Respect. We use respect in martial arts all the time. It is the cornerstone of any style with depth. in our modern times the respect aspects of martial arts is primarily used in character development. Many students begin their martial arts journey not for the physical techniques, but for the respect, focus and discipline. It is possible to believe that respect and character development in martial arts have taken on a life of their own, separate from the original, primary purpose of martial arts, self defense. I’m here to tell you that respect is the best self defense technique.
Respect, an act of giving particular attention. Respect, deep admiration for someone or something due to their qualities, achievements, conduct et.al.
This begins with paying attention. Paying attention to the master or instructor is paramount in karate. This attention is an awareness that grows with the progress of the student. The rank society of martial arts demands this awareness and attention. You must pay attention to and consider others whether you want to or not. Eventually it becomes part of your nature and character to pay attention to others. To have an awareness that expands beyond yourself. As this awareness of others expands, it allows you to really live a life of RESPECT. You can’t help but be aware of others and to some degree how they feel or have a clue about their situation. This in turn lets you act appropriately and with compassion and discipline when it is required; enables you to live more mindfully in the present.
Being aware, the most important part of self defense. Awareness lets you see potential trouble and to therefor avoid it. Awareness lets you seize opportunities to advance your life and situation, protecting you with the security of a better job, position, living condition, etc.
This leads to greater confidence, to take the leadership role and grow. Most predators and bullies don’t attack the leader or leaders of the pack.
As our society continues to rapidly change, the physical techniques of Martial Arts are still vitally important, but the Respect it teaches is indispensable to modern self defense. The chances of fighting an invading army are thankfully slim, however we are interacting with our fellow humans more than ever. Society needs Respect, must cultivate and treasure Respect. Martial Arts and the work of those that propagate and spread its knowledge have never been more important.
Choe's HapKiDo Karate Academy of Duluth
1630 Pleasant Hill Rd., #210
Duluth, GA 30096