Martial arts is built on a foundation of respect. Respect for yourself, and respect for others.
When we train, there are small things we do that have respect at their foundation. For example, we bow to one another, follow the directions of instructors, and say “yes sir”. These things are all small actions that are designed to instill a sense of respect in students and instructors alike.
Small, outwardly signs of respect are important because respect should be both shown and felt.
The starting point for respecting others, though, is self-respect. Learn is to respect yourself, and respecting others will follow. Don’t be haughty! Just recognize that people have value, and that includes you. If you don’t respect yourself, you probably won’t truly learn to care for others.
Respecting yourself in martial arts is done in ways both big and small. Coming to class clean, wearing a uniform properly, bowing to others, and being punctual are all signs of respect. Taking care of a sparring partner, encouraging and helping other students with their technique, and staying positive as you learn are all bigger ways you can think about respect in your training.
Take the respect you learn in martial arts and apply it to other aspects of your life. Respect your parents and grandparents, your siblings, your schoolwork, your work. Treat others kindly and value them.
“Actions speak louder than words”, especially with respect. Show it!