Around the Dojang – The Nine Principles of a Black Belt

Ever look around the dojang and wonder at some of the things you see? For instance, the Korean symbols displayed above the mat. They are large and easy to see — obviously important given their prominence — but do you know their meanings?

These are the nine characteristics Black Belt leaders exemplify, and that we instill in students as they work through the color belts. These nine characteristics — along with the Black Belt Creed — are the compass that should guide the decisions of our aspiring black belts.



Treat others as important individuals. Be compassionate and thoughtful.






Behave in a way that is ethical and fair for everyone.






Have a polite, respectful attitude towards others.






Use good judgement. Apply knowledge and past experience to current situations.






Speak truthfully and be reliable. Do what you say you will do.






Be kind and generous. Help others when you can.






Have high standards for yourself. Make good, moral choices at all times.






Be true to yourself and others. Consistently make the right decision.






Face fear and danger to do the right thing. Stand up for what is good, though others may not.