Respect on the mat – at your martial arts school

bowing300Showing respect in our martial arts class is much like showing respect in our classroom at school.  It begins with showing respect for your instructor.  In line with the eastern manner, we remove our shoes and bow before coming on the mat to practice, and inside our head we say “respect” as a way to remind ourselves of where we are and what we are doing.

Respect on the mat is shown by taking care of the equipment we are using, putting it away properly.  It is also shown by sharing it with our classmates.  In fact being kind to our classmates, addressing them with respect, listening to their comments and using the manners and etiquette of the dojo in all that we do.  When someone new comes to the class, introducing ourselves to them and welcoming them warmly shows respect both for the new classmate and to the school.  Encouraging and ‘cheering’ them for progress shows respect for their efforts.

Listening to the instructor, following directions, using manners, saying Yes sir or Yes ma’am,  not talking when others are talking, not raising our hand when others are talking, practicing at home,  placing our shoes neatly in the cubbies or under the benches so others do not trip are all ways of showing respect.

If we are waiting for our class to begin, sitting quietly on the mat, tying our belt, helping the instructor if asked to,  are ways of showing respect for the class ahead of us and to the instructor.

Finally one more way we can show respect for the martial arts school is to talk about Balanced Life Skills and what you like the most about it to your friends, inviting them to be a part of our efforts to be the best we can be, to be aware, compassionate and respectful.  How have you benefited from what you have learned?  Help your school to be healthy with a full population of students, is a positive way of showing respect for the efforts of the instructors.

If you really enjoy your classes, you may be able to help too by assisting the instructor in class.  Helping to teach a class is rewarding and even if you believe you are not qualified or ready to help – you may be more ready than you think.  How so?  The most important part of teaching is our attitude of respect for others.  Do you have that attitude?  We would love to have your assistance.