Civility in Life and in Martial Arts

“Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present. Let your discourse with people of business be short and comprehensive. Think before you speak. Undertake not what you cannot perform; but be careful to keep your promise. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

George Washington

The Student Code

“I intend to develop myself in a positive manner, and to avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health.

I intend to develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others. I intend to follow directions given in class to the best of my ability and to respect the Sensei and the other students.

I intend to use what I learn in class constructively and defensively; to help myself and others, and to avoid all behavior, verbal and physical, that is abusive or offensive.

I intend to actively support the karate school, its instructors and students, and to approach my training with a positive attitude, leaving any animosities or personal problems outside the dojo (training hall).

I understand that the curriculum material is taught only under the supervision and direction of the Chief Instructor. As a student I may practice only in the manner prescribed and teach this material only with his permission.”

We must all strive to be more civilized as we learn more about ourselves and how we can better relate to everyone else. By observing the rule of law we can learn to follow rules that are in place for everybody's benefit. During the recent hurricane “Wilma” drivers were extended the opportunity to drive more consciously. With many traffic lights not working drivers were instructed to treat intersections with dead lights as a four way stop. Following this rule, along with an awareness of possible debris in the thoroughfare, facilitated safe local travel following the storm. Awareness of ourselves can lead to an awareness of others needs, and contribute to the process of civilization. By following our student code we can apply ourselves to realizing civility in all aspects of our lives.

© 2005 Sensei Robert H. Mason

Some of the 2005 Black Belt Dan Promotions