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Developing a Black Belt attitude: MANNERS

“Please” and “Thank you” ease the way. Whether you are talking to the janitor, the gardener or your boss, one should always lead with respectful manners.

  • Manners are a very important thing in life. They make us who we are and perhaps show our upbringing. Whether it be thanking someone, “bowing in” in class, a child standing up for an adult on the bus or many more.

  • Manners are the foundation on which all respectful human communication can exist. With applied manners our positive and caring intent will always shine through.

  • Manners make the difference between the civilised and the uncivilised. They’re a show of respect towards another person or group of people. Manners can be displayed in the written word, or by physical actions or by spoken words, or through some combination of these. I also believe that, at some level, manners help to keep the ego in check.

  • Courtesy costs nothing but means everything. Manners are not rules, but a way of showing respect and care for each other.

  • I can’t tell you the number of times where a simple “Please” or “Thank you” has made my day, even given me an opportunity or unexpected reward.

  • Manners are being mindful of the people around you and in the moment you are in, all the moments you are in, and behaving with respect and acknowledgement of others in that moment.

A few worthy quotes on the subject:

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any. – Fred Astaire

We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly. – Voltaire

Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society. – Confucius

Dojo etiquette

We thought we’d also remind parents and kids alike of a couple of important points about how to behave in the dojo.

The dojo is a place of learning, growth and self-understanding. It’s not just a hall, a room or a mat. As such, it’s important that we respect it from the moment we walk in, to the moment we leave. We do this by coming to attention and bowing, both on our way in and out. This is a great way to remind ourselves to be fully focused on all our thoughts, words and actions while inside the dojo.

Kids: while you’re inside the dojo, whether training or waiting for your class to start, or waiting for your siblings to finish their class, please don’t talk. It disrupts other classes going on. If you need to talk, please step outside the dojo if it is safe to do that, i.e. if your parents are there with you.

Parents: we would kindly ask, once you’ve dropped off your kids for their class, to either wait outside the dojo, or even perhaps visit the nearby shops and cafes and return to pick your kids up at the end of their class. This will ensure that we uphold our duty of care for the kids and minimise disruptions to class.

Have a great week, and see you in the dojo.

Robin & Corinne

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