A Karate Student’s Responsibility

Girl student with teacher

The self-defense skills taught in the dojo are a great responsibility. These skills must never be used to bully or abuse others. At Buzz Durkin’s Karate School, each of our students learns to recite a series of Student Creeds. The third creed is about knowing how and when to use one’s martial arts.

            “I intend to use what I learn in class constructively and defensively, to help myself and my fellow man, and to never be abusive or offensive.

Let's break down this creed:

“Use what I learn in class constructively”

When a karate student uses their martial arts constructively, they are using their martial arts to serve a useful purpose. Usually, this purpose will be building themselves or someone else up.

An example of this would be building respect, confidence, and teamwork when working with others inside and outside the dojo.

“Use what I learn in class defensively”

When using martial arts defensively, a karate student is using their skills to protect or defend. First and foremost, a karate student will try to de-escalate a conflict verbally. If that fails, however, he or she is prepared to protect someone or oneself in a physical confrontation.

“To help myself and my fellow man”

Karate can be a great responsibility, but also a great reward. Those who have trained in martial arts are respectful, excellent at teamwork, and are fierce protectors of others. This attitude can not only bring out the best in other people, but also inspire them to begin practicing martial arts.

“Never be abusive or offensive”

A martial arts student should never use their martial arts to attack others or be actively aggressive, just as they should never use their martial arts to be insulting and offense.

For example, a karate student should use their martial arts defensively, rather than trying to hurt or attack others. A karate student should also remain humble and avoid bragging about their karate or viewing themselves as better than others for knowing karate.


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.