The Philosophy of TaeKwon-Do (TaeKwon-Do Chul Hak) originates from the ‘Moral Culture‘ and History of TaeKwon-Do as described by General Choi Hong-Hi in the encyclopaedia. This included a brief introduction:
1.Be willing to go where the going may be tough
2.Be gentle to the weak and tough to the strong
3.Be content with material possessions but never in skills
4.Always finish what you begin
5.Be a willing teacher to anyone
6.Never yield a noble cause to threat or repression
7.Always be consistent even though circumstances may change
Moral Culture (Jungshin Sooyang)
The “Moral Culture” that General Choi Hong-Hi described in his Encyclopaedia of TaeKwon-Do, includes the teachings of Confucius who taught to behave with faithfulness and sincerity, so as to “completely eliminate vicious thinking”. Adapted from the encyclopaedia:
Humanity – To offer compassion for the misfortunes of others.
Righteousness – The understanding of what is right and wrong. Only with righteousness, can one begin to correct what is wrong.
Courtesy – To be respectful of other individuals and also to respect oneself.
Wisdom – The ability to judge using experience, right acts from wrong ones. This applies not only in other individuals, but also in oneself.
Trust – The ability to keep ones’ word and maintain consistency or integrity. To be trustworthy is to be worthy of the trust that another person may place with you.
Position – There are two kinds: Social and Moral. In Western Culture the social is seen as more important than the moral. Through enlightened thinking however, a person can only judged on their moral standing.
Greed – This is insatiable and is never satisfied. Be content with the material wealth you own. Strive only to acquire better physical skill and a greater ‘Moral Culture’.
Humility – To be humble is to be like a valley where water flows in and nourishes the life of plants. Stubborn pointless pride is like a mountain: barren and lifeless.
Criticism – No person is wise from birth. We make mistakes and by living, correct these, either by self-discovery or by accepting teaching from one’s seniors.
Adaptability – A willow tree bends under pressure ensuring that it does not snap or uproot, as would happen to a proud oak tree. Water is formless and adapts to where it finds itself in, yet cannot be snapped or broken.
Respect – Without an older generation, there would be no younger generation. The young are branches of a tree that must remember their roots and history.
Be Just – To the ordinary man, life is most valuable and death is most fearful. However, to the righteous man, the correct path is more important, above life and death.
Happiness – Lao-Tze stated that without sadness, one cannot experience happiness because the natural world is based on contrasts.
Actions – A man of virtue expresses himself in what he does rather than what he says.
Clarity of thought – A clear pond becomes muddy when agitated. Once settled, it becomes clear again.
Loyalty – Irrespective of whether you believe your Instructor to be correct, a loyal Student stands by their Instructors regardless, following the example of Po-Eun.
Tenets of TaeKwon-Do (Jungshin)
The Student Oath
I shall observe the Tenets of TaeKwon-Do, I shall Respect the Instructor and Seniors, I shall Never Misuse TaeKwon-Do, I shall Be a Champion of Freedom and Justice, I shall Build a more Peaceful World.
“TaeKwonDo” by General Choi Hong-Hi.