Tae Kwon Do International Canada Profile Page

Master Dan Zaleski

Welcome to the Tae Kwon Do International Canada Profile Page.

On this page you will read about Martial Arts Etiquette. You are invited to peruse a wonderfully motivational piece written by Master Zaleski called "What is a Tae Kwon Do Person?" and you can check out his resume detailing Master Dan's background, accomplishments and dedication to the art.

Martial Arts Etiquette by Master Instructor Zaleski

All of us who call ourselves martial artists, from the new student to the Grand Master, must at all times observe a high degree of etiquette. This not only applies in our training hall but outside in our daily lives as well. As martial arts practitioners, we must know and have the proper respect and expected behavior for each other. This applies to any and all styles of martial arts that we practice.

When meeting other martial artists, especially Black Belts, Masters and Grand Masters, correct and proper salutation must be used. Although your teacher may not want to use these basics at his or her academy (which is their decision, of course), we should, if we call ourselves martial artists, be aware of these universal signs of respect and courtesy.

Let's start with the most well-known sign of etiquette, the bow. It means that we have respect and humility. This Asian custom is comparable to the western handshake.

  • Stand with your hands at your side and your feet together.
  • Bend at your waist 30°-45° while keeping your back straight.
  • Some traditions tell us not to look up as we bow, as this shows a lack of trust.
  • Your uniform should be clean, ironed if possible, and fresh smelling at all times.
  • Students should always arrive to class on time.
  • If you are late for a reason beyond your control, it is good etiquette to wait before joining into the class in session, then bowing to the instructor when he or she acknowledges you.
  • If you are late "just because", that is a negative and rude habit because you disturb the instructor and your fellow students.
  • It is considered poor taste to tie your belt or fix your uniform while facing another student, especially higher ranking belts.
  • While your teacher is explaining and you are listening, it is considered disrespectful to have your arms crossed or on your hips. If instructors do this while teaching, it shows a lack of respect to the student as the body language communicates boredom.
  • All Black Belts and Instructors, Masters and Grand Masters should be addressed as Mr, Ms, Mrs, or by their respective titles.
  • For students, while in your training hall, there should be no free sparring without an instructor present.
    This is not only for safety reasons, but also to ensure that you do not develop bad habits that become your mental and physical habit tracks and therefore become very hard to fix.
  • We must always take it upon ourselves to help and encourage others. Be courteous and respect people's time, space and art. They are working hard at practicing and mastering this are.
  • Most etiquette is really just common sense.

  • Do not attend class if you have the flu or are sick as germs spread very quickly in a humid atmosphere.
  • Do not wear any jewelry other than a medical bracelet or a wedding ring which has no sharp edges.
  • Keep your emotions under control.
  • Leave the training hall as you found it, clean and in order.
  • Ask appropriate and respectful questions. Wait until after class to ask them, if possible.
    Teaching without clear permission of your instructor is not allowed as you may be showing something that may injure a junior or be teaching incorrectly.
    When competing in tournaments locally, nationally or internationally, emphasis should be on playing your best and meeting new martial artists.
    At some tournaments or high ranking gradings, you may be invited to a dinner or social gathering afterwards. Allow your seniors to begin before you. Behave respectfully,.
    While in your own club or visiting another, do not show any martial arts unless you are invited to do so.
    Do not take any photographs in any training hall unless you have the instructor's permission.

    Please remember that true masters have dedicated decades of their lives to share what they love. If you learn with the attitude of gratitude, you too shall be a master of your thoughts, actions and emotions.

    "What is a Tae Kwon Do Person"

    A true TKD person is vigilant and always trying to help others.

    They do not ask others if he can practice his art, he simply does.

    They do not waste time explaining his actions or who he was.

    They are faithful to their higher self.

    They give their answers in their actions.

    They are mindful to identify their friends- look around yourself.

    They look behind to see their opponents, they understand treachery and deceit, but they do not seek revenge.

    They merely drive away any and all negative influences from their life, never fighting or wasting precious life energy any longer than necessary.

    A Tae Kwon Do person does not appear one way or the other, they simply are.

    They trust others because they trust themselves.