Respectful Behavior Begins With…

Everyone knows that martial arts builds discipline, but if our spin on martial arts education can also build empathy, then we have something really special.  That was our jumping off point for developing the latest Speak Up & Move Ambassador Training.  It’s an added set of classes we hold for our Black Belt Track students to help give them the skills to become leaders in the dojo, and in their lives beyond it as well.  Our theme this past weekend was how empathy is a foundation for respect.

Respect is huge in the dojo.  Many parents send their kids to us because they hear our students become much more respectful outside of the dojo as a result of their training here.  But respect doesn’t have longevity unless it comes from within.  That’s why we need to teach empathy first.

Without empathy, you can learn to follow the rules and protocols of polite behavior, but you will never truly be able to live respectfully because your actions will not have solid roots.  On the other hand, when we develop empathy, we are able to naturally approach any situation with respect.  Here’s a sneak peak at the handout – which we will have available at the dojo soon, along with our Black Belt Track newsletter of the season:


But there’s another ingredient needed for respect, which we’ll be teaching at our next Ambassador training in the Spring: Self-discipline. Think about it.  You can totally understand where another person is coming from, but be so overcome with emotion in a disagreement that you can’t act on your empathy.  Not to mention, really being able to see things from other people’s perspectives can be overwhelming in and of itself, if it’s not balanced with the ability to thoughtfully take a step back.  As Katherine Hepburn said, “Without discipline, there’s no life at all.”   Being an actress, she knew a thing or two about empathy.  But the key to respect is to moderate empathy with self-discipline.

We’ve got some great events coming up at the dojo!  Sign Up Here to join our Self Defense on the Ground Workshop coming up March 2nd from 2-5 pm (free for Unlimited/Black Belt Track members and just $39 for the public or Limited Members)

And please mark your calendars for April 6th – our next Community Day!  Fun class for kids in the morning, followed by our kid’s belt ceremony, an all-ages school wide lunch and hangout, and then our adults and teens testing.  Interested in having your business sponsor the day?  Get the Community Day Sponsor Details and then be in touch!

Our classroom theme of the week is Self Discipline.  We’ll be diving into that perfect balance of seeing situations from the other’s perspective while staying disciplined in our own right as we explore the following techniques:








Sideways Break Falls

Short vs. Long Sideways Rolls

Technique 1

Blocks from Kamae Set One

Uke performs low tsuki, hook, and side kick

Shihodori Exploration

Basic: Kumi Uchi

Adv: Run through Torite Gata

Technique 2

Strikes from Kamae Set One

Heel, Knee, Uda Shuto along the room.

May add hanbos.

Hicho no Kata in Parts

Shuto with pad. Block along room. Block and Kick along room.

Technique 3

Leaping Down

Adv. Add Leg Attack.

Hicho no Kata with Partner

Practice, then show.

Leadership Lesson:  The Stone Of Resilience    Adventure:  Jurassic Volcano


  • Handstands from Hoko no Kamae
  • Side Rolls over Vault
  • Long Jumps
  • Breakfalls All Directions

Thanks for reading!

See you in the Dojo,

~ Sensei Nesta

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