This month’s focus is on courtesy. One of the great attributes we develop as a martial artist is courtesy. One important way we show courtesy in martial arts is with our bow. We can bow on and off the mat to display courtesy to our school and instructors, and even bowing to our fellow martial artists.
Here are some reminders of simple ways to extend courtesy to those around you, on and off the mat.
- Greet everyone politely; not only students, but family, friends, teachers and even strangers.
- Welcome new students on their first day. They are probably nervous like the rest of us were on our first day of training, so make them feel part of the family.
- Saying “please” and “thank you”. These are simple words, but they mean so much.
- Raise your hand in class or follow class protocol when you have a question.
- Use good table manners.
- Smile. Don’t sneer, snicker, or smirk. If you smile, you may just make someone’s day. It’s contagious!
- Say “yes, Ma’am” and “yes, Sir”.
- Before you start your sparring match, you tap the mitt of your opponent in good sportsmanship.
- If you win a sparring match or a game, show courtesy and be gracious with your win.
- Do not litter. Always use a trash bin.
- Always apologize when you do something wrong, if you hurt someone, apologize even if it’s an accident.
- When someone is having a conversation, do not interrupt. If you must interrupt, make sure you are polite and say, “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt …”
- Don’t embarrass another person. It is not polite to embarrass someone. It is considered rude and mean, and it makes you look like a bully.
- Hold the door open for someone. Go out of your way to help someone out who needs it, especially your elders.
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