Self Defense: The Difference Between Liking and Accepting


Steve Weber

By Steve Weber

Special to the Nugget

Being liked or, at the very least, accepted for who you are seems to be a common desire. The drama of this interpersonal conflict can often lead to verbal or physical confrontations. Both adult and child students may erroneously believe that training in martial arts will transform them into more likable people and this, of course, will allow them to gain acceptance with their various peer groups. I disagree. We cannot make someone else like us! At best, we might convince them to tolerate us, but even acceptance is never guaranteed.

Natural human behavior has always directed us toward finding people of like mind. We select friends and places to live based on our comfort with common values and shared beliefs that create in us a certain level of comfort. When teaching required courses in Cultural Diversity and Human Behavior, I always made the distinction between the need to learn about other cultures and behaviors and being forced to like them. Political correctness has coerced us into spending a great deal of time and money on convincing people to like one another. Perhaps, if we spent that time and money learning such virtues as courtesy, compassion, honesty, respect, honor, duty, and loyalty, we just might create enough people of character who would accept, respect, and tolerate each other differences. Although it is never too late, this education should start early.

Martial Arts training can develop character and reminds us to look at and change our own behavior first, before expecting others to control or alter theirs. To live and let live is a Martial trait.

Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 North Oracle Road, in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.

Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at

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