It was fun to write a guest post on the Ikigai Way blog last week. I thought I’d return the favor to you. Here’s a short piece written by Sensei Connie Flynn of ZenQuest Martial Arts Center in Lenox, MA. I came across it in their newsletter and asked for permission to repost.
Connie is an accomplished martial artist (5th degree black-belt Shohei-Ryu Karatedo and Purple-belt/Certified Coach of Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu) and a great teacher. Here’s her take on respect and awareness both inside and outside the dojo. Enjoy!
Respect and Awareness
It is important to note that improved respect and awareness in the martial
arts goes beyond just the rituals associated with training. The dojo is a
place where everything we say and how we say it is important. While there,
students should refrain from swearing, off-color jokes, sarcasm, discussing
inappropriate topics…and try to stay positive when communication with
This applies to all areas of the dojo including the training areas, the
lobby, the locker rooms, the bathrooms, the hallways…even the areas
outside of the building! Students of all ages and families attend classes
and visit the dojo. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about “covering their
children’s ears” for fear of what may be overheard from another student or
Additionally, first impressions go a long way in bringing in, and retaining
students. If a prospective student visits and witnesses inappropriate
behavior that goes unchecked, the likelihood of that person becoming a
permanent member of the dojo diminishes.
So, please, be respectful. Be responsible. Be aware of your actions and
words and how they can effect the people around you. Stay positive and
friendly. Keep the dojo an excellent place to be! Remember that if you’re
a member of the dojo, appropriate behavior is important out in the general
public, too. Whether you like it or not…you are representing YOUR dojo
As always, comments are welcome. How do you try to represent your dojo in a positive way?