Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The way of the warrior; Sacrifice

True practioners of the arts will always tell you, its not just an activity that ends when you bow and leave the dojo. It extends into every aspect of your life.

Today I sent my husband off to basic combat training. Some women are bitter when their husbands leave, or too sad or afraid to do anything but cry. And while I was a little hisheartened at the prospect of being seperated for up to two years, I had a smile on my face as he departed. Why? Because I was proud. I was full of respect as I realized; this man truly lives what he believes.

The martial arts should never be without utility. At the very least styles like tai chi or some aspects of yoga strengthen the physical body of the individual, but in the most basic form they are exactly what they are called- martial arts. It's the art of fighting, of battles, of war. And as with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to proceed in fighting, and there is a poor and there is an ideal warrior.

An ideal warrior is not necessary the best fighter in the world. He is not the one that can knock the other guy out the quickest, or that can crank out the most punches in a minute. The ideal warrior reflects his art in his dealings with his peers, his family, his country, and himself. Everyone knows that any reputable style will teach you never to fight if there's any way you can avoid it. But there is more to the ideal warrior than restraint. There is also a willingness to use the skills he has for any good purpose he is needed for. For James, this meant joining the army, putting his life on the line and donating all of his skills and training for the defense of his country, his freedoms, his fellow countrymen, and his family.

This is true sacrifice. This is one of the many traits that make up a complete karate-ka.


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