When building the foundation of Karate, it's important to remember a very important virtue in Japanese culture, and that is courtesy.
When I ask a group of kids in class what the meaning of the word courtesy was, they looked at me as if I went bonkers! Slowly though they started to figure out the meaning of the word. It wasn't long before I had a handful of useful examples. Such as meeting new people, seeing relatives, greeting your new teacher at school this year. It is just as important as when you depart these people too.
Courtesy can be defined as, "the showing of politeness in one's attitude and behavior toward others". Other words such as etiquette, protocol, politeness, having good manners. These are all examples of being courteous.
At Karate Works we set the bar high for courtesy. It's part of a students requirement to show courtesy to parents, adults and other students, in order to promote. Not just in the dojo, but at home, school and everywhere the student travels. From the moment a new student steps into the dojo, we teach them a formal bow in protocol for class as well at the end of class. We have a saying in karate, "karate begins and ends with courtesy".
The idea is to magnify the word courtesy. Do you realize what happens when you supersize the word courtesy. You take the act of being courteous and turn it into an assistant, a helper, a volunteer, a good Samaritan. You start building your reputation on the good deeds you perform in your community, the people you help, the kids you coach, the word you preach, the respect you earn from the courtesy you extend to all around you. It all starts with the simple act of being courteous.