Relevancy of the Warrior Code

by George Mattson

by Keith Jackle

“It is culturally common that most developed societies in the world, at one time or another, have had a Warrior caste or class that have decided (generally) ruled or decisively influenced the rulers of their times. Where the society is Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian); European, Polynesian, African or American Indian there has been a cult of the Warrior. In many of these societies, most notably in Japan and in Europe, the warrior has tried to reconcile the fact that their primary activity is killing. The “Warrior Code” has been an attempt to set some parameters on what one can do and not do on the battlefield (battlefield ethics?). Some societies have developed this to a high degree. Such as India, China, Europe and Japan. This code has spilled over into other non combative activities.. for instance Chivalry and “courtly love” which discusses how to treat a woman.”

I would be very interested in facts and opinions about the relevance of a Warrior’s code today, maybe a fresh look at the history of various warrior codes; How can one practically follow a code of behavior; Do these codes have any relevance in Okinawan Karate. Does the code define when it is proper to Kill? Is Karate really utilized only for defense? Does the code define what defense is?

I think that this is an important question for our personal study. I am sure that we all have individual answers and opinions. I, for one, would like to hear some of these opinions and facts that some may have and would care to share.. After the work that was done on the NAC, I think this would be an interesting topic.

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