTKDCMB

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
3,159
Reaction score
733
Location
Perth, Western Australia
Somethings I can think of:

Bowing, Juniors bow first and seniors bow in return and always maintaining eye contact when bowing (in keeping with never take your eyes off your opponent). When doing something with a partner both bow at the same time and at the end of the exercise, before changing partners, bow and both people say "thank you" loudly. When a black belt enters the dojang for the first time the most senior belt below them claps the class to attention and announces the black belt and the class bows. When they enter the dojang for the first time at the beginning of class students are required to bow to those senior to them in order of decreasing rank before they do anything else, but only to black belts. At the end of class everyone turns to adjust uniforms, then turn to bow to flags and then finally turn to bow the instructor.

Always turn away from partner to adjust uniforms and such.

When in two lines and partners are changed always walk behind the other students.

Students offer to carry things for the instructors.

Only in rare cases do instructors hold boards.

Instructors are always in full uniform in class, no matter how hot or cold but students can wear T shirt when it is very hot but it must be either official club merchandise (not compulsory to buy or anything) or a plain black or white shirt. No jewelry or watches are permitted except for things like medic alert bracelets, earrings, wedding rings (mainly a safety thing).

Always introduce yourself to new students by shaking hands after bowing when doing things with partners.

Always know your partner's name as you may get pushups if you do not know when asked.

Never refer to an instructor as mate, buddy, pal etc, must always show respect. One 1st Kup student said to Master Rhee at a grading "gudday mate hows it going", I have not seen him since.

No swearing in class as this is not a pub.

My style is Rhee Tae Kwon Do in Australia.
 

granfire

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
15,725
Reaction score
1,399
Location
In Pain
sheesh, what slackers we were....

Most of our etiquette remained on the floor:

Ask for permission to enter the floor, bow to the front (flag, instructor, etc)
Answer up when spoken to, yes Sir/Ma'am, thank your partner as you bow (bow in before the exercise as well)

Higher rank and especially BBs are addressed by Mr/Mrs Last name or Sir/Ma'am, regardless of age.

Fowl language never came up, but I dare say the school would not have allowed it, and the Sabum did not invite being called 'mate' or 'buddy', that would have been way off, just from his persona...

We were pretty sharp, but at least one school out did us in correctness....

of course, off the mat conduct was also expected to be in line with the principles.
 

Balrog

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
412
Location
Houston, TX
We consider ourselves a family in the school and in the organization. When bowing, we look down because that is what family members do. It's a sign of trust. If you continue looking at the person you are bowing to, you are essentially saying you are my honored enemy and I don't trust you enough to take my eyes off you.

When a junior approaches a group of seniors, the junior should stop and bow to every member of the group, starting with the highest rank. No "drive-by" bowing, where the junior keeps moving and kind of bends at the waist as he cruises by.

Formal titles all the time. My wife and I run our school, but when we are in uniform, it's Master and Mrs. to each other. Small kids who might not yet recognize their last name get called by Mr. or Miss Firstname.

Courtesy and respect are easy to teach. They flow both ways, and when the junior ranks see the senior ranks constantly exhibiting courtesy and respect to everyone, they will follow along. The seniors should lead by example.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,833
Reaction score
3,095
Location
Northern VA
I'm curious...

How far out of the training hall do you carry your TKD specific etiquette? Do you bow to your seniors when you happen to encounter each other on the street or at work? Do you limit the meal etiquette to official dinners and the like, or do you practice it whenever you're eating?

This is coming out snarkier than I intended... but my school and my organization has never locked on rigid etiquette, especially off the training floor. I call my instructor by his first name, and my students address me by my first name. In some circumstances, we'll use formal titles, but it's rare. I've eaten many meals with my teacher, and with the grandmaster, in settings ranging from formal dinners down to sitting around a campfire. No special etiquette, other than trying not to put my foot in my mouth and making sure that they're taken care of. But I've seen and heard of TKD students (especially) who practice and take Korean etiquette practices well outside the training hall. When I see or hear that, I can't help but think of the guy who is so "serious" about his martial arts study that he speaks in fortune cookies and dresses like a Chinese peasant from 100 years ago. $lastd1.jpg
 

Gwai Lo Dan

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
864
Reaction score
118
When I see or hear that, I can't help but think of the guy who is so "serious" about his martial arts study that he speaks in fortune cookies and dresses like a Chinese peasant from 100 years ago. View attachment 18323
Bruce Leroy! For the number of times I have heard about that movie, I thought it was pretty mediocre.
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
Well, Sir (or Mam?), I post under my real name. If you have any doubts as to who i am you could always send me a private message. You could also share your lineage if you feel so inclined to do so privately. I post under my real name. I know there are some others out there with the same name (In fact a funny story or two about that) but none with the same name that I know of with my TKD or MA background.

Sir, I just tried to send you a private message but it said that your message inbox was too full and that you had to clear some of it out before I could send it. I will save my message and try it again in a little while.
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
I'm curious...

How far out of the training hall do you carry your TKD specific etiquette? Do you bow to your seniors when you happen to encounter each other on the street or at work? Do you limit the meal etiquette to official dinners and the like, or do you practice it whenever you're eating?

Well we try to always carry our etiquette outside the Dojang. I never call my instructor by his first name. The way I see it is that there is a special relationship between instructor and student. While I have been training with my instructor since a very young age he has helped me through life by giving advise and being there if I just need someone to talk to but there is still a line which I believe can not be crossed.

When we eat regardless of when or where and it is in the company Taekwondo practitioners we usually abide by these standards. Now if it is with fellow students it is not always followed to the T. There have been times when I have been in the company of a Master who tells us not to follow certain guidelines just because sometimes it is easier, or say if for some reason the Master has not gotten his food yet he/she will tell us to go ahead and eat. I have also been in a situation where it was an informal setting and a Grandmaster walked in where were all called to attention. I sometimes chuckle to myself as I watch other people in the restaurant and their facial expressions.

The bottom line for me is that these people have imparted values that make me who I am today and I will do anything to make sure that they are given the respect that they deserve. They have always been there for me, and I hope that I will always be there for them. I consider my Instructor to be family to me but there will always be an Instructor/Student side to our relationship.

I've eaten many meals with my teacher, and with the grandmaster, in settings ranging from formal dinners down to sitting around a campfire. No special etiquette, other than trying not to put my foot in my mouth and making sure that they're taken care of.

Yes, I have also been in these situations. As I previously stated there are times when the senior rank will tell us not to follow certain protocol, but as you said I will always make sure that their every need is attended to.

But I've seen and heard of TKD students (especially) who practice and take Korean etiquette practices well outside the training hall. When I see or hear that, I can't help but think of the guy who is so "serious" about his martial arts study that he speaks in fortne cookies and dresses like a Chinese peasant from 100 years ago.

Here is how I view this. I cannot do too much for my instructors and senior ranking black belts. If this makes me look ridiculous to some then whatever. They have done more than anyone could ever know for me and I hope that my actions, where ever I am will honor them with the utmost respect. I take my martial art very seriously because I believe it to be more than just something I do a couple times a week. I have heard stories of when senior instructors were still young in the art. One that that I think about often is this.

There was a student that was told to go train with another instructor. This instructor was told to be the best there was and the students prior instructor wanted him to learn what he could from this instructor. One day the student got a phone call. It was the instructor asking him to pick him up so he could go to the store to get a jug of milk. Now here is the kicker. The student was (I forget the exact distance) an hour or two away from where his instructor lived and the instructor was only about a block away from the store. Could the instructor just walk to the store to get the milk himself? Probably, but he was looking to see what the student would do. What his character was. How far was he willing to go to learn the art. The ending of the story? The student got into his beat up car, drove the distance and picked up the instructor for the five minute trip then went home. Some call this silly. I call it loyalty.

Now the only reason I am telling you all this is just so that you have a better understanding of how I think and I hope you would not think that I am crazy. I am not saying this to say that you all need to up your game. I hope I am clear in this. I Just believe that there is history and traditions that should be upheld to keep alive this art that I know we all love.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,833
Reaction score
3,095
Location
Northern VA
As I said, the post came out snarkier than I really intended it, and I couldn't see a way to rephrase it much better. A lot of this is stuff that I'd classify as personal choice & local habit... but since I'm kind of derailing things, I've started a thread in the General Martial Arts for the broader discussion.
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
As I said, the post came out snarkier than I really intended it, and I couldn't see a way to rephrase it much better. A lot of this is stuff that I'd classify as personal choice & local habit... but since I'm kind of derailing things, I've started a thread in the General Martial Arts for the broader discussion.

No I understand. Sometimes its hard to communicate what you are trying to say in just words on paper. I didn't mean it as anything but trying to better explain my thoughts on the matter.

Can you tell me what the thread is called in the general martial arts section so I can read some of it?
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
661
Sir, I just tried to send you a private message but it said that your message inbox was too full and that you had to clear some of it out before I could send it. I will save my message and try it again in a little while.

In Box emptied.
 

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
661
There was a student that was told to go train with another instructor. This instructor was told to be the best there was and the students prior instructor wanted him to learn what he could from this instructor. One day the student got a phone call. It was the instructor asking him to pick him up so he could go to the store to get a jug of milk. Now here is the kicker. The student was (I forget the exact distance) an hour or two away from where his instructor lived and the instructor was only about a block away from the store. Could the instructor just walk to the store to get the milk himself? Probably, but he was looking to see what the student would do. What his character was. How far was he willing to go to learn the art. The ending of the story? The student got into his beat up car, drove the distance and picked up the instructor for the five minute trip then went home. Some call this silly. I call it loyalty.
.

I hope this is one of those stories where the point of the story is more important than whether it factulay accurate. Says a lot for the student and a lot for the instructor as well.
 

Gwai Lo Dan

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
864
Reaction score
118
I'll add one: You can't train at another school (same art or different art) without asking or mentioning it to the first school. And you can't get KKW registered from another Master who may charge less.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,833
Reaction score
3,095
Location
Northern VA
No I understand. Sometimes its hard to communicate what you are trying to say in just words on paper. I didn't mean it as anything but trying to better explain my thoughts on the matter.

Can you tell me what the thread is called in the general martial arts section so I can read some of it?
Sorry; thought I'd put a link the post there. Etiquette - How far do you carry training hall practices
 
OP
U

ustkdf

White Belt
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri USA
I hope this is one of those stories where the point of the story is more important than whether it factulay accurate. Says a lot for the student and a lot for the instructor as well.

Yes sir. It has been a long time since I heard the story and don't remember the exact specifics, but I think that the basic outline of the story is correct. If you know something about this story that I have either forgotten or gotten wrong, please let me know.
 
Top