Traditions and Manners

“The essence of character, integrity and honor is shown through manner and respect for others and oneself. The ultimate goal of impeccable manner and respect involves a continuous effort to always improve upon an individual’s self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-esteem.”    (Sabumnim Chris Crockett (3rd Dan) of the Drexel University Jung Sim Do Martial Arts Club)

The following is an outline of the traditions and manners observed at West Shore Academy of Martial Arts.  To read Sabumnim Crockett’s original document, please click here.

Bowing: (feet together toes to heels, tight fists at sides, bow at the waist)

  • Entering the school: 
    • Immediately after entering the school, stop and bow into the room.
  • Leaving the school:
    • Before passing through the door, stop, face into the room and bow.
  • Entering/leaving the “cardio room” from the main classroom:
    • Bow towards the flags in the cardio room when entering or leaving the room.
  • Entering/leaving Master Vergara’s office:
    • Bow “into” the office as you enter and leave.
  • Bowing at the beginning and end of class:
    • You will learn how we start and end every class.  The bowing shows respect to the United States flag (our country), to the Korean flag (the origin of our style), mutual respect between instructor and student, and mutual respect among students.
  • Bowing to instructors:
    • When an instructor gives you a command, bow and say “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” (exception: when you are instructed to begin something with the command “She-jak”)
  • Bowing to judges: (during sparring, competitions, and tests)
    • When given the command “Kyung-yae” bow at the waist, look at the floor, say nothing, and do not straighten up until given the command “Ba-lo”
  • Bowing to your partner during class:
    • When given the command “”Kyung-yae”, bow at the waist, look at your partner in the eyes (regardless of rank), say “Jung Sim”, and straighten up (do not wait for “Balo”).
  • Bowing to black belts as they enter the school:
    • When a black belt enters the school, the high-belt on the floor will clap 2 times.  However, if the high-belt on the floor does not see the black belt enter the building, anyone may clap 2 times.
    • Before and after class:  when you hear the 2 claps, immediately come to attention facing the black belt.  If you are the high belt on the floor, you are responsible to say:  “Seeing (black belt’s name), Kyung-yae, balo”.
    • During Class:  The instructor will tell you to turn towards the black belt.  During class, the instructor of the class is responsible to say: “Seeing (black belt’s name), Kyung-yae, balo”, even if he/she is not the high belt on the floor.

Determining Rank:

  • Use these guidelines to help determine rank order for lining up for class:
    • Belt color :  in order high to low:  Black, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, dark blue, light blue, white.
    • Testing date: if two students are the same belt color, but they tested for that color during different tests, the one who tested first is the high belt.
    • Start date: if two students are the same belt color and they have always tested together, the student who started at WSAMA first is the high belt.
    • Same start date, same test date:  When this happens with siblings, the older sibling is the higher rank.  When students are not siblings, check with the office.
    • Different schools: A student of WSAMA outranks a student from another school who is wearing the same belt color, regardless of start date and test date.
  • Black belts:  junior vs. senior
    • 1st Dan Senior outranks both 1st Dan junior and 2nd Dan junior

Addressing Black Belts:

  • 1st Dan black belts are addressed:   Mr./Ms. + last name
  • 2nd and 3rd Dan black belts are addressed:  Sabumnim + last name
  • 4th – 6th Dan black belts are addressed:  Master + last name
  • 7th – 10th Dan black belts are addressed:  Grand Master + last name

Lining Up for Class:

  • Before class, visually determine where you should line up based on the rank of the other students present.
  • When called to line up, run to your pre-determined location
  • Use your best judgement when determining the number of students per line (do not ask).  The instructor will either specify how many to a line or adjust the lines before starting class.

During Class:

  • During the workout, students may not move without permission: do not wipe the sweat, do not fix hair, do not fix uniform, etc.
  • When addressing the instructor: always come to attention and say “sir” or “ma’am”
  • Do NOT talk with other students unless given permission
  • Only work on the material indicated by the instructor (for example: if the instructor says work on Hapkido, do not work on weapons)
  • Do NOT leave the floor without permission (including getting a drink and using the restroom).  If you feel like you are going to throw up, you may and should leave the floor immediately, without permission.

Teaching: interactions between students

  • Colored belts may not teach new material nor answer questions about material
  • First Dan black belts may answer questions about beginning belt material, but may not teach new material
  • Second Dan black belts may teach beginning and intermediate belt material
  • Third Dan black belts may teach up to and including 2nd Dan material.
  • All of the above rules may be overruled at the discretion of the instructor

Other topics:

  • Students should follow all hygiene and safety rules (click here)
  • NO shoes on the mats at any time – this extends to visitors as well.
  • All students should help to maintain the cleanliness of the dojang.