One of the many...
As you begin your training, you will notice students following a certain protocol while in school. One protocol that is followed in school is the Asian tradition of bowing. Throughout East Asia and in Moo Doe (martial arts), bowing is a traditional and commonplace way of greeting one another. Bowing is also a sign of appreciation or respect. Over the centuries, many martial artists have believed that the greatest gift they could pass on to others were movements, so that others could achieve good health, happiness and longer life. When someone teaches you something that directly benefits your health and your life, you will never forget them. Just as instructors have respect for those who teach them, students have respect for their instructors.
Bowing is used in school in a number of situations, for several different reasons. Upon entering school, students will stop at the door to the office and bow as a greeting to the instructor. This is also an opportunity for students to pause and remind themselves of their original goals. Upon entering the practice room, students pause at the entrance to greet the other students, and as a reminder that they are now here to apply themselves. In addition, pausing at the entrance of the practice room allows the instructor to be aware of who is entering and leaving. Bowing is also used to formally begin and end the lesson. Upon leaving the school, students will bow once again at the door to the office to focus their mind on what they have accomplished that day. This also gives the instructor a chance to talk to students and ask if they have any questions. The goal of your instructor is not to rigidly enforce a protocol, but to make sure that you understand the benefits of following a centuries-old tradition of respect and appreciation.
During class, you may have an opportunity to practice self defense with other students. The goal is to work together to help one another improve your skills. When practicing self defense, students bow to let each other know when they are ready to begin. This is another way to maintain safety, and a positive practice environment.
Arriving on Time
Try to make it to class on time. The lessons are organized to maximize safety and minimize injury. Each part of the lesson contributes to this goal. By missing the beginning part of the lesson (the warm up), your body may not be adequately warmed up, thereby increasing the risk of injury. If you have an injury, disability, or restriction, be sure to report it to your instructor before the lesson.
Addressing your Instructor
When addressing instructors, students should use their full titles, such as Assistant Instructor John, Instructor John or Head Instructor John. The teacher / student relationship has always been at the heart of the tradition of martial arts; and using the correct titles is not only a sign of respect, but also helps contribute to a positive atmosphere for learning
Training is meant to be challenging, interesting and fun. It has always been a challenge to follow the path of correct Moo Doe knowledge. But it is from challenges that we as humans learn and grow, as we strive to reach our full potential. It is the desire of all the instructors to see you reach your goals, and your full potential mentally and physically.
An Explanation of Testing
Knowing yourself comes from testing and challenging yourself. A test is a tool with which you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have identified these areas, you can work toward improving them. Through this process, you gain a better understanding of your capabilities, which leads to improved confidence.
Confidence is the key to unlocking your potential. It builds self-respect and helps you manage adversity. Skill and ability are important, but in order to accomplish anything, you must have the confidence to act decisively using these skills and abilities. Insecurity leads to indecision, and indecision can turn success into failure. The confidence you gain through testing yourself will stay with you, and serve you throughout your entire life.