The Samurai of ancient Japan followed a sequence of rules called the Bushido
Theses philosophical codes and guiding principles where the foundation of a Samurai's personal development which was said to have elevated him to become one of the greatest warriors ever seen.
During the medieval period in Japan, the samurai were present to serve their lord and protect the land.
Though these warriors are no longer in service, their influence is still evident,
many Japanese still refer to the Bushido in this day and age as a moral code of behaviour that is considered right or acceptable in a civilised society.
In fact this code is also evident not only in Martial Arts but in corporate business.
The Seven Virtues explained in brief Japanese terms are:
Gi - Justice or Integrity.
This is ensuring that the individual has the right way and mindset when making decisions – that they have the power to decide swiftly. It is to guarantee that the person avoids indecisiveness and that decisions are based on the proper reasons.
Yu – Courage.
Yu is focused on ensuring that an individual does and has the courage to do the right thing, not what others expect them to do.
Jin – Mercy or Benevolence.
As great warriors, samurai had the right power to kill; yet due to the Bushido, Jin is to ensure that their mind and thinking is balanced – having mercy and sympathy at the proper situation.
This is to ensure that the warrior fought for the right reason and belief; it is also to guarantee that if there was no need to kill, the samurai would have mercy.
Rei – Respect.
Based on the belief of a samurai, it is important that they respect and be polite towards everything. Their way of life meant they should be respectful of elders, respect life, and respect the belief of others.
Makoto – Honesty.
Honesty was always vital since the warriors believed that honesty in everything they do will acquire respect. It would also mean that they are trustworthy.
Meiyo – Honour.
Living and dying with great honour was vital to every samurai warrior.
Everything they did was with great honour; meaning, everything that they did based on their belief was with honour.
Chugi – Loyalty.
Another vital aspect of the Bushido code was loyalty.
The samurai treated each other just like family and would safeguard and help their fellow warriors.
This was important because it meant they could trust each other, knowing that they would be loyal despite the circumstances.
This code was passed down to me by my Master and I have continued to teach its principles to my students for more than over 43years.
Chris Clarry Shihan 8th Dan.