With so much swirling around us in the news and online this word has occupied a lot of my thoughts recently. Being a martial artist demands respect for yourself and others. Without it, you’ll fail. But what does respect really mean? 

I would never turn my back on an opponent. My well-being demands that I show them respect. I understand their strengths, and will not be overconfident. I respect what they can do. Doing the same when faced with a situation where you have to defend yourself on the streets is of tantamount importance. A healthy respect will go a long way in keeping you safe. 

So, do you respect yourself as well? I hope so. Too many times I’ve watched black belts forget the importance of humility. For me, humility and respect go hand in hand. Don’t be so certain of your abilities that you never have to work on them. A true black belt knows better. Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. 

Value your own worth and the worth of others. Be considerate to all you meet. Show deference to those who have earned the right to be revered. Acknowledge the privileges you have and how you earned them. Continue to work hard so others want to show you deference. Do not let honor fade. Be the example that others want to follow. These are all good goals for a martial artist. I think they’re important for every human being. Think about it. 

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