Karate lessons are generally interspersed with the students bowing to the instructor or to each other at various specific times. Bowing to another person is normally taken to be portrayal of subservience. However, in the case of karate this is not true at all. Bowing to a teacher or fellow students has a deeper meaning of loyalty, respect, courtesy and honor. A great sense of honor and integrity can be developed from this art which overflows into every other aspect of life as well. Karate as a martial art greatly stresses on the importance of qualities such as: integrity, honesty, loyalty, mutual respect, discipline, self-control, restraint and honor.
Why develop honor?
Honor is an important social skill that is commonly overlooked but needs to be developed. As an individual is trained in the art of karate they receive ample time to reflect over the different lessons they are learning and what the importance of such lessons is. Different qualities are imbibed and their significance understood. Honor helps a person to be more honest and develop a sense of integrity. Having such qualities is a very crucial part of the social development of an individual. Honor helps one to do the right thing and remain steadfast to values without the consequences of actions coming into play.
Karate and honor
Honor can be divided into two main types, honor for yourself and to be able to honor others. These two lessons are one of the most important that are taught by karate. Karate develops each student’s self-esteem and self-confidence along with their integrity. Karate may put power into the hands of students with the physical training, but at the same time it also teaches them what the right decision is and provides them with resources to act on this correct choice. Karate teaches its students to uphold honor and justice; to be guided by one’s conscience.