Sunday, June 19, 2011


What sort of values should a martial artist hold? What kind of attitude should they have every day?

In today's fast paced society, that people need to slow down, take a step back, and remember to treat each other as human beings. So many times I see rudeness and selfishness in the way people act towards each other, even if just at the grocery store or driving down the highway.

This is not at all to say people are all inherently bad. I was in Joplin visiting family two days after the tornado struck. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of the volunteers and strangers alike.

This may seem antiquated, but I think the tenants of Bushido are a good basis for the attitudes of any martial artist.

The tenants are:

What they mean:
Rectitude - correctness, rightness of principle or conduct, moral virtue and conduct. Knowing what is right and acting upon that knowledge accordingly.

Courage -  valor, bravery, possessing the courage to meet all of life's challenges head on with a resolute and moral heart, the ability to act or to do something even though you are afraid. 

Benevolence - having the desire to do good towards others, A feeling of good will to all, a magnanimous and compassionate state founded on the understanding that we are all the same and should be treated with the same respect regardless of station or situation.

Respect - to hold in esteem or honor, to show regard or consideration for, correct conduct and courtesy regardless of station or situation.

Veractiy - habitual observance of truth in speech or statement; the quality or fact of being honestuprightness and fairness, truthfulness, sincerity, or integrity, keeping one's word

Loyalty -  faithfulness to commitments or obligations, duty and obligation must then transferred to relationships in the dojo and all of life’s endeavors. We must also be loyal to our own goals, plans, objectives and the realistic path of attainment.

Honor - honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions, a source of distinction: considered to be the sum – total of the previous six virtues. One practiced in and possessing the above listed virtues would certainly emerge from this disciplined lifestyle as an honorable individual. The self-esteem and honor of such an individual would be consistently above reproach. Like the samurai of old, a stain on one’s honor/name, should be a sense of great shame for the Budo–ka and avoided at all cost

Martial Artists have a responsibility to act with kindness and consideration towards others. Just because you know how to hurt someone doesn't mean you should, or that you have a cocky, self righteous attitude. Think about treating others the way you want to be treated. Martial Artists and non Martial Artists alike. 


  1. A good start yet when you get to a certain point it may be beneficial to come up with your own code.

  2. My favorite book on the subject is "Bushido Shoshinshu" by Daidoji Yuzan translated by A. L. Sadler.

    In the introduction he talks about always keeping death in mind. This way we don't put of living the life we should for a toworrow that might never come. This way we know to start apply the seven virtrues today, not leave them off for tomorrow.

    Take care, and I'm looking forward to reading your blog.


  3. Charles - I will keep that in mind.

    Joshkie - Thank you for the recommendation! Sounds like a good read. I'll be sure to pick up a copy as soon as I can. Thanks for following! I look forward to your comments in the future! ^.^