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When to Bow
- When entering or exiting dojang. When entering the dojang, stop just inside the entrance and bow toward the training area as a sign of respect for the school and as an indicator that you are now entering the world of Taekwondo. When exiting the dojang, stop just inside the entrance, and bow toward the training area as a sign of respect for the school and as an indicator that you are now re-entering the civilian world.
- When first meeting a more senior belt than yourself, including your instructor. As a greeting, bow to each senior belt you meet for the first time during a training day. After the first meeting, bowing is not normally required. However, if making some special request from the instructor or a senior black belt, it is proper to bow. Some instructors want students to bow each time they speak directly to him or her. Do not always expect the instructor to return the bow since instructors sometimes talk to a hundred students a day. Usually, any bows used after the first one to the same person are quick, courtesy bows.
- When entering or exiting instructor's office. Some instructors want students to bow when entering or exiting the instructor's office.
- When entering or exiting training area. Each time you step into the training area, bow toward the center of the training area as an indication that you are ready to forget everything in your life and are entering your training frame of mind. Each time you step out of the training area, bow toward the center of the training area as an indication that you are exiting your training frame of mind
- When class begins and ends. Although it varies from school to school, there are typically one or more formal standing or kneeling bows given at the beginning of class. See protocol topic for more information. Usually the first bows are to toward the ceremonial wall as a sign of respect to Taekwondo, its founders, and those who have come and gone before you. Then bows are made in respect to the instructors. Sometimes a bow is made as a sign of respect to fellow students. All these bows signify that you are ready to train. Although it varies from school to school, there are typically one or more formal standing or kneeling given at the end of class. These bows signify that the training session is over.
- When working with a partner. Each time you start working with a new partner, it is proper etiquette to bow to him or her and then bow again when you finish. Some schools bow when passing a piece of equipment to another student.
- When sparring. Each match begins and ends with a bow. After committing a foul, bow to opponent. At start of last round with an opponent, bow to opponent. Bow to opponent at other times it seems fitting.
- When performing a pattern. Each pattern begins and ends with a bow.