Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-Do

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Chang Hon Kwan Taekwon-Do is taught as a “traditional” martial arts class. By definition, traditional martial arts classes are very formal and function in a military manner.  The opening and closing ceremonies are also very military and follow the tradition the art is based upon.  There are small variations in the commands given, and these are almost always associated with variations in the rank of individuals instructing or leading the class at the time.

When the class lines up, they form up in rows facing the front of the “do-jang” (gymnasium).  The number of rows and the number of students in each row are determined by the size and shape of the room as well as by the number of students.  When facing the front of the “do-jang” the students line up by rank from their right to their left, forming rows from front to back.  Therefore, a student will always line up to the rear and/or left of their seniors.  The instructor will be in the front of the class facing the students, and will be in the center of the front row.  The American flag will be located somewhere in the room, preferably at the front.

When the instructor or one of the senior students commands the class to line up (chung-neol), the class will form lines in the manner described above.  The opening ceremony for the class may begin when the class configuration is formed with all of the students in their proper place by rank.  The job of the most senior student is to lead the class and issue commands to the class on behalf of the instructor.  It is also the job of the most senior colored belt students to ensure that these commands are followed in a rapid and military manner.  In a well-run class, students will attempt to emulate examples of etiquette and respect set by their seniors.  In a disciplined traditional martial arts class, this behavior is always present, and the job of the senior colored belt students takes care of itself.

Following the centuries old principles of oriental custom, it is disrespectful to sit down before one’s elder/senior sits down, or stand up before one’s elder/senior stands up.  For opening and closing class, you will note in several of the examples below, this type of etiquette and respect that exist in a traditional Taekwon-Do class.  These include: juniors always bowing prior to the senior bowing, juniors bowing lower than their senior does, rising up after the senior rises up, as well as kneeling down and standing up after the senior.  It is also disrespectful to issue commands to one’s senior.  Therefore, the senior student only issues commands for the class to perform a particular motion after the instructor has already completed that motion.


There are four classes of Black Belts that may be involved in the instruction or leadership of the class.  There is also the possibility that a senior colored belt student may be involved in the operation of the class.  Examples of the differences in addressing each of these seniors are listed at the end of this web page. In a traditional class, the correct method for addressing each of these instructors or seniors is as follows:

      Grandmaster Instructor     (sa-seong)       9th Degree Black Belt

      Master Instructor               (sa-hyeon      7th thru 8th Degree Black Belts

      Instructor                           (sa-beom)        4th thru 6th Degree Black Belts

      Assistant Instructor           (bu-sa-beom)   1st thru 3rd Degree Black Belts

      Senior Student                  (seon-bae)       Senior Student 
  


The following are examples of the opening and closing of a traditional Taekwon-Do class which is being instructed by a 5th Degree Black Belt, with the senior student being a 1st Degree Black Belt:  


Opening Ceremony for a Chang Hon Kwan Taekwon-Do Class 

The senior student orders the class to line up (chung-neol).

            The class forms up in lines with equal spacing between the students.
                  After each line is formed, the students will assume a parallel
 
                  stance in an “at ease” position.

At an indication from the instructor (usually coming to attention),
 
      the senior student orders the class to come to attention (cha-ryeot).

            The entire class comes to attention at the same time.

After the instructor turns to face the American flag, the senior student orders
 
      the class to face the American flag (guk-gi-e dae-ha-yeo).

            The entire class turns to face the American flag at the same time.

After the instructor salutes the American flag by putting the right underfist
 
      over his/her heart, the senior student orders the class to salute
 
      the American flag (gyeong-nye).

            The entire class salutes the American flag at the same time,
 
                  by putting their right underfists over their hearts.

After the instructor drops his/her right arm and assumes his/her original position 
       facing the class in an attention stance, the senior student orders the class to
       return to their previous position of (ba-ro).

             The entire class drops their right arm at the same time, turns toward
 
                  the front of the class, and comes to attention. 

After the instructor kneels down in a sitting position, the senior student orders
        the class to kneel (an-jeo).
 
             The class kneels down one row at a time – the first row kneeling down first,
 
                  the second row kneeling down second, and so on.  When kneeling down,
                   the student first place the left knee on the ground beside the right foot,
                   then places the right knee on the ground next to the left kneel before
                   sitting back.  The hands should not touch the floor.

At an indication from the instructor (usually by bowing his/her head), the senior student
        instructs the class to meditate (mung-nyeom).

             The entire class bows their head and meditates. During this time,
 
                  the student should turn their focus to the class ahead. All thoughts
 
                  or concerns about other things in their daily lives should be pushed
 
                  off until the class is finished. This meditation time should be used
 
                  to ensure that the class training is not interfered with. It also ensures
 
                  that the student has time in their life to escape from their daily pressures.
 

After an appropriate amount of time, the senior student will end the meditation by
 
      rapidly clapping his/her hands together twice.  

After the instructor rises and assumes a parallel stance in an “at ease” position,
 
      the senior student orders the class to return to their previous position of (ba-ro).

             The class rises up one row at a time, and assumes a parallel stance in
 
                 an “at ease” position – the first row rising up first, the second row
 
                 rising up second, and so on.
 
When rising up, the student first brings up
               up the right foot, placing it next to the left knee, then stands up bringing
               the left foot next to the right foot. The hands should not touch the floor.

At an indication from the instructor (usually coming to attention), the senior
 
      student orders the class to come to attention (cha-ryeot).

 
             The entire class comes to attention at the same time. 

The senior student orders the class to face the instructor (sa-beom-nim kke).

 
             The entire class turns to face the instructor at the same time. 

The senior student orders the class to bow to the instructor (gyeong-nye).

             The entire class bows to the instructor at the same time, and
 
                  the instructor returns the bow.  All members of the class should
 
                  ensure that their bow is slightly lower than, and just before that
 
                  of the instructor.  The students return to the upright position slightly
 
                  after the instructor has returned to his/her upright position.
 
 
            The entire class then turns toward the front of the do-jang, and
 
                  remains at attention. 
 

The instructor takes command of the class by asking the class to assume
 
      a parallel stance in an “at ease” position (swi-eot). 

The class is now in session.   


An example of the pronunciation of the Korean commands in
     a complete Taekwon-Do class opening class ceremony has been linked


Closing Ceremony for a Chang Hon Kwan Taekwon-Do Class 

The instructor orders the class to line up (chung-neol).
 
            The class forms up in lines with equal spacing between the students.
 
                  After each line is formed, the students will assume a parallel stance
 
                  in an “at ease” position.
 

At an indication from the instructor (usually coming to attention),
 
      the senior student orders the class to come to attention (cha-ryeot).
 
             The entire class comes to attention at the same time. 

The Senior Student will then instruct the class to recite the Tenets of Taekwon-Do,
 
      which the entire class will recite in unison.
 
                   Courtesy
 
                   Integrity
                    Perseverance
                    Self-Control
 
                   Indomitable Spirit
 

The Instructor will then assume a parallel stance with the right side fist
 
      over his/her heart. 

The Senior Student will then instruct the class to resite the
      Student Oath of Taekwon-Do 

The Senior Student will then assume 
a parallel stance with the right side fist over his/her 
 
      heart as the entire class does the same.  The next five most senior students will then 
 
      take turns reciting one component of the Student Oath of Taekwon-Do, in order and one at a time.

 
             The entire class will repeat each component of the Student Oath of
 
                  Taekwon-Do in unison as it is recited by each of the senior students.
 
                             I shall observe the Tenets of Taekwon-Do.
                              I shall respect the instructors and seniors.
                              I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
                              I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
                              I shall build a more peaceful world.
 

After the instructor drops his/her right arm and assumes his/her original position
 
      at an attention stance, the senior student orders the class to return to
 
      their previous position of (ba-ro).             

             The entire class drops their right arms at the same time, and comes
 
                  to attention. 

After the instructor turns to face the American flag, the senior student orders
 
      the class to face the American flag (guk-gi-e dae-ha-yeo).
 
             The entire class turns to face the American flag at the same time. 

After the instructor salutes the American flag by putting the right underfist
       over his/her heart, the senior student orders the class to salute the
 
      American flag (gyeong-nye).

             The entire class salutes the American flag at the same time, by
 
                  putting their right underfists over their hearts.
 

After the instructor drops his/her right arm and assumes his/her original
 
      position facing the class in an attention stance, the senior student orders
 
      the class to return to their previous position of (ba-ro).

             The entire class drops their right arms at the same time, turns
 
                  toward the front of the class, and comes to attention. 

After the instructor kneels down in a sitting position, the senior student
 
      orders the class to kneel (an-jeo).

 
             The class kneels down one row at a time – the first row kneeling
                  down first, the second row kneeling down second, and so on.
 
 
                  When kneeling down, the student first places the left knee
                  on the ground beside the right foot, then places the right knee
                  on the ground next to the left kneel before sitting back. 
                  The hands should not touch the floor.

At an indication from the instructor (usually bowing his/her head),
 
      the senior student instructs the class to meditate (mung-nyeom).

             The entire class bows their head and meditates.  During this time,
 
                  the student should reflect on their training during the class.
 
                  This meditation time should be used to ensure that the lessons
 
                  learned during the class training are not forgotten.  It also allows
 
                  the student the time to refocus on their return to daily life outside
 
                  of the “do-jang.”
 

After an appropriate amount of time, the senior student will end the
 
      meditation by rapidly clapping his/her hands together twice. 

After the instructor rises and assumes a parallel stance in an “at ease”
 
      position, the senior student orders the class to return to their previous
 
      position of (ba-ro).

             The class rises up one row at a time, and assumes a parallel stance
 
                 in an “at ease” position – the first row rising up first, the second
 
                 row rising up second, and so on.  When rising up, the student brings
               up the right foot, placing it next to the left knee, then stands up bringing
               the left foot next to the right foot. The hands should not touch the floor.


At an indication from the instructor (usually coming to attention),
      the senior student orders the class to come to attention (cha-ryeot).
 
             The entire class comes to attention at the same time. 

The senior student orders the class to face the instructor (sa-beom-nim kke).
 
             The entire class turns to face the instructor at the same time. 

The senior student orders the class to bow to the instructor (gyeong-nye).

             The entire class bows to the instructor at the same time,
 
                  and the instructor returns the bow.   All members of the class
 
                  should ensure that their bow is slightly lower than, and just
 
                  before that of the instructor.  The students return to the
 
                  upright position slightly after the instructor has returned to
 
                  his/her upright position.

 
 
            The entire class then turns toward the front of the class,
 
                  and remains at attention.
 

The second most senior student orders the class to face the
 
      senior student (bu-sa-beom-nim kke).

 
             The entire class turns to face the senior student at the same time. 

The second most senior student orders the class to bow to
 
      the senior student (gyeong-nye).

 
            The entire class bows to the senior student at the same time,
 
                  and the senior student returns the bow.  All members of the
 
                  class should ensure that their bow is slightly lower than, and
 
                  just before that of the senior student.  The students return
 
                  to the upright position slightly after the senior student has
 
                  returned to his/her upright position.
 

The second most senior student then turns to face the class and
 
      informs them that the class is now finished (hae-san).

             The entire class says thank you to the second most senior
 
                  student at the same time (go-map seum-ni-da) and bows
 
                  to the second most senior student at the same time, and
 
                  the second most senior student returns the bow.   All members
 
                  of the class should ensure that their bow is slightly lower than,
 
                  and just before that of the second most senior student.  The
 
                  students return to the upright position slightly after the second
 
                  most senior student has returned to his/her upright position.
 
Class has now ended.

 
       An example of the pronunciation of the Korean commands in
 
            a complete Taekwon-Do class closing ceremony has been linked here.   


Variations in Addressing Senior Students 

In the examples above for opening and closing a traditional Taekwon-Do class, the instructor was a 5th Degree Black Belt, and the senior student was a 1st Degree Black Belt.  When instructing the class to face the instructor, the command the senior student used was “sa-beom-nim kke” (face the instructor).  In the event that the instructor was of any other specific rank listed below, this command to face the instructor would be replaced with:
 
       9th Degree Black Belt                      (sa-seong-nim kke)
 
       7th thru 8th Degree Black Belts       (sa-hyeon-nim kke)
 
       4th thru 6th Degree Black Belts       (sa-beom-nim kke)
 
       1st thru 3rd Degree Black Belts       (bu-sa-beom-nim kke)
 
       Senior Colored Belt                          (seon-bae-nim kke  

When instructing the class to face the senior student, the command the second most senior student used was “bu-sa-beom-nim kke” (face the assistant instructor).  In the event that the assistant instructor was of any other specific rank listed below, this command to face the assistant instructor would be replaced with:
 
       7th thru 8th Degree Black Belts        (sa-hyeon-nim kke)
 
       4th thru 6th Degree Black Belts        (sa-beom-nim kke)
 
       1st thru 3rd Degree Black Belts        (bu-sa-beom-nim kke)
 
       Senior Colored Belt                           (seon-bae-nim kke)

It is however, highly unlikely that a 7th Degree Black Belt or above would ever be in the position of a senior student in a normal Taekwon-Do class.  In the case where a highly ranked instructor or dignitary is involved in the class, they would most likely be lined up separately. Their position would be to the right side-front of the senior student, facing the individual instructing the class.  In this case, an additional step would be added to the sequence of both the opening and closing ceremonies.  This would include the class also facing and bowing to this highly ranked instructor or dignitary.  The process of bowing to the instructor and the additional highly ranked instructor or dignitary would be carried out in the order of their relative rank, with the most senior first.
 

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