Protecting yourself is self-defense. Protecting others is warriorship.
Many people consider themselves to be warriors just because they have spent time training in a dojo and have learned how to fight. They feel that they can protect themselves against almost any attacker. Having developed their skills to the max, they walk around with the self-confidence of a lion, just waiting for some poor soul to make the mistake of harassing them in a bar or on the street.
They feel without a shadow of a doubt that they can protect themselves, but does this really make them a warrior?
Protecting yourself is self-defense by the very definition of the term. Being a warrior means much more than being able to protect yourself. It means being willing and able to protect others as well as yourself. Warriors feel a sense of duty to protect those around them where the ordinary man only feels the need to protect himself and get out of Dodge. There is a big difference in the two.
The warrior is willing to put his well-being on the line for those he loves or for those under his protection. Many times, he puts their well being ahead of his own. He could easily defend himself and leave the danger behind, but he chooses the path of chivalry and warriorship.
He knows there is a difference between self-defense and warriorship, and he also knows that the lifestyle that he has chosen demands that he put his warrior ideals over simple self-interest. Protecting yourself is self-defense; protecting others is warriorship.
(From the book, WARRIOR: The Way of Warriorhood, page 83)
You can find WARRIOR: The Way of Warriorhood and all my other books and teachings at
THE WISDOM WARRIOR BOOKSTORE or on Amazon.com.
Be sure to check out MODERN BUSHIDO and the WARRIOR WISDOM SERIES –
they are great books for guidance on the warrior lifestyle!