Respect means to be nice, kind, and considerate to yourself and others.

Respect for others, ourselves and our training – genuinely felt and always shown – is our most important value. It is central to all other values in Taekwondo. Courtesy, loyalty, attitude, perseverance, honor, self-control, and integrity all depend on whether and how much a martial artist feels and demonstrates respect. It’s the sturdy foundation of our Black Belt Attitude! Respect is more than a thought or a feeling, though; it’s the way we act all of the time.

Respect is generally borne from fondness or from fear. Both are effective motives. The more widespread form is tempered by love, gratitude, and admiration: it embodies the feelings we have for our families and friends. It id natural, instinctive, and easy to have. Respect out of fear reflects our instinct for self-preservation. For example, respect for an enemy, for nature, or for the law can all be borne out of fear. It deters us from risk or provocation to avoid harm. Fondness and fear affect the respect we show ourselves too. Self-respect manifests itself in personal decision-making.

There is another type of respect more valiant than respect from fondness or fear. It is a skill that one gains through experience and wisdom. It is respect for all people and all things for their intrinsic worth. This is the respect that we show for juniors, for people who are strangers to us and those who live in distant lands, for all creatures great and small, and for future generations we will never see. Neither fondness nor fear compels this special feeling and behavior. It is borne of hope and humility, a sense of relation and duty to serve, and from fairness. More than all others, this kind of respect brings great honor upon those who show it.