It would seem incomplete writing about Taekwondo when the tenets of Taekwondo are not mentioned. They are a golden set of rules where all Taekwondo exponents should abide by. In most dojangs around the world, these tenets in large print are hung out for its members so that they would be a reminder to them all the time.
The Tenets of Taekwondo are:
Courtesy is actually politeness. A Taekwondo exponent is polite to his Instructor, seniors, his equals and to all his associates even if they are strangers. Nothing is worse than a good martial artist with a bad attitude or manners. Only when one is polite, can one really show respect and consideration for others. This is in line with the Asian culture of respecting the elders.
Perseverance is always striving to do your best. A Taekwondo exponent is patient, determined and perseverant. In training his aim is to learn and master the techniques through long hours of training. It may take him many months or years, but he is never tired of his training and practices till one day his perseverance pays off by his ability to execute that technique with perfection.
Humility is not to think of yourself more highly than you should. A Taekwondo exponent learns to be humble and accepts correction from his Instructors and seniors. He is not proud though he possesses an art which not all can achieve. In Taekwondo, the higher you climb in rank, the more humble you are expected to become.
Self-control is maintaining your temper and keeping your cool always even in awkward situation. A Taekwondo exponent disciplines himself till he has self-control. He knows that being a practitioner of Taekwondo he possesses a skill which can be dangerous and can hurt others which will invariably bring shame to the art and the club. He is not annoyed if he is accidentally punched or kicked by his fellow members in the class. Should he be involved in an unpleasant situation, he will keep his cool and no amount of provocation will make him lift his hand to strike unless he is left with no choice.
Integrity is keeping your promises and being trustworthy. A Taekwondo exponent is honest and truthful. He knows what is and what is not expected of him. He is aware of his capabilities and limitations. He does not pretend to be able to do something he cannot do and is not ashamed to admit them. This, of course, should not be confined to the class alone but also out in real life.
A Taekwondo exponent has confidence and will have the power and the spirit to ‘fight’ till the end for a worthy cause. He will never give up even if he meets an opponent much stronger and faster than him. Nothing will ever make him quit till he subdues all his enemies and tastes the sweet victory himself.