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Yea Eue - Martial arts etiquette.

As a student of martial arts 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? This term refers to the proper code of behavior for a martial artist.

What is the proper behavior for a martial artist? The deceptively simple answer: Any behavior 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, automatically you will 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. Finally, there will be respect for yourself.

Etiquette is much more than simply saying "Yes sir" or "No sir," it is the way that we act and comport ourselves as martial artists both in and out of class. Etiquette is important in the way we deal with other people, and in the way we accept other points of view or ways of life. Etiquette and respect represent the way we project ourselves in all of our dealings with others. This is why etiquette is such an important aspect of our training in Kuk Sool Won™.

Examples of Yea Eue include:

  • Always address the instructors by their correct title. You may say "Sir" or "Ma'am" as well. The appropriate titles are listed below:
  • Using the instructor's first name neither polite nor respectful.
  • The martial artist should bow when entering or leaving the do jang. This bow is performed by bringing the right fist over the heart, palm side facing the chest, and saying "Kuk Sool!" You then bend at the waist, in the direction of the flags, or in the direction of the Master.
  • The martial artist should bow when first seeing his instructor and greeting him, as well as when departing and bidding him farewell.
  • The martial artist should stop what he is doing and bow to any master that enters the do jang.
  • The martial artist should observe the ritual of bows at the beginning and end of each class: Bow to the National flag, bow to the Association (Won Ki) flag, bow to Kuk Sah Nym (or his portrait), bow to all black belts, in order of rank, and finally bow to signify “practice begins” or “practice ends”. These bows are performed while kneeling. Bring your heart to the ground.
  • The martial artist who witnesses a class bowing in or bowing out should bow with them. It is acceptable to do so from a standing position.
  • The martial artist should bow to his instructor when beginning and ending Hyung.
  • The martial artist should bow to the flags when practicing hyung without the supervision of his instructor.
  • The martial artist should bow to his opponent(s) before and after sparring.
  • The martial artist should bow to his partner before and after practicing techniques.
  • The martial artist should bow anytime he is instructed to bow!
  • The martial artist should arrive to class on time.
  • When arriving late, the martial artist must ask permission to join practice.
  • The martial artist should remove his shoes when entering the do jang.
  • The martial artist should not enter his master's office unless he has business there.
  • The martial artist should abstain from alcohol and tobacco products immediately before and after class.
  • The martial artist should never smoke on the grounds of the do jang!
  • The martial artist should refrain from the use of profanity and/or expletives.
  • The martial artist should refrain from idle talk during training.
  • The martial artist should support his arm at the elbow when shaking hands.
  • The martial artist should support his arm at the elbow when extending a hand to assist an elder.
  • Two hands should be used to give or take an article, such as a business card, or a student's attendance card.
  • The martial artist should come to class clean and well groomed.
  • The martial artist should take excellent care of his do bok - meaning keep it clean and unwrinkled, mend any minor tears in the fabric, etc...
  • The martial artists should grip his belt knot when standing at attention, with both index fingers pointing down.
  • The martial artist should keep his feet together when standing at attention.
  • The martial artist should keep his eyes bright and focused forward when standing at attention.
  • The martial artist should stand at attention whenever waiting in line during practice.
  • The martial artist should turn away from the flags when adjusting his uniform. He should drop to his right knee also.
  • When instructed to sit down, the martial artist will sit upright and attentively, with feet crossed or tucked underneath the body. He should not slouch, and must not allow his back to rest against the wall.
  • The martial artist conceals his weariness, to prevent it from contaminating the concentration of his classmates.
  • The martial artist must obey his instructors and other practitioners of higher rank.
  • The martial artist should not disturb upper belts while they practice.
  • The martial artist should help lower belts whenever possible.
  • The martial artist must not attempt a technique he has not been taught.
  • The martial artist will not teach, in or out of the do jang, unless he is a qualified instructor.
  • The martial artist should ask permission from his instructor or master if he wishes to practice at another Kuk Sool do jang.
  • The martial artist must ask permission from his instructor prior to touching a weapon.
  • The martial artist must not drop his weapon or allow it to hit his (or anyone else's) body during practice. This includes not leaning or resting on a weapon - it should never be permitted to touch the ground.
  • The martial artist should not bow over his weapon.
  • The martial artist must never leave a weapon unattended. When finished with practice, promptly put the weapon away.
  • The martial artist should assist in keeping the do jang clean and tidy.
  • The martial artist must never use his training needlessly. It is only to be used in the defense of the good.

Of course there is much, much more to Yea Eue, so much, in fact, that it would be impossible to write it all out.



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