The Korea Taekwondo Association Code of Etiquette

Etiquette is an expression, through actions, of one’s mind respecting the other party’s personality, constituting a lofty and valuable basic attitude in a man. The Code of Etiquette established by the Korea Taekwondo Association is aimed at encouraging Taekwondoin to behave themselves like a person of etiquette, always trying hard to cultivate a righteous and decent character in them so that the entire Taekwondo family throughout the world may follow their examples, in the same dobok (uniform) and belt.

Individuals gathering together make a group or organization. An organization can be maintained by firmly established discipline. A group of youngsters especially needs far more discipline and order. The youth’s overflowing passion can be tempered only through a reinforced moral education, which starts by the training of etiquette. Etiquette should be based on an upright mind and modest attitude. One should get rid of mean attitudes, showing only modest attitudes, which is an important part of etiquette.

Decent and accurate speech, graceful conduct, upright and moderate attitudes are all the essentials of etiquette deserving a healthy modern life. Etiquette is also the source of maintaining harmony and solidarity for a community life.

To that end, the Korea Taekwondo Association felt it necessary to establish the Code of Etiquette.


  • Taekwondo Bow and Upright Posture:In an attention posture, one bows the head by 45 degrees. The upper body should bend at the waist by 15 degrees. The back soles of both feet stick together firmly. 
  • Bowing while sitting on the floor of the dojang, in a room, or living room: If a senior is seated, one should kneel down and bow. When a senior enters, one should rise up, showing courtesy by standing upright, and then kneels down to bow before the senior. If one is to serve as a member of attendants, he should all the time keep following the senior. When entering a room, an attendant guides the senior and stops for a while at the door so that the senior may pass in front of him to step aside, and then immediately follows the senior from behind. If the senior is to be seated, the attendant must first watch the place to sit down to ensure the senior will be seated at ease. Even during a meeting, the attendant should always keep watching the senior from his position to be able to respond quickly to any sign of help by the senior. When a senior talks, one should take an attitude of listening carefully, let alone paying a careful attention even to a junior’s words. 
  • Drinking and smoking:When a senior offers a glass of wine or liquor, one must receive the glass in a modest attitude and turns the head slightly aside before drinking. If one feels fairly intoxicated, he should leave the seat lest he should make any blunder. One should be careful not to commit any rash acts according to his own mood, whether agreeable or disagreeable. When one smokes in front of a senior, he should take care not to offend the senior with an act of insulting. 
  • Instructor’s Attitudes:(1) The head of the dojang or an instructor must become a model of respectably personality.

    (2) The head of the dojang or an instructor must always keep it in mind that every speech and behavior of his is watched closely and imitated by his trainees.

    (3) An instructor should be prudent not to speak ill of or slander his fellow instructors and/or his seniors in front of the trainees.

    (4) Any speech and behavior not conforming with the Code of Etiquette should be abstained in front of the trainees.

    (5) The trainees must be infused with a hope, ideal and objective which will be kept in mind all the time.

    (6) The attitudes of the chief instructor and assistant instructors should always be clear and candid.

    (7) Any lie or occasional trick should be avoided.

    (8) An instructor should not be talkative before trainees.

    (9) The instructor should pay much attention to the status of trainees’ homes and their troubles, if any, in order to help them improve the situation.

    (10) The instructor should rely more on consulting than on commanding.

    (11) The instructor should draw a line between official and personal affairs.

    (12) The head of the dojang and instructors should refrain from luxury, vanity, pleasure, gambling, overdrinking, etc. and show a frugal and industrious life.

    (13) The head of the dojang and instructors should take the initiative to contribute to the development of the community.

    (14) The head of the dojang, instructors, high Dan grade holders, Dan holders and all other Taekwondo practitioners should endeavor to practice one by one what they have learned about mental cultivation and attitudes such as ethical manhood, justice, faith modesty and non-betrayal in their daily life.


  • Norms of conduct at the dojang:Upon entering the dojang, one must first salute the national flag (by laying the right hand on the left side of the chest) and then to his seniors in rank order. Inside the dojang, one must try to create an atmosphere of quietness and solemnity. The dobok must be always treated dearly. It is advised not to go out of the dojang in the dobok except in the case of urgence. Inside the dojang, one must use polite language towards the head of the dojang, instructors and his seniors in rank, regardless of their age. 
  • The dobok:The dobok must be clean and put on neatly during training. If the dobok is disarranged, one must stop his actions and tun around to correct his wear. 
  • Dress and looks: One must always keep himself dressed neatly. A special attention must be paid to whether or not the buttons and the necktie are loosened. One should be in full dress when he attends the ceremonies of competition meets, promotion tests and other events. Neat hair and clean footwear are a must for Taekwondoin. One should habituate oneself to a clean and modest life. One should ensure that his looks and dress will not show off laziness. One should refrain oneself from pursuing fashion blindly. 
  • In society and at home:A Taekwondoin must try to observe the Code of Etiquette not only at the dojang but also in school, social meetings and at home. A Taekwondoin must know how to express the attitudes of etiquette toward his teachers, seniors, colleagues and also his juniors. 
  • During conversations:One must take a polite attitude with the chest opened while sitting face to face with the other party for a dialogue. One should choose refined words in conservation. One should show a smiling look in conversation, heeding not to displease the other party. One should talk logically and calmly in a low tone as much as the other party can hear. The topic must be something attracting the other party’s interest, occasionally inserting humors and wits. One should refrain from using inadequate foreign words. One should take precaution not to make spit scatter around while talking. One should be especially careful in calling the other party’s social title. It is important first to listen carefully to the other party’s opinion and then put forth his own opinion and insistence after prudent consideration. It is undesirable to interrupt the other party while talking. One should avoid staring at the other party with a look of disdain. Even a senior should be careful not to tap the other party or touch the latter’s body or make excessive hand signs during a conversation. 
  • Telephone calls:When one makes a telephone call, he should address himself first and then confirm the other party who is calling. Receiving a telephone call, one should respond immediately by declaring his position and name and then ask who is wanted. A telephone conversation should be brief and accurate. One should be habituated to make notes of important points during the telephone conversation. 
  • Paying a visit: An advance notice is necessary before paying a visit to others, regardless of the other party’s position, high or low. Except for unavoidable circumstances, one should refrain from fixing the time of visit for Sunday or other public holidays, early morning, late at night, or meal time. One had better avoid bad weather on the day of visit. One should finish his business briefly during the visit and leave soon. If the visited person looks busy or uncomfortable, the visitor had better leave the place as soon as possible without bothering further. 
  • At the table:One should keep the body upright while sitting at the table. One should refrain from talking while taking a meal, if possible. One should commence eating after a senior has begun eating. Even among friends, the visitor should be treated with etiquette. One should refrain from making a noisy sound while picking up a spoon, drinking or chewing food. One should avoid keeping the mouth opened to be seen eating by others. One may not leave the table during the meal. One should wait at the table, if possible, until the time of ending the meal by the other party. 
  • At social occasions:In introducing a junior, it is advised to sound the senior’s readiness in advance. A third party who is going to introduce a person to another should not be talkative. The one who is to be introduced must wait before speaking out until the introducer’s remarks finish. One may shake hands only when an elder or a senior shows first his willingness to do so. Between a male and a female, a handshake depends entirely on the willingness of the female side. In shaking hands, a tight grip should be avoided.Getting into a car: In a car, a senior will be seated on the back and opposite side of the chauffeur’s seat, the second senior just behind the chauffeur, the third in between the two and the last in seniority just beside the chauffeur. In case of an owner driver, the seat beside the driver has the first priority for a senior. At the time of getting in a car, an attendant must help the senior enter the car first, and at the destination, also attend the senior by getting off first.


  • During an attendance: In guiding a senior, one should precede a step forward with a humble attitude.

Enacted May 7, 1971 by the Korea Taekwondo Association