CERTIFICATE -“a document attesting to a fact, qualification, etc. 1 to declare (a thing) true, accurate, etc. by formal statement”, this as defined by Webster’s dictionary. A seemingly simplistic definition, considering the intrinsic value.

There are many different kinds of certificates like summer camp awards, high school Varsity achievements, proof of college completion, draft card certification, citizenship papers, Taekwon-Do Instructors Courses and of course, Taekwon-Do Black Belt certificates. Meaningless all, pieces of paper without value except for its most important component, the signature of the individual, so certifying. An individual without whom that piece of paper would not certify, the accomplishment of the bearer. A signature composed of not only a name, but more importantly the essence of value that the person signing represents and is giving to the bearer of said certification. An individual who is personally vouching and attesting, on behalf of the bearer.

The encyclopedia of Ch’ng Hon Taekwon-Do is laid out according to themes of importance to properly instruct the Taekwon-Do student and instructor as to the appropriate rules of conduct and behavior. Moral Culture is divided into 5 major parts, being in the forefront of said encyclopedia.

The purpose of Moral Culture– Confucius said –“to promote the sense of morality, one must treat others with faithfulness and sincerity based on righteousness and to eliminate vicious thinking”.

  1. HUMANITY – Confucius defined humanity in the following ways:
    1. To love people, especially one’s parents
    2. Not asking others to do what you would rather not do.
    3. To behave automatically with the nature of propriety by promoting moral sense.
    4. To have unbending desire to accomplish what is right regardless of how insignificant the result may initially seem when compared to the amount of effort put forth.
    5. To value others’ honor before your own.
    6. To put others’ freedom before your own
  2. RIGHTEOUSNESS– Confucius said “It is the supportive measure employed to enhance humanity, thought to be the highest degree of virtue.”
  3. PROPRIETY– is a term describing proper code of conduct between various social status, for example: superior and inferior, noble and common, old and young, rich and poor etc….
  4. WISDOM-the ability to judge right from wrong, not especially in matters concerning the right or wrong of others but in matters concerning oneself.
  5. TRUST-the ability to keep ones’ words and promises, not only to ones’ friends but to everyone in general.

In the case of Black Belt certification of any level, a signature too is required to legitimize the rank obtained. It is the instructor’s signature at the bottom of the certificate, which attests, according to the instructors experience and evaluation, that the bearer deserves the rank so written on the certificate. Not only has the instructor evaluated the student’s physical abilities for said rank, but more importantly, has also made the evaluation based on the 5 Moral Culture components. The instructors signature above all else, embodies in ink, a moral bond of trust and honor received from instructor to student. There are many who jump from school to school, or organization to organization, improperly seeking for this of highest of bonds by requesting higher rank, despicable at best, but worse is the student who does not “value his instructor’s honor above his, who does not behave with the nature of propriety by promoting moral sense, by lacking faithfulness and sincerity based on righteousness, and having the inability to judge right from wrong in matters concerning himself.”

This kind of student, blatantly dishonors his instructor in every moral way, when accepting an inferior grade, from an inferior school or organization. His actions go against everything the certification stands for, demeaning and insulting the name, bond, reputation and honor of the instructor, the ultimate, unforgivable insult.