“Do” in Competition (by GM Tran)

In the students’ oath of ITF Taekwon-Do, we swear to observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. What does it mean to apply the tenets when participating in competitions?



I know this means that I should:

Applied to competitions, it means I should:


  • be courteous
  • have good manners
  • show respect for teachers
  • show respect for others
  • comply with rules of protocol
  • show respect for my opponent
  • show respect for my coach
  • show respect for the audience
  • respect decisions of officials


  • know right from wrong
  • always do what is right
  • feel guilty about wrongdoing
  • stand up for what is right
  • never misuse Taekwon-Do
  • comply with the rules that are effective and enforced by the umpires
  • not cheat
  • not tolerate cheating by others


  • work to achieve goals
  • try and try again
  • never give up
    (see Confucius’ quote on perseverance here)
  • concentrate on improving
  • keep on training even if I lose
  • set goals and work to achieve them
  • learn from experience, whether I win or lose


  • control my physical actions
  • control my thoughts
  • control my emotions
  • cultivate a positive attitude
  • keep my cool
  • control violence
  • be able to adjust my sparring strategy when necessary
  • be a humble winner
  • be a graceful loser


  • be courageous
  • always give 100%
  • learn to overcome my fears
  • always give 100%


Competitors should strive to apply the tenets during competitions, but this is also true of all participants in ITF competitions, including coaches, officials, and those who are there to support their team.




The final statement in the student’s oath is: I shall build a more peaceful world, notably with freedom and justice. By applying the Do in competition and in our everyday lives, we will be living up to that promise and setting a fine example for our many young students. We will be assisting them to become good citizens, strong both physically and mentally, and able to make a positive contribution to their communities.



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