How To Behave In A Dojang
The dojang is the training place for taekwondo. Other martial arts also use a dojang such as a hapkido and Kuk Sool Won. In ancient times, the dojang was considered to be a place for a religious gathering. This is what made the building gain significance to students of martial arts. As a result of this significance, the dojang was respected and certain codes of etiquette developed. The following are some of the ways in which students are expected to behave in a dojang:
They should bow when leaving or entering the dojang
Bowing upon entry and exit of the dojang by students is a sign of great respect to the training place. They are expected to bow while facing the centre of the room. When club and national flags are displayed, they should bow while facing them.
They should bow when greeting instructors and students in the dojang
Bowing is a sign of respect and is not only limited to bowing to the dojang; students are expected to bow when greeting other people in the dojang. When greeting a senior, the junior must bow down first. The senior instructor or student should return the greeting by bowing back. When greeting a group of senior students or instructors, the junior should bow towards the center of the group.
Bowing to senior students shows that they are respected for the trials and efforts that they went through in order to attain their current position. During ancient training, the routines were rigorous and the fact that they were able to pull through the training was a sign of resilience and dedication. These are qualities that new students hope to mirror during their time. Senior students are also expected to help the new students to improve on their skills. With time, the seniority of the position held by senior students has become respected and etched into the dojang etiquette.
Stance and posture
It is considered to be a sign of disrespect when students stand in the dojang with hands on the hips or with their arms crossed. Body language is very important in the dojang; it should portray respect to the training area and to the instructor. When arms are crossed, it indicates that the student is being confrontational or they are disinterested in the training. In the traditional era, standing in such a manner was a way for the students to show the instructor that they had contempt for him. This meant that the students felt they were more superior to the instructor and did not want to continue training.
Etiquette and manners
Students in the dojang are expected to behave accordingly. They should show restraint and be polite to others. Attendance of the training shows that the students are eager to learn and experience Hwa Rang Do. They should also come to class wearing the proper gear and uniform. Taekwondo should be an art that portrays neatness and cleanliness. The students are therefore expected to come with their uniforms properly pressed and both toenails and fingernails well clipped.
The students are also not allowed to smoke, drink or chew in the dojang. Neither should they wear jewelry or sharp things. Arriving late is a factor that will not be tolerated.<br />
Enthusiasm and participation
Students are expected to try out all tasks regardless of whether they view them to be difficult. The only time that a student is allowed to drop a task is when it causes physical pain or when it is too difficult. If a student experiences difficulty during a task, they should immediately alert the instructor and request for assistance without distracting the class. (Read more...)