In the martial arts, it is common to see practitioners bound to each other before sparring match. The bow is similar to western handshake. The reason for the traditional bow was a way of demonstrating respect towards the other person.
For example, in judo, a practitioner would bow to his or her partner. This would mean, “I respect you but, I’m going to do my best to throw you around, and it’s being done to perfect my judo and myself, not to hurt you. The minute this matches over, it is forgotten and we will still be friends, and I hope, better friends than before.”
This is an important lesson frightens martial artist; no matter what art we practice. The purpose of practicing martial arts is to improve our art and ourselves. This is why it is so important to leave your ego at the door. To improve, you have to acknowledge that there are areas in your life that need improvement. This is why respect our teachers.
Another method of improving yourself is by respecting your fellow martial arts practitioners. We respect them because they are also coming to learn and improve. As you practice try to keep in mind the meaning behind the traditional bow. It will build your respect in and out of the martial arts Academy.
Questions to Consider:
1. What does Bowing have to do with respect?
A: It’s a symbol of respect to another person, similar to the Western handshake
2. What should we remember about this bow?
A: The bow is a way to remind us that we are all training in the martial arts together to improve ourselves
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