The English Name of the organization “International Taekwon-Do Federation” is inscribed
around the globe to imply that the ITF is a world-wide organization and that Taekwon-Do is a
martial art practiced world wide. There is a blue circle and two half circles inside it, one on
the top and one on the bottom. The top circle represents heaven and the bottom circle
represents earth. The blue background symbolizes righteous and pure spirit to be nurtured
by Taekwon-Do practitioners. In between these two there is the image of a fist and "Tae"
and "Kwon" in Korean on ether side of it. A wavy line connects heaven to earth though
Taekwon-Do. Around this image we have International Taekwon-Do Federation in English.
General Choi in the Korean War
Gen. Choi Hong Hi is mentioned in the book From Pusan to
Panmunjom: Wartime Memoirs of the Republic of Korea's First
Four-Star General and is written by Gen. Paik Sun Yup. On page
142, Gen. Paik states: "When I took over ROK I Corps, my major
staff officers included Brig. Gen. Chang Chang Kuk as deputy
corps commander, Brig. Gen. CHOI HONG HI as chief of staff,
Col. Kim Pyong On as G-1, Col. Shin Chae Sik as G-2, Col. Kong
Kuk Chin as G-3, and Col. Kim Yong Taek as G-4. This group of
select, competent officers was unmatched anywhere in the ROK
- To study the theory of power thoroughly (Reaction Force, Concentration, Balance, Breath Control, Sine
Wave, and Speed).
- To understand the purpose and method of each movement clearly.
- To bring the movement of the eyes, hands, feet and breath into a single coordinated action.
- To choose the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot.
- To become familiar with the correct angle and distance for attack and defense.
- Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while the movement is in motion.
- All movements must begin with a backward motion with very few exceptions. However, once the
movement is in motion it should not be stopped before reaching the target.
- To create a sine wave during the movement by utilizing the knee spring properly.
- To exhale briefly at the moment of each blow except a connecting motion.
- Never tire of learning. A good student can learn anywhere, any time. This is the secret of knowledge.
- A good student must be willing to sacrifice for his art and instructor. Many students feel that their
training is a commodity bought with monthly dues, and are unwilling to take part in demonstrations,
teaching and working around the do jang. An instructor can afford to lose this type of student.
- Always set a good example for lower ranking students. It is only natural they will attempt to emulate
- Always be loyal and never criticize the instructor, Taekwon-Do or the teaching methods.
- If an instructor teaches a technique, practise it and attempt to utilize it.
- Remember that a student's conduct outside the do jang reflects on the art and instructor.
- If a student adopts a technique from another do jang and the instructor disapproves of it the student
must discard it immediately or train at the gym where the technique was learned.
- Never be disrespectful to the instructor. Though a student is allowed to disagree with instructor, the
student must first follow the instruction and then discuss the matter latter.
- A student must always be eager to learn and ask questions.
- Never betray the instructor.
Charter of Taekwon-Do
PREAMBLE Since Taekwon-Do is an art of self defence which aims at a noble moral rearmament, high degree of intellectual achievement, graceful techniques, formidable
power and beauty of physical form, it can be considered as a part of one's daily life, just as are breathing and thinking. As the founder of Taekwon-Do, I would like to
define its philosophy, principles, and purposes so that these might be applied to bring about the flowering of morality, beauty, and power in harmony with the immortal
PART 1. Through scientific practice of Taekwon-Do one can significantly improve his health and nourish his intellect. One can be in a position to aid others in the cause of
justice, thereby promoting social ethics and morals, thus helping to bring about a happier and more peaceful society.
PART 2. In order to come to terms with life, in spite of its detestable aspects, and with the idea of death, one ought to continue studying the art of Taekwon-Do to learn
techniques of power and grace, and to enlarge his spiritual realm. This the motivations to study shall be an inheritance to limitless value succeeding generations.
PART 3. Human beings come into the world with simple needs and desires. They need not become avaricious but ought to remain always humble and merciful, never
compromise their principles, nor be swayed by selfish motives, to insure freedom and independence of Taekwon-Do so that it will be passed on in its pure form.
PART 4. Since all students of the art are subject to the same rules of conduct and judged according to the same criteria regardless of their stations in life, their origins,
and their religious convictions, they demonstrate to the world the essential equality and brotherhood of man.
PART 5. Modern society is characterized by selfish preoccupation with material excess and unnecessary dependence on machines. Moral society is characterized by self
discipline, sacrifice, and devotion. Dedication to the art can promote change toward a moral society.
PART 6. Those who devote themselves to their fellows and live accordingly to the dictates of their consciences are always helpful toward their juniors and show respect
toward their instructors and their seniors.
CONCLUSION A beginning constitutes a significant part of the whole endeavour. Therefore, students of Taekwon-Do should not fail to take action whenever to do so
might benefit the society. If he behaves thus, he himself will benefit most.
Theory of Power
The beginning student may ask; Where does one obtain the power to create the devastating results attributed to Taekwon-Do? This power is attributed to the utilization
of a persons full potential through the mathematical application of Taekwon-Do techniques. The average person uses only 10 to 20 percent of their potential. Anyone,
regardless of size, age, or sex who can condition themselves to use 100 percent of their potential can also perform the same destructive techniques.
Though training will certainly result in a superb level of physical fitness, it will not necessarily result in the acquisition of extraordinary stamina or superhuman strength.
More important, Taekwon-Do training will result in obtaining a high level of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control and speed; these are the factors
that will result in a high degree of physical power.
Reaction Force - Bandong Ryok
According to Newton's Law, every force has as equal and opposite force. When an automobile crashes into a wall with the force of 2,000 pounds, the wall will return a
force of 2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of a seesaw down with a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same weight; if your opponent is rushing towards you
at a high speed, by the slightest blow to his head, the force with which you strike their head would be that of their own onslaught plus that of your blow.
The two forces combined; theirs, which is large, and yours, which is small are quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right fist is aided by
pulling back the left fist to the hip.
Concentration - Jip Joong
By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore, increase its effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a
water hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. Conversely, the weight of a man spread out on snow shoes makes hardly any impression on the snow. The blows in
Taekwon-Do are often concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to the crook of the fingers.
It is very important that you should not unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and particularly at the point of contact with your opponent's body, the
force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out blow. That is to say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the greater will be the power of the blow. The
utmost concentration is required in order to mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area simultaneously.
In conclusion, concentration is done in two ways: one is to concentrate every muscle of the body, particularly the bigger muscles around the hip and abdomen (which
theoretically are slower than the smaller muscles of other parts of the body) towards the appropriate tool to be used at the proper time; the second way is to concentrate
such mobilized muscles onto the opponent's vital spot. This is the reason why the hip and abdomen are jerked slightly before the hands and feet in any action, whether it
be attack or defence.
Remember, jerking can be executed in two ways: laterally and vertically.
Equilibrium - Kyun Hyung
Balance is of utmost importance in any type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, it deserves special consideration. By keeping the body always in equilibrium, that is, well
balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable yet flexible, for both offensive and
Equilibrium is classified into both dynamic and static stability. They are so closely inter-related that the maximum force can only be produced when the static stability is
maintained through dynamic stability.
To maintain good equilibrium, the centre of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line midway between both legs when the body weight is distributed equally on
both legs, or in the centre of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the bulk of body weight on one foot. The centre of gravity can be adjusted according to body
weight. Flexibility and knee spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and instant recovery. One additional point; the heel of the rear foot
should never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.
Breath Control - Hohup Jojul
Controlled breathing not only affects one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an
opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of exhaling at the critical moment when a blow is landed against a pressure point on the body can prevent a loss
of consciousness and stifle pain. A sharp exhaling of breath at the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of a movement tense the abdomen to
concentrate maximum effort on the delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the preparation of the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never
inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will this impede movement but it will also result in a loss of power.
Students should also practice disguised breathing to conceal any outward signs of fatigue. An experienced fighter will certainly press an attack when he realizes his
opponent is on the point of exhaustion.
One breath is required for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.
Mass - Zilyang
Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be increased during
the execution of a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide additional
body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool. Another way of increasing body weight is the utilization of a springing
action of the knee joint. This is achieved by slightly raising the hip at the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to drop the body weight
into the motion.
In summarizing, it is necessary to point out that the principles of force outlined here hold just as true today in our modern scientific and nuclear age as they did centuries
I am sure that when you go through this art, both in theory and in practice, you will find that the scientific basis of the motions and the real power which comes out a small
human body cannot fail to impress you.
Speed - Sokdo
Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass times acceleration (F = MA) or (P = MV2), where P = Power, M = Mass and V =
If you drop a large stone gently on a double pane of glass from a height of three inches its effect will be minimal. On the other hand, if you throw a small stone against the
same glass with great speed it will smash.
If you pass your hand through a candle flame the flam will carry on burning, you can however extinguish the flame with a controlled punch or kick by stopping the
technique one inch from the flame. The force of displacement of the air in front of your attacking tool is enough to extinguish the flame.
According to the theory of kinetic energy, every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement. This very principle is applied to this particular art
of self-defence. For this reason, at the moment of impact, the position of the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder and the foot lower than the hip while the
body is in the air.
Reaction force, breath control, equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation of the muscles cannot be ignored. However, these are the factors that contribute to the speed
and all these factors, together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in Taekwon-Do.
Explanation of the Tenets
COURTESY (Ye Ui)
It can be said that courtesy is an unwritten regulation prescribed by ancient teachers of philosophy as a means to enlighten human beings while maintaining a
harmonious society. It can be further be as an ultimate criterion required of a mortal.
Taekwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of courtesy to build up their noble character and to conduct the training in an orderly
manner as well.
1) To promote the spirit of mutual concessions
2) To be ashamed of one's vices, contempting those of others
3) To be polite to one another
4) To encourage the sense of justice and humanity
5) To distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger
6) To behave oneself according to etiquette
7) To respect others' possessions
8) To handle matters with fairness and sincerity
9) To refrain from giving or accepting a gift when in doubt
INTEGRITY (Yom Chi)
In Taekwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in Webster's dictionary. One must be able to define right and
wrong and have a conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Listed are some examples where integrity is lacking:
1) The instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy.
2) The student who misrepresents himself by "fixing" breaking materials before demonstrations.
3) The instructor who camouflages bad technique with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students.
4) The student who requests ranks from an instructor, or attempts to purchase it.
5) The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power.
6) The instructor who teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains.
7) The students whose actions do not live up to his words.
8) The student who feels ashamed to seek opinions from his juniors.
PERSEVERANCE (In Nae)
There is an old Oriental saying, "Patience leads to virtue or merit, One can make a peaceful home by being patient for 100 times." Certainly happiness and
prosperity are most likely brought to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection or a technique, one must set his
goal, then constantly persevere. Robert Bruce learned his lesson of perseverance from the persistent efforts of a lowly spider. It was this perseverance and
tenacity that finally enabled him to free Scotland in the fourteenth century. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to
overcome every difficulty by perseverance. Confucius said, "one who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance."
SELF CONTROL (Guk Gi)
This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the dojang, whether conducting oneself in free sparring or in one's personal affairs. A loss of self-control in
free sparring can prove disastrous to both student and opponent. An inability to live and work within one's capability or sphere is also a lack of self-control.
According to Lao-Tzu "the term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else."
INDOMITABLE SPIRIT (Baekjool Boolgool)
"Here lie 300, who did their duty," a simple epitaph for one of the greatest acts of courage known to mankind. Although facing the superior forces of Xerxes,
Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermoplylae showed the world the meaning of indomitable spirit. It is shown when a courageous person and his principles are
pitted against overwhelming odds.
A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest. If confronted with injustice, he will deal with the belligerent without any fear or
hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.
COMPOSITION OF TAEKWON-DO
Taekwon-Do is composed of fundamental movements, patterns, dallyon, sparring and self-defence
techniques that are so closely related that it is impossible to segregate one phase of instruction from
another. Fundamental movements are necessary for sparring and patterns, while both patterns and
sparring are indispensable for perfection of fundamental movements.
In the illustration (page 725 of the Condensed Encyclopedia), one can see it is difficult to distinguish
the beginning of the cycle from the end. There is, in fact, like the Deity, no beginning or end. A
student will find that he will have to return time and time again to the beginning fundamental
movements to perfect his advanced sparring and self-defence techniques.
Each fundamental movement, in most cases, represents and attack or defence against a particular
target area or definite action of an imaginary opponent or opponents. It is necessary to learn as many
fundamental movements as possible and fit them into complete proficiency so the student can meet
any situation in actual combat with confidence. The pattern actually places the student in a
hypothetical situtaion where he must avail himself to defence, counterattack, and attact motions,
against several opponents. Through constant practice of these patterns, the attack and defence
become a conditioned reflex movement. Power and speed must be developed to such a high degree
that only one single blow is needed to stop an opponent, so the student can shift stance and block or
attack another opponent. Each pattern is different from the other in order to develop reaction against
Once the basic patterns are mastered, the student then begins to physically apply the skill obtained
from fundamental patterns and movements to sparring against actual moving opponents.
Collaterally with sparring, the student must begin to develop his body and toughen his attacking and
blocking tools so he is able to deliver maximum damage in actual combat. Once a student has applied
himself to fundamental movements, patterns, sparring and dallyon, then the time has arrived for the
student to test his coordination, speed, balance, and concentration against spontaneous attacks: ie.
self-defence. The student will constantly find himself retruning, however, to his fundamentals even
when he has achieved the highest possible degree of self-defence techniques. As in military training,
Taekwon-Do progression follows a certain parallel:
1. Fundamental Movements = Individual soldiers basic training
2. Dallyon = Maintenance of equipment
3. Patterns = Platoon tactics
4. Sparring = Field exercises in simulated combat conditions
5. Self-defence = Actual Combat
There is no "oy" in Korean. It is actually the combination of 'o'
and 'ee', but pronounced as something in between 'Cho' and
'Chae'. Koreans are a very polite people. They have been too
polite to tell others how to pronounce their names correctly and
thus let this pronunciation perpetuate.