Universal Oath of TaeKwon-Do

  • I shall observe the tenets of TaeKwon-Do.
  • I shall respect the Instructors and Seniors.
  • I shall never misuse TaeKwon-Do.
  • I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
  • I shall build a more peaceful world.
Tenets of TaeKwon-Do

  • Courtesy (Ye Ui) 예의
    Integrity (Yom Chi) 염치
    Perseverance (In Nae) 인냬
    Self-Control (Guk-Gi) 극기
    Indomitable Spirit    (Baekjool Boolgool) 백절불굴
What is TaeKwon-Do?

"TaeKwon-Do" literally means, "Way or Art of hand and foot" Tae means "to smash, kick or destroy with the foot" Kwon means "to smash or destroy with the hand" Do means "way or art".

It is, however, more than this; it is the scientific use of the body in a method of self-defence, conditioning of the body, both physically and mentally, to gain maximum uses of its facilities.

What makes TaeKwon-Do one of the most unique martial arts is it's philosophy. TaeKwon-Do is not just an art of combative skills. It is a way of life.

The philosophy of Taekwon-Do can be summed up by the last two phrases in the ITF Student Oath:

"I shall be a champion of justice and freedom." "I shall build a better and peaceful world."

By practicing Taekwon-Do and living according to its fundamental values, we will become good citizens and be able to create a better world.

The development of the Taekwon-Do philosophy by our Founder General Choi Hong Hi was influenced by oriental philosophers such as Confucius and Lao Tzu, by Buddhism, and by the philosophy of martial arts. However, the fundamental values as expressed in the tenets of Taekwon-Do, are universal.

  Brief History

On April 11th, 1955, the name Taekwon-Do was officially adopted for the martial art General Choi Hong-Hi had developed using elements of the ancient Korean martial art of Taek-Kyon and of Shotokan karate, a martial art he had learned while studying in Japan.

The philosophical values and the goals of TaeKwon-Do are firmly rooted in the traditional moral culture of the Orient. On the technical side, defensive and offensive tactics are based on principles of physics, particularly Newton's Law, which explains how to generate maximum force by increasing speed and mass during the execution of a movement.

Wanting to share the results of his philosophical reflections and his technical experiments, General Choi planned and wrote a unique reference work, the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do. In its fifteen volumes, he explained in detail the rules and practices of this art.

Always striving for excellence, General Choi presented TaeKwon-Do as in a state of continuous evolution, open to changes that would improve its effectiveness. He wrote that anyone who believes he has fully discharged his duty will soon perish. Likewise, any undertaking that is perceived to have reached its objectives is likely to lose momentum, stagnate, and die.

Since the beginning, TaeKwon-Do has never stopped evolving, driven by the strong will and a lot of hard work by its Founder. The leaders of the ITF today also recognize the need to evolve and they are equally passionate about the future of the art.