Hicks Family Martial Arts

Unit 4, Vicarage Farm Road, Fengate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 5TP.

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The importance of Bowing


All traditional Japanese martial arts begins and ends with the bow.

The bow is a sign of respect and peace — respect for the traditions, respect for the people you train with — and it shows your peaceful intentions. That doesn’t mean we don’t go hard sometimes, it doesn’t mean we don’t compete in a friendly way with one another, but the point is, it’s absolutely imperative that we respect one another, and we respect the environment we’re practicing in.

What is all that about? Well, when we move into the class at first, we bow before we step on and off the training area, and we also bow to start and end class. That’s a more formal bow with a seated aspect and a standing aspect, and there are also some commands which we’ll talk about in a video down the road. The important thing to remember now is that when you step on the mat, you bring your absolute best self with you.

There’s kind of a line, an invisible line, between off the mat and on the mat, and when you step to the edge of the mat and you bow, it’s not just an external gesture to let other people know that you’re respectful of the environment — it’s also an internal gesture that you should pair with the mindset that, hey, I’m going to empty my cup, I’m going to try to do the best that I can, and I’m going to treat the others in the dojo with absolute, utmost respect.

(Source https://www.japanesemartialartscenter.com/student/information/bowing)

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