The Magnificent Seven

The Seven Virtues of Bushido are stalking me! I hadn’t thought about them for while, and I had almost forgotten they existed, but now they seem to be everywhere I look. Last week I was going through some of my old papers from the dojo, and I ran across a copy of them, then the very next day I was having a conversation with someone, and they happened to bring them up. After that I was reading the SRSK Six Articles and the Notions for Training, and I realized that they correlated to the Virtues. Then I was thinking about how I would define what makes a person a martial artist as opposed to just a fighter, and I decided that if they try to follow the Seven Virtues, then they are a martial artist.

I’ve seen the words interpreted a few different ways, but this is how they appear on the paper that I have (the simple explanations are my own):

  • Justice (Gi)- Doing what is right. 
  • Courage (Yuki)- Not just the courage to face danger, but to face our own weaknesses. 
  • Benevolence (Jin)- Compassion towards all, without judgment. 
  • Politeness (Rei)- Adhering to the rules of etiquette. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and no one is above common courtesy. 
  • Veracity (Makato)- Being honest, having integrity. 
  • Honor (Meiyo)- Maintaining a good reputation. 
  • Loyalty (Chugi)- Obligation to give back to those who have helped us, as well as being true to our own goals.
The seven samurai
The original magnificent seven!

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