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

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One Response

  1. Good post Master Bell.

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