Taekwondo may only have started to appear in the mid-20th Century but, like most martial arts, there is a solid code of ethics or commandments if you will, that one must abide by when taking TaeKwonDo.
What are the 10 Commandments of TaeKwondo?
- Be Loyal To Your Country
- Respect To Your Parents
- Be Faithful to Your Spouse
- Respect Your Brothers and Sisters
- Be Loyal To Your Friends
- Be Respectful to Your Elders
- Respect and Trust Your Teachers
- Never Take Life unjustly
- Never Retreat in Battle
- Finish What You Start
- Respect all living things
While many of them are fairly self-explanatory, I also want to give a brief overview of what a particular commandment means, and perhaps a few ideas as to why the commandment exists.
Be Loyal To Your Country
Without going too much into the backstory of Taekwondo, the first time this martial art was officially recognized was when the Korean government wished to introduce the practice into the military.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that ‘loyalty to your country’ is one of the top commandments. Back when Taekwondo really took off, if you learned it, you were fighting for your country. Of course, nowadays, the martial art is practiced outside of the military.
However, the commandment still rings true. No matter where you are practicing martial arts, you must respect the country you live in. You must help to defend the country if it is threatened. The strength of countries is heavily dictated by how loyal the citizens are.
Respect Your Parents
Your parents brought you into this world. They have a lot to teach you. They have sacrificed a lot in order to raise you. This is something that you need to respect. You need to cause the minimum amount of hassle for your parents. You shouldn’t make them worry unnecessarily.
You shouldn’t have them clean up after your messes. In their old age, you need to provide them with the love and care that they gave you when you were a child. You must love your parents unconditionally. Things may get bad on occasion, but your parents will always be there for you.
Be Faithful to Your Spouse
Once you are married, that is it. You are loyal to your spouse to the very end. You treat them exactly how they deserve to be treated. This means with the love and care that you promised them on the day you were married.
This means absolutely no cheating on your spouse. You shouldn’t even be letting your eyes wander. You have committed yourself to one person for the rest of your life.
Respect Your Brothers and Sisters
Your brothers and sisters are your family. Friends will go. Lovers will go. Your family will always be there for you. You should respect your family ties. Show your brothers and sisters that you love them. Help them in their time of need.
If you somehow manage to break contact with your brothers and sisters, as can happen on occasion, then you need to re-initiate contact as soon as possible. Siblings argue. This is natural.
However, it is not something that should turn into a long term issue. You need to make up as soon as possible. You need to be there for one another. If anything, being there for one another will also show respect towards your parents.
Be Loyal To Your Friends
You do not choose your family, but you do choose your friends. They have chosen you too. You have asked for that person to be in your life, and that person has opened themselves up to you.
At all times, you need to respect this bond. You do not do anything to ‘cheat’ your friends. You do not lie to them. You treat them as you want to be treated. Even when the friendship starts to wane, you should always be there for them. This is what you pledged to do.
Be Respectful to Your Elders
This commandment can be viewed in one of two ways. The first is that your elders have been around for a long time. They have stories. They have experiences. They have knowledge.
If you respect them, you will be able to learn from this knowledge and become a far better person as a result. Secondly, your elders have worked hard to give you the world that you live in. The future is, of course, built upon the backs of those that came before.
It may not seem like it to you, but your elders will have worked immensely hard to change the world for the better. You need to respect this. You will be making the same changes later on.
Respect and Trust Your Teachers
This is a pretty simple commandment to understand. Your teachers are there to help you to get better and to improve as a person. They want to help you improve whatever skill they are teaching you (this doesn’t have to be Taekwondo). Success is not made in a bubble.
Every single successful person on this planet has had a good teacher behind them. If you respect your teacher’s teachings, then you will go far in this life. If you are not willing to listen, then you will falter.
Of course, when you are practicing Taekwondo, it also indicates that you should be listening to what your teachers have to say. Even if you think you know better, you really don’t.
Never Take Life Unjustly
We can’t imagine that this is a commandment that many of our readers will pay that much attention too. After all, most people would never contemplate taking another life, let alone be placed in a situation where this may happen.
However, once again, we want to draw your attention to the fact that Taekwondo is a martial art that is heavily rooted in the Korean Military. There, you may have to face this job.
This commandment is telling you that you shouldn’t kill a person lightly. If anything, if you do hurt another person, it should only be in self-defense or to protect others. And then, you should only be taking a life if you simply have no other choice. If you can deescalate a situation in a different way, then that is what you should be doing.
Remember; this doesn’t just apply to the taking of a human’s life. It can also apply to the taking of any other life on this planet. Be it a small or large animal, or maybe even a plant.
If you do take a life, then it needs to be absolutely necessary. This Taekwondo commandment is really about teaching us to respect the planet that we live on.
Never Retreat in Battle
This is yet another commandment that is heavily rooted in the military origins of Taekwondo. Although, of course, it could apply to our day to day lives too. This commandment is telling us that if you enter a battle, you need to see it through to the end. It doesn’t matter whether the end of the battle is good or bad for you.
What matters is that you have the strength to see the fight through to its conclusion. That takes the will of a strong person. If you ever watch Taekwondo being practiced, you will see that even when the loser is being pummelled rather hard, they do not give up. They do not retreat. Apply that to your daily life, and you will be so much happier. We promise you.
Finish What You Start
This is a Taekwondo commandment that can be seen one of two ways. On one hand, it could indicate that you should never enter a battle unless you know that you can finish it. However, we feel that this is covered a little by the previous commandment.
We, instead, like to see it as more motivational. It is telling you that no matter what life throws you, you need to power through and deal with it. You do not give up at the slightest inkling of trouble.
If you start something, then you are going to finish it. It doesn’t matter how difficult it can get. You started for a reason.
It is worth noting that, once again like other martial arts, the commandments of Taekwondo are meant to have an impact on your day-to-day life away from the sport. They are there to help you to become a better person and, if you live by these commandments, you will be much happier in your day to day life.