Teaching Kids Respect Through Jun Fan Gung Fu

At the beginning of every Kid's Martial Arts class here at Maryland Jeet Kune Do near Odenton, students practice a formal salute to their instructor called a Ginglai.

As they step on or off the mat, they salute the space where they training.

Before they partner up with a fellow student to work on their techniques, they salute their partner.

At the end of each class, they formally salute their parents who have arrived to pick them up.

This simple act of courtesy shows respect toward their instructors, the space they practice in, their fellow classmates, and filial piety toward their parents.

It draws from the Chinese philosophies that underpin Jun Fan Gung Fu; Confucianism, Daoism, and Chan (Zen).

The salute becomes an outward representation of the internal attitude of respect and gratefulness that children gain as they practice gung fu.

Sijo Bruce Lee laid out 11 principles on teaching Jun Fan Gung Fu lessons.

The sixth states, "Remind students that gung fu ettiquete descends from knightly manners."

These gung fu knights are called xiake in Chinese culture, a name that means "follower of chivalry".

It is worth noting, that like the statue of the warrior in this picture, that xiake could be men or women.

Jun Fan Gung Fu gives children the opportunity to learn the external ritual of respect through saluting as well as the beginning the process of developing the inward attitude of respect in them.

This respect begins in class and is shown to their instructors, fellow students, and parents.

As the student grows, the respect for their fellow students begins to manifest as respect for themselves.

After a time, it naturally begins to be expressed toward their siblings and friends.

As the student learns that gung fu does not end when the class ends, that respect begins to be shown to teachers and classmates at school.

How do you show respect to the people in your life?

What are you committed to doing this week to expressing your respect for someone important to you?



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