Is Winning All That Counts?

Are you absolutely sure about that?

Very little has been said about this…..On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.

Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.

Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain of 5,000 meters in promise category two years ago) said after the test:

“But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.”

He said at the beginning: unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it’s a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy …

Posted on Facebook, January 17, 2013

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What is Respect Anyway?

What is respect? This is a word that gets mentioned a lot in the martial arts world and quite often what is taught is manners.   

Let’s look go to the dictionary and look at the difference between respect and manners. 

Manners: “social behavior, especially in terms of what is considered correct or unacceptable.” 

We’ve all been taught manners.  ”Yes, sir.”  ”No. ma’am.”  ”Don’t put your elbows on the dinner table.”  ”Say ‘excuse me’ after you burp.”   

But is this respect?  Respect will involve manners but let’s take a look at what respect is. 

Respect: “A feeling of esteem or admiration and deference toward somebody or something; consideration or thoughtfulness.” 

Respect comes from within; it is not just an outward display.  The first type of respect I try to instill in my students is that they should have a respect for themselves.  To actually try to use the two definitions above to themselves.  Respect yourself.  Treat yourself with thoughtfulness and consideration.  Be good to yourself.  Take care of yourself.  Eat well.  Get enough sleep.  Educate yourself or see that you become educated.  Then, extend this to others.  One can respect someone’s skill or talent but let’s really take it forward and respect the person.  Feel and then show the admiration and esteem for someone; show them thoughtfulness and consideration. 

You will be surprised that the goodwill and genuine respect you send out will return back to you in unexpected ways.   

We teach manners in our Dojang but we really work to instill respect; respect for one’s self and respect for others. 

By: Master Bell