A major aspect of Martial Arts is RESPECT. That includes respect for the art, respect for the culture of the art, respect for the founder of the art, respect for all who have studied the art in the past, respect for your instructor, respect for your fellow students, respect for your training, respect for your nation, and respect for yourself. It is the respect of ALL life. That respect demonstrates itself outwardly in COURTESY towards others.

Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do are traditional Martial Arts. They are practiced traditionally. That means with Respect and according to traditional values and customs. The following is a list of Moo Duk Kwan traditions, values and etiquette that show Respect.

These rules of etiquette include those generally practiced around the world. Some Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do Kwan may be less formal in their practice of etiquette, but it's best to know the proper respect so that you can demonstrate it wherever you may train.

Respect Upon Entering the Do Jang

You should show Respect for Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do immediately upon entering the Do Jang (training hall). Stand at attention (Cha Ryut). Hold your hand over your heart and bow toward the flags on the Do Jang wall. The flags normally include your national flag, the Moo Duk Kwan flag and the Korean national flag. After you bow toward the flags, quietly enter the Do Jang. Repeat the bow towards the flag each time you leave and re-enter the Do Jang. It is a sign of respect and humility (Kyum Son).

You show proper respect toward the Martial Arts by concentrating on the training at hand. That means not talking about outside events or issues. It means concentrating (Chung Shin Ton Il) on the mental and physical aspects of training in Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do. It helps create an atmosphere in the Do Jang of internal peace (Jong Sook).

Show respect to senior members of the school (Kwan) by bowing to them. The bow is from the waist at about 45 degrees. Your hands are at your side showing trust as well as respect. Junior members (Hu Beh) bow first. Senior members (Sun Beh Nim) return the bow. Junior members should also bow to a senior member when he/she enters the Do Jang. Junior members should bow from the attention position (Cha Ryut).

If you are late to class, enter the Do Jang quietly and humbly. Stand at the door at attention. Bow in the direction of the flags. Remain at attention until your instructor recognizes you. When he does, immediately bow to him or her. Then, walk quietly behind the other members of the class until you reach your appropriate place.

Respect During Class

Students line up according to seniority. The most senior member of the class is at the right. The least senior member of the class is at the left. Other members line up between those people according to their seniority.

The instructor or senior student will begin class by calling all to attention (Cha Ryut), bowing to the flag (Kuk Gi Bay Ray), returning to ready stance (Ba Ro), sitting (An Jo), meditating (Muk Nyum), returning to ready stance (Ba Ro), bowing to the master instructor (Sa Bom Nim Kay Kyung Ret), bowing to the certified instructor (Kyo Sa Nim Kay Kyung Ret), and, possibly, bowing to the senior member (Sun Beh Nim Kay Kyung Ret).

You will receive some personal instruction from the instructor and senior members during class. Junior members must stand at attention as they receive instruction from a senior member (if possible). The junior member should bow and thank the senior member for the time they took to give personal instruction. This demonstrates respect and appreciation. A junior member should never correct a senior member.

All members of the class should bow to the instructor when he or she enters the Do Jang. The most senior member of the class should call the students to attention (Cha Ryut) and command them to bow to the instructor (Kyo Sa Nim Kay Kyung Ret or Sa Bom Nim Kay Kyung Ret). All class members should then bow to the instructor who will return the bow.

Sparring and One-Steps in class and formal competitions at tournaments are other important times of showing respect. Bow toward your instructor (Kyo Sa Nim Kay Ryung Ret or Sa Bom Nim Kay Kyung Ret) and toward your partner (Sahng Ho Kan E Kyung Ret) upon command in class. If you are involved in competition, bow to the judge or examiner (Shim Sa Kwan Nim Ge Kyung Ret) upon command. If you have the privilege and honor of being in the presence of Grand Master Hwang Kee, bow to him (Kwan Jang Nim Kay Kyung Ret) upon command.

Junior members should pay respect to the most senior class member at the end of training. All members should bow to the instructor at the end of class. That shows respect and appreciation for the time the instructor took to pass along the wisdom and knowledge of the Martial Art.

Respect at Other Times

Respect for Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do does not stop after class. It is way of life. Martial Artists should show respect for their art, their teacher, and their fellow students at all times. Here are a few examples:

If you are entering the office of your instructor, knock first. Stand at attention and wait for the instructor to acknowledge your presence. Bow to your instructor before entering the office. Stand at attention unless your instructor invites you to sit. It is your instructor's responsibility to show respect for you by inviting you to sit. Continue to show respect as you sit before your instructor. Do not slouch. Do not begin a conversation until your instructor recognizes you. Speak quickly of your business and use "Sir" or "Ma'am" often. When the conversation is over, thank your instructor and back out of the office. When you reach the door, bow towards your instructor and leave. If you see your instructor or a senior member in public, politely bow and offer your hand in a handshake to express respect. The instructor or senior member should return the bow and handshake. Speak to them respectfully as you would in class. If you speak with your instructor or a senior member on the phone, continue to show respect by using "Sir" or "Ma'am."

Copyright , Mark McGee, 1995-99 / [email protected]  Last Updated: 12/25/1998


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