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About Taekwondo

Taekwondo (TKD) is not to be confused with many other styles of Martial Arts.


Emphasis is placed on Self Defence, and the necessary personal development of self-control. Concurrent with the development of one's physical ability (co-ordination, strength, reflexes, endurance, speed), is psychological development, leading to a greater self belief is assisted by the memorising and practising of the 6 Tenets (doctrine of belief) of Taekwondo.


The precise interpretation of them in every day life is what makes one a true practitioner of the Art.

History of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a modernised and scientifically developed version of centuries old Korean Martial Art. Hundreds of years ago in Korea, the warrior class of society known as the Hwarang-Do practised a form of weaponless combat known as Taek Kyon and developed a code of conduct to serve as a guideline to compliment their intensive physical training.

Taekwondo was 'born' on April 11th, 1955 having been created by General (he was a Major General in the South Korean Army) Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi - 9th Degree Black Belt.

Gen Choi was born on November 9th, 1918 in the rugged and harsh area of Hwa Dae, Myong Chun District in what is now D.P.R of Korea. Even at an early age, however, the future general showed a strong and independent spirit.


General Choi Hong Hi was trained in his native Korea in the art of Taek Kyon however during the Japanese occupation of Korea he became a Black Belt in Karate also. It was not until the 1940's when the General decided that Korea needed it's own martial art for its own army that the foundations of Taekwondo were laid.

On the 11th of April 1955 a board, consisting of ministers and army officers was convened by Gen. Choi in order to officially name this art that he had researched into and invented. Taekwon-Do was the name submitted by the General and accepted thereby becoming the name of the most powerful Martial Art the world has come to know. 

Although General Choi's fundamental training was in Taek Kyon and Karate, the basic principles of
Taekwondo are totally different with those of any other martial art in the world. When you look at some martial arts and you are impressed by their dance like grace and beauty, with Taekwondo you can marvel at its spectacular power and practical effectiveness. This is what makes it so special.

General Choi compiled a total of 24 Patterns frequently referred to as the Chon-ji or Chang Hon (his pen name) series and this is the compilation that forms the backbone of the BUTF’s syllabus.  

Follow this link for more reading on General Choi Hong Hi - 9th Degree Black Belt.

Tenets of Taekwondo

The 6 Taekwondo Tenets that the BUTF abide by:


  • Courtesy (Ye Ui)

  • Integrity (Yom Chi)

  • Perseverance (In Nae)

  • Self-Control (Guk Gi)

  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgul)

  • Humility (Kyom Son)


Treat others with the respect that you expect to receive yourself. If you do treat other people with respect and courtesy, you will receive it in return.  


Integrity is honestly. Not just with other people, but more importantly it is about being honest with yourself. Integrity is the ability to be truly honest, truthful and trustworthy without compromise.


This is one of the hardest of all tenets. It requires effort. Perseverance is about not giving up. When asked to do a task, do not fall at the first hurdle or put false impediments in the way. Perseverance is about doing everything within your power to achieve the desired result, be it learning a new kick or breaking an old habit. Keep practicing until you get it right!


Where would we be without self-control? Self-Control affects many things that we do.  In the martial arts world it is vital. Self control is about making sure you stay within the rules that life lays down to ensure that you remain healthy, happy and safe.

Indomitable Spirit

How can one person overcome many others? Because they have the will to win.  It is not about accepting failure. You can win and will win. That is indomitable spirit.


The word ‘humble’ in the Collins New English Dictionary is interpreted as exhibiting a ‘modest and unpretentious demeanour’ and to be conscious of ones failings. As such, the true martial artist should allow the physical acts of their achievements to be the broadcaster and not the sound of their own pontificating voices, as appears to be in so many cases.

As a reminder of the frailty of human character, the word ‘Humility’ is added on to the existing five Tenets thereby making them ‘ Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, Indomitable Spirit and Humility’.  C.I.P.S.I.H.

Note: This sixth tenet was introduced by Grand Master Raymond M. K. Choy IX (BUTF) and is the culmination of his personal observations of the demeanour of the many ‘so called exponents’ of the martial arts that he has come across over the past 40 years that he has been involved in Taekwondo.

1988-2018 BUTF All rights reserved

2006  MAY SPAIN Instructors Course 110.j
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