Many people, especially in the west, discover bowing to be demeaning. The a sign of subservience to many, so no everyone is to crawl on practicing it. But in some cultures, bowing is not just the physical manifestation the respect, it’s also a sign of gratitude. In numerous of these cultures, bowing is additionally a substitute for a handshake. Together is the situation in Taekwondo etiquette.

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Why is their bowing in Taekwondo? When friend bow in taekwondo to her teachers and your seniors, the a authorize that friend not only respect them and also trust them, you’re likewise showing them gratitude for to teach you the art.

Today, let’s take a deeper look in taekwondo etiquette. An ext specifically, fine be looking in ~ bowing, why we carry out it, exactly how we execute it and when we have to or should not execute it.

Why perform We Bow in Taekwondo?

Bowing in any martial art, including taekwondo is taken into consideration to be part of traditional etiquette. That a sign of respect, not just to your teachers and seniors, but also to the Dojang, the ar of practice, and the arts itself.

If her teacher or senior bows in return, this way that lock reciprocate this feeling of respect and also gratitude. Respect that you to be able to obtain their teachings, and gratitude that you made decision to train v them today. In easier terms, bowing in taekwondo is the physics manifestation that respect, trust and also gratitude.

How to Bow appropriately in Taekwondo

Bowing is a very basic motion come do, however not many civilization can execute it right. Part people, despite not being brand-new to taekwondo, still don’t know exactly how to bow effectively at all. So, if girlfriend feel prefer you’re doing that wrong, nothing feel as well bad about it. You in the Dojang to learn, ~ all.

When you perform a standard bow, placed your hand on her sides with fingers kept together, or in some variations, clenched into a fist. You should also keep both heels of your feet together. Touching your heels with each other will ensure that your hips are dealing with forward, and not relax too much, making for a straight and also proper bow.

Next, for the bow itself. Start bending in ~ the belt at a 30 to 40 degree angle. Make sure that you save your body directly while you execute this, and also not bend your neck forward together you bow. Your shoulders should also be pulled back somewhat, whilst still maintaining your earlier straight.

In numerous other martial arts, students maintain eye call as they bow, i m sorry is expected to it is in a authorize of readiness, in case their partner assaults them mid-bow. But in the situation of taekwondo, you break eye call as you bow.This is a authorize not just of utmost respect, but additionally of trust, that your partner is disciplined sufficient not to perform anything rash within the Dojang. You should be looking in ~ the floor while you bow, or at her teacher’s or senior’s feet. When the bow is done, just straighten you yourself up.Sometimes, bowing may incorporate greetings, such together “Good morning, sir” or “Good evening, sir”. This is mainly used when bowing to her head instructor or come visiting instructors.

Who You must Bow to and When

It can be challenging to recognize when the best time is to bow, specifically so if you’re new to taekwondo. Part Dojangs encourage bowing in particular times, because that example, whilst others are an ext relaxed on the matter. The said, the finest advice we can provide you is you should observe your seniors and also your teachers and also follow their examples. Bow as soon as they bow.

Here are few of the time you have to bow in Taekwondo:

Your Seniors

When you fulfill your seniors because that the very first time in class, you should contact their attention and also bow to them. Seniors are the ones that outrank you. This is to denote that girlfriend are aware of their existence and also a good way to display them respect. Friend only must bow to every of your seniors once throughout the entire training session. Yes sir no have to bow come them every time you view them.

Your grasp Instructor

Your Dojang’s master should be shown the utmost respect every time. Together such, bowing to the grasp instructor happens an ext often than you would bow to her seniors. Friend bow to your master when castle step right into the dojang, and also you likewise bow prior to you speak to them. Before and after any type of practice session, friend will also have come bow to your instructor. Some schools might require you come bow reduced than you usually would if girlfriend bowed to your seniors.

Before and also After Drills

Before every drill or exercise, girlfriend will also need come bow to your training partner. After every individual drill, friend should also give thanks by bowing.

Before and also After Sparring

Before you obtain to sparring or before any kind of competitive bout, you are compelled to bow to your opponent, the referees, and also the judges. You may likewise be forced to bow to your coach together well. ~ the bout, whether you victory or lose, your will also have to bow to her opponent. Sore losers have no place in Taekwondo.

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Bow to the Dojang

You are likewise required to bow before entering the Dojang and before leave it. This is to signify respect and gratitude towards the ar of training. The Dojang is additionally a physics manifestation of the art of taekwondo itself, so reflecting respect come the Dojang shows respect to the martial art by extension.

When not to Bow

Now that you now when the ideal time to bow is, let’s familiarize ourselves as soon as it’s best to not bow in taekwondo. In taekwondo etiquette, once not come bow is a lot more flexible than as soon as it’s required to bow. Right here are a couple of examples:

Meeting Seniors or Instructors exterior the Dojang

You’re not forced to bow to your seniors or instructors once you accomplish them exterior of the Dojang. If you room both in uniform though, you need to bow to them. If your an elderly or instructor go initiate a bow, also when they’re not in the Dojang or space not in uniform, it’s suitable etiquette come return the bow yourself.

If she a Senior

Usually, as soon as you space of a greater rank, friend don’t need to initiate a bow to your juniors. If, however, you notification some of her juniors no initiating bows when they fulfill with your seniors, never initiate the bow yourself. Rather of bowing, correct your juniors instead. Such is the duty of gift a an elderly in taekwondo.

During not blocked Gatherings

If you’re within the Dojang, yet are not in cultivate or in uniform, say your school is hosting a party, then you’re not required to bow to your seniors or instructors. If they carry out initiate a bow, it’s great manners to return it. Part schools, however, still need you to bow whenever you in the Dojang, regardless if it’s an informal gathering or not. Again, as soon as in doubt, follow your senior’s example.

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Why perform We Bow come The nationwide Flags?


Although it’s not as widespread as before, numerous taekwondo colleges bow to the oriental flag, as well as the flag of the country where it’s being practiced, if it’s present. We bow to the oriental flag due to the fact that taekwondo originated in Korea. Bowing come the flags isn’t a type of nationalism, yet rather an extension of respect to the arts itself, by reflecting respect to taekwondo’s birthplace.