Lining Up Mats Dojang LayoutUpon entering the place where you train, after bowing of course, known as the “dojang”, you may find yourself meeting and greeting several fellow students along with instructors in the room. Students may be engaged in stretching, practice or just quietly chatting. This setting will soon change when class begins and the instructor or senior student calls out the command to line up, either in English or in Korean (chung-neol). When called to line up, all students who intend of participating in class will immediately line up in rows facing the front of the “do-jang” (training space) as quickly as possible and remain in a relaxed position.

The number of rows and the number of students in each row are determined by the shape and size of the dojang as well as by the number of students. When facing the front of the dojang, the students line up by rank from their right to their left, forming lines from front to back. Therefore, a student will always line up to the rear and/or left of their seniors. The instructor will typically stand in the front of the class facing the students, and will be in the center of the front row.

The example above depicts a class where a black belt (1st Dan) student is attending and has started the first row. The next highest ranked student in this example is a red belt (2nd Geup) who stands to the left of the senior student roughly arms-length away. To the left of that red belt stands a blue belt with a red tip (3rd Geup) and to the left of that student is a blue belt (4th Geup). This will continue until the first row is complete and if needed a second row is started and so on. Each new row formed should be roughly two steps or one long step back from the first row with each person in the second row standing directly behind a student from the first row creating even lines

When two or more students have the same rank, position is determined by age, oldest first, youngest last. If multiple students are the same rank and same age, position amongst themselves no longer matters and they can choose who goes first. Any student attending class without a uniform automatically forfeits their position in line and moves to the end of the last row due to a lack of displayed rank. Students showing up late must wait for permission to join class and if permission is granted they will always take the last position in the back of the class regardless of rank.

After lining up the instructor may deliver announcements, acknowledgements, news or review planned class activities. The opening ceremony will come next when the instructor or senior student calls everyone to attention by yelling out “Char-yeot!