Hapkido Behaviour (page one)

Martial Artist Code of Behaviour

This information is designed to make you a better Martial Artist. Use this as a guide to hone your discipline and show the respect required as a fellow Martial Artist.


This guide has been prepared as an introduction to Hapkido - not only the history of the art and its founder, but also the philosophy and the ATTITUDE and BEHAVIOUR expected from a student. Read it now as a beginning student. Refer to it later as memory fails or questions arise.

As a new student you will hear the word ''etiquette'' repeatedly. You will learn that proper etiquette accounts for a high percentage of your score on belt tests. You will hear the masters say that the first thing to be learned as a student of martial arts is etiquette.


What exactly do they mean by ETIQUETTE?
They mean the proper code of behaviour for a martial artist.

So.....what is proper behaviour in a martial artist? The deceptively simple answer: Any behaviour that is motivated by RESPECT. If you truly learn this martial art, it is inevitable and natural that you will develop respect for the art. In appreciating the truth and beauty of the art, you will automatically also develop respect for the teachers who impart their knowledge to you. Likewise. you will have respect for your classmates who share your learning adventure. And, also, there will be respect for yourself, the learner.

The remainder of this article consists of various rules and regulations. In reading through them and learning them, don't forget that RESPECT and manners are the rationale for their existence. As martial artists in the modern world we must always remember the five principles of the Ancients:

  1. Virtue
  2. Trust
  3. Intelligence
  4. Bravery
  5. Discipline



Always address the instructors by their correct title. You may al so say ''Sir'' or "Madam" Using the instructor's first name or - saying "Hey you is not polite or respectful.

Instructor titles are listed below.

JO KYO NIM: 1st degree black belt
KYO SA NIM 2nd degree black belt
PU SA BUM NIM 3rd degree black belt
SA BUM NIM 4th degree black belt
KWAN JANG NIM Master (5th degree and higher)
SA JA NIM Grand Master - Inheritor


Bowing is the most obvious way to show respect. As a martial arts student, you will bow frequently and it is important to know when and how to bow.

Bow whenever you enter or leave the practice area of the D0 JANG
This ''DO JANG BOW" is executed by bringing the right fist over the heart (palm side facing the heart) and saying ''Sool" and then bend forward from the waist.

When you first see an instructor
Bow to your Instructor as you greet them. When you leave school, bow to an Instructor as you bid them farewell.

''Bow in'' before practice and "Bow out" after practice.
These four bows are done from a kneeling position at the beginning and ending of every class. The first bow is to the national flag; the second bow is to the association flag; the third bow is to the grandmaster (if he is present) or to his picture (if he is not in the DO JANG); and the fourth bow is student and instructor together. If you are in a D0 JANG when a class bows in, always bow with the class even if you are not ready for class or are not staying for the class. In such a situation, if you are in street clothes you may perform the bows from a standing position.

During practice
Bow to teacher when beginning and ending hyung
bow to association flag when practicing hyung without supervision
bow to partners before and after sparring
bow to partners before and after techniques practice
bow any time the instructor tells you to bow

The bow is executed by bending forward from the waist slightly - about 45 degrees. Your eyes should be lowered, but you should still be able to see all of the person to whom you are bowing. If you are in uniform, then your hands should be holding your belt in the attention position; if you are in regular clothes then keep your arms at your sides.


  1. Come to class clean and well groomed.
  2. Come to practice with a complete and presentable D0 BOK (DO BOK is the Korean word for martial arts uniform). This means the uniform should be clean and un-torn it should include underwear, Jacket, Bottoms and belt. Any T-Shirt or leotard worn under the Jacket should be black. Always treat the D0 BOK with respect; after class, fold it neatly.
  3. Change into your uniform without delay before practice. Always wear the full uniform at the beginning of class. If the weather is hot, you may ask permission to take off the Jacket or T-shirt after class has bowed in.
  4. Do not wear Jewelry during practice. Jewelry can cause injury to yourself or your partners.
  5. Do not use drugs except for medication. If you are ever found drunk or drugged in the D0 JANG, you may be expelled.



  1. Do take your shoes off before entering the practice area
  2. Don't sit on top of the desks
  3. Don't eat, drink, chew gum or smoke in the DO JANG
  4. Don't swear, curse or use vulgar language inside the DO JANG.
  5. Don't leave your DO BOK or any other possessions in the DO JANG
  6. Do help keep the DO JANG clean and orderly
  7. Do remember that we are all brothers and sisters in the Hapkido family



  1. Be on time for class; attend class regularly
  2. If you arrive late, ask for permission to Join the class. If you must leave early, ask for permission before leaving
  3. If your uniform needs adjusting, face away from the flags and kneel on your right knee when you fix it
  4. Whenever you've been told to sit down during a class session, sit properly with feet crossed or tucked under you - don't slouch or lean against walls.
  5. Concentrate on training. never do anything to obstruct your own or another's learning. There should be no unnecessary talking or horseplay during practice
  6. Practice to your full potential; push yourself to the limit of your endurance, energy and concentration
  7. Keep a strong mind. Don't let doubts or fears overshadow you. Also, don't show your weariness - it is contagious and will quickly contaminate your classmates. On the other hand: be realistic - don't push yourself beyond safe limits
  8. Discuss any problem or question with an instructor or master. Remember, it is better to get your answers from the highest possible authority. Don't ask a brown belt if you can ask a black belt; don't ask an instructor if you can ask a master
  9. Always persevere and have patience. NEVER GIVE UP

If you have recently been ill, or if you are recovering from an injury. you should inform the instructor prior to the class starting.



  1. Ask for permission from an instructor to use a weapon. Usually, weapon techniques are not learned until one has earned a brown belt
  2. Always treat weapons with care and respect. Do not lean or rest upon your weapon
  3. Never leave a weapon unattended; when you have finished practicing. put it away promptly
  4. Do not touch weapons that you have not been taught by an authorised instructor.
"Building a better future through Martial Arts"