Respect is earned, not given



Part of being a black belt not only shows that you’ve earned the respect of your peers and yourself, but it’s also a continuous process of being in service to others and spreading my knowledge to anyone who will listen.   I’ve heard several times over the years the term  Commanding respect vs Demanding respect.  I think this is great topic to discuss, I’ll put my two cents in, and if you have something to say, by all means, add your notes to the comments.

Referencing  in the dictionary: I found the definitions of these two words:


a.  something claimed as due

b.  seeking or state of being sought after

c. The requirement of work or the expenditure of a resource


a. to exercise a dominating influence over: have command of…..

b. to have at ones immediate disposal

c.  to demand or receive at ones due

d.  to overlook or dominate from or as if from a strategic position

Years ago, I really didn’t understand the difference between these two words and how it correlated to karate and life in general.  But as time went by, I’ve seen countless people who are demanding respect when respect isn’t due, respect has to be earned.  How is it earned?

In my thought process, respect needs to be given based on merit and quality,  the honest time and effort that has been worked for, whether it be relationships, instructing or being a continuous student and always opening your mind to other peoples thoughts and appreciating people for who they are… bottom line: it’s being IN SERVICE to others.  Not because of your age, status or seniority, or because that you feel it’s just your plain right to be respected because of who you think you are… but instead it’s because you’ve worked for it and it’s recognized without you pointing it out.

RESPECT thrives on RESPECT. what you put in you get out.  By respecting others, you show that you have the ability to maintain your own self respect, because if you don’t respect yourself, how in the world can you expect other people to respect you.