5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
On valor and virtue

e wrote:
The saints of the east teach that, “A man of valor need not have virtue, but a man of virtue must have valor.” A saying from the west goes, “Justice without power is impotent and power without justice is violence.” These different maxims serve as ethical and moral guides for practitioners of the martial way – Morinobu Itoman, The study of China hand techniques (translation by Mario McKenna).

Hi All,

I read this quote this morning and I really liked it, so I thought I would share it with you! It is another one of those great lines that reminds us that the martial arts should not be a pursuit of violence, and yet to have real value they must be capable of dealing with violence. It is this “Yin/Yang” nature of the martial arts that makes them so fascinating to me.

It also reminds me of other great quotations such as:

“A martial artist should have a saint’s heart and a demon’s hand.”

“A true martial artist is someone whose smile will warm the hearts of little children, and whose anger will make tigers cower in fear.”

I thought I would post this here in order to spark a discussion on this seeming paradox, and in the hope that others would also share some of their favourite quotes around this subject.

All the best


PS The Study of China Hand Techniques translated by Mario McKenna is highly recommended and available from this webpage:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/morinobu-itoman/the-study-of-china-hand-techniques/paperback/product-20572206.html

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

Always liked Mao's

"Civilise the mind, make savage the body"


akaobikenobi's picture
Great quotations or thought provokers. I could listen to and debate their Zen value all day. The bottom and the headline for me is: Understanding violence. To embrace it to survive and to destroy it to live. Courage is that that controls the fear of weakness to violence.
Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

The instructor I remember who epitomised 'valour and virtue' was the late Frank Farenden B.E.M.  Ex Military and a ruthless Judoka, he dedicated his later years to working with the handicapped.  A life well spent.  

Tough guys that chuck their weight around are two a penny.  Frank had it all.  Hard as nails if he needed to be but genuinely helpful to his students and his fellow man, especially those less fortunate than himself.

That's the kind of example I respect.  "Get strong; help others"


daveh's picture

These quotes bring to mind this,  With great power comes great responsibility.

I try to follow this one, Do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because someone is watching.