Mat Manners Monday

Every now and then I like to offer a little PSA for those new to the martial arts mat, or simply those in need of better manners.  Today lets discuss body language and position on the mat while receiving instruction.

One of my, and many instructors out there, biggest pet peeves is when a student lays down or sprawls out and back, resting on their arms and/or sides.  This presents an air of disinterest and laziness, neither of which is desired in the dojo.  You should be actively engaged in your learning, and subconsciously your central nervous system goes into a state of relaxation and rest when the body is physically put into a position of relaxation.

Often times it is necessary to move and switch positions to better see your teacher and the details they are expounding, and this is perfectly acceptable.  But it never ceases to amaze me that grown adults will be so unaware of their surroundings that they will literally sit/stand in front of someone else with complete disregard for blocking their training partners view.  Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure to walk behind fellow students when repositioning yourself.  Attention to these subtleties will improve not only your martial abilities but also your social etiquette.