Why Do We Bow in Martial Arts?

Many people misunderstand the reason that students bow to their instructor in martial arts; they think it is a sign of subservience. But the bow actually is a sign of humility and a lack of arrogance. It shows that the student respects the teacher, his or her years of training in martial arts, and his or her willingness to share that knowledge. The teacher should also bow to the student. A good instructor bows to show the student that he or she is respected for taking the path to learning about martial arts. 

The bow is also a sign of trust. In the martial arts studio, you should bow deeply enough to break eye contact with the person to whom you are bowing. Traditionally, a willingness to break eye contact shows that you trust the other person. By bowing, you also expose the top of your head, traditionally considered a vulnerable spot, which further shows your trust in the person to whom you are bowing.

 If you’d like to learn about this martial arts tradition and many others, call the United Martial Arts Center today at 978-762-0454 to schedule a free introductory lesson.

By: United Martial Arts Center

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