Taekwon-Do Etiquette

As a result of its oriental and military background a certain etiquette has developed in Taekwon-Do, such as bowing and the way we shake hands with a senior. This allows us to distinguish senior from junior grade and to enable us to show respect to our seniors. It is important that we visibly show our respect and are willing to humble ourselves.

This is what makes I.T.F. Taekwon-Do a martial art and it distinguishes us from a group of thugs only interested in fighting.


Some new members find this difficult to understand and may feel that it is just a power trip for the instructor. It is in fact the opposite, it is there to remind us to be humble and to stop us developing an ego or turning into a show off. Remember we are all students of Taekwon-Do and these forms of etiquette apply to us all, black belts included. Instructors show this etiquette to their seniors. These are a few of the major forms of etiquette which as students of Taekwon-Do we will encounter.


We always bow to our partner before and after we practice together. We bow to the instructor at the beginning and end of the class. We should wait until the instructor raises their head before we raise ours. We should always bow when they approach or leave a senior. When leaving a senior grade we should bow, take three steps back and then turn. We bow when entering and leaving the Do-jang.


Never call a senior by their first name. Always Master, Mr., Miss or Ma’am. This applies both inside and outside of Taekwon-Do. If we meet our instructor in the street we still must call them by their second name otherwise they are just empty words in the Do jang.

Hand on Hips

We never stand with our hands on our hips when in the presence of a senior.


When shaking hands with a senior we should place the back of the left hand under the right elbow. Always wait until a senior offers to shake our hand. We should try to never force a senior to shake your hand by offer your hand first!


We should always offer our seat to a senior if they are without one. Never sit down before your seniors are seated.

Stand Up

We should always stand up when a senior(most senior present at the moment) enters the room or approaches us. If the most senior is present already, then it is not necessary to stand for a person entering the room which is their junior, though they may be a Master or of higher rank to you.....

Receiving Two Hands

Always give and receive from a senior with two hands.

Etiquette is the most important, valuable and fundamental aspect in one's life. Etiquette is that hidden element which comes spontaneously from within a person's heart and is expressed in actions, behavior and/or speech. It is associated with personality and character building. Etiquette is not something, which is forced upon someone to abide by rules and regulations, but it is that element which flows naturally and automatically to make a person more readily accepted in our society. Etiquette enriches one's quality of life and thus gives a person peace and tranquility not only to oneself but also to society at large.

A high degree of etiquette should be observed by students, both inside and outside dojang. This should be applied by lower ranking students to senior students while training, by higher ranking students to elder students outside of the dojang, and by all students when visiting another dojang.

In all cases, emphasis should be placed on correct and proper salutation. It is a form of respect and courtesy in Western as well as Oriental societies.

  It is indeed poor taste for a black belt to slight a beginning white belt who might very well be the instructor's senior in both age and station. Students visiting other dojangs, whether they be Taekwon-Do or other martial arts, must pay proper respect and observe the traits of modesty and courtesy at all times.


in the dojang

1. When students bow they must first stand to attention (feet form a 45 degree angle). Fists are lightly clenched, bending the elbows slightly. Bend the body forward 15 degrees.


2. In the dojang, while sitting in the company of senior members (senior means higher ranking TKD students or an elderly person) one must maintain proper posture. In case of any senior member entering the room one must stand immediately and bow. You take your seat only after the senior member has sat down.


3. When entering a dojang, bow first to the Instructor, then the assistant instructors and the flag. Even when visiting other Martial Arts dojangs, students must show proper respect and observe the traits of modesty and courtesy at all times.


4. In the dojang, you should refrain from making excessive noise and attempt to build a serious training environment.

"Ye Jol"


"Ye" (etiquette) is an essential spirit in Taekwon-Do training.


Taekwon-Do practice must begin and end with etiquette. Ye is abbreviation of Kyongnye. Ye denotes the way that all human beings must follow. It is the fundamental base on which human spirit stands. That is respect for humanity.


Etiquette is an expression, through actions, of one's mind respecting the other party's personality, constituting a lofty and valuable basic attitude in a man.

A code of etiquette is aimed at encouraging Taekwondoist to behave themselves like a person of etiquette, always trying hard to cultivate a righteous and decent character in them so that everyone throughout the world may follow their examples. Children especially need far more discipline and order. The child’s overflowing enthusiasm can be tempered only through reinforced moral education, which starts by the training of etiquette.

Etiquette should be based on an upright mind and modest attitude. One should get rid of mean attitudes, showing only modest attitudes, which is an important part of etiquette.Decent and accurate speech, graceful conduct, upright and moderate attitudes are all the essentials of etiquette deserving a healthy modern life. Etiquette is also the source of maintaining harmony and solidarity for community life.

Canadian Elite Taekwon-Do Federation, I.N.O. # 239

8500 Torbram Rd., Unit 60, Brampton, Ontario, L6T 5C6

Phone: 1 (613)983-2330