One tradition we instill in all our students is the bow. Bowing on the mat or just as you enter the dojo is an ancient practice that 𝘀𝘆𝗺𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘇𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘄, 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴. This is referred to as Emptying Your Cup.
When “emptying your cup” imagine that you balanced a cup of tea on your head, except instead of tea it was full of the thoughts and experiences of your day. Bowing at the door of the dojo empties your cup of those thoughts, taking away outside distractions, allowing your cup to be refilled with the knowledge and positive experiences you will gain from your Martial Arts class. Some examples of preoccupied thoughts to be emptied would be homework you have to complete later, what happened at work that day, or what will we have for dinner tonight. By pouring out these thoughts and responsibilities you will be making room in your cup for the new things you’ll learn in class.
𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑩𝑶𝑾 𝑶𝑭 𝑹𝑬𝑺𝑷𝑬𝑪𝑻
Additionally, at the beginning or ending of class when we bow, this is an expression of both gratitude and respect. When an Instructor bows at the beginning or ending of class they are saying, “Thank you for being my student”. As the student bows they are saying in return, “Thank you for being my teacher.
When we instill tradition into our daily routine we become the very best versions of ourselves. This is what makes martial arts unique from any other physical activity. As 2020 unfolds I hope you’ll join me in keeping tradition alive, and partner with us to shape the lives and characters of our students to their fullest potential.
Till we talk again, out out there a create a better you.
Sensei Darren Hunter