Why Do We Bow In Taekwondo? – Learn The Reasons Here!


When you enter a taekwondo school, you will notice that all of the students bow before entering the class. They bow to each other, the floor, and even the walls. But why do they do this? Let’s explore this further.

The bow shows respect for elders, teachers, and other important people. When we bow, we show our respect and gratitude.

Why Do We Bow in Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a martial art based on kicking, punching, and throwing defensive techniques. In taekwondo, bowing is used to show respect to one’s opponent. There are different ways to bow depending on what you want to say. For example, if you wish to thank someone, you might bow three times; if you want to apologize, you could do it once. You can bow even if you don’t know the person well. If you’re showing respect, you shouldn’t worry about how much you bow.

In addition to bowing, you can learn many other things about taekwondo etiquette. Here are some tips:

1. When entering a room, always bow to the left. This is called “left foot forward.”

2. Always greet people with “namaste,” meaning “the light within me recognizes the light within you.”

3. Never touch anyone without permission.

4. Be careful around children. They might accidentally step on your feet.

5. Don’t use profanity.

How to Bow Properly in Taekwondo

Keep your knee bent slightly and your toe pointed outward when bowing. Your head should always be lowered, looking toward the ground. You must never raise your head while bowing.

The most common types of bows include the following:

1. The basic bow: This is the standard bow used throughout taekwondo.

2. The half bow: This is performed by bending one leg halfway and keeping the other straight.

3. The full bow: This is done by bending both legs completely.

4. The low bow: This is performed when bowing to someone older than yourself.

5. The high bow: This is performed whenever you greet someone else.

Who You Should Bow to and When

A senior or teacher will teach students how to bow properly. There are different rules about bowing depending on where you practice, such as whether it is formal or informal. You should always bow after being instructed or complimented.

Form of Etiquette Inside the Dojang

Dojo etiquette is important because it helps students learn how to behave during training sessions. In addition to the rules listed above, there are some additional ones you might want to consider.

Shoes should always be removed before entering the dojo. This includes socks, sneakers, sandals, etc. If shoes are left on, they must be taken off upon entry into the dojo.

Students should never touch another person while practicing, even if they are a teacher. When doing katas, students should make sure that they are facing away from the instructor. They should also avoid looking directly at them.

The student should always ask permission before touching anything inside the dojo. For example, if you see a stick lying around, you should ask the owner if you can pick it up.

If someone else is picking something up, you should politely tell them to stop. You don’t need to say “please.” Just saying “stop!” will suffice.

When cleaning the dojo, students should try to keep the floor clean. However, if you are stepping over broken glass, please step carefully.

Always remember to thank your instructors for teaching you.

Before Class

Always arrive on time, even when there is a delay. If you’re late, it makes others feel uncomfortable, and they will start thinking about how much longer they’ll be waiting. Arriving early allows you to meet instructors and fellow students and ask questions. You don’t want to miss out on meeting people because you don’t know what time class starts.

Respect the instructor and your fellow classmates. When you enter the room, say hello to everyone and introduce yourself. Don’t just sit down without saying anything. Be polite and respectful. Showing a sign of respect doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything someone says or does. But showing respect means treating others like human beings, not objects.

Higher belts like a black belt or senior belt should set a good example for lower belts. They should treat lower belts respectfully and never belittle them. Higher belts should help lower belts progress faster and avoid making mistakes.

Lower belts should show respect and obedience to higher belts. They should follow directions given by higher belts and do what they are told.

When Not to Bow

There are exceptions to every rule, and there are times when it’s better to stand up for yourself rather than bow down to someone else. For example, you might want to avoid bowing to people who are older than you because you don’t want to make them feel old. Or maybe you don’t like being told what to do. But sometimes, you just want to know what others think. In those cases, you can ask them directly.

Ask questions that let others express themselves freely without feeling pressured. You can start by asking open-ended questions such as: “What do you think about…?” or “How did you come to that conclusion?” This way, you won’t force anyone into giving you a yes or no answer. Instead, they can talk about whatever they want while you listen intently. If you find out later that something important was left unsaid, you can always follow up with another question.

You can also use closed-ended questions to help you understand how others see things. For instance, you could ask, “Do you think I should…?” or “Why do you say that?” These types of questions give you a starting point for further discussion.

Meeting Seniors or Instructors Outside the Dojang

Bow to your seniors when you first meet them in the classroom. You don’t want to look like you’re showing respect to them every day. This is especially true if you’ve been in the dojang for a while. If you haven’t met your instructors before, try to remember who they are even after graduation. Asking around is always helpful.

If You’re a Senior

When you are a senior, there are certain things you should do to show respect to your juniors. In Japan, seniors are called “yocho,” and juniors are called “kohai.” There are many ways to express respect to one another. For example, you can say “good morning” to your juniors and give them a hand if they ask for help. Or, you can tell your juniors what you think about something they did wrong. However, if you notice your juniors not bowing correctly, you must correct them.

Different Types of Martial Arts Bow

Bowing isn’t limited to martial arts. It’s common in other cultures as well. Some examples include:

In Japanese culture, bowing is used to greet elders, superiors, and teachers.

In Chinese culture, bowing is performed at funerals and during religious ceremonies.

In Korean culture, bowing is done to honor guests, elders, and teachers.


In conclusion, when you first step into a taekwondo class, you may feel like you’re entering another world. But once you begin taekwondo training, you’ll quickly realize that taekwondo isn’t just a sport. It’s also a lifestyle. And if you stick with it long enough, you’ll see that it’s a powerful tool for self-improvement and personal development. So why bow? Because you should!


Hi, I'm Ollie. I've always been interested in martial arts and how they got their names and traditions. I love how every martial rat has its own unique style to a degree and how some implement other types of martial arts. I hope I can help you guys answer your martial arts questions!

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