Martial Maturity and Standard of Behavior by Nikko Gutierrez

Martial Maturity and Standard of Behavior by Nikko Gutierrez

Being reared in the martial arts, I never witnessed my instructors behaving differently than they do in or outside the dojo. Their character and integrity are intact and have always been the same wherever they go.

Unlike today, many of these younger instructors don't hold a candle to those of yesteryear in behavior, character, integrity and honor. At the very least, this is a lack of "martial arts maturity." The very moment one joins and enters a dojo, he or she is instructed on the protocols that are expected of them, that of the martial arts, which includes bowing, all aspects of respect in regard to addressing the dojo, fellow practitioners, the Senseis or Masters, as well as things like the proper tying of the obi, etc...

These factors are essential and, most notably, are repeated daily and are to be adhered to throughout their martial arts journey. Instructors set the example, and many times their behavior, good and bad, is emulated by the students. That being said, I believe that all practitioners, regardless of rank, but specifically Senseis, Masters, and Grand Masters representing respective dojos, should uphold behavioral standards and dignity in and out of the dojo. The example begins with us!

One of my fellow practitioners shared a story with me that he, to this day, still finds disturbing. After hearing it, I also was disturbed by the behavior of some practitioners and instructors. The story, briefly, and to the best of my memory and to be certain, I will also call him to confirm the contents as well, goes like this:

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