Justice, Warriorhood and the Martial Arts

Justice, Warriorhood and the Martial Arts


Justice is the virtue of warriorhood, the root of martial arts.
Nakae Toju


Justice is the root of martial arts, and it is also the root of warriorhood. Justice means fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way that you treat other people. Without justice, you are missing an essential part of the warrior lifestyle and an essential part of the character which is necessary to become a true warrior.

If the root is bad, the branches and the leaves will also be bad. This is true for plants and trees, and it is also true for your martial arts and your life as a warrior.

The warrior is dedicated to justice. This is one of the main forces behind his willingness to serve and to protect others. He cannot be indifferent while others around him are forced to endure the injustice of those more powerful. It would be against his nature to take no action when justice is at stake.

Duty requires that the warrior support justice in as much as it is in his power to make a difference. It takes courage to stand against injustice, but courage is a trademark of the warrior.

Martial arts must have at its root the seed of justice or they become self-serving. Once martial arts become self-serving, they become tools for lesser men, men with low character, men who can no longer call themselves warriors.

It is not knowledge of the martial arts which makes a man a warrior, but knowledge of the martial arts which have grown from the roots of justice, honor and character, which lead to the warrior lifestyle. Strive to make sure that the roots of your martial arts and your character are strong.

Bohdi Sanders, PhD

(from the book WARRIOR: The Way of Warriorhood, page 148)

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