Word of the Month for December is: Courtesy
When parents sign their children up for martial arts classes very often they are looking for a healthy activity that will also teach their kids respect. And Karate certainly does that. However, also intertwined with respect is a trait, value or behaviour called COURTESY which we feel is equally important to teach all of our students at Bernardo Karate regardless of their age.
The definition of COURTESY in the English Oxford dictionary is the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behaviour towards others; a polite remark or considerate act.
At Bernardo Karate we provide ample opportunities for COURTESY to be displayed and practiced in all of our classes. First off, students begin and end each class by bowing, a courteous gesture showing respect for their Instructors, fellow students and the art they practice. Some other simple things we practice and focus on while teaching COURTESY is using words such as please, thank you and you’re welcome. These words alone help Bernardo Karate promote a positive environment where politeness is practiced and pleasant words are used to make families and students always feel welcome.
At Bernardo Karate our Black Belt Instructors strive to be exceptional teachers and role models. Being courteous, polite, kind and respectful while teaching are the exact character traits and values we wish to build up in all of our students.
“We are teaching our students the basics, such as punching and kicking and how to protect themselves,” says Sensei Tammy Bernardo, “but more importantly we are teaching them that their first line of defense is the words they use or their voice.” For example, when bullying or when most conflicts occur, sometimes tempers flare and loud voices and certain words are used that unfortunately may lead to some sort of physical contact to occur. Sensei Tammy says, “first off, we teach our students to remain calm and to try to react in a peaceful manner. Being polite and courteous, particularly in these situations may help prevent any misunderstanding from escalating further and also shows that you wish to avoid a confrontation or altercation altogether.”
Part of being courteous also requires good listening skills, putting other’s needs ahead of your own and being respectful to all authorities including parents, teachers, elders and employers. These are all things we focus on in our Bernardo Karate classes. “I think it is a must to develop good manners and positive values such as COURTESY,” says Sensei Tammy. “Our Bernardo Karate programs help produce courteous, polite, kind and respectful individuals not just at the dojo but at home, at school, at work, at social gatherings and everywhere it is expected.”