Honesty is an important virtue for martial artists. They strive to say what they believe and treat others respectfully and straightforwardly. This sense of integrity helps to build trust and friendship with those they train with, including instructors, peers, and high-ranking students. Their strong moral standing also builds trust with those they interact with outside the dojo, such as colleagues, friends, and family.
Just as martial artists should be honest with others, they must be honest with themselves as well. If you know you have an injury or a physical limitation, do not push yourself to the point of hurting yourself or becoming unsafe. Or if you know you have not worked as hard as you could have, admit it and work harder next time. Honesty with yourself is crucial for improving yourself and your martial arts.
If you can admit your shortcomings or mistakes, you are able to learn from them and even begin to avoid making those mistakes in the first place. This skill is important for training in the dojo and living outside it, but it can only be accomplished by having integrity. Admitting your shortcomings is important, but so is acknowledging your successes. If you have successfully learned a difficult technique, you should give yourself a pat on the back and feel proud of what you have accomplished.
Children who are martial artists should strive to be as honest as the adult martial artists. It is common in children to focus on their positives and forget about what they must work on. Children who study martial arts at Buzz Durkin’s Karate School are exposed to an atmosphere where honesty is the best policy, and it is expected that they will be truthful in return. They will learn to be honest with themselves and with others through their training. When they grow up, they will have an important understanding of what it means to have integrity.
Stephanie Rodenhiser is a 4th Degree Black Belt at Buzz Durkin’s Karate School, having trained since she was eight years old. She teaches students of all ages and especially enjoys teaching kids and adults who work hard and develop great outlooks on life.