Respect is not a part of Martial Arts – it’s what makes the Martial Arts so unique.
Here is a great story to illustrate how a New York City business man and fellow martial artist represented the spirit of respect off the mats.
One day, there was a New York businessman who was running late for work. As he rushed to catch the train he noticed a homeless man selling pencils at a table. In his frenzy – he dropped a dollar into the cup and hurriedly stepped aboard the subway train.
After realizing what he had done, the businessman stepped back off the train, walked over to the homeless man and took several pencils from the cup. Apologetically, he explained that in haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils and he hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him. “After all,” he said. “You are a business man just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” He then caught the next train.
At a social convention a few months later, a neatly-dressed salesman approached the business man an introduced himself. “You probably don’t remember me, and I don’t know your name but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a ‘beggar’ selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a business person.”
It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a person by how he or she treats others that may appear to have nothing to offer. Hats off to the business man and much respect to the homeless man. Respect for another human being led to that human being respecting himself enough to use what he had learn to improve his situation.
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Mr. Soares began training in the martial arts at the age of 13 and shortly after graduating High School he earned his Black Belt. Mr. Soares opened a small karate club in 1992. In 1999 he went to serve in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for ten years. During that time Mr. Soares was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Flight Medic. While there, in addition to his duties, he also taught self-defense to soldiers in his unit as well as soldiers from other countries. In 2011 he opened Lance Soares’ Family Martial Arts Center in New Bedford and has since served as its director and chief instructor. Mr. Soares is currently an 5th Degree Black Belt in the Parker system of Kenpo Karate.