On Being Nice, with Braden

Braden has a lot to say about being nice. That’s how he talks about Dojo Kun number four. (Last time, we talked about Dojo Kun number three and not giving up.)

J: Braden, can you say Dojo Kun number four?

B: Develop a respectful attitude.

J: What does that mean?

B: Treat others how you’d like to be treated, or just, be nice.

J: How can you tell if someone’s doing that?

B: Magic words…please and thank you…helping out…

J: Who should you be nice to?

B: Grandparents and old people.

J: Respect your elders, and who else?

B: Your parents…teachers.

J: Why is it important to be nice to these people?

B: Well, they were there before me, and they take care of me. And now, if I’m nice to them, things will go better. If I’m bad and mean, my parents will give me time outs. My teacher will take away recess or give me bad reports. If I’m nice, then they will be nice to me too.


J: How do you use Dojo Kun number four at the dojo?

B: Same thing, I’m nice to the teachers.

J: Who else?

B: I treat the other students good.

J: How?

B: Well, I say “hi” when I see them. I keep my hands to myself in class. I try to listen and be quiet in karate, so I can learn and they can learn things too.

J: Anything else?

B: When we spar, I work hard, but I make sure I don’t hurt them.

J: Is that it?

B: Nope. I also show respect by bowing on and off the mat. And when I follow the rules, I am using respect.

J: Do you always follow the rules?

B: I try. Or I strive to.

J: Nice!


B: You know who doesn’t follow the rules?

J: Um, who?

B: My little brother. He’s such a brat.

J: He is?

B: Yep. He gets into everything. Doesn’t share anything. Doesn’t listen to my mom. Runs away from her. Doesn’t follow any rules. Throws tantrums. He even hits us.

J: Wow.

B: He’s only two-and-a-half. He doesn’t know any better.

J: Do you think he’ll learn?

B: I hope so! Prob’ly when he’s older.

J: Do you try to help him learn?

B: Yes!

J: How do you do that?

B: Well, I tell him to listen. I follow the rules and I tell him. If he runs away from my mom, I stop him. I’m fast.

J: That’s good.

B: I can’t wait until he’s three. Then he can do karate and Sensei will help him learn respect.

J: I bet he’ll learn better then.


J: Do you have anything else to say about respect?

B: One more thing. Be nice to others, but there’s someone else too. You should be nice to yourself.

J: How do you do that?

B: Eat healthy, drink lots of water, get exercise, learn. Take care of yourself, like wash your hands and your face if you’re going to Grandma’s or karate. Also if you make a mistake, don’t talk or think bad about yourself. Just try to do better next time.

J: Thank you Braden. I’ll try to keep that in mind.

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger 

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