On this episode, Jeremy talks about respect in the martial arts. Is it given or earned?
Respect in the Martial Arts – Episode 275
“Respect is earned, not given.” How many of you have heard of that saying? In martial arts, we can say that respect is forced most of the time especially in the dojo or where ever an instructor conducts his/her class. In most cases, we respect those that are strong and intimidating because we simply think that we are lesser. Do you think these are the type of respect that we want? On this episode, Jeremy talks about respect and his personal take on how is it earned and given. Listen to learn more.
You can read the transcript below or download here.
Hey what’s going on? thanks for tuning in whistlekick martial arts radio. this is episode 275, I am your host Jeremy Lesniak the founder of whistlekick and today were going to talk about respect in the martial arts. if you’re new to the show head on over to whistlekick martial arts radio.com. no hyphens, spaces or strange punctuation and you can check out all the other episodes we got there including links, photos, videos and a ton of other stuff related to the other episodes that we’ve done. On Mondays we drop those episodes with guest interviews and on Thursdays we usually have a conversation, sometimes we bring on some other people but usually it’s just me talking about a subject that’s come up on the air recently today or sometimes that’s just something I’ve got to get off my chest. while you’re over there, if you sign up for the newsletter were going to send you an exclusive podcast episode. we actually don’t talk about that cause sometimes I forget because it’s that exclusive. it is the top 10 tips from martial artists, a completely original episode all original content shor, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there. so, you should check that out get on the newsletter list were not in a spam you, sell your address or any funky stuff like that.
let’s talk about respect respect is such an interesting concept and it’s even more interesting when we talk about it in the context of martial arts. when we talk about respect were talking about feeling. we’re talking about admiration. looking up to someone for who they or what they’ve done or personality. there’s a lot of different reasons you can respect someone, but in martial arts we demand respect. but I would argue you can’t demand respect, you can earn it. some people would use the word command respect but you can’t force someone to give it to you. you can force their actions if I’m a Grand Master in an organization and you don’t respect me enough to take certain protocols that are standard in our school or our system, I can force you into a punishment and that threat of punishment can make you tow the line to do the things that you’re supposed to do but the sentiment behind it I can’t compel that of you. and I think that that’s a great myth in a sense, we don’t talk about that we don’t talk about the fact that not everyone deserves respect in this not everyone has respect there are people that don’t respect themselves or their students or their peers or their seniors. it happens all over the place respect can only be given of free will and there aren’t a whole lot of things like this. I could steal your television, I could steal your car, I can’t steal your respect, I can’t make you give it to me. by the same token we can’t force people to love us though we can force them I guess no maybe not force them some to fear us. emotions the things that we have inside us the way we see ourselves, the way we see the world, there’s a lot there and we hold it close because it’s who we are and if we get right down to it, no one can take it away. they can’t change it, they can influence it but at the end of the day if we’re strong enough, we can hold onto that part of ourselves and keep it the way we want to keep it.
now we can all see what real respect looks like, we know what it looks like. we know what it feels like and we know what the difference between genuine respect and fake respect looks like and what it feels like. and you can respect part of someone or part of a situation without respecting the entire thing. and I’m gonna be honest, i’m gonna confess something here right now. that’s my secret. there are people in my life that I do not like, that I do not respect overall but because of martial arts and because of my personal code, I have to find a way to respect them. because I’m not going to be a jerk, I’m not going to stir that pot. as many of you know, specially long time listeners know, I only like to stir stuff up if it’s really going to accomplish something and there are some people in my life that doesn’t accomplish anything. in fact it would just make my life harder and the lives of others harder. so I found that I can compartmentalize. I can respect parts of who these people are and that’s what I focus on. I focus on respecting perhaps their skill or what they’ve achieved in competition or the family that they’ve raised or there qualities as in instructor or their sense of humor. sometimes with some people I get really specific, but I hold on to how I feel for that part or hopefully parts of that person and the things that they have that I admire. that I respect about them and I try to let my actions come from that place and this is something that we all do every day. if you meet Chuck Norris on the street, most of us would respect him. we would treat him with respect because of his accomplishments in television and movies and many of us know about his competitive achievements. but I’m not going to respect Chuck Norris because of his skill as a surgeon. I’m not going to respect him because he’s a professional basketball player or a musician. When we respect people, I don’t think we always realize why we have these feelings for them but I think it’s important to unpack them to look inside. what is it about the way this person conducts themselves that has my attention? I think that’s important because it can expose what’s important to you. there are people out there that respect certain musicians. there are others that do not. usually the people that respect them find the skill to achieve that music, to create that music admirable. It’s something that they would like to see in themselves and so there is the important piece of respect when you talk about respect and respecting someone else usually tells us something about who we are.
if you look at the folks that surround a big mean bully, they tend to be people that want to be big mean bullies. the people hanging around the big mean bully, they don’t respect that quality in that person. so to understand who you respect and why is to give you insight into who you are and what you value as a human being as a martial artist and that’s the element of respect we talk about the least,self-respect. you should be able to respect yourself and if you don’t I would argue that that is the most important journey you can go on, is to find a way to create a life for yourself where you can respect yourself. if you have stuff you gotta work through, baggage, junk, whatever you want to call it, do it because that is the foundation for who you are, for how you see yourself and for everything else you’re going to do in life. and if you don’t have that, it is a shaky foundation at best and everything else you put on top is gonna wobble and collapse.
I will know your thoughts about respect. I want to know if there are people in your life that you don’t respect, but you have to treat them in a kind way, in a respectful manner. how do you do that? what goes through your head? have you messed up? you got some horror stories that you’re willing to share privately or publicly? as those of you that have written and no, I only share names if you want me to. but I love getting that feedback means a lot. makes the show so much more interesting for me so I can talk about things you want talk about otherwise as I’ve said before it just me talking into a microphone and nobody listening when I know somebody’s out there. Here we are almost three years in. there’s more than a few somebody’s out there and I appreciate that more than any of you will ever know. that’s all I’ve got until next time, train hard, smile and have a great day.