Most martial art schools bow before, after and during class, and Freestyle Combat is no different. Bowing is a way communicating respect. We bow as we enter and leave our training area, we bow after we finish working with a partner, as a way of thanking them, and we bow to our instructor after being given directions.
In this email, we will be explaining some of the different types of bows, and when to use them. As a rule, if someone bows to you, return the bow to them in the same way.
The Full Bow
The bow we use in Freestyle Combat was developed by Kyoshi Shihan Mick to show respect to the various source martial arts from which our syllabus comes from. Once everyone has lined up at the start of each class, your instructor will say "Show respect", after with everyone bows.
The bow is broken up into four parts, each representing a different country.
Starting with your feet together and hands to your sides, raise your right fist to your forehead with your palm facing out, while placing your open left palm on your heart. As you do this, step backward with your right foot. From this position, leaving your foot where it is, cup your left hand upward, and lower the back of your right fist into your left hand.
From this position step your right foot together with your left as you place both palms together into a "praying position".
From here, step your right foot to the right until both feet are level and shoulder width apart. As you do this push your fists downward approximately one fist length away from your hips with your palms facing toward each other and your arms tense.
This is the tricky part. Roll both hands forward and to the left, so that your open left hand is on your left hip while your fingers point forward, and your right fist is cupped, palm down, by your left hand, as if you are about to draw a sword. As you do this, slide your right foot until it is slightly in front of you left, lifting up your right heel so the you finish up on the ball of your foot.
From here, push you fist to your belly button, rolling both hands so that your fist is palm down. Once there, draw your elbows to your body, forming an "X" with your forearms, left over right with open palms facing in. No pull both fists backward until they are located just below your armpits, with palms facing up and elbows pulled back.