Martial Arts and Respect

Become-a-Member-karate-lessonsMartial arts are ancient self-defense techniques developed and practiced in various parts of Asia and brought to the United States where it is taught as Karate in America. There are different styles of martial arts that teach you ways to defend yourself from an attack. Taekwondo, Karate, Martial Arts, Hapkido, Kung-Fu, Wushu, MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, and many more. But self-defense is not the only thing that is taught. ATA Martial Arts teaches you life skills that can help you lead a healthy life. One such life skill that you will develop by learning martial arts is respect.

Respect is the first step

The first thing that you will learn at ATA Martial Arts is to respect. When you visit a martial arts school, you are bound to notice the many expressions of respect that students and teachers display. Whether it is your teacher, a fellow student or an opponent, you are taught to respect them and their skills by bowing, or any other form of salute, depending on the style of martial arts you are learning. Respect is inherent to martial arts and is one of the fundamental qualities that a martial artist has to develop.

Expression of respect

One of the most common ways to express respect in martial arts is to bow. Before beginning their lesson for the day, students bow to their master and say out the word “Yes Sir or Yes Ma’am”, to express respect and gratitude. The true expression of respect is when you bow and shake hands, and not loosely or casually. Students also refer to the teacher as Sah bum nim, a word used indicate respect towards a person. Be it in Karate, Taekwondo or any other form of martial arts, every student must give respect to the instructors, fellow students and other senior students who assist the master in teaching.

Regardless of what the expression for respect is, students have to convey their respect to the Martial Arts facility (place of learning), to their Instructor or Master and also to each other every day. Martial arts teach you to respect and value age, experience, expertise and rank. Only when you respect those who are experienced (have practiced martial arts and have the expertise in it), and those who are in a higher rank (who have proven their expertise), will you earn the eligibility to even learn martial arts.

“Before Amber and Adrian started Taekwondo ATA Karate Classes, they used to be really shy, and whenever they had to do a school project and talk in front of the class, you could barely hear them. Both of them were really nervous. But, since they started with the ATA [Karate] and the Leadership classes both can talk in front of the class and it has helped their grades.”

-Mark Kashay (father of Adrian and Amber)

Respect for Self

ATA Martial Arts teaches you to respect not just another person, but also yourself. The belief here is that you need to have self-respect to be able to give respect to another person. Students are encouraged to develop self-respect by taking care of their appearance and etiquette. It is the student’s responsibility to stay tidy and wear clean martial arts ATA uniforms, and maintain cleanliness in their own homes and classes. Students are also encouraged to groom themselves to stay healthy and hygienic. Poor eating habits, lack of discipline, smoking, over consumption of alcohol etc also indicate lack of self-respect.

Promotion to a higher level in any form of martial arts is also dependent on the respect that a student has for self and others. ATA Martial Arts teaches you to develop a sense of respect for yourself, your superiors and elders, but it does so gradually. It is important to understand that by committing to learn and practice martial arts, you are committing to a life with respect.

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