The philosophy of Taekwondo represent the principles of changes and movements in human beings. It can be explained in several ways but here we will explain it simply with the principle of “Sam Jae” (three elements) and that of “Eum” (Negative or Darkness) and “Yang” (the positive and the brightness). “Sam Jae” refers to “Cheon” (the heaven), “Ji” (earth), and “In” (the man). In oriental countries, the philosophical principles of Taekwondo are recognized as the central principle that explains changes of everything in the world.
The Five Tenets of Taekwondo are:
1. Courtesy (Ye Eui):
Courtesy is behavior that demonstrates consideration, cooperation, respect, and generosity towards others and towards oneself. • Examples: Bowing at beginning/end of class; Saying thank you; Doing chores; Greeting parents/teachers; Positive self-talk; Maintaining good/positive physical/mental hygiene.
2. Integrity (Yom Chi):
Integrity is being able to define right from wrong, stand incorruptible and have the conscience, if wrong to feel guilt and apologize. Integrity also applies to being honest with ourselves.
• Examples: Never cheating; Not lying; Never stealing; Avoiding self-deception; Admitting to self when upset; Admitting wrong/mistake; Apologizing
.3. Perseverance (In Nae):
Perseverance is the ability to persist in pursuing something in spite of obstacles or opposition and to have the patience to do so. Moreover, having perseverance is having a belief that traits can be developed with effort and hard work (growth mindset) and grit (passion + perseverance = grit).
• Examples: Never giving up on your passion; Persisting through difficulties; Continuing training even if you are tired; Refusing to quite even when there are difficulties/ obstacles.
4. Self-Control (Geuk Gi):
Self-control is the ability to control our responses to our emotions as well as having control of body. Self-control is also exercising restraint over one’s impulses, also known as self-discipline.
• Examples: Thinking before acting; Not hitting others or self out of anger or frustration; Maintaining focus during meditation; Performing techniques with proper execution and accuracy; Practicing poomsae with coordination, balance, power, speed, etc.
5. Indominable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool):
Indominable spirit, commonly referred to as courage, describes a spirit incapable of being subdued or overcome and is associated with being modest and honest. It persists in spite of fear and hesitation to demonstrate courage.
• Examples: Telling parents about problems; Seeking help; Telling someone how you truly feel; Competing in a tournament; Saying no to friends; Acting with integrity when others do not or when no one is looking.