The true goal of learning a martial art is not to gain mastery over another; but, rather, to gain mastery over one’s self. To that end, Shoshin Ryu’s program is more than about self-defense. It is about discipline, restraint, self-denial, and self-esteem. It is about honor and dignity. It is about respect and duty.
Students will, of course, learn how to defend themselves. But they will also learn that to take offense at a slight provocation or petty offense is unworthy of a superior person. They will learn that knowing how to fight, they need not fight. They will learn gentleness.
They will also learn that “perfection of character” comes not from a proficiency in the performance of a martial arts technique. Rather, it arises from an appreciation for, and the application of, those moral principles which truly evidence one’s character: Charity, benevolence and generosity toward others; Courtesy, a respectful and well-mannered behavior toward others; Loyalty, a devotion and commitment to others; Rectitude and Courage, recognizing and doing what is right; and Humility, the ability to elevate and honor others by lowering one’s self.
They will learn leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, service, and patriotism. These, and many other such virtues, are both attitudes and actions. Each plays and integral part in the development of the individual. Some reveal themselves sooner than others, but all will be present at the end of the journey.