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It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For the student who wishes to train in Tae Kwon Do, that step is respect. It is the step which begins the training journey, and which will accompany him throughout his progress as a student. And in time, he will be able to turn and show others how to take that first, most crucial step.

Respect is learned through action. Psychologist Paul Pearsall has observed that motivation follows behavior, it does not precede it. So even a beginning Tae Kwon Do student bows to the flag and his seniors as he enters the do-jang. He may be uncomfortable at first, feeling a bit awkward and unsure of the reason for such a tradition. But in time the action becomes natural -- so much so that he would feel something was missing if he did not bow. The motivation to show respect grows within the student. Through the bow he communicates silently with his instructor and fellow students that he is making the connection with the tradition, the art, and the history of Tae Kwon Do.

Respect is also learned through focusing on common courtesy. The beginning student may wonder at such rules as keeping his nails well-clipped and not wearing jewelry in the do-jang. He may not understand the importance of keeping his uniform clean and neat. But the student who makes the effort to obey these rules will discover something growing within himself: respect for himself, his school, his instructor, and Tae Kwon Do as a whole. These rules were never intended to teach respect themselves, but they do set up the guidelines necessary for a courteous mindset to develop.

Another way the student learns respect is through the step-by-step process of rank promotion. With each promotion the student feels a sense of accomplishment that fosters pride. His confidence increases which develops self-respect. Over the months and years of his training, he discovers talents within himself that he would have never dreamed existed. He begins to see himself as someone of value, with something real to contribute to others. And he begins to feel a desire to help others, seeing in them the same potential he discovered within himself. Self-respect nurtures a healthy respect for others. While rank promotion only seems to serve the individual student, his entire school actually reaps the benefit of his accomplishment.

Our country was founded on respect. The very wording of our Declaration of Independence reflects a deep respect for each man's rights, as well as the necessary positions of authority. But for too many years respect towards people and property has been declining in our country. What it boils down to is people today seem have the desire to be the authority, not to be subject to it. But life simply will not support too many "chiefs" in one tribe. The fact of the matter is that while we each have rights which must be respected, we also have leaders which must be respected. Submitting to authority is not a sign of weakness, it is demonstration of strength. When the moon tries to shine while the sun is in the sky, it frequently goes unnoticed. Only at night -- in the sun's absence -- does it receive admiration.

Ultimately, the student of Tae Kwon Do will find it is his turn to teach respect to the newest students He will learn quickly that respect is not instructed, but demonstrated. Any teacher who does not respect his students cannot expect his students to respect him. Respect is contagious. To teach it best, show it.

Respect is one of the foundational principles of Tae Kwon Do. Through our Tae Kwon Do training, our hope is that our students are learning healthy respect for themselves, their school, and authority.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God And they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  Romans 13:1-2


Tae Kwon Do is the name of the martial art which has been independently developed over about 20 centuries in Korea. The main feature of Tae Kwon Do is that it is a free-fighting combat art using one's bare hands and feet to repel an opponent. [More]

Early Koreans developed unique martial art forms for unarmed self defense to complement their skills with weapons.  The first recorded evidence of what was to become modern Tae Kwon Do is found about two thousand years ago.   A mural painting depicting figures practicing martial arts techniques was found in a tomb [More]
Ji Do Kwan SymbolThe Ji Do Kwan symbol depicts a roly-poly circled within a water lily flower. Although simple in appearance, each element represents multiple aspects of the spirit and philosophy of Ji Do Kwan. [More]
In the Tae Kwon Do Belt System, the progress from White Belt to Black Belt represents the way of life and nature. Each color stands for a specific stage of achievement. We realize the essential concept of oriental philosophy; that what is born must grow, reach maturity, die, and leave behind the seeds or life of new birth. [More]


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