Code of Life
In modern society, more people feel restless, disconnected, or suffer from a lack self-worth than ever before. Today, we live in a world where many people are plugged in but few are social or connected. Children and adults alike struggle to find guiding principles to help them organize their lives, develop lasting values, and set ideals to strive for to achieve a life worth living. Ultimately, each person is responsible for who they become.
Everyone shares the struggle to know themselves. The process is difficult and takes a lot of time and energy. If it is so hard, why would anyone want to work to become self-aware? Because if you truly know yourself, all things are possible.
The drive to find meaning in one’s life is an ancient pursuit. Throughout history there have been many approaches to this search. Bushido – or ‘way of the warrior’ was a Japanese system of values and ethical beliefs that codified how a person could live a meaningful life. The idea of bushido is somewhat like medieval chivalry, where honor and integrity formed the basis for their way of life. Bushido, a non-religious code, was essential to samurai, a Japanese warrior class that valued honor, courage, skill, and loyalty above all else. So how does bushido fit into modern life?
In truth, the bushido code has been watered down by many modern-day martial artists, many of whom focus on the short-term gains that are sometimes found in sport karate. Bushido, however, is different. Beyond the trophies and accolades lies the essence of Kyokushin karate – to work ceaselessly to build a clear mind, a strong body, and a durable spirit in the pursuit to perfect one’s character.
“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Seek nothing outside yourself.”
To build a better life, you must hold yourself to high standards. Pathways to success have been repackaged in hundreds of different ways, but the formula has remained functionally unchanged for millennia. In essence:
Behave in ways that help you become your best person | 7 Virtues of Bushido
Take good care of your body | 5 Principles of Good Health
Develop positive mindsets | 3 States of Mind
7 Virtues of Bushido
Consider all points of view before committing to and making a decision. Be true to yourself.
Every decision you make reflects your character. Judge only yourself.
Be true to your principles and protect all who are in your care. Accept consequences of your words and actions.
Building true strength takes dedication and effort. Always use your power for good. Be kind. Strive to improve the lives of others.
Use intelligence and strength to face danger, take balanced risks, and live a full life.
Your word is your bond. If you mean it, say it. If you say it, do it. Make no excuses.
5 Principles of Good Health
Choose food consistent with long-term health and vitality. Try to consume a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables of every color, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and whole grains.
Everything, including exercise, has a time and place. Train hard but allow yourself time to heal. Good, balanced nutrition is key to recovery from hard training.
Restful sleep is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health. Your body knows what it is doing; be sure to give it the time to do it well.
Maintaining proper hygiene shows respect for self and for others. Improper hygiene leads to illness and disease over time.
Your body will do what your mind says it should do. If you believe you can do something, your body will find a way. Scientific studies show people with a positive attitude and outlook live longer and are healthier overall.
3 States of Mind
Zanshin | Alert Awareness
Translated literally, zanshin mean ‘remaining mind’. It also refers to posture before, during, and after taking an action. Essentially, zanshin is a state of mind where a person is totally aware, with relaxed alertness of one’s surroundings and potential threats, allowing seamless reaction to changing conditions.
Mushin | No Mind
Translated as 'mind without mind' or 'no-mindedness', mushin is a state of mind where all fear, anxiety, ego, and other emotions that cloud your judgment or restrict your actions are absent. Mushin is a state of unfiltered being, a total immersion in the present moment, that allows one to act without thought or emotion, a state of complete openness where all possibilities exist. Mushin is difficult to describe, because the more one attempts to do so, the further away from mushin one becomes.
Fudoshin | Emotional Balance
Referred to as ‘immovable mind’, fudoshin is a mental state where one achieves peaceful and complete determination and unwavering will. Used as an antidote to anger, doubt, fear or hesitation, fudoshin is the mental fuel used by many martial artists and athletes to overcome every obstacle with courage and an implacable will to succeed. Achieving fudoshin can feel like you are invincible and cannot lose.