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(Thank you to Darren Higgs at Quantum Martial Arts, partner dojo from the Northstar Ju Jitsu system, for this week's mat chat topic.)

A big part of being an evolved martial artist is to show courtesy to others. Courtesy is respecting and acknowledging other people's space and being mindful when we enter it.

We have to constantly remind ourselves that every other living being has a right to exist free of judgement and free of being bullied. You cannot train for self-defence against bullies on one hand, yet bully others at the same time. You must treat others the way you would like to be treated.

It is inherent in human nature to always put our own interests first, and we often need to be reminded that we are not actually the centre of the universe. Be courteous because that is often the nice thing to do. Courtesy is not weakness, it shows strength. Courtesy and kindness go hand in hand.

This week in class, focus on being courteous to your fellow students. Let them pass by, hand the pads over to them courteously, smile and offer kind words. It will make both of you feel better.

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