Bowing is a common ritual in martial arts clubs. There is often a series of bows at the beginning and end of each class, as well as when we enter and exit the training area/dojo.
Bowing is a very simple act but one that is extremely important.
Students new to the martial arts often wonder what is the purpose of bowing. Many students often bow just because they are told they have to and don’t understand the crucial meaning behind it.
Bowing between Instructors and students shows the respect felt among themselves and towards each other. It also serves as a sign of mutual respect between teachers and students and between practitioners and opponents.
When you bow, you are respecting the knowledge and skill that the person has acquired, and to the rank that they have attained. Bowing is about heart and feeling and it’s about what is said without speaking. It is about paying respect.
Bowing also symbolises humility. Being humble is a very important trait to have in every aspect of your life and every time you bow you should remind yourself to be modest and always think of others.
Respect to all
Sensei Liam Whelan