There are five pillars of taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. If you have a hard time remembering them, just know that tied together, they equal respect. For those new to the sport, or even those who have been practicing for years, here are a few simple ways of how to show respect in taekwondo.
Respect Your Instructors
When you refer to your instructors, you should call them either by Instructor or Master. Alternately, Sir or Ma’am. This can be a bit odd at first, especially for adult students that may have younger instructors.
But, just as you would call your teacher by either Ms. or Mr., using the right honorarium is all about respect. Your instructors have years of knowledge and experience. They are investing their free time to teach you because they want to see you succeed.
Another way to show respect to your instructors is to bow to them. This should be done at both the beginning of class and the end of class.
Respect Your Classmates
While you’re ultimately working toward your own goals in taekwondo, you are not in this alone. In fact, it is this composition that makes taekwondo so unique. You learn as a team but the only person you are competing against is yourself.
You can show respect to your classmates by listening to your instructor. Not interrupting allows everyone else to be able to hear what is happening.
You can also encourage your classmates to help motivate them. Think about how you would feel if someone was cheering you on. Use those feelings and make sure other people have a positive experience in the class.
One part of respect in taekwondo that is often overlooked is respect to yourself. Taekwondo takes a lot of time and effort. You should, therefore, make sure you do your best in every class.
From the moment you bow into the mats, you should be ready to listen, work hard, and be your best. Goofing off or not listening wastes your time. At the end of class, you want to leave knowing you’ve practiced and learned something new. This can’t happen if you’re not ready.
One other way to show respect in taekwondo for yourself is to practice at home. It can seem like such a bother, especially when you’re tired or busy. But you don’t actually have to practice for long periods of time. Even 5 to 10 minutes a day will help. Simply run through your pattern a few times or get some good kicks in.
Being in class is about learning new techniques. At home, practice what you have learned and be ready for further instruction. This is the best way to respect what you are capable of doing.