R.E.S.P.E.C.T. The word of the week was respect, but what does this mean to you and others? Respect is a major part of martial arts, and extremely important in the relationship between student and instructor, and student and student. ‘Treat others how you want to be treated’ Respecting others doesn’t automatically make them respect you but given others no respect will almost certain take away any respect they had for you in the first place. To those who respect you, you need not justify your actions or argue so often your point. The respect others have for you lets them know you act and speak with honesty. Treating others is much more than just actions, it encompasses the way you think, the words you speak and tone of your voice, the way you talk about others when they aren’t there. It is a skill that must be constantly checked and tuned, without practice respect can fall away quite quickly. However nowadays, there is too much ‘bad mouthing’ amongst fighters on TV or even amongst martial arts styles, each pointing out the downfalls of each other’s styles and having little or no respect for something that is steeped in history. Whether one agrees or disagrees with someone else, be it there martial art style or even their opinion is does not mean that it’s not important. For them it is important enough for them to fight for their opinion and so should be respected. Respect is a trait that isn’t automatically part of a person’s character, it is learnt over time and like most learnt skills, it must be practiced and reinforced to keep it at a higher level. Martial arts, being very much about respect, is a perfect activity to practice and develop this skill, and being in a friendly environment with others of similar thinking helps build this skill even faster. Many think you can bully someone into respecting them; they create an atmosphere of fear. Fear is not a form of respect. Ultimately many people that are bullied think it is perfectly fine to bully others later on, the cycle starting all over again.With proper reinforcement and teaching of respect provides the tools for children, especially those that are easily misled, to choose the correct path to take and end up with a friend rather than a victim. In the modern day, cyber bullying is very much more common and now in the public eye. It is far too easy for anyone to be a ‘cyber bully’ or ‘keyboard warrior’, hiding behind a screen where they need not see the results of their words. Learning respect helps both prevent this and defend against it. Many benefits can be gained from giving respect to others, such as:Respect begets respectGain friends – this is important for everyone, not just children. In the friendship blog it is shown that friends are essential for a happy and healthy life. For children it improves grades and helps develop into a well adapted adult.Gets you a good reputation – this again is important for all. Much is given to a person’s reputation, even to point of make or break.Others like seeing you succeed – in modern day, many like seeing others fall from up high, the higher the position the more strange joy some people get from seeing them fall. With respect and a great reputation many will want to see you succeed instead. Even if you do experience a slight fall, people will be there to help rather than hinder. So whether you have already started the journey to your black belt or thinking of starting, there is always room to learn respect for yourself and others, knowing you can become a better you.