“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Cor. 14:40
Etiquette is one of the most important facets of training in the martial arts. Simply put, “Etiquette” is knowing what is correct and proper at any given time, and doing it. Etiquette keeps us focused, etiquette keeps us safe. By always concentrating on acting appropriately during our training and beyond, we are alert, focused and aware.
Understand that bowing and things like that are not acts of subservience, they are merely acts of respect and courtesy, like a handshake. Showing the proper respect and courtesies to others and especially your teachers is an extremely important part of the big picture of martial arts training. Next to God’s Word it is the foundation of the character development that is at the heart of what we teach.
Remember: etiquette is not for the benefit of the one receiving the courtesies, but for the one giving them.
If you think about it, the Bible is full of examples of etiquette too, from the very specific ways that the Priests were told to minister and offer sacrifices, to the ways that people were to act toward the Priests, and during the various Feasts and Festivals.
Sometimes students or parents will get a bit overwhelmed when they receive our Etiquette materials at their first lesson, and wonder how they will ever be able to do everything “right”. But not to worry, “To whom much is given, much will be required”, and as beginners, students are not responsible or “required” to know anything yet! So they can relax and have as much fun as possible and will get to know all the ins and outs as they go along.
Another way to think about etiquette is like being in a secret club, where only those in the club know the secret handshake and password and all the other stuff that makes it fun to belong. Our etiquette is very much the same way. For me it’s the “fun stuff” that makes martial arts so special and different from most anything else.
Hope that helps! If you have any questions to feel free to contact me anytime.
Mr. Ron Hagelganz – Senior Instructor