How To Greet Someone In Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a martial art that teaches you discipline, respect, determination, and skill.

It is a very technical martial art that will require you to learn a large number of techniques and moves that you will be able to practice and eventually use in fights. 

How To Greet Someone In Taekwondo

Because Taekwondo focuses very much on respect, there are certain things you must say and do in sparring matches and just generally in the training space. 

There is a lot you need to remember, but once you get into the flow of your training, you’ll pick up the etiquette with no problem and you’ll also learn some of another language! 

Where Does Taekwondo Come From?

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that originated as a defense martial art called “Subak” or “Taekkyon”. 

Taekwondo is well over 5000 years old and has continued to stay popular all around the world.

It is a martial art that is very technical and one of its biggest lessons is teaching you the art of discipline and respect for those around you. 

It is a martial art that actively encourages you to better yourself and improve your skills.

Most of the lessons you learn in taekwondo can be applied to real-life situations as well, and we don’t mean the fighting!

There are a lot of mental lessons and ways of life that are harnessed in Taekwondo that are actually extremely transferable to everyday situations. 

As Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, you will naturally learn some basic Korean phrases and words alongside your training as you’ll need to use them in the appropriate situations. 

How To Greet Somebody In Taekwondo

One of the most important things you’ll start to learn in Taekwondo is to great someone when you are sparring.

The reason you greet each other and opponents in Taekwondo is to show respect and honor. 

Some of the most common greetings and phrases you’ll use in Taekwondo include: 

  • Hello – An-yong-ha-se-yo 
  • I am fine – Ne Chal Ji-nae-sso-yo.
  • Nice to meet you – Man-na-so Ban-gap-sum-ni-da.
  • My name is John – Cho-nun John I-e-yo.
  • Goodbye – An-nyong-hi Ga-se-yo.
  • See you later – Na-jung-e Bwae-yo.

As you get more into your Taekwondo training, these phrases and sentences will become second nature and you’ll be able to have very basic conversations in Korean. 

Even if you don’t know any Korean before you start practicing and training in Taekwondo, you’ll be taught them alongside your training, so don’t worry about not getting them straight away! 

What To Say When Bowing In Taekwondo?

Bowing is an important part of sparring in Taekwondo.

You will bow whenever you have a match, whenever you’re training or sparring and whenever you’re addressing and learning from your teacher. 

When you are learning from your teacher, it is customary in Taekwondo to face them, bow, and say the phrase “Taekwon” as you bow.

It is important to note that whenever you bow, regardless of who you’re bowing to, you must always say “Taekwon”. 

Why Do You Bow?

As with most interactions, titles, and actions in Taekwondo, you bow to show respect.

Not only does it show respect for your instructors and your fellow students, but it also shows respect for yourself. 

Bowing in Taekwondo also shows respect for the martial art itself. The bow signifies appreciation and respect for the art. 

The Correct Titles 

Most people will know that Taekwondo has a belt ranking system, but it also has titles for each of the levels of trainers and authority figures. 

Using the correct title for the correct position is extremely important in Taekwondo as, just like with everything else in this martial art, it shows you have respect for your fellow practitioners and masters. 

The correct titles you should use are as follows: 

  • Great Grandmaster – Sa jo nim
  • Grandmaster –  Kwan jang nim
  • Master – Sa bum nim
  • Instructor – Kyo sa nim
  • Senior – Sun bae nim
  • Junior – Who bae nim

Learning these titles by heart and using them in the appropriate setting will put you in a good position with your fellow students and masters.

As Taekwondo is all about about respect, this is a great way to show it. 

General Words And Phrases Said In Taekwondo

There are lots of words and phrases you’ll hear being used in Taekwondo besides the greetings and the correct titles.

Some of the most common phrases you’ll hear when training include: 

  • Attention – Chah-ryut
  • Ready Position – Joon-bee
  • Begin – Si-jak
  • Yell – Kihup (kiai, kyup)
  • Bow – Kyung Nae 
  • Bow to Flags – Kuk Gee Eh Dae Han Kyung Na 
  • Uniform – Dobok
  • Gym for practice – DoJang
How To Greet Someone In Taekwondo (1)

Another common set of words you’ll hear are the numbers one to ten.

They are used when you’re counting alongside any techniques or drills, and are very commonplace when you’re training.

The Korean words for the numbers one to ten are: 

  • Hana – one
  • Dul – two
  • Set – three
  • Net – four
  • Dasot – five
  • Yasot – six
  • Elgub – seven
  • Yodol – eight
  • Ahob – nine
  • Yol – ten

What Belts Do You Get In Taekwondo? 

There are several belts you will work your way through when you take up Taekwondo.

Here is a list of the belts in order from white to black: 

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Senior Brown Belt
  • Red Belt
  • Senior Red Belt
  • Poom Belt
  • Black Belt

You will have to work your way through each one before you can reach the black belt.

The white belt is the easiest and quickest belt to obtain, but getting a black belt will take you on average about three to five years depending on your progression and skill. 


The main takeaway you should have from this article is the importance of respect in Taekwondo.

Showing the appropriate respect and having the right etiquette within the Taekwondo community can help you form better and stronger relationships with your fellow students and masters. 

Though it can be a bit daunting learning any level of a new language, you’ll find that learning these phrases mentioned will come to you pretty naturally because Taekwondo includes a lot of repetition, so don’t worry if you don’t learn them straight away! 

Christopher Anderson
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