It is Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day depending on your preference. This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and so today as the United Kingdom and Commonwealth remember those who gave their lives in the two World Wars there is an even greater significance to the proceedings.

As we pay our respects today in whatever personal way we choose, let us all be mindful of the word respect and what it means. We use it often and freely in our Martial Arts lives, but it’s good to remind ourselves of the true meaning.

Respect can be earned, built or can simply exist in recognition of a person’s positive feelings of regard for another’s actions, qualities or conduct.

If we aspire to be respected by our peers or by our students then we must give them reason, we must behave in a way that engenders a feeling of worth and appreciation. It’s good to ask ourselves if we are doing our part towards this.

The first prerequisite of gaining respect however is to ensure that it is given and this is a fundamental of the underlying values that we have all learnt in our martial arts training.

To be viewed with respect is a privileged position, and as with all privileges’ in life they can be lost more easily than they can be gained.

Therefore I encourage you that if you have earned respect, do all that you can to keep it and if you aspire to being respected then do all that you can to achieve it.

Those who have fought so bravely and who have been so selfless are in our thoughts today. As we look outwards in this act of remembrance, let us also be mindful of ourselves and our own actions.

Quote: Sir Winston Churchill (November 1874 – January 1965)

“Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”


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