What is the warrior lifestyle? A true warrior is rare in today’s society. He has a different set life values than the rest of society. Even those with the same values rarely live lives that adhere to them as the warrior. Most people view ethics as a matter of circumstance. People make decisions based on what is best for them and not what is right. The warrior is different. The warrior is a man who values integrity, honor, justice, and a sense of rightness above all else. His ethics are not a matter of circumstance; they are his way.
A code of ethics is a key part of the warrior lifestyle. The code of ethics or code of honor of the warrior is very important. The warrior is able to distinguish between right and wrong. He can see right and wrong as black and white. He can tell if an action is honorable or not. This does not mean that honor can be boiled down to black and white. Honor is complex.
The warrior lifestyle is based on the understanding that one’s intentions and the circumstances in which one is acting are key factors in determining whether an action is right or wrong. This should not be confused with situational ethics. The warrior’s morals do not change with the circumstances. His actions may change, but his ethics will not. There is a huge difference between ethics, and actions. Ethics determine actions; actions do not determine ethics.
The warrior lifestyle is about honor and right. These are the two core issues of warrior ethics. His thoughts are focused on justice and honor. He is focused on what is right and not on others’ opinions. When push comes to shove, he realizes that many people believe in absolutes but don’t live by them.
The warrior must live by the only absolute of right and wrong. He won’t do something if it isn’t right. He is guided by his code of ethics and not the politically correct standards or arbitrary laws. He is not honorable, but he appears to be honorable. This lifestyle is full of sincerity. This lifestyle is lived and not just discussed.
It is more than just being trained in self-defense or war fighting, though these are important aspects of the warrior’s life. It is also about the challenge of perfecting one’s character. This process is similar to the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Kaizen is a constant, unstoppable improvement. True warriors apply this idea to all areas of their lives. They strive to improve every area of their lives – mind, body and spirit – on a daily basis.
Every area of your life should be considered important and balanced. Without regard for character, training men in martial arts or war does not make them a warrior. In the past, martial arts masters wouldn’t train anyone fully until they were certain of their character. Nowadays, most schools will train anyone with the means to pay. This information is too risky to share with anyone. Character should be a requirement for any martial arts training and for many privileges we enjoy in this country.
I am often asked if I believe the term “warrior” should only be applied to soldiers who have served in wars or trained and experienced fighters. While I understand that this is the literal definition for a warrior, it is not the correct one according to many accounts of past warriors. Warrior Wisdom does not use this literal definition of warrior. While an ape may be trained to kick and throw punches, a dog or a dog can fight, that does not make them warriors. A warrior is more than just being trained to fight, it also requires character training. Bushido is all about character training, the way to be a warrior.
Don’t misunderstand, I have great respect and admiration for the military. However, I think anyone who has served in the military knows that not all soldiers live by the same character traits that are required for a warrior lifestyle. This is true regardless of whether or not a martial artist or any other person. I don’t want to take anything away from the people who serve our country. Everyone who serves our country should be honored and thanked. However, service does not necessarily mean that someone is trying to improve his or her character. Today, it is rare to meet people who are serious about their ethics. Although it is not uncommon to see people who claim to be serious about their ethics, I mean people who actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
While physical training and martial arts are important for warriors, he is also aware that character training is essential to a warrior’s lifestyle. Martial arts training is essential for the true warrior. He must be able to defend himself, his family and friends in certain situations. You never know when you might need to use your martial arts skills in today’s modern world. To be as independent and safe as possible, it is important to have the right training. However, without a code or ethics that is based on deep understanding of right/wrong, there is no warrior. There is only one person who is trained to fight. There is a distinction. There is no warrior lifestyle without the character traits of integrity, honor, and justice.
The warrior lifestyle is for those who desire to live an exceptional life and adhere to strict ethical standards. Your life must be lived with honor, preparedness, and the highest ethical standards. You must live a life that puts ethics above comfort and prioritizes what is right over what is profitable. This lifestyle requires filial duty, devotion to family and friends, as well as a willingness and ability to help others in need. It takes independence in thought, and action. This lifestyle is not a career.
This is a short introduction to the life of a warrior. Each point can be expanded upon and I know that not all will agree with me. You will find this book very helpful, even if your definition of a warrior is different from mine. Warrior Wisdom aims to give the reader wisdom from all ages that will allow him to live the warrior lifestyle. This lifestyle is not something to strive for, but a path to follow. This road is yours to travel with honor.