The Values of Taekwondo and How They Have Helped Me in Life

By Wyatt Benson

This paper is about the values taekwondo has taught me and how it has helped me in life. Taekwondo gives me the confidence to do what is right.

Taekwondo is not an aggressive martial art, but it is a defensive one. We learn self- defense. We wear protective gear because we don’t want to hurt the opponent nor do we want to hurt ourselves when we are practicing.

Taekwondo is related to Confucianism and war. Taekwondo was invented when the Goguryeo kingdom was growing in power and the Silla Dynasty was growing weaker. The Silla Dynasty started to make a group of warriors that could fight back. They could start being trained when they were twelve. They were trained in the martial art that is called taekwondo. The martial arts started to fade away when Confucianism began. Confucianism didn’t encourage fighting so that meant it didn’t encourage taekwondo. People still practiced taekwondo underground. Then, the martial art came back.

The values of taekwondo are the things teachers and students believe in and the guidelines to life. Another name for values is ethics. There are many different guidelines or commandments in taekwondo. They include loyalty to your country, friends, and school, respect for your parents, brothers and sisters, elders and teachers. There is also faithfulness to your husband or wife. Students must never take another’s life unjustly, only in self-defense, and they have to finish what they start.

Taekwondo has a code of honor, because of its military background, called the HwaRang Code of Honor. The code tells students to serve their lord and parents with loyalty, trust friends, never retreat from a battle or a challenge, and be selective when taking an enemy’s life.

Taekwondo also has The Four Elements of Self Esteem.  This means self-respect, knowing that you treat yourself and other people well.  The first one is stay focused on reality and be honest about what you can do. Secondly, be cooperative and flexible with people.   Do not put down people and learn from others. The third is stay clear about what matters to you, be responsible, and know your boundaries. Do not do things just because your friends are doing them. You need to set your own goals. The last one is stay kind, accept things and others without judgment. Enjoy the things that make us different and don’t try to make people see things your way.

The guiding principles, or tenets, of taekwondo are these:

  • Courtesy- Be polite to one another, be ashamed of your faults, and treat people fairly.
  • Integrity- Know right from wrong and have a conscience. If you’re wrong, feel guilty.
  • Perseverance-Be patient and steadfast in working toward goals. This means be determined and don’t give up.
  • Self Control -You need to have self control so things don’t get out of hand when sparring or just in real life.
  • Indomitable Spirit- Be honest and help people even if they are getting hurt or struggling, no matter whom they are. Don’t be beaten down. If you have a rough time, just never give up.

Taekwondo has helped me very much in  life. It has helped me at home, at school, and in baseball. In baseball it has made me stronger. I’m better than I used to be because of taekwondo. I have been playing harder and I have been hitting better. I have good balance when I’m pitching, stronger legs for running, a stronger arm for throwing, and taekwondo helps me focus.

I’m able to do better in school because I concentrate. I try harder than I used to in school because I always want to finish what I begin. I feel more confident that I will do well. I have shown more effort in my work and that led to getting high honors all four quarters this past year.

At home, I think before I talk. I have shown respect to my parents and elders. I don’t make as many mistakes as I used to.

I know that I can always improve, so I plan to stick with taekwondo. I like teaching others, and I want to work towards my second degree. I have shown much effort in taekwondo and I am almost a black belt. I feel safer knowing that if anyone tries to attack me, I will know how to defend myself. It makes me feel good to know that taekwondo has helped me in so many other parts of life, too.


Found on June 1, 2009, Ethics, from

Found on June 2, 2009, The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do, from

Found on June 2, 2009, Four Elements of Self Esteem, from

Found on June 1, 2009, Who Invented Taekwondo? from

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