Word of the Month for March is: Respect
To RESPECT someone or something is a positive way of thinking and acting. It shows you care and value someone else’s feelings and well-being. At Bernardo Karate we think it is so important for our students to learn about respect and how to respect others. It is an essential life skill that will help them develop better relationships with others throughout their entire lives and careers.
There are many interpretations of the word Respect. In the martial arts RESPECT is taught right away with a simple bow. Bowing represents a mutual respect for other martial artists, their Instructors and the space or dojo they train in.
RESPECT is a tough word to understand for our younger students. With our Little Dragons (aged 4-6) we teach a more basic definition of RESPECT and that is how you treat someone. To show someone respect or to be respectful means being kind, polite and helpful. We teach our younger students to use good manners and to always focus on their listening skills. Our younger students learn that to have RESPECT for yourself means taking care of your body by getting proper amounts of sleep and eating healthy food to fuel their movement and thinking. They learn RESPECT for their belongings particularly in taking good care of their karate uniform and belt and keeping a tidy bedroom at home. They are also taught RESPECT by always asking first before using things that don’t belong to them and to take care of items they borrow such as someone’s sparring equipment or a video game or book to read and to return it undamaged.
Everyone deserves respect and the best way to earn it is to show it to other people. At Bernardo Karate our students are taught to respect everyone at the dojo and to carry that respect to others in their homes and at school. Things like:
- Respect individual differences and don’t discriminate
- Do not tease others or call names
- Use a proper tone with your voice
- Respect teachers and all authorities by paying attention in class and getting along with others
- Don’t purposely exclude others. Let anyone who wants to play a game with you at recess join in on the fun.
Last month our Bernardo Karate word-of-the-month was SERVICE. “We spoke to our students about doing things for others without expecting anything in return,” says Sensei Tammy Bernardo, “and what better way to show RESPECT to someone else than by putting their needs ahead of our own.”
At Bernardo Karate, we also teach our students to RESPECT the “art” itself. Our students are never to use their martial arts skills unless they are forced to defend themselves or others. And even though we are teaching our students to protect themselves and others, we are more importantly teaching them self-control and how to be respectful and peaceful with their new knowledge and physical skills.
It brings to mind the saying, “respect is a two-way street….you have to give it in order to receive it,” says Sensei Tammy. “The bottom line in regards to RESPECT is to treat others the way you want to be treated.” With that in mind, our goal in teaching about RESPECT at Bernardo Karate is for our martial arts students to become better leaders, better citizens in their communities and better individuals overall.