I know that the world is becoming more casual and informal. Email, Facebook and other things like texting, have developed their own “lingo” and shortcuts. This doesn’t mean we should abandon good manners and proper etiquette altogether. The martial arts (and particularly at our dojang), teach us proper manners and a better way to present ourselves. This means a better presentation on paper, in person or on the telephone.
I have seen a decline in good penmanship, proper grammar, as well as other basic communication skills. In Tae Kwon-Do, we are taught to stand up straight, answer loudly and always present a positive picture of who and what we are. This must also occur when we call someone on the telephone or write them letters, (even emails). When someone like Grandmaster Kang calls me, I stand up when I answer the phone so that I know I am not being disrespectful or lazy when speaking to my senior. It’s just a good habit.
In the martial arts, we are taught to bow to each other. As of late, I am seeing many students forgetting to bow…or if they do bow, it is half-heartedly. The bow may or may not be the first impression you give someone. However, I guarantee you, it will be a long-lasting one with your fellow martial artists and Masters. Take time to be better than everyone else and hopefully assist them in bettering themselves.