Students of AXE TKD,

     I have noticed that there seems to be a lack of respect from most people in ALL of the classes. In the first class, aka the "white belt" class, it is understandable because you are learning the basics of TKD which includes the way we, people in TKD, show respect. So, this e-mail is geared towards yellow belts and above, BUT if you are a white belt or yellow stripe you need to know this information and get a head start so you don't get in trouble later on.

     There are many ways to show respect in TKD. Bowing, for instance it lets the person you want/need to talk to know that you are there and WAITING PATIENTLY for them to acknowledge you. Going up to someone and saying, "Hey home diggity dog, how's it going?" IS NOT the right way to greet someone in or out of the dojang regardless of age or rank in TKD.

     When Master Todd walks in the gym, we call the gym to attention. When people are running around or playing games on the bleachers and not stretching or practicing their pattern, that just shows both Master Todd and Mr. Bushor that you are not as serious about TKD as you may want them to notice. Not only does it show them lack of seriousness, it often gets too loud at times when other students are trying to learn. This is disrespectful not only to the instructors and assistant instructors, but also to the students trying to learn; especially the white belts. They are learning the basics, which to those of us that have been in TKD a while seems like nothing; to them it is a lot. They need all the quiet they can get so they can move up in rank and learn everything about TKD that they can...and to make room for new white belts.

     Also, when one class is beginning/ending and you are sitting on the side or in the back you should stand at attention and do the opening/closing ceremony with the other class.

Master F.M. Van Hecke has explained respect in a few simple rules:

“We must acknowledge seniority within our ranks. The following rules generally do not only include the Instructor in class, buy include the Instructor when not in class:

1. When students sit, they should await the seating of their senior before plunking down. Thus, if I have one Black Stripe in a class, I should not see a single Green-belted tail on the carpet before the Black Stripe sits. This rule is strictly observed in the Orient, but it doesn’t really slow them down much; you can sit a mere tenth of a second after your senior and you’ve followed the rule.

2. When students rise from a sitting position, the senior rises first. Here are some other classroom rules:

(a) To enter the workout floor and the dojang, catch the permission of the senior Black Belt. The student is not expected to distinguish between Black Belts of the same rank. But should learn anyway.” (Asking permission is not what we do in our classes because Master Todd feels that it is a waste of your time to stand there waiting to be acknowledged to participate and his time requiring him to stop teaching to acknowledge you. He would rather you be late, bow respectful and line up at the back of the class. ALTHOUGH he would rather you NOT BE LATE at all!)

(b) To leave the workout floor or dojang, the student should obtain permission from the senior Black Belt. This is more liberal in practice because the senior may not be as readily available.” (With this rule, you usually go out of the gym simply by asking your assistant instructor/ instructor. The only exceptions are when it is an emergency, i.e. you are going to get sick.)

3. Students should acknowledge any correction by a senior with thanks.

4. Students should bow appropriately to a senior. Remember that 15 degrees is a Korean bow. One should come to attention before a bow. The person of lower rank initiates the bow, the senior responds and completes his bow, and then the person of lower rank is permitted to resume upright position.

5. Students should stand at attention when asking a question.” (The ONLY time you do not stand at attention is when Master Todd says to stay seated. Any other time, even when you are meditating, you stand at attention!)

6. Students should generally not initiate conversation during a class. They can raise hands if seeking attention. If recognized by the instructor, the student should come to attention, bow, and then ask permission to state the question or make the observation. “Sir, may I ask a question?” “Ma’am, may I make a comment?” They should continue at attention until permitted to return to position by the instructor, and should never sit back down (if they were sitting before they came to attention) without permission. Instructors should develop the habit of scanning the environment for students “stuck” in attention position to give permission to go about their business, re-seat themselves, etc., and should as a matter of routine say, “You may return to position (or be seated)” on completion of an answer to a question.”

     There are many more ways to show respect in TKD, but these are just the major ones that get looked upon and discussed before your next testing whether it be three or six months or even years till your next testing. Yes, everyone is not perfect. That is why there are friendly black belts to help you along. But don't worry...there is always a higher ranking students willing to help them out as well. All of these rules about respect may not seem like a big deal so someone just starting out in TKD, but when they get into it they start to learn why we give the respect we do. It is because so much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears...and a majority of their life went into achieving what they have today.

     If you have any questions concerning respect or etiquette please contact me in class or you can email me at arbowing11@hotmail.com

Very Respectfully,

April Bowing, III Dan

P.S. Just a few friendly reminders...1) remember to SIGN IN to BOTH the Youth Center AND our class sign in sheet and 2) don't run up to someone without bowing first!



Last modified: 11/2/2008 Send mail to ustfneb@cox.net with questions or comments about this web site.