It’s not uncommon for parents to enroll their kids into our Beginners Karate Program to teach their child the importance of respect because they may not have respect for themselves… or adults, such as teachers or their own mom and dad’s.
From the very first class, students at The Dojo of Karate are taught what respect is, and why it’s important.
This is what we mean…
When your child comes into our school the first thing that happens is we introduce ourselves with a nice, firm handshake. After that, though, it all changes.
Our instructor will go over the Martial Arts training they will be receiving, and to not be abusive with this art by hurting others, rather using it as a form of self-protection. That is showing respect to the art of Karate.
Next, before a student is allowed to come onto our training floor, which is also known as a dojo, students need to do 2 bows. The first one is to show respect to the dojo floor where you will be training in Karate. The next, is to show respect to the Black Belt instructor that is on the floor. This is very similar to the military.
Than, when they get ready to participate in class, we have a bowing ritual that the entire class, including the instructor, performs before and after classes. We bow to the American Flag and Japanese flag, as we want to show respect to both countries for the privilege of having freedom and learning traditional Karate. Next, we bow to the Black Belt Instructor, as this is a form of saying “thank you” for teaching us. Lastly, we bow to the entire class to show respect to our fellow students.
Why all these bows? Well, in Japan, the most important characteristic they look for in a person is someone that demonstrates respect.
If you think about it, Karate was developed to protect one’s family or village. If a soldier or army attacked your village, it was considered dis-respectful. Thus, the locals developed an art of self-defense.
In addition, bowing to others is like doing a military solute in the armed forces. It is a form of respect for ranked officers, to their country, and each other.
Your child will not only learn why it is important to be respectful to others, but understand how it can benefit them in life.
Many students at The Dojo of Karate have made the commitment of joining our Black Belt Club – an elite program for students looking to earn their Black Belt. These students help encourage each other, and are put on a path that will assist them in meeting their goals.
The nice thing about training at The Dojo of Karate and being apart of our Black Belt Club, is that our students are learning goal setting skills, perseverance, and determination — while training in Karate.
They are also allowed to start using one of our weapons, the Bo Staff. The Bo Staff is a traditional Okinawan weapon used to carry buckets of water in one’s village.
Now, students at The Dojo are learning how to use them as a way of self-defense, and working together with others.