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False Courtesy

There is a saying that Karate begins and ends with courtesy.

The formalities of courtesy (reigi) are easy to learn. In fact, some people become quite good at it although lacking courtesy in their heart.

Bowing correctly does not mean that a student is respectful. But even if a student bows incorrectly, if he or she has a respectful attitude and heart, then they have done well.

Courtesy is only part of it. Students should be humble -- truly humble. Students should be thoughtful of others. Students should be grateful for the opportunity to learn. And everyone (teachers and students) should maintain the attitude of a beginner.


Charles C. Goodin