Respect In Martial Arts & Life

2e1ax default entry karateRespect, discipline and courtesy play a huge role dating back to the ancient martial arts.

At TSDA we bow upon entering through the door of the dojang and also before entering the mat/training area.  We bow to our partner with whom we practice our self defence.  Before you start free sparring, we bow and graciously tap the mitt of our opponent in good sportsmanship.  In tournaments, when a sparring match ends and we win, we don’t jump up and down like we’ve just won an Olympic Gold medal.  Instead, we are respectful and courteous to our opponent.  Winning is celebrated quietly, with humility.

It is our aim when we teach, to impart lessons of respect and courtesy along with all the physical skills.  All of our instructors use courteous words and behaviors and carry themselves in a respectful manner.  We believe respect is not just given, but it is earned.  We listen intently to questions, show a technique several times until it is understood, and help to motivate each student to try his/her best.  In return, we expect students to pay attention and give 100% effort.

In TSDA, we have a safe, bully-free, firendly atmosphere, and any forms of disrepect are not tolerated or permitted.  We do however, allow an environment for students to learn  and improve and to have an opportunity to grasp these traits.  We do expect every student to learn from mistakes, as we oursleves continue to learn every day.  Each of us is only human and mistakes in judgements, actions and words are bound to happen.  However, as long as we learn from each experience, we become better people (regardless of age) and better martial artists.

Why is respect and courtesy so important in life?  When you apply respect and courtesy to your actions and reactions, you make small strides toward peace in our world; peace that is currently fractured.  Martial arts training clearly combines respect & courtesy in conjunction with tradition and the result is exemplary.  Respect and courtesy on a small-scale, beginning with your own actions, can help to curb violence and increase peace.  If you ever wonder what kind of positive change you can personally make that will have an effect on the world, you can start with respect and courtesy.  Smile at someone, chances are they will smile back; say hello and most likely you’ll get a response.  You must take the first step.  From now on, each bow you do into TSDA should be a reminder to use respect and courtesy throughout not just class, but life.  As mentioned above, we are only human and there may be bad decisions by accidentally lashing out at someone, or taking people for granted; but, if you learn from it, apologhise, be humble and truthful to yourself, you will become not only a respectful student in martial arts and life, but a respected one at that.


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