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Why Kids Should Study Martial Arts
Part 9: Respect
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Introduction
• Part 2: Physical Fitness
• Part 3: Personal Security
• Part 4: Learning Abilities
• Part 5: Goal Setting
• Part 6: Discipline
• Part 7: Camaraderie
• Part 8: Self-Esteem
• Part 9: Respect
• Part 10: Calming
• Part 11: Girls
• Part 12: Summary

One thing newcomers to the martial arts notice immediately when visiting a school for the first time is the numerous expressions of respect. "There's all that bowing," they might remark. Showing respect is intrinsic to the martial arts, and is a core facet of the cultures from which many martial arts originate.

Students show respect to each other, their instructor, and even to their school upon joining each class session. Sometimes it's a simple bow, in other styles it's a salute of some kind. The gesture encompasses several messages: gratitude, for the learning the student receives, and respect, an acknowledgement of the other person's abilities.

Regardless of the ritual, almost all martial arts teach students to value age, rank, expertise, and experience. Respecting those who know more than you do (greater expertise), and have proven it (higher rank) shows that you are worthy of them teaching you their knowledge. This respect for instructors and senior students can often carry over to classes in regular schools as well.

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