Mar 28

Master Steve Aldus: Above all, I value respect

Last month, Mr. Aldus wrote a great piece about a student testing for black belt who received encouragement from his karateka. His inspirational story directly translates to a piece we introduce this month about respect.

“I value rei above all else,” Mr. Aldus said. “Rei is simply defined as respect. I appreciate Master Gichin Funakoshi’s concept of rei. As Master Funakoshi states in his treatise, The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate, “Karate-Do begins and ends with rei.”

Rei means much more than respect. It encompasses both an attitude of respect for others and a sense of self-esteem. When those who honor themselves transfer that feeling of honor and esteem-that is, respect to others, their action is nothing less than an expression of rei.”

Master Funakoshi also goes on to state,

It should be also noted that although a person’s deportment may be correct, without a sincere and reverent heart they do not possess true rei. True rei is the outward expression of a sincere heart.

“All martial arts begin and end with rei. Unless they are practiced with a feeling of reverence and respect, they are simply forms of violence.”

In addition to rei, Mr. Aldus also lists other aspects of the martial arts that are important to him: “friends I have met during my journey in the martial arts, the students with whom I had the privilege and honor in sharing knowledge passed down to me and the benefits to my health – physically, psychologically and spiritually.”

Having learned what a martial arts practitioner of more than 40 years values most about the martial arts, what about you? What do you value the most?

Adam Bockler

Sensei Adam Bockler is a 2nd-degree black belt in karate and the owner of Metamora Martial Arts. He's been in the martial arts since 2003, and has received instruction in tai chi chuan, Hsing-i chuan, judo, tae kwon do and XMA. Sensei Bockler was inducted into the 2014 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Karate Black Belt of the Year. He is the communications manager for Float Mobile Learning.

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