Philosophy of Taekwondo
Although the literal translation on Taekwondo is "the way of the fist and foot ", (Tae means " Foot", Kwon means "Fist" and Do means "the way") this is no more than a superficial translation. Do in Korean implies the philosophical approach to a way of life, a pathway to achieve enlightenment. The students of Taekwondo, through rigorous physical training, improve themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. The true Taekwondo practitioner extends this art to all aspects of life, in order to achieve harmony with nature and thus a stable and peaceful existence. Taekwondo is not only an excellent method of self defense, but a way of life. These qualities can be traced back to the influence on Buddhism, and its aim of the "Mastery of Self". Through the philosophy of Taekwondo, a student can rid him or herself of the ego, and live in harmony with the universe.
At the center of this philosophy, is the concept of interaction between opposing forces in nature (Yin vs. Yan). Equilibrium is only achieved when contrary forces are distributed in equal amounts, resulting in balance and harmony. When only one force dominates, however, the result is unbalance, which could mean discord or failure.
Taekwondo also teaches the importance of responsibility and honesty as the means to achieve harmony with society. The true Taekwondo student is the one that knows how to behave in any place and at any time. It is very important to stress the need that our world has of trustworthy and sincere people. This are the kind of people that Taekwondo is most probably associated to. This should be the insignia for which anybody could recognize the Taekwondo practitioner.
Respect, humility and high sense of morality are also important teachings that all of those who practice Taekwondo should learn. Respect could never be over stressed, because it is respect what maintains healthy the master-student relationship. If the student does not respect his master, he will never become worthy of the master's trust, and therefore his presence in the Dojang will not be welcomed. Respect is an important subject in Taekwondo. Respect is expected from all students toward their parents, their nation, their master and fellow students, and in general toward all human beings.
Humility is a quality that all serious Taekwondo students should posses. Although it is true that practicing the art of Taekwondo boosts your self confidence, this should not convey the false sense of superiority. On the contrary, the good student should be humble and considerate. In the same way, the highest regard for morality and ethics should be observed by all Taekwondo practitioners