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Respect Your Belt

One of my pet peeves is when I see judo students toss their belts on the side when it comes off and continue to do judo. I feel that is disrespectful to the sensei, dojo, and themselves. The belt represents the student’s dedication and hard work and the reflects on the sensei who entrusted them with the rank.

Tonight at practice, one of the brown belts was intensively engaged in randori when his belt slipped off. In order to not lose the focus and concentration he could have easily kicked the belt aside and kept on fighting. Instead he stopped the action and tended to his belt. He didn’t notice the big grin on my face–I was proud of him.

Judo is a combat sport but the roots are respect, humility, and honor. Getting to know this man I can understand why he stopped to tie his belt. He is a man of character. He loves his wife, children, and is a dedicated worker.

It is a joy to be around people like him.


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