Martial Arts and the aspect of Integrity, Discipline, Self Esteem and Respect.

By. Sensei Alvin Myers

With today's ever-growing violence, disrespect and lack of integrity in the world, how do we as martial artists – whether we are students, teachers, or school owners – make a difference? One could say by simply being involved in the culture of martial arts, we are already doing something – but is it enough? We need to set an example in all we say and do, not just for newer martial artists, but for everyone we interact with: our families, coworkers, friends, everyone. I would like to share a few thoughts on important martial arts morals that I hope you will find useful.


Integrity

Let us start with one of the core values of martial arts, integrity, and how it can make a difference. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. How does this directly relate to martial arts, you may ask? We have to be honest with our students and each other if we want to continue those relationships. The stronger your moral principles, the more important the need to communicate that to set an example.

For example, we bow as we enter the dojo as a sign of respect to the school, our teachers and each other. Then, we must have the integrity to mean what we indicated with the bow, and show the respect we have promised. This is a moral principal that we do not overlook otherwise it is viewed as disrespectful.

Self-Discipline/Discipline

Self-discipline is the practice of obeying rules or adhering to a code of behavior. If you are a martial arts instructor, you may also use discipline to punish students who do not use self-discipline. It can be hard to find the correct discipline that will help a student's growth rather than scare them off, but it is not unattainable. In our school we use pushups, jumping jacks, sit-ups or wall squats to combat with behavior issues. Most of us can agree that this is standard practice and is needed to help maintain the discipline aspect of what we do.

Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is confidence in one's own worth or abilities and is boosted in our students as they advance in their training. However, how can we help them to gain self-esteem when they feel they are not advancing as quickly as others around them?

One thing I have done is to offer private lessons with the individual. As they train either with me, either in a private lesson or in a group setting, I make a consistent effort be positive and offer tips/best practices to help boost their self-esteem. No matter your preferred method of teaching, this is key I to maintaining good student/teacher kinship.

Respect

Finally, respect. This is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. This is a cornerstone of what we do as martial artists, and is a driving factor of either our success or failure.

As instructors/teachers, we have to admire our students for putting forth the effort every day to walk in the door and apply themselves. How often do we see students come in and get discouraged and quit? We are the start and end to how that can or cannot happen. Each of us has different abilities, qualities and achievements that make us who we are and what we do with them is the cornerstone to respect.

Remember that martial arts is about not just physical skills: It's about integrity, discipline, self-esteem and respect. We as instructors or students should be working on building these attributes in ourselves daily, that we can better share them with the world. This is how we can help to grow the martial arts community and to make the world a better place my friends. OSU!!!

Author Bio:
Sensei Alvin Myers has over 30 years' training experience in martial arts. His primary style is Shiya-Do Karate, which he teaches at The Dojo Martial Arts and Fitness Academy in Cairo, New York.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon
d2e111jq13me73.cloudfront.net / Enter the Dragon/ Warner Bros.
Bruce Lee really did have the Midas touch when it came to training. Most people think Bruce was advanced and complicated, but he was the master of simplicity. He was not worried about doing the jump-up flip spin-around back kick. Not sure if there is one. But by the time you land, Bruce would just throw a simple kick or punch to knock you down as you landed to the ground. However, that is the point. Simplicity is often overlooked because of the coolness and the latest and greatest workout when simplicity produces the most significant effect. Super complicated does not mean superior. This is actually reverse in fact. We see super complex exercises that don’t need to be. Truthfully, if an exercise or method is not straightforward in its approach, then it probably is not good.
Keep Reading Show less
Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam
cdn.onefc.com ONE Championship
ONE Championship welterweight contenders will slug it out when former ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam meets the undefeated Murad Ramazanov at ONE: Winter Warriors II, a previously recorded event, on Friday, December 17.
Keep Reading Show less
Holly Holmes
d21yqjvcoayho7.cloudfront.net Photo/John Locher
On Tuesday former UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm made combat sports history becoming the first UFC champion to also gain entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Holm competed as a professional boxer from 2002 to 2013 before capturing the UFC bantamweight crown in a memorable upset of Ronda Rousey in 2015. As a boxer she went 33-2-3 winning world titles in three weight classes and was twice named Ring Magazine's female fighter of the year.
Keep Reading Show less