Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TROY-KWON-DO: On Respect

Respect is earned – we've all heard that… but why is it important? In the first Fast and the Furious movie, Walker said to Vin Diesel that he didn't want the money, he wanted the respect if he won the street race…

So very grateful for a reason to insert a picture of Vin Diesel - The Stick Chick

Much like other social animals, humans are constantly jockeying for status.  Earning the respect of your peers shows that you have what it takes to belong on the “Alpha ladder” – that you have been recognized as a legitimate contribution to your social circle of interest.

In school, there would be hazing or “jumping people in”. It all comes down to belonging and “knowing your place”. Yes that sounds cruel, but it’s a fact of life. Humans have been naturally establishing rank-and-file in every aspect of life since the dawn of time. That’s why we wear suits to a job interview. That’s why we have competitions. That’s why we have titles and belt ranks. (Even if your school doesn't have an official belt ranking system, I’m willing to bet that there is a crystal clear rank-and-file in the air).

Or you could join Globo Gym.

Control – and who has it. That’s all this is. Having respect means you have control. You have control of how people treat you, of how they will listen to you… but most importantly, how they think of you.

We want to control. It’s in our nature. Gaining respect is vital in your chosen social circles because it is the only clear way of knowing where you stand in the minds of your peers.

There is a reason you will not gain another’s respect by seeking it. What I am referring to is when you blast your mouth off about how awesome you are or demand that a person respect you. They may say “Yes Sir/Ma'am”, but they may not actually respect you.

First of all, actions are greater than words. The reason most people brag or boast is to attempt to elevate themselves to whoever they are bragging to. How many times have you heard someone tell you how great they were and actually believed them? Or they tell you about that one time they did this move and totally dominated their victim? We usually just think they are just arrogant and brush it off. Respect gained? I think not.

Not saying anything... just... saying. - the Stick Chick

There was is an older black belt at our school that came in having earned that belt in another art. Though he was a Black Belt in Karate, he insisted in starting over out of respect for our program. He always lines up behind those he technically out ranks and to this day has no trace of an ego. We constantly have to insist he take his place as a Black Belt in our school. Here’s the interesting part.

The man is incredibly skilled and has some of sharpest techniques I have ever seen. He never tries to “Full Cup” anything. He has a totally open mind and is incredibly respectful of others. And guess what. He has earned his place and more respect than most people ever get in a relatively short amount of time.

He did nothing to force others into thinking of him a certain way. He never brags about himself or his achievements. But we see how he carries himself every day. He may have slain a dragon with his bare hands, but you wouldn't know it. And even if he told that story, it wouldn't gain him anywhere near the amount of respect that he has earned by carrying himself properly and letting his actions do the talking.

Have you ever met a celebrity of some sort and found out that they were jerks? Same thing. A career full of admirable laurels can be derailed by one sour event – even though that time they refused to acknowledge you pales in comparison to the millions they have made doing something extravagant.


But to you, that feels much bigger. To you, respect for them is lost.

Respect is earned through actions, not words. These actions are inspirational and not a means to gain reward of any kind.

But all we have the desire to talk big. We all have the desire to passively brag about ourselves on social media. We all have the desire to be respected.

Remember, when it comes to gaining someone else's respect - it is their thoughts that matter, not yours. Carry yourself in a humble manner and let your actions tell your story. If you deserve respect, you shall have it.




Troy Seeling is a 1st degree black belt and instructor in Tae Kwon Do, with 5 years experience in Boxing and a two-year white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Troy also instructs a strength and fitness class, and helps to manage his families' dojo, North Texas Karate Academy  In his spare time, he enjoys trying different forms of physical fitness, including Olympic weight lifting and distance running. He also enjoys film photography with antique cameras.  You can contact Troy at troyseeling@aol.com.




Ed note: Opinions in "Troy-Kwon-Do" posts are those of Troy Seeling, and I don't always agree. I'm pretty impressed we kept the Vin Diesel pictures down to two in this post.  -The Stick Chick