Chivalry 2

Chivalry 2

Some suggestions

  • Bow to the school when you enter and when you leave. Leave your shoes at the door.
  • Perform ablutions (ritual washing) before beginning class. Maintain good personal hygiene as a courtesy to your teachers and training partners. This includes keeping your fingernails and toenails trimmed, your breath fresh, and managing any body odor you may have.
  • Bow to your workout partner before you hit each other. Keep contact intense but peaceful.
  • When listening to an instructor or when waiting for instructions, stand in pasan santai (feet shoulder width, right hand over left).
  • The perguruan is a house of discipline, peace & safety. Nurture these attitudes in class and take them with you when you leave.
  • Treat the perguruan as a sacred place of learning where you have come to grow and become the person you envision in your secret heart.
  • Maintaining a clean school is of paramount importance and is the responsibility of the students, not the teachers. Take the initiative to get things done. This is your school so treat it as such.
  • Bring fruit, snacks, and flowers to share with your classmates. Check with the Chai Baba (Tea Master).
  • Consider the study of martial arts as a path to self-healing, confidence, discipline and spiritual unfoldment.
  • Treat your teachers and fellow students with respect and dignity.
  • Treat yourself with patience and gentleness.
  • Be always sincere but never serious.
  • Be lighthearted but not frivolous.
  • The head: Refrain from patting people on the head, even children, as this is considered the seat of the soul in some cultures.
  • The left hand: In many countries it is considered impolite to do certain things with your left hand. This is because in many parts of the world the left hand is used to clean oneself after going to the bathroom. Therefore:
  • Reach for people with your right hand and try not to touch them with your left hand. Obviously this doesn’t count when working out.
  • Do not put your left hand on an eating surface or handle food with it. Eat with your right hand.
  • When moving through a group of people, it is polite to put your right hand in front of you and your left hand behind your back and bend over slightly.
  • Give and receive objects, money, etc. with your right hand. This can be difficult for lefties at first, but becomes easier with practice.
  • Feet: It is impolite to point your feet at another person or to touch them with your feet, other than when doing Silat. Therefore do not point your feet at another person when sitting. Do not rest your feet on another person. Do not step over another person.
  • Weapons and musical instruments: Do not step over them as these items are assumed to be imbued with spirit and spiritual properties. Always treat them with the utmost care and respect.
  • Pointing: It is better to point with the thumb than with your finger.
  • Eating: Politeness when eating becomes very important in poorer countries. We observe several practices here and recommend several when eating in Indonesia. General politeness is always important.
  • Always serve others first, serve yourself last. Usually guests are first, then elders then others in descending age order.
  • When offered food or drink, thank your host and accept, then continue conversing. Wait for several offers to begin before you actually do. This shows that you are not visiting because you need to eat, even if you do. It is most polite to wait for the elder male to begin eating first.
  • When you become full, leave a very small amount of food on your plate. If you clear your plate it will be filled again for you.
  • Addressing instructors:The Perguruan, like Indonesia, is casual but polite in personal interactions. The head instructor, Rennie Saunders, is addressed as Pak (sir or father) or Guru (teacher).
  • In class: It is polite to bow before beginning a drill with another student or guru. This is a reminder that this is only practice and that your opponent is your friend helping you to learn.
  • Leaving class: Always ask permission to leave a class in progress, even if just getting a drink of water. Remember to bow when leaving and returning.
  • Arriving late: Always bow to the instructor when entering a class in progress. Do a quick stretch and then enter the group as quickly as possible.
  • Entering the perguruan: Always bow, as indicated above, when entering or leaving the perguruan. This is a sign of humility and a willingness to learn as well as respect for the perguruan, the gurus, the art and all past masters.
  • Give salaams to the gurus and then to your classmates.
  • Hand gestures and body language: In most cultures hand gestures and movements are considered powerful forms of communication. Certain gestures that are common in the US are considered impolite in Indonesia.
    These include:
  • Motioning with your index finger to ask someone to come to you. This is very rude. If you wish someone to come over to you, scoop the air with your palm facing down. Always approach a guru or elder rather than motioning them to come to you.
  • Do not stand with your hands on your hips while listening to a guru. This is effectively saying “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Standing in pasan santai with your right hand over left in front of your body as mentioned above is preferred.
  • Correcting an instructor: It is very bad form to correct an instructor while they are teaching. If something seems wrong, assume that the misunderstanding is because of your incomplete knowledge. Ask politely for clarification. It may be a variation and it will probably be covered by the FAQ (page 36 of the Student Manual). You should find over time that this humility will speed your learning.

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