ETHICS IN JU-JITSU

Traditionally, the studies of Ju-Jitsu consist of both the practice of skills and the adherence to ethics. The skills learned from Ju-Jitsu practice hone our physical bodies, sharpen our reflexes and strengthen our resolves and they should be counterbalanced by good conduct.

The philosophy of Ju-Jitsu is the achieving of harmonious values by individuals who live by peace, wisdom, morals, love and self-discipline through intellectual means. The primary gold of learning Ju-Jitsu is to become a better understanding person who lives with a greater expectation of a sincere life.

Good quality of life also requires having a healthy life both mentally and physically. The art of Ju-jitsu cannot exist without the mental aspect, which is the foundation that physical improvements are built upon. Ju-Jitsu is much more than just a workout. It is an alteration, both physically and mentally, of one’s lifestyle that will last a lifetime. It seems to be an issue of bridging the actions with the thoughts, or integrating fighting and philosophy.

Any worthwhile accomplishment requires a certain amount of dedication, effort and discipline.This is no less evident in Ju-jitsu training. Every aspect of Ju-Jitsu requires the harmonization of the mind and body.This harmonization is achieved through mental focus and concentration combing with proper respiration and accurate physical techniques. The aim of the Ju-Jitsu training is the welfare of the practitioner. Not only self-defense skills should be attained, but more importantly the focus should be on the individual’s character development. A well rounded personally can be realized only if the spirit is right.

Therefore, the main goal in Ju-Jitsu practice is to cultivate a person’s mind and body; not to use is as a means to vent one’s anger, frustration or emotional problems. As the serious Ju-Jitsu practitioners we should accept a philosophy of non-violence – a physical confrontation should be avoided wherever possible. The use of force is condoned only is self-defense or in the defense of those who are defenseless. It does not condone meaningless rivalry, foolish stunts, intimidation of others, violent behavior, criminal activities, self-preening vanity, any vices or addictions. The Ju-Jitsu practitioner displays this courage in the use of his skills to satisfy the demands of ethics, and in defense of his country or fellow human beings against unjust violence, to the point of supreme self-sacrifice, if necessary. The Ju-Jitsu practitioner should use his knowledge only to protect himself and others from harm, and then only to the extent to protect and remove himself from the situation.

If it is necessary to use Ju-Jitsu against an adversary, the practitioner should still use self-restraint and good judgement. A properly trained Ju-Jitsu practitioner will do everything possible to avoid a physical confrontation, not only because he knows that such confrontation is unnecessary, but also because he knows that he has a better than average chance of successfully defending himself, and because a physical confrontation is philosophically degrading, as it indicates that all other means of avoidance have failed.

The Ju-Jitsu practitioner should also adopt an attitude of self-control – he must bend like the willow. All of these help him become a better person and, at the same time, help him avoid unnecessary confrontations. It is the inner peace and confidence that the practitioner develops that makes this possible. Patience is the key. Discipline is the exercising of self-control. In Ju-Jitsu, this concept encompasses the emotions, actions, and mental activities of its practitioners. It is one of the cornerstones from which mastery is attained. The ability of defend oneself greatly improves self-confidence. Self-confidence combined with better judgement, integrity and overall improvement in lifestyle brings a positive attitude. The mental aspect of Ju-Jitsu is not quickly seen when compared to the almost-immediate physical improvements. Improvement of physical ability gained from training will be immediately visible to the practitioner himself while the improvement of the mental aspect will be recognized by those around him.

Physical activities used to enhance mental conditioning are helpful in developing a positive self-image. The physical aspect of training is a direct mirror of how much energy the individual is putting into his own internal growth. The harder he trains his body the more he grows spiritually. As it was said the primary objective of practicing Ju-Jitsu is perfection of character. And in order to perfect one’s character, one should be grateful for the abundant blessings of nature, as well as for the great love of parents; one should realize his enormous debt to teachers and be ever mindful of his obligations to the general public. Every practitioner of Jujitsu should realize that honesty is the foundation of all virtues.

Kindness is the secret of business prosperity. Amiability is the essence of success. Working pleasantly is the mother of health.Strenuous effort and diligence conquer adverse circumstances. Simplicity, fortitude, and manliness are the keys to joy and gladness; and service to humanity is the fountain of mutual existence and common prosperity. Courtesy, respect, modesty, loyalty, generosity and dedication are not only the source, but also the reward of the training. Unlike, many other styles of martial arts, Nisei do Ju-Jitsu continually strives to live up to the seven principles of the Code of Bushido “the way of the warrior”.

The Code of Bushido teaches humility, truthfulness, bravery, benevolence, compassion, sincerity, loyalty and devotion to our families, friends, country as well as every aspect of our lives. As Nisei do practitioners we believe that Code of Bushido serves as our constant reminder to perfect our character. Looking at it from today’s perspective, ethics in Ju-Jitsu manifests itself mainly in the following ways:

1) Humility 

Being humble is not easy for a martial artist. This is especially so for those who have some small accomplishments already. It is easy to look down on others who are less skilled and become unduly vain and arrogant. It is also easy to become shortsighted and narrow-minded, often praising oneself and putting others down. The result is unnecessary prejudices that often exist between different styles of martial arts. The fact is, all styles have their own merit and all have individuals who have attained high levels of accomplishments. Determining which style is better than another is neither possible nor necessary. The study of martial art itself is an unending journey. All who have great accomplishments also display great humility. This is because, without humility, no one is capable of learning. The more humble a person is, the more willing he is to learn. This is the prerequisite to the attainment of knowledge. “As an empty cup can be readily filled, an open mind is sure to learn.”

2) Courage

The willingness to stand up for truth and justice is a traditional virtue in martial arts.The courage spoken of here is a higher kind of courage. It is the courage of self-sacrifice, of standing up for the truth, regardless of what the odds are or what the cost may be. It is not the petty bravery of proving one’s self-worth by engaging in meaningless rivalry, foolish stunts or the intimidation of others.The courage in this sense is an important test of a person’s true worth. In times of danger or crisis, a martial artist must stand up and be counted. The willingness to sacrifice is the hallmark of a true martial artist. No human endeavor can ever be possible without some sacrifice.The third aspect is integrity. A true martial artist must have a high moral character, be open, forthright and honest. He should never be intimidated by power, corrupted by money, nor weakened by desire. A person must never be vain, but he can never be without pride.

The true martial artist must have enough pride not to be used and corrupted by others, or lower oneself to grovel at the feet of the rich and powerful. He will never permit him to be used by evil. The independence and integrity of personal character must be defended at all cost so that we may stand tall under any circumstance. In doing so, one will always have a clear conscience and righteous strength. This is the physical manifestation of Ju-Jitsu spirit through the merging principles of the way and the art.

3) Respect

Respect and sensitivity toward others have a strong effect on personal relationships, both at work or at school, and with friends and family. Along with the mental connection and respect for others comes an awareness of other and their needs. Respect for those who are senior and from whom we learn is essential for learning. Without this basic element, the teacher cannot teach and the learner cannot learn. Practitioners should not only show etiquette for the seniority system and honour senior members but also show respect for self, other practitioners and all human beings. We should always honour ours families, and give without the expectation of receiving. Striving for family honour is a lifetime responsibility. As a member of a family, one’s first duty is to be filial to parents, to be helpful and harmonious with our consort, and to be affectionate to brothers and sisters, in order that the family may be a sound, successful and harmonious unit of the community.

As a member of a nation one must be grateful for the protection, which one derives as a citizen; one must guard against self-interest and foster a spirit of social service. This principle can be further expanded to include respect for other human beings, respect for society, institutions, other nation, cultures and all aspects of life and nature. Only when there are sufficient numbers of people who share this respect we can hope to change our world of violence and chaos into a world of peace and order.

As the Ju-Jitsu practitioners we should also use ethics as a frame of reference for our daily behavior and activities. We are responsible to demonstrate the “code” in and out of the training area.This example shows that we do not consider out art separately from our everyday life, that is part of everything. This demonstrates the strength of our art and makes us good practitioners and teachers. One should be discreet in action, yet hold courage in high regard, and strive to cultivate manliness. One should be gentle, modest, polite, and resourceful to eccentric, bur striving always to practice moderation in all things. One should also realize that these qualities constitute the secret of the practice of Ju-Jitsu. Like a drawing in ink of the whispering of wind in the pines, the secrets of Ju-Jitsu can only be suggested. Only through personal experience can one comprehend the mystic ecstasy of such secrets. And only by cultivating a receptive state of mind, without preconceived ideas or thoughts, one can master the secret art of reacting spontaneously and naturally without hesitation and without purposeless resistance.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

To meet the urgent personal and social challenges of increased violence and the deterioration of ethical values, we need an additional education and training beyond of the academics teaching, one that can teach people the skills to resolve conflict and build character. The martial arts have a tremendously creative potential for teaching people to resolve conflict peacefully and create fine moral character. Society is crying out for help in these troubled times, and the art of Ju-Jitsu can be an intelligent and effective way to prepare people to cope with today’s challenges.The current publicized image of Ju-Jitsu as a violent, military discipline is not a true representation of what is, in essence, a means through which one can come to understand and creatively deal with conflict.The intelligent practice of Ju-Jitsu can benefit people in a variety of ways. Ju-Jitsu is not only an excellent form of physical conditioning and an exciting and challenging recreational way to enhance agility and strength though an athletic endeavor, but also an ethical approach to conflict resolution in that it can be an effective way to dispel harmful aggression by developing the confidence to neutralize hostility by non-belligerent, alternative means. Ju-Jitsu can teach the virtues of compassion, love, wisdom and respect, and the fine qualities that build a strong and honourable character in people so that they may contribute to creating a more peaceful and gentle world. The original martial arts of peace that became, over time, the arts of war have paradoxically the transformative potential to again be peaceful and healing arts but only with the right vision and the right means to carry out this vision.

Ju-Jitsu can have a vital and profound role in helping people resolve conflict non-violently. It is clear that Ju-Jitsu has the potential to become a significant, educational model to use in raising people, especially young ones, to be health and intelligent human beings. The Ju-Jitsu can become a vital force in society in changing our conditioned, destructive patterns of relationship and thus, create the potential for a more peaceful and loving world – if they are taught as they were intended to be taught. With physical skills as a base, the Ju-Jitsu practitioners develop the confidence to use psychological and sociological self-defense skills which enable them to deal with the fears and challenges of everyday life. If they are to meet this obligation, Ju-Jitsu schools and clubs need highly trained coaches, who have the necessary skills and resources to prepare their athletes to cope with these challenges. Training programs and innovative curricula will need to be developed in the evolution of this art from self-defense and competitive sport to the greater mission of a peaceful and spiritual discipline that can address the social and individual ills of humankind.

The stated goals of the popularization of Ju-Jitsu and its ethics principles are as follows:

1.To promote and perpetuate the art of Ju-Jitsu and to foster respect for its founders and their history, philosophy.

2.To disseminate information to the martial arts community and the public about the art and science based upon practitioners’ style of life and behavior, their written notes and records about personal experiences, public performance.

3.To serve as a living repository of all the various aspects, of Ju-Jitsu including physical – technical training, historical foundation, scientific basis and philosophical – mental spiritual learning.

4.To maintain high standards of clarify with regard to the dissemination of information concerning the Ju-Jitsu.

5.To give recognition to legitimate coaches and practitioners of Ju-Jitsu.

6.To establish a Code of Ethics calling for mutual respect between members and for coaches and practitioners of other martial arts disciplines.