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It is very common to be the new kid within an instance. Even when you move up a level at work or in a video game, the new stage makes you feel vulnerable. As a new student at Choe’s HapKiDo of Loganville, everything appears wide and shiny from my perspective, the experience is such an eye opener. Even though I am supposedly a young adult, my age honestly goes out the window every time I go to a lesson. This is a good thing. It means there are many people to receive advice from BECAUSE I am new. As I become more acquainted with the karate world, I hope to share a weekly tip that some may find useful.
Tip #1: Address everyone as “sir” or “ma’am” in a clear loud voice, and you won’t go wrong.
Similar to how people address each other in the South, responding to a karate instructor’s call with a, “Yes, sir!” shows a sign of respect. Rule of thumb- address upper level belts as “sir” or “ma’am.” However, a sense of respect is returned when an instructor or upper level student addresses a younger student with “sir” or “ma’am.”
The instructors at the HapKiDo studio do more than yell out instructions, they sometimes give out a compliment. When this happens, it is still good to yell in return, “Yes, sir!” In this case, the response allows you to acknowledge the comment, address the elder respectfully, and still continue the rounds of kicks that need to be finished.
I admit, the first and only time I have responded with a “Yes, sir!” because of a compliment, cool instructor John Gasstrom responded with a surprise, “Thank you!” From that instance, I think instructors really appreciate it when you acknowledge them for noticing your improvements.
All in all, anytime an instructor or peer says something to you, respond with “Yes, sir!” or “Yes, ma’am!”