Martial Arts Ethics


I have touched on this subject before when I have written of the Code Of The Samurai and such things as that.
What is the aim of Karate? To build character. We also want to develop an indomitable heart and spirit. We are not just learning to kick and punch. We are not simply learning moves to defend ourselves. We are refining, and actually defining, our character. One can only build their personality and character if their spirit is right. The continuing practice of the martial arts cultivates a person’s mind and body; not to use it as a means to vent ones anger, frustration or emotional problems, but help build a better community in which to grow one’s family and friends.

One sign of both character and honor is a sense of ethics. What are ethics you might ask. Ethics are simply way of defining moral philosophy. All of the virtues in the Samurai’s code were good sound ethical ideals.

There are certain things a samurai, or any martial arts practitioner for that matter, would or should never do. These things are common sense that any decent person would not do in the first place. However the martial artist, who’s life- style is based on moral principals should make even more of an effort to be ethical.

None of us are perfect beings. We all make mistakes. Yet there is a difference in making a mistake and knowingly doing things that are unethical. A person who sits in a place of authority and uses that position for personal gain would not be considered ethical. It makes no difference what the individual’s position is. It can be a governmental office, their position in the community, or even in their church. To give an example: I work for the government. If I were to use my employment to grow my dojo, that would not be ethical. Sure, I can tell people what I do as far as being a Sensei but if I use my authority to get them into the door of the dojo that would be wrong.

I think as martial artists, and especially instructors and studio owners, we should hold ourselves to just a bit higher standard. We need to be examples to our students and our community. If we do this, then we will be able to pass those standards, ethics, and honor on to our students. We should never cheat, lie, have dubious business practices, or steal..even other people’s ideas. If we do things like these we lessen ourselves and we lessen our martial art. What may appear to be a good idea in the end will be uncovered and exposed to what it truly is.

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  1. September 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going

    Very good article (~_~) Inspirational!

  2. Michael
    September 28, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I know what you’re talking about Sensei White. I’ve been following your blog for a while now just because of all of the things you and your students do for our community. One of my parents is in PCC and they enjoy all the things you guys do for them so much!

    There is one guy in town who almost follows your lead to a “t”. I guess he does just because he doesn’t have the talent to come up with his own ideas. What really got me was a week after you did your last free women’s self defense class these people started advertising that they were going to start teaching a program that is famous nationally for teaching women to protect themselves.

    I guess people will always use their place in the world to achieve their own gains. I’ve known a few like that and I agree with you that is VERY unethical.

    All I can say is keep doing what you’re doing! Your character will shine through in the end like it always does.

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