Q: Which direction should I face while I adjust my uniform or belt?

A: Great question! Adjusting one’s uniform should be performed “turned away” from the direction that the class is facing. It is out of respect for the instructor, the other students and the practice space (dojang) itself. In the context of “being excellent”, the idea is that we always present ourselves as best as we can in any given moment!

Q: So, Who Is Higher Ranking?

A: The question came up recently after class about who is higher ranking than whom and we decided to clarify.

So, why is rank even important?  Firstly, we want to make the point that higher rank does not necessarily mean better or superior!  It means that this particular person has put in the time and effort in the Sun Soo system to move up the ranks sooner.

In our Traditional Tae Kwon Do class, we line up according to rank with the highest ranking person standing to the right of the lower ranking students.  We also ask lower ranking students to seek out higher ranking students to answer any clarifying questions.  We also ask higher ranking students to remain humble and not use their rank to control or humiliate lower ranking students.

The higher ranking student is:

  • Higher ranking than you (as indicated by belt color).
  • If two or more students are the same belt rank, the higher ranking student is the one who tested into that rank first in the Sun Soo system.
  • If two or more students are the same belt rank and tested at the same time, the higher ranking student is the one who began attending classes first.

Please let us know if you have any other questions about rank.

Q: How should I practice tae kwon do at home?

A: There are many, many ways that one can practice at home.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Work on specific techniques in front of a mirror (if room doesn’t permit stepping, then if it is a hand technique get into the proper stance and employing pivoting – chamber then execute and repeat — being sure to twist and snap everything into place simultaneously.  if it is a foot technique, then step into fighting stance and repeatedly kick with the same leg, stepping back into the original stance each time)
  • Practice technique and accuracy by hanging a small target from a string (like a small ball of aluminum foil) suspended (by tape) from the ceiling.  This is useful for both hand and foot techniques.
  • Work on proper kick tracking with props.  example 1:  practice side kick by standing next to a dining table lift kicking leg up with knee high and supporting heel pivoted toward the table and slowly and with smooth control track the kick out above and across the table top and then back slowly and smoothly to re-chamber position.  example 2:  practice round house kick by getting into fighting stance and placing an object like a tall kitchen trash can just in front of the front leg — practice kicking with the rear leg lifting the knee high enough to safely track above the object, stopping at the kicking plane and then finishing the kick with the foot continuing path of travel out in the same line as the shoulder, hip and knee — and then re-chambering and pivoting back into the original stance.
  • Practice your forms and 1-steps in a room with the furniture moved to the edges or outside in the yard.  note: practice ALL of your forms and1-steps!
  • Practice noticing! — at everything!  the more observant you become the better martial artist you will be.
  • Practice stretching, especially parts of your body that are particularly sore or that do not have the range of motion that you would like
  • Increase your strength in your core muscles especially — twisting sit-ups, Pilates exercises, leg-lifts, crunches, etc.,…
  • Visualize yourself executing your tae kwon do, whether you do this in the form of forms, 1-steps, sparring, or individual techniques — see yourself the way you would like to be.  The more clearly you can visualize the more you will improve (the brain does not know the difference between clear, vivid visualization and actual physical experience).  This means those few minutes as you fall asleep or come into consciousness in the morning can become your movie theater to the new martial artist you.
  • Teach a family member — as you begin to teach you begin to really learn.  If you are enthusiastic and effective, your family member may eventually join you in class!

There are many other ideas that come to mind.  These are just a few that come to my mind.  There is great value in you creating your own as well…

Q: What do we say at the end of class?

A: We say: “Sugu-hashi som nida” which means “thank you for the class” in Korean.
Or, if you really went all out, then you are saying: “thank you for the sweat!”

Q: Could you clarify if the Chon-Ji Hyung 1-steps should be with a knife hand or closed fist?

A: Great question!  In the student portal, the “proficiency” comments on the left hand side of the page for white belts applies to the collection of basic technical curriculum comprised of both the first form “Chon Ji” and the first three one-steps.

While it is true that the “knife hand” does not show up in the form Chon Ji, it does show up in one form (forward reaching in one-steps 2 and 3 for white belt).   So watch the 1-steps videos for white-yellow belt. When you get to yellow belt you will be introduced to the more conventional knife-hand strike.

Q: What are the Korean commands used at the beginning and during Tae Kwon Do training?

A: Thank you for your question. We appreciate all of them.  Please remember that there is no substitute for real-time learning in class.  If there is anything not understood in class, not only is it permissible, but encouraged – for students to publicly ask questions for the education and clarification to all present.

cha ryuht : attention
choon bi : ready
bah ro : return to starting position
dwi uro dorah : about face
dorah : turn
elosoh : stand
gomahn : stop (also “mum cho“)
geuk gi hyang ha yoh : face the flag
jwa woo hyang woo : face each other
sah bum nim keh : face instructor/master
sun bae nim keh : face senior student
simsa kwan nim keh : face examiner/tester
dobok dahnjung : fix your uniform
dhee dahnjung : fix your belt
hai sahn : class dismissed (also “hae cho“)
jonglee : line up (also “ji hap” and “jung yul“)
kyung nae : bow
ahnjoe : sit
kool o angi : kneel (kneeling)
bah ro angi : sit in lotus position (yoga posture)
bahl bah kwah : switch your stance (switch your feet)
koo ryung op see : in your own time
seijak : begin
shiuh : relax
kalyeo : break (or stop)
kae sok : continue

Q: How Do I Prepare for a TaeKwon-Do Class

A: Warm Up and Stretching. Warming up before class is strongly encouraged because it minimizes the risk of injury during class.  To warm up before class perform activities GENTLY …such as doing forms, jumping jacks, slow jog around the room, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, stretch kicks and various punches and blocks.  Get your blood flowing and warm up those muscles!

We strongly encourage you to stretch after class when the muscles are sufficiently warm.  Warm muscles stretch better and you will increase your flexibility and range of motion.  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Obtain additional help from black belt students who are present to assist.

Q: Which side of the uniform does the JTF patch go on?

A: Patches on the uniform:  The Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do patch goes on the student’s left (viewer’s right) and the JTF (Jun Tong Taekwon-Do Federation) patch goes on the student’s right (viewer’s left).  Patches are to be sewn on the uniform prior to the first testing for each student.

Q: What are the rules in the dojang?


  • 1. Bow to the Instructor(s) when entering and leaving the school.
  • 2. Bow to the Instructor when entering and leaving the Do Jang.
  • 3. Bow to the flags when entering and leaving the Do Jang mat.
  • 4. Face away from the Instructor, higher belts, or flags when tying belt or fixing your uniform (Do Bak)
  • 5. Show respect to higher ranks, especially the Instructor.
  • 6. Wear a clean Do Bak at all times and have it folded neatly when leaving the school.
  • 7. Telephone the office if you will be unable to attend class for an extended period of time.
  • 8. No food, beverage or chewing gum will be allowed on the Do Jang mat.
  • 9. No profanity, no loud talking, and no horseplaying on school property.
  • 10. Maintain discipline and know the tenets of our martial art.
  • 11. Report all injuries to the Instructor.
  • 12. Do not try any techniques until the Instructor has shown you the proper way to execute them.
  • 13. No jewelry (including rings, earrings, necklaces, etc) worn during class.
  • 14. Shoulder length hair and longer must be tied back during class.