Tenets of Taekwondo

A 'tenet' is a doctrine or principle - ideas that can guide behaviour and action. The calligraphy however, indicates that these are not just a list of items to follow but they are Taekwondo's '精神' (Jīngshén in Mandarin, Jungshin in Korean) or the spirit of Taekwondo.

Spirit is used synonymous with 'essence' - and indicates the core of our physical and mental practice.

The individual Tenets of Taekwondo are: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit.


(Lǐ yì) Courtesy or dojang etiquette is seeking excellence in manner and thought within the dojang and beyond. Walking a path for you to prepare your mind for practice, and then bringing this mindset along with you wherever you go. Courtesy is the openness of spirit.


廉正 (Liánzhèng) integrity refers to moral and ethical principles. Integrity is about having honesty, saying what you will do and doing what you've said. It is focusing on  progress while quietening self-defeating thoughts as you experience them. Integrity is clarity of spirit.


忍耐 (rěnnài) means to endure, to tolerate, to recognize that you can control and will yourself to keep pushing past temporary pain and setbacks to progress ahead. Perseverance is to have spiritual courage.

Self Control

A loss of 克己 (Kèjǐ)  self control can be disastrous in the dojang and in daily life. However, the tenet of self control is about adopting a mindset allowing you to focus and apply yourself to the best of your ability. This tenet is not only about not doing the wrong thing - but doing the right thing when the time comes. Self control is to seek spiritual discipline.

Indomitable Spirit

百折不屈 (Bǎi zhé bùqū) Indomitable Spirit is that which allows you to be unconquerable, to never be dominated. You give yourself up to a system or belief or creed and draw from the strength of your faith. Absorb an external power so you could be broken a hundred times yet refusing to yield. You are more than the sum of your parts. This is the spirit of faith.


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