How To Properly Shake Hands In Taekwondo (Guide for Beginners)

Are you new to Taekwondo and want to know how to properly shake hands with your opponent?

Maybe you have heard there is a correct way to shake hands with your elders and want to know if that is true?

How To Properly Shake Hands In Taekwondo

Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the reason might be that brought you here today, we have the answer for you!

When it comes to learning Taekwondo, there are many different rules you need to familiarize yourself with.

The martial art puts a huge emphasis on respect and correct etiquette, not only to other fighters but to instructors too.

But with so many different rules, it can be tricky to remember them all.

Soon you can find yourself overwhelmed, frantically scribbling down and searching for rules, unsure what is real and what isn’t.

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers that you need.

Just keep reading to find out how to properly shake hands in Taekwondo (see also ‘Why Do Taekwondo Competitors Keep Their Hands Down?‘) and everything else you need to know about the combat sport!

What Is Taekwondo?

Before diving into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those needing it!

Taekwondo is a martial art that uses punching and kicking techniques to strike their opponent and defend themselves.

There is a great emphasis on head-height kicks, fast kicking techniques, and spinning jump kicks, so you can expect to use your feet and legs a lot in training!

The martial art has evolved over the years and spread across the globe, with many children and adults attending training classes and taking part in competitions.

These competitions range from small fights at local classes to the Olympics!

Along with the ability to defend yourself, Taekwondo teaches you discipline, correct etiquette, and how to bring your mind and body together as one.

There are lots of rules surrounding the fighting techniques themselves, and etiquette that must be maintained both on and off the mat.

So let’s take a look at some of this etiquette now and get you the answers that you came here for!

How To Properly Shake Hands In Taekwondo

Let’s get straight into it and look at how you shake hands correctly in Taekwondo! This handshake is done with two hands and can be a little tricky to master at first.

Don’t worry, we have got a step-by-step guide coming up below so just follow our steps to become a handshake pro!

  1. To start, extend your right hand to the other person.
  2. Next, take their hand.
  3. Place your left-hand palm down under the right elbow.
  4. Push your hands down to briskly shake the other person’s hand.
  5. Release the other person’s hand and return your hands to your side.

That wasn’t as tricky as you first thought, was it?

The two-hand handshake can always seem a little challenging at first, but by breaking it down and following each step you are sure to get it right!

If you do make a mistake at the beginning, or only use one hand, don’t panic! Most people would assume this is because you are new and getting to grips with the handshake

You might be corrected by an instructor or more senior student who can then show you the correct handshake

Everyone makes a mistake or two when they are learning, so don’t panic if you slip up!

Sometimes, a one-handed handshake is done between opponents before a fight.

This looks like a typical handshake that we would do but is not very common.

In keeping with tradition, it is best to stick with the two-handed handshake.

If you find yourself struggling to master the technique, be sure to head online to watch a few tutorials.

Youtube is full of tutorials from other Taekwondo teachers and students who can walk you through the handshake and offer a visual reference too.

Why Do You Shake Hands In Taekwondo?

Now that we know how to shake hands in Taekwondo, you are sure to be wondering why you shake hands in Taekwondo?

Well, shaking hands is a matter of respect for the other person, and as we know, Taekwondo is all about respect and following the etiquette rules correctly!

By shaking hands with your opponent before a fight, you are showing them respect and wishing them well in the fight.

The same applies when you shake the hand of a senior student or teacher. You are showing them that you respect them and their ranking!

You are expected to shake hands with this two-handed handshake at all times, including when you are receiving or giving items, meeting new people, and before a fight.

This rule is maintained outside of your training classes and competitions too.

If you were to see a trainer on the street and greet them, you would be expected to use the two-handed handshake. After all, respect doesn’t stop when you are off the mat!

This respect and etiquette are also maintained when students visit other training classes, travel to competitions, or meet new people who practice Taekwondo.

It would be seen as disrespectful and poor manners not to shake someone’s hand and would suggest that you have poor communication skills.

The emphasis on shaking hands and other etiquette rules in Taekwondo is to teach you to respect others so that actual respect follows.

The martial art relies heavily on respect and clear communication through their rules around etiquette. They are just as important as learning the techniques correctly!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, how to shake hands properly in Taekwondo!

Sure, it can be tricky at first to get used to shaking someone’s hand with two hands, but once you have mastered it, you will see just how easy it is!

Be sure to use this two-handed handshake with everyone that you encounter to show your respect for them and the traditional rules of Taekwondo.

Christopher Anderson
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