the dark side


A site I stumbled across doing some research on “Warriorship” …do a google on that term and take a look at the results. It shows you what the problem is IMO.

This looks like the dark side of having a wanting and/or needing to be a warrior but taking the wrong path..into cultism. No offense meant to any Ninjutsu/Bujinkan folks out there, but they are amongst the biggest offenders of MY whole warrior rant here (again this is just MY OPINION…Im not implying that there is anything inherently wrong or Bad with emulating warriors, I just dont personally agree with it). The Ninjutsu folks really play up the whole “Warriorship” angle, some outright proclaiming themselves warriors. I grew up in the 80’s “ninja craze” days, which as a kid was great. I gobbled up all the Hayes/Hatsumi books I could find…still read them every once and a while…but :

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I
thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish
things.” -1 Corinthians 13:11

Some people are apparently so invested in being “Warriors” that they can become victims of some unscrupulous instructors with “issues”. In those links the main offender is described as a former USArmy Officer with combat experience (claimed..people lie about that sort of stuff). If true, it only goes to show yet another issue with this whole topic. He could very well be a “True Warrior” (combat vet etc.) yet still be a slimy bastard. Being a Warrior and being a “good person” are not always necessarily the same issue. People..deep down..if they can be honest with themselves…want to be “Warriors” for the power, fear and respect that they believe comes with it. That desire is natural as I see it, but once recognized it has to be tempered with thought and reason. Most people just cloak those base desires with the “high minded” gobbledy gook rather than face the truth and deal with it.

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8 thoughts on “the dark side”

  1. I understand you want to write a book or at least magazine articles about Warriorship. Is your goal to define the topic more accurately? I have read many books about the subject and many of them are decent. How will your take on the subject be different? What makes your perspective unique?

    I have met the Warriorschool / Jeff Prather crowd and have followed much of their stuff. They taught and achieved some really remarkable stuff, but the cultism became a huge problem. By now the organization has such severe problems I don’t know if it will survive.

    You mentioned that some people fall victim to ‘cultism’, ‘bad people’ and ‘high minded gobledy gook’ in their search for Warriorship or Warriorhood. For me that kind of goes without saying. In your search for ‘Warriorship’ you will have to encounter and engage in the most extreme and dangerous training. Warriorship has the word ‘war’ in it. Warriorship is not a competition for the ‘outstanding citizen award’ as Chris Leben from the UFC would have said. Warriorship is about being able to survive and defend yourself and others.

    To be a true Warrior you will have to submit yourself to the most skilled and radical teachers if you want to achieve your highest goal of being a respectable and modern Warrior. It is impossible to think that one person could discover all the secrets of Warriorship on their own. Especially today there are too many complexities one needs to know in order to be proficient as a Warrior. These principals of Warriorship have been developed over centuries and they include both philosophy and practical war skills. No one can truly be competitive without following in the footsteps of other masters. So the fact that you will encounter some seriously bad things along your path is obvious to me. The goal of becoming a Warrior is to become independent of masters, not to get stuck on any one master. We should be pursuing the principals and not the people.

    A friend of mine said it so well:

    “There are soldiers, warriors and divine warriors”. Soldiers merely fight the way the military tells them too and don’t need to be especially masterful. Warriors can be highly trained, highly skilled and technologically advanced military veterans, but divine warriors are all of the above except that they are independent of man, ego and organizations and only obey the divine principals / God / Virtue or whatever you want to call it.

    That is why I always liked the intrigue of the “ninja”, because they were supposedly training to be complete Warriors that were independent of their flawed society or flawed nature and desired to bring peace and justice. Or at least that was my understanding.

    I look forward to checking out more of your site in the future.

  2. Very interesting post Steven, and one to which I will put in some thought and a reply. I am very busy with work right now, so I will try to put together a clarification of my intent soon.

    Hope you continue to stop by.

  3. There is no single line of development or a unifying mentality about ‘warriorship’ because there is no one definition of warrior or warriorship. The definition of ‘warrior’ or ‘warrior’ ship is fluid based on the sensibilities of the society, the time, and the stability of the nation or tribe.

    I don’t think there are any secrets to being a ‘warrior.’ It comes down to skill,will, and teamwork. Period.

    I don’t buy into this image of the ‘divine warrior’ personally. What this concept really boils down to is a priesthood. Divinity is the goal of the philosopher and the priest, not the warrior. The warrior is a practical creature who is more a craftsman than a scholar. The power of a warrior is not the ‘mastery’ of skills but the mastery of coordination: Shoot, move, communicate.

    I’m all for the idea of self improvement, development and personal evolution, but I would don’t see a ‘warrior’ in any definition as a good role model for a person who is not in the service in some way. And, for those in the modern service, looking to the past is a mistake as well. Yes, there should be a deep heritage that must be honored, but a modern American soldier should not be looking to the codes of conduct of a revolutionary war soldier, civil war soldier or any other time period for a model. This only leads to inconsistencies between what your ‘code’ and that of the modern ‘code.’ The model for the modern soldier/serviceman is clearly outlined in the modern training. There’s a reason why the sword, the standard symbol of warrior honor and dignity, is used in ceremony today – it is only a symbol NOT a tool. The same goes for the ancient ‘warrior’ for the modern man, civilian or soldier. The same goes for the ‘old codes’ in my opinion. They are symbols of another time and there are more than enough current guidelines that make sense for our own time to follow.

  4. Please don’t confuse the above with the idea of using ancient wisdoms. Using an ancient model/symbolic figure as a way to cope with the modern world is a mistake in my opinion. Using ancient wisdoms and ideas as a way to yourself, society, and humanity through history is a good thing. Buying into an ‘image’ isn’t good.

  5. I think there is some value in looking at ancient/historic codes as a way of determining “founding principles”. The writings and beliefs of our own founding fathers are a similar thing. Our times are vastly different from theirs yet we look to the founders intentions when interpreting constitutional law.

    It would be a mistake to base all of our modern law on the writings of 18th century men, but the founders beliefs when they formed our nation are important in maintaining the concept of what “America” means and stands for.

    I think that studying these ancient codes is a similar thing. Though the tools, tactics and technology of modern war are vastly different from our predecesors, there is a common experence between men in conflict. One can still find life lessons and a continuity of human behavior across the span of history by reading classic literature. Even though we dont live in Dickens times, something about “A Christmas Carol” can still resonate in the hearts of us modern people. However, dressing and speaking like a 19th century Londoner isnt something many people seem to be in a hurry to do. That being said,there are some people who like to dress up like, and put on the mannerisms of, some Ancient Japanese warrior or Chinese monk. I think thats at the core of the “trouble” here.

    Trying to take some ancient text and applying it directly to ones life is fantasy. Thinking you can live the Hagakure like in the movie “ghost dog: the way of the Samurai” will just make you look pathetic.

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