Dojang Etiquette

A major aspect of the 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 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 toward others.  Tang Soo Do is a traditional Martial Art that is practiced traditionally with respect and according to traditional values and customs.  Following is a list of some traditions, values and etiquette that show respect. 

Respect Upon Entering the Do Jang
You should show respect for Tang Soo Do and the Dojang in which you train by executing the following: Stand at attention (Cha Ryut), hold your hand over your heart and bow toward the flags.  Quietly enter the Do Jang.  Repeat the bow towards the flags each time you leave and each time you re-enter the Dojang.  It is a sign of respect and humility (Kyum Son). 

Respect for Training

You show proper respect toward training by concentrating (Chung Shin Tong Il) in class. That includes not talking about outside events or issues.  It means concentrating on the mental and physical aspects of training in Tang Soo Do.  It helps create an atmosphere in the Dojang of internal peace (Jong Sook).

Respect for Senior Members
Show respect to senior members by bowing to them and shaking their hand. The bow is from the waist at about 45 degrees.  While bowing, your hands are at your side showing trust as well as respect.  Junior members should bow to the senior member and always from the attention position.  If there is more than one senior member present, always acknowledge and bow to the most senior member first.  When shaking hands, the junior always uses two hands.  Senior Dans may use one hand; when they do this they will place the left hand under their right elbow, keeping the left hand visible as a sign of trust and respect.

Respect for your Dobok (uniform) and Dee (belt)

Your dobok should never be worn outside the Dojang while traveling, unless you are an instructor and you are traveling between classes, or you have special permission (for example, you are traveling to a demonstration where they do not have facilities in which to change).  Otherwise, you should take your dobok with you and change at your destination.  Show respect for your dobok by keeping it clean and pressed.  Show respect for your dee by keeping it neat and clean, however, NEVER wash your dee.  It is considered disrespectful.  Never walk around the Dojang (or any location) with your dee not properly tied, or your dobok hanging loose; your dobok should fit well and be properly closed by crossing just below the neck.  If you need to wear a t-shirt under your dobok, it MUST be pure white, with no logos or print on it, unless it is a WCIMA t-shirt.

Respect During Class

Line up according to seniority with the most senior member of the class at the right.  The instructor or senior student will begin class by calling all students to attention (Cha Ryut), bowing to the flag (Kuk Gi Bay Ray), returning to ready stance (Ba Ro), OPTIONAL: sitting (An Jo), meditating (Muk Nyum), returning to ready stance (Ba Ro), bowing to the instructor (to Grandmaster Pitcher: Yuk Dan, Kwan Jang Nim Kay, Kyung Ret).  Whenever you receive personal instruction from an instructor, always bow and thank them (komapsumnida.)  All members should bow to the Head Instructor when he or she enters the dojang floor.  The most senior member of the class already on the floor should call the students to attention and issue the commands.

Respect at Other Times

If you are entering the office of your instructor, knock first.  Stand at attention and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you.  Bow before entering the office.  Stand at attention unless your instructor invites you to sit.  When the conversation is over, thank your instructor and back out of the office.  When you reach the door, bow towards your instructor and exit.  If you see your instructor in public, politely bow and offer your hand in a handshake to express respect.  Always  refer to your instructor and other students with respect by using “Sir”. “Ma’am”, “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “Miss”, “Kwan Jang Nim (grandmaster) “Sa Bom Nim (master)” and “Kyo Sa Nim (certified instructor)” as appropriate.