Master Hodson's Blog
Thursday 18th May 2017
In Taekwon Do respect is highly valued so much that it is an integral part of the first tenet courtesy. General Choi made courtesy the first tenet in order of importance to the student, to promote harmony within the training halls. We formally show our respect by performing the "bow". We perform the bow when entering our place of training (dojang) and when leaving we also perform the bow to the instructor and our fellow student as a mark of respect. The bow is not meant to be rushed, instead the student learns to stop, prepare and perform the bow in a meaningful way. The intention behind the bow is important too, in other words, rather than a meaningless robotic movement, the student needs to have genuine thoughts of non judgement towards the person or place when bowing. Genuine respect is non judgemental, this is the uniqueness in Taekwon Do in that we do not judge but we respect whole heartedly. Non judgement also means neither positive or negative feelings, so we may not always like the person we bow to and nor do we have to, as a bow is a sign of respect and not whether we like or dislike someone. The bow is also an expression from the person performing the bow, once again this is non judgemental, and a sign of self respect too. When we learn to respect ourselves we find it easier and less challenging to respect others. It would be easy to fall into the trap of self importance as one progresses through the grades, this is a fault of the ego wishing to gain status to prove falsely "I am a better person" This is a grave mistake and one which the student must avoid. Respect is an acknowledgement that we are all important and that includes i.e. you, me, our place of training and the founder of Taekwon Do. One person may know more about something than another but this does not make them better. The courtesy in Taekwon Do does extend though further in recognising the seniority of the instructor, master or grand master. In otherwords, we do openly recognise our seniors and that they have achieved what we haven't within the realms of our martial art. This is custom handed down from the beginning and is part of the oriental way to think highly of our seniors, but once again, mindful to not make them better than ourselves and end up thinking less of ourselves because of that. This would be the ego once more trying to make us feel bad and looking for ways to feel the need to be better. This is not helpful and leads to stress and low self esteem. Instead non judgement is key just learn to accept that others who have travelled further down a particular path than yourself and that you respect that for what it is, and if you would like the same experience then you must too must follow that particular path and endure the same sacrifice to achieve it. Respect builds harmony in the class and in oneself, you only have to look where respect does not happen to see its results and the disharmony it prevails. Of course we don't have to bow outside of our training hall to show respect instead you carry with you the same non judgement the same feeling you have when you formally bow. Acknowledgement outside of the dojang can be by way of a smile, handshake, pat on the back etc . Either way its saying your important and so am I, and I recognise that in you and in myself.
David Hodson VII degree Fortitude Academy Contact Tel: 01342 302 192