THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR DEFINED: Where have all the warriors gone? Bushido The Development and Psychology of Bushido and Budo Martial Arts Morality

26/03/2013 06:18


Moreihei Ueshiba - founder of the art of aikido
" The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love. 

" The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony. There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. True defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within."

"Budo is not a means of felling the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world , as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form." 

"If your opponent tries to pull you, let him pull. Don't pull against him; pull in unison with him."

"Foster and polish the warrior spirit while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light." 

"The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit."

"The Way of a Warrior is based on humanity, love, and sincerity; the heart of martial valor is true bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship. Emphasis on the physical aspects of warriorship is futile, for the power of the body is always limited."

"A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within."

"The totally awakened warrior can freely utilize all elements contained in heaven and earth. The true warrior learns how to correctly perceive the activity of the universe and how to transform martial techniques into vehicles of purity, goodness, and beauty. A warrior's mind and body must be permeated with enlightened wisdom and deep calm."

"Move like a beam of light: fly like lightning, strike like thunder, whirl in circles around a stable center."

"Life itself is always a trial. In training, you must test and polish yourself in order to face the great challenges of life. Transcend the realm of life and death, and then you will be able to make your way calmly and safely through any crisis that confronts you."
- Morihei Ueshiba 


Miyamoto Musashi - SAMURAI WARRIOR 1584-1645


“The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.”  

“from one thing, know ten thousand things” 

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world” 

“It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.” 

“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.” 

“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” 

“The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them” 

“Do nothing that is of no use” 
― Miyamoto Musashi 

bruce lee - founder of jeet kune do 


"Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.
 "Artless art" is the artistic process within the artist; its meaning is "art of the soul." All the various moves of all the tools means a step on the way to the absolute aesthetic world of the soul.
 Creation in art is the psychic unfolding of the personality, which is rooted in the nothing. Its effect is a deepening of the personal dimension of the soul.
 The artless art is the art of the soul at peace, like moonlight mirrored in a deep lake. The ultimate aim of the artist is to use his daily activity to become a past master of life, and so lay hold of the art of living. Masters in all branches of art must first be masters of living, for the soul creates everything."

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” 

"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” 

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” 

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” 

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” 

"To obtain enlightenment in martial arts means the extension of everything which obscures the true knowledge, the real life. "

“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.” 

“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” 

“Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” 

“Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain.” 

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” 

“Be self aware, rather than a repetitious robot”

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” 

“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.” 

“Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your own mind.” 

“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.” 

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.” 

“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.” 
- Bruce Lee

Gichin Funakoshi  - founder of karate  do


"The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants." 
"There are many kinds of martial arts, at a fundamental level these arts rest on the same basis. It is no exaggeration to say that the original sense of Karate-Do is at one with the basis of all martial arts. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form itself. The kara of Karate-Do means this."

"Students of any art, including Karate-do must never forget the cultivation of the mind and the body."

"To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy with out fighting is the highest skill."

"He who would study Karate-Do must always strive to be inwardly humble and outwardly gentle."
- Gichin Funakoshi 



"Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength. By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul and helps you make the spiritual essence of Judo a part of your very being. In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. This is the final goal of Judo discipline. "

 "For one thing, Judo in reality is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact, it is a means for personal cultural attainment."  

"Judo should be free as art and science from any external influences, political, national, racial, and financial or any other organized interest. And all things connected with it should be directed to its ultimate object, the benefit of Humanity" 


helio gracie - co-founder of Brazilian style jiu jitsu


"Learning jiu-jitsu is something for the subconscious, not for the consciousness. "

A real jiu-jitsu  warrior does not go around beating people down. Our defense is made to neutralize aggression. "
-Helio Gracie 

carlos casteneda - student of don juan matus


I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have
nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.

Warriors have an ulterior purpose for their acts which has 
nothing to do with personal gain. The average man acts only if 
there is a chance for profit. Warriors act not for profit, but for 
the spirit.

For the average man, the world is weird because if he's not 
bored with it, he's at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is 
weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. 
A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this 
marvelous world, in this marvelous time. 

Impeccability begins with a single act that has to be 
deliberate, precise and sustained. If that act is repeated long 
enough, one acquires a sense of unbending intent which can be 
applied to anything else. If that is accomplished the road is 
clear. One thing will lead to another until the warrior realizes 
his full potential.

Any movement of the assemblage point means a movement away 
from an excessive concern with the individual self. Shamans believe 
it is the position of the assemblage point which makes modern man a 
homicidal egoist, a being totally involved with his self-image. 
Having lost hope of ever returning to the source of everything, the 
average man seeks solace in his selfishness.

A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything 
needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts 
for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, 
self-explanatory and complete.
Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the 
experience of experiences is being alive.

A warrior must focus his attention on the link between 
himself and his death. Without remorse or sadness or worrying, he 
must focus his attention on the fact that he does not have time and 
let his acts flow accordingly. He must let each of his acts be his 
last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will his acts 
have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as 
he lives, the acts of a fool.

Warriors compress time; this is the sixth principle of the 
art of stalking. Even an instant counts. In a battle for your 
life, a second is an eternity, an eternity that may decide the 
outcome. Warriors aim at succeeding, therefore they compress time. 
Warriors don't waste an instant.

A warrior acknowledges his pain but he doesn't indulge in it. 
The mood of the warrior who enters into the unknown is not one of 
sadness; on the contrary, he's joyful because he feels humbled by 
his great fortune, confident that his spirit is impeccable, and 
above all, fully aware of his efficiency. A warrior's joyfulness 
comes from having accepted his fate, and from having truthfully 
assessed what lies ahead of him.

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is 
that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary 
man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse.

The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence 
of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of 
the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks 
impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The 
average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked 
only to infinity.

It is much easier for warriors to fare well under conditions of 
maximum stress than to be impeccable under normal circumstances.

What seems natural is to think that a warrior who can hold his 
own in the face of the unknown can certainly face petty tyrants with 
impunity. But that's not necessarily so. What destroyed the superb 
warriors of ancient times was to rely on that assumption. Nothing 
can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of 
dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under 
those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to 
withstand the pressure of the unknowable.

- Carlos Casteneda
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