top of page

Imagine a world where everyone respected one another…How would that change your life and your family

Hello Parents and students, I wanted to talk a little today about respect, and how our actions can impact others either positively or negatively. In so many ways our society is becoming more and more polarized based on beliefs, and what we need now more than ever are the social

tools to bring us together.

The first and foremost thing karate teaches us is refinement of character. The foundation of karate and Keiko dojo is the refinement of character with the primary foundation being respect. Respect is in fact the first and most important lesson in karate and life. Without practicing respect first, karate becomes only violence.

From my experience, these are three different types of respect we learn, practice, and refine throughout our lives:

1. Respect for self… It all starts with this one. (We will cover this one in detail later)

2. Respect for others. Is really "How you make others feel through your actions, words, and when they are around you."

3. Respect for the rules and our social agreements.

Remember respect is a personal choice in how we choose to treat others with kindness, empathy, understanding, and acceptance. It can take considerable inner strength to develop this character trait, especially when others around us are acting in a manner contrary to proper respect and courtesy, and/or we are subject to tremendous social pressure.

Being a positive contributing member of our society means practicing empathy, acceptance and celebration for each other and our differences, while never compromising our respectful treatment of one another.

So for many of us this poses the question of ….HOW?

When we understand that our character is just the sum of our daily actions, habits, and thoughts it becomes easier to make more respectful daily decisions towards others.

Here are a few I found useful in my daily actions and habits.

1. Life is a mirror: What you put out always comes back to you. Parents always come to me saying their child is disrespectful to them, or that their kids are disrespectful to each other? If you want to be respected, you have to give it first. You cannot demand a person to respect you. You cannot make someone be more respectful. You cannot get/make a child to give you respect. You have to give it first. “Life is a mirror…..” Same goes with gratitude.

2. Self control: Our ability to control our emotions and rationalize the situation in order to put into perspective the potential consequences not only for the other person but for ourselves. The repercussions of disrespectful behaviour can be physical but more often than not the most profound effect is spiritually. Disrespectful behaviour almost always leaves a very lasting scar or negative impression on the people affected by the behaviour including the perpetrator.

3. Self regulation: This one is Huge! It is the ability to not only moderate our responses to things like frustration, and anger, but also to calm ourselves to avoid an emotional outburst. So how can we improve our self regulation skills? First and foremost...It's OK and perfectly normal to feel angry and frustrated, and while you aren't responsible for the source, you are fully responsible for your reaction to it.

Practice restraint: I find the first and best course of action is to distance myself both mentally and physically from the source as quickly as possible.

Be mindful: Think very carefully before we act or say something that might undermine our respect. Then think again!!! Not everything requires a rebuttal or a comment, and what we say and do have very lasting impressions and quite often aren’t easily forgotten or forgiven.

Think….Is this something you would want for ourselves or our children? When some one says something you don’t agree with in conversation, much like on social media…Just scroll past. No comment, no rebuttal.

Mindful Breathing: One of the best tools for self control and self regulation is mindful breathing. Just breath. Every class we practice mindful breathing at the beginning and the end with our Mokuso. This is a great way to practice mindful breathing and we welcome every parent to join us.

These two moments in our classes can be valuable tools for your child to learn mindfulness, centering, and regulating your emotions. A great breathing technique is the 4- 7-8 method. Breath in through nose into your diaphragm(let stomach expand on inhale) to a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale through mouth for a count of 8. Practice it with your child. Model it with your child and when you are both losing control or getting mad or frustrated, practice the breathing together!

Have an Amazing week!!! Sensei Chris and Your Keiko TEAM

Keiko Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”

36 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page