by Meron Agonafer

Courtesy is a basic rule in martial arts, the importance of courtesy is widely taught in martial arts schools.  Every student is expected to be polite with his/her fellow students, master instructors and people in general.  Long after the training is over, the valuable lessons learned from martial arts will greatly help in getting along with people.

Martial arts teaches students more than fighting techniques or self-defense, it teaches them courtesy.

Being pleasant and well-mannered are the foundations of courtesy.  As students of martial arts, we try to restrain ourselves from using profanity and showing disrespect to others.  Because we are courteous in our dealing with others, people perceive us as kind.  Courtesy is our signature in martial arts, so let's apply that important principle in our dealings with others.

Here are four acts of courtesy:

  1. Say please and thank you.
  2. Listen to people when they attempt to communicate with us.
  3. Be quick to give a lending hand to those who need our assistance.
  4. Apologize to those whose feelings we've hurt.

It must be noted, however, that being courteous does not mean allowing others to bully us.  Martial arts principles don't encourage students to be victimized by bullies, but rather recommend the usage of extreme caution before engaging in an act of self-defense.

What does solving conflict mean?

For instance, if harassed by bullies at school, it is extremely important to bring the situation to the attention of our school principal as well as to our parents.  By doing that, we have done three things:

  1. We've alerted authorities and members of our family to interfere and resolve the matter in a peaceful manner.
  2. We've taught the bullies a lesson not to mistake our courteous nature for fear.
  3. We've restrained ourselves from recklessly using our power.

Remember, courtesy is a basic principle of martial arts.  As students of martial arts, we should show courtesy to others at all times.  Being courteous to others is one of the characteristics that sets martial arts students apart from others.

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