1. Bowing

Bowing is an important part of what we do. It is a  physical expression of an inner attitude, an attitude of  humility.  

it's interesting to ask children what their definition of humility is. Usually we hear things like, "It's like when  you get embarrassed." They generally confuse humility  with humiliation. Unfortunately the concept of humility  has lost some of its importance over the generations.  

Our definition of humility is, to put others before yourself. Simply put, it is to view others as more  important than yourself; or, to esteem others more highly  than yourself. Bowing becomes a picture of this when two people bow to each other because it makes one person higher than the other. Therefore, because they esteem the other person highly they have a responsibility to protect them. So inherent in this concept of bowing is a promise that says, "I promise to do my very best to protect you from me." When two people train together with this kind of attitude, martial arts becomes a very safe

experience. It's only when the human ego services and pride takes over that the training becomes danger us.  

We bow when we enter the gym our dojo. This bow represents a separation from the outside world. It marks the entrance into "our world". However, “our world" is not the real world. We do things in "our world"  that we don't in the real world. We speak to each other respectfully, we use proper manors, we learn to do things that could be harmful outside of the gym, and we punch and kick each other and think it’s fun. This is not the real world!  

We bow when we enter the classroom. This is what we call the "checkpoint bow". Before we walk into the training area we make sure that mentally we our prepared to train. Once we walk in, nothing else exist, there are no distractions. For the next hour the only thing that matters is our training.  

We bow to begin class. We bow when we are called to step forward. These bows express a respectful attitude towards the instructors and those present to train.  

We bow to each other before we work together in pairs. This expresses the overall attitude of humility as explained above. Symbolically, bowing is a picture of one person putting the other person above them or making the other person more important. Inherent in this bow is the responsibility to protect the person to whom one is bowing. This communicates the attitude that makes our training safe.  

As we prepare to exit the gym we bow out of class.  This bow is a picture of leaving "our world" and going back out into the real world. We hope to take with us the character and attitude that will help make the real world a better place. We believe that people who practice these disciplines as a way of life will make a difference in the world around them.  


Speaking to each other respectfully is a discipline that we believe keeps our training sharp. It recognizes rank by  

addressing those higher in rank as "Mr.", "Mrs." or "Ms." No instructor should ever be addresses by his/her first  

name in the gym.

We stress the importance of using good manors (please, thank you, May I ... ?, excuse me, pardon me). We like  to see behaviors that are courteous and kind. We believe that treating a' person respectfully builds them up and helps them discover their potential. Respect expresses worth to others and strengthens their dignity.  


The "value of giving back" has long been a sustaining characteristic to the perpetuation of learning martial arts.  Every martial artist has some contribution that can make the martial arts community grow and become better. Each contribution is a "gift" of sorts that is given to benefit other students. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine what our gift to the martial arts community may be we have developed several ways for students to explore and discover what their "gift" is.

Teaching is one of the areas where "giving back" is more obvious, but carries the greatest weight of responsibility. We recognize that not all students will or should aspire to become teachers. Teaching is a gift that is innate but often needs to be discovered. Once it is discovered, it becomes a skill that needs to be honed and maintained in order to be effective. Knowing this, we instituted 'our Student Instructor Program to give students the opportunity to explore their area(s) of "giftedness."

While not all participants in the SI program will become instructors, the training and experience will benefit the SI and as a student progress in rank the value of "giving backshould be encouraged by all instructors. No instructor should ever squelch the desire that students express in their early years of training. In fact, they should be diligent to guide students and nurture the growth of their all desire so it takes on healthy attributes. students they help learn: