Word of the Month: Courtesy

When parents sign their children up for martial arts classes very often they’re looking for a healthy activity that will also teach their kids respect. And karate certainly does that. But at Douvris Martial Arts we put a lot of emphasis on courtesy as well.

And no, they’re not the same thing.

As Sensei Cody Diesbourg explains, respect is something that is earned. Someone earns the respect of other people by treating them in a respectful manner. But courtesy, he says, “is something you give to everyone regardless of if you like them or not.”

Douvris students are expected to show basic courtesy to others by saying please and thank you, and by being polite to their fellow students and teachers. Students begin and end each class by bowing, a courteous gesture showing respect for their instructors, fellow students and the art they practice. But we also encourage young children who spend time with us while their parents or siblings are doing class to pick up the toys in the lounge and tidy up. Older children and teenagers are asked to help with bigger chores, such as vacuuming the floors, dusting the office or moving furniture when we have special events.The general atmosphere in the dojo is one in which politeness is very much expected, and we believe this contributes a great deal to making the school a pleasant, welcoming place for students and their families.

“Just being nice to others,” Sensei Cody says, “can help improve the way you learn and the way you feel throughout your day and the way you tackle any kind of obstacle that comes your way, whether it’s in martial arts, at home or at school.”