Ethics & Martial Arts



I know that many Martial Arts come with an ethical/spiritual tradition. However, those traditions may or may not still be current. So the question is:

If we were to erase the traditional ethics that accompany the martial arts, and teach only the ethical policies that we felt were necessary to go along with dangerous instruction like this, what would we include? I'll give you some of my answers straight off.


Appropriateness / Justice - the student's training should only be used when it is appropriate and just to do so. it should not be used against someone who does not deserve it.

Respect for training partners - if you don't have training partners, you can't train. it behooves us to take care of our partners, because they take care of us. there is an implied contract here.

Necessary for instructors:

teach something that works - you have a moral obligation to give students a working product. it should do what you say it can. this is a tricky requirement, but I think it's true. you should have enough experience and knowledge to teach them something that will work.

Super-erogatory (also known as above and beyond necessary)

benevolence - the capacity to be forgiving, and to show mercy

I have others, but that'll get things started. Let me have 'em! :)



Senior Master
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MTS Alumni
Jul 6, 2003
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middletown, CT USA
just a quick one comes to mind- As a teacher you are in a position of trust, it's important to always act in best interest of the student.


Originally posted by twinkletoes
benevolence - the capacity to be forgiving, and to show mercy

What happened to "The enemy deserves no mercy"(John Creese of the Cobra Ki)? :rofl:

Seriously though how bout honesty on both sides, instructor and students.



I like those suggestions.

Teachers need to be conscientious of the responsiblity that their students' trust gives them. They must be careful not to abuse it, and treat their students in a wholly professional manner.

Trust is also necessary between students. Good training requires the ability to put yourself in someone else's hands. You need partners who can, at times, take you outside your comfort zone. In order to do this, you need to have a good rapport with your training partners. Trust is needed all around, and responsibility must be upheld on the opposite end.

Honesty is important from both sides. I think it comes back to trust again.

Who else would like to add?