Discussion in 'General Taekwondo Discussions' started by Matt, Nov 17, 2015.
Is respect an important part to Taekwondo, but not only Taekwondo but to all martial arts?
Absolutely. The beginning and end.
It depends on what your ideas of martial art (is MMA martial art? Not to me) and respect are. I think most traditional arts do their best. Some only respect a person's fighting ability. Again, to me, that is not repect (or very small chunk). I respect Seagal's aikido ability but I respect Chuck (I have one issue).
Nearly all (if not all) classic martial arts have it as the core lesson. I've heard a story about an instructor who refuses to teach a disrespectful student, not Taekwondo but Wushu, though. If you see great martial artists, they're generally friendly, helpful and kind while being deadly as well. I believe that's what their teacher teaches in the first place, long before fighting techniques.
Commenting on an old thread here with my own perspective.
I am very particular about the use of the term "respect" since I feel it is often misinterpreted and misused. Many words gain broader meaning over time, and even change definitions if enough people continue to use a false definition long enough.
I rely a lot on the etymology more so than just the definition of words, and what was their original purpose before attempting to apply that source to the current usage.
Etymology of "Respect"
directly from Latin respectus "regard, a looking at," literally "act of looking back (or often) at one," noun use of past participle of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" + specere "look at"
With respect meaning to "look back" at something, or to take a closer look - "re-look," we have to consider for what purpose. It also means to "regard" something. Here we have to look at the etymology of "regard" as in "guard," meaning "to keep, maintain, protect, preserve." We do these acts to things of which we have determined a sense of worth and that which we value.
Respect is the act of looking closely at something, or looking back at past performance, and deciding for ourselves what has value, and worth keeping, maintaining, protecting and preserving.
We can choose to respect people for the quality of their character, as well as each individual character trait separately. We value and respect knowledge, and the positive application of that knowledge for useful purposes.
I don't agree with improper usage of the term as in "giving respect" or "getting respect" or "earning respect." None of those are truly accurate. Respect is something we have within our own minds - - a process of looking closely with consideration. It is a decision we make to place a value on something or someone, and then to treat them accordingly to protect and preserve.
I also don't agree with "respect is a two-way street" or "your have to give respect to get respect" - - both of which are over-used and neither of which are correct. Anyone can choose to have respect or value for something or someone regardless of reciprocity. You don't "give" respect, and you don't "get" respect. You "have" respect for something by your choice, and then you can show signs of that respect by actions of courtesy, care, and consideration to protect and preserve the relationship and condition.
Respect is an integral part of who we are as human beings, where we "look back" and learn from our past mistakes, support and value one another and grow as a unified society. Therefore respect is a very important part of Taekwondo, and all Martial Art educational systems since we have to recognize the worth of people who train us as teachers, train with us as partners, and the knowledge that we value and must work to maintain with integrity, protect from misuse, preserve by carefully and selectively passing it on to future generations of worthy recipients.
Separate names with a comma.