The ABC's of Warriorship
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A Warrior's Vision
A is for Attitude

as in always strive to be confident to face all challenges, to be able to take a bad situation and calmly take care of it before it takes care of you, to be open minded to become innovative and look for answers and solutions outside the norm and ordinary, and to be capable of carrying out the extraordinary or anticipating the unexpected.

B is for Belief

both belief in yourself and developing and nurturing trust in others (especially in one's students). This is best exemplified by being humble and demonstrating the same consideration and respect for others as you would like them to show to you.

C is for Character

by keeping your word, by saying what you mean and by meaning what you say. To be done with

D for Determination

and making no excuses or allowances for distractions or any set backs.

E for Education, Enthusiasm, Energy, Effort, and Efficiency

the kind of which means you and everything you do is done absolutely impeccably and leaves nothing to chance, to be overlooked, or assumed, including

F for Failure

to maintain focus in the worst of all possible moments by F for Fortitude/Faith in oneself, one's abilities and the capabilities and willingness of

G for God

or any other name one has for the higher power and source of order and synchronicity in the universe that one might call Karma and Dharma. As there are "no atheists in foxholes or the in the inescapable clutches of death" which provides one with

H for Hearing

that which is said through the synchronicity of life events: technical movement, shifts in weight, the statement or question that is said yet is not audible, but is the message or warning to be heard coming deep from one's own gut, the voice within us all. One must learn to listen more than one talks to hear what others are saying, not only what is being said between their words, but also what is being said through their actions (which tend to speak volumes), as seen in their body language. All of which is achieved by paying attention to one's maintenance of

I for Intensity

as in not to be complacent or to procrastinate, not to be confused with aggressive actions and whining, as others will only respond to this overt fact as "it is the squeaky (but performing) wheel that is the one that gets the oil."

J is for Justice and Judgement

as in being fair, considerate and impartial in evaluating all, not only others but also yourself.

K is for Knowledge

seek it out and respect it by being knowledgeable enough to know that "Knowledge alone, is not power, but a myth."

Otherwise, one could never find college graduates pumping gas or being reduced to menial labor. There are those who are knowledgeable in their practice of the martial arts but have found themselves frozen like deer in the headlights of an onrushing car when they were caught off guard and faced by a simple threat.

L is for Love

for those who fail to make the sacrifice of love will assuredly be destined to experience violence and, therefore, can never attain true warriorship as warriorship's highest form is to attain the skill to achieve victory without violence.

M is More

recognizing people's needs are not to be confused with their desires, which are insatiable. Provide more of only what is necessary, not expected. Surpass needs, not desires, in the form of substance over superficiality, especially where it is a matter of love or one's applying skills in Warriorship. To show this discipline is not to be taken by surprise or to fall short when it comes to delivering the decisive measures to secure one's objective.

"Showboating is for clowns and actors and has no significance amongst real warriors."

Hanshi Frank W. Dux

N is for Negative

avoid being cynical and avoid the negative influence of others. Avoid the kind of negative spirit that the Chinese describe as the "chattering monkeys that live in one's head," which lead to self-doubt and the rationalization and compromising of what that is otherwise intolerable.

O for Offense

as it is a fact that a mediocre or even inferior offense always stands a chance of overcoming a superior defense. O for offense as in the offensive mindset versus the defensive mindset, which is exemplified by

P for being Proactive

versus being reactive, the defining difference between a bona fide Warrior or the pretender who deceives himself and others by reacting in place of acting in times of conflict. Remember that defensive people are always defensive, seen in defending their mistakes or in their feeling compelled to justify their actions even when it is unnecessary, having never been asked for an explanation.

Q is for Question

to take nothing at face value. Test all situations and persons to determine their true capabilities, character, and their context, as well as to derive their purpose and the true results they seek from you or others. To question is to seek the truth for a noble purpose and not to satisfy any spurious idle curiosity. Avoid those who avoid answering questions with directness or not at all, especially, if you are a student of the martial arts or martial sciences. Run away from these kinds of teachers who are either masking their ignorance or possess a hidden agenda. It is the sincere martial arts or martial science teacher that will feel compelled to not only answer questions but be drawn to those who seek the truth to share in their knowledge, as a true warrior recognizes his knowledge can rescue and improve the lives of many. However, remember this, too!

"A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer."

The Talmud

R is for Regularly as part of your daily Regiment, Review and Recognize your Results

as they are what matter and not one's good intentions. Know them as in set them down in written form on a daily basis. Make it a point to list not only short and long term results, but those immediate "step by step" results, that are to be achieved daily. Thereupon, review and recognize your results. Do this by crossing them off your list by every day's end, carrying forward the unrealized results. In doing this one is not only instilling and maintaining discipline, but one can determine from where one actually started and where one is really headed - which is absolutely necessary to improve oneself and achieve realistic results. One will quickly ascertain, through this disciplined practice of being result orientated, new results are always built on one's past results. To realize one's results daily keeps the Warrior on the path of enlightenment, always sharp in skill and focus. This practice is what is really meant by:

"Give me fish I eat for a day. Teach me how to fish and I eat for a lifetime."

Samurai Proverb

Whether they are good or bad, right or wrong, correct or incorrect, each result is the building material of the foundation of the legacy by which one is to construct in their own name, and by which to honor their name's sake and their teacher's legacy.

S is for Simplicity and Specificity

as to be specifically clear and precise and leave nothing to chance, interpretation or assumption when fighting, giving directions or whilst one is in the execution of all actions that one has been directed to carry out. Complexity or being vague only leads to more opportunities for things to go awry and for one to suffer frustration and confusion. Today's Warrior makes good use of FASST/Dux Ryu's new rendition on the old adage, regarding the power of KISS:

"Keep it specifically simple and you wont be disappointed with the result."

Sensei Sky Benson with Hanshi Frank W. Dux

T is for Tenacity

this is what separates the drowning cynics, pessimists and dreamers from those who are sterling over-achievers. Tenacity separates out martial art pretenders from real life warriors. For one to possess tenacity means not to surrender and to give up easily. To drown in self-pity, in place of doing whatever it takes to endure and overcome any great adversity by which to achieve one's objective is the trait of a pretender. It is using tenacity that enables one to overcome all hardships, be they in the form of pain or any other form of a constricting, spirit dampening discomfort.

Considered the Marine's Marine, Colonel Chester Puller, U.S.M.C., a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, decorated for courage above and beyond the call of duty, as he distinguished himself by having led the Marines and Army out of a valley of sheer death by incorporating tenacity in his Warrior vision to overcome overwhelming odds at the Chosen Reservoir in Korea. When asked how he came to be so tenacious, Colonel Chesty Puller, USMC, declares:

"If it comes easy, you are doing it wrong."

Colonel Chesty Puller, USMC

U is for Understand

as in the meaning and purpose of all things or the ways of all professions. In order that one shall reduce the chance in becoming hopelessly dependent and find their self at the mercy of others.

"An educated audience gets the best performance."

Scott Davison

The basic principle of knowing and understanding the ways of all professions plus one's adherence to FASST/Dux Ryu's ABC's of Warriorship in all things will, generally, unveil any deceit being perpetrated. Particularly, when this deceit is being perpetrated by those who, by the nature of their profession, require our trust yet have a hidden agenda like; unscrupulous medical professionals who are not healers for the sake of healing but seek only to profit by another's misfortune or ignorance; those who do not seek the study and pursuit of law to right injustices or to protect the rights of others but do so to exploit ignorance in order to line their pockets or to one day have access to political power for the sake of feeding an insatiable ego; those who will abuse their position of authority in law to promote unjust ends; or those spiritual guides who will often use guilt and fear to financially prey upon the unsuspecting, particularly during one's moments of weakness or bouts of hopelessness, unacceptance, and spiritual turmoil. These despicable professionals, therefore, are also pretenders--the enemies and antithesis of a true warrior as a warrior's battles are not just confined to physical superiority, engagements or conquest alone. It is the warrior's pursuit of understanding in all things that makes the Warrior capable of the ultimate sacrifice done for the sake of others and not because he does not value his own life, as this is the opposite of true understanding.

It is in the value of life and any injustice committed to lessen its value that a Warrior finds their acceptance/commitment/resolve to fight, to apply mercy, to right wrongs and to protect those weaker than himself from being preyed upon by the unjust. To behave otherwise, such as to remain neutral and to stand idly by whilst in the presence of an injustice being committed, is also to become the antithesis of a true Warrior - as this is to be guilty of committing the sin of omission.

The coward, the fool, the weak, the down trodden, the thug, the mercenary and the pretender in the attainment of Warriorship, in their doing nothing to help those less fortunate than themselves, betray their weakness. They lack in the concepts of purpose and resolve, its absence preventing them from intervening,

As it is a flawed character that is incapable of recognizing the legitimate opportunity to acquire nobility, one that shall give their life more meaning and understanding. Achieved by one uplifting those too weak to help themselves or lacking in skill, in need of educating and training.

Another reason, as to why the warrior way of understanding is fortified by one's teaching those others, who are sincere seekers of the truth.

Therefore, a keen understanding is the first step to attaining true enlightenment, as to why it is necessary for one to diligently hone, perfect and apply the skills of Warriorship, in all matters, as it relates to one's life.

To understand means not to be content to conduct one's life in a manner that amounts to nothing more than a spectator sport or voyeuristic journey. Always playing it safe from the sidelines.

As to realize enlightenment, to posses the full measure, value and the nobility to be found in walking the warrior path, occurs only from one finding a renewed understanding of cause and effect, versus just purely, basing one's understanding and judgment of what is and is not right and wrong or what is injustice, being determined by one by another via a dictated, doctrine. In contrast to one being free thinking and having acquired and learned through first hand observation, one's morality.

Thereby, as one becomes more experienced in life one is ensured of expanding their Warrior vision through an enlightenment that which is gained only by one's understanding of what it is to be a real warrior – An understanding and enlightenment that cannot be ascertained by confining one's battles and outrage over injustice only to the dojo floor.

To understand means to commit to an ongoing process – as to understand and assist others one must understand their evolving self, first and foremost. Not hide out and avoid confronting their own demons by constantly giving advise or assistance in solving other people's problems in place of their own.

Only through one's daily practice of pursuing the concept of attaining understanding in all things, does the warrior sharpen and shape their vision by which to effectively light the path for others to follow in their own quest for enlightenment.

This is the highest calling and duty of any Master Warrior/ Teacher of the Martial Arts and Martial Sciences.

V is for Visualization

as it controls one's breathing, heart and muscles in times of great stress, and sets the mindset. One must be able to picture oneself exceeding their capabilities in order to grow, improve and set new goals. Through visualization one is able to anticipate obstacles in advance and, thereby, formulate a series of plans considering every possible and conceivable contingency. Visualization is the planning stage that leads to one's overall preparation and winning of the battle before it is ever to be fought.

W is for Who we really are

Do we ascribe to a higher purpose or are we, merely, self-serving? Do we possess the spiritual attributes of a true Warrior, as in ascribing to Rules of Engagement. Acceptance: the ability to tolerate and accept one's fate or whatever is going on around one without protest. Resolve: to chose to act out of wisdom and logic and not emotion. Code Of Honor: the high ideals we strive to perfect in ourselves. Terms: a set of uncompromising self imposed laws a Warrior must define for oneself in advance of any conflict – by defining what makes one unique and what, when, how, and where one shall take up a fight, even as far as deciding when to take a life or when to show mercy, negates hesitation that comes with pondering to act or not to act.

The Secrets Of Warriorship can only be attained when one firmly knows who they are and the man or woman they really want to be. That is in relation to one's ability to be in command of one's thoughts, actions, and emotions in times of extreme stress. One must be in command of oneself first before one can attain control over others. Not only including taking control of a life threatening threat but to lead, inspire or teach others exceptionally.

X is for "X–ing Out" All Excuses

"for thinking only in the box" and not accepting that one can and must become the master of their own destiny. While one cannot chose the time, place, and means of their death, short of suicide, one can determine the context in which they live and must die by. Thus, by one's X-ing out excuses one is freeing the mind of clinging to life or conducting it without purpose. It means one is cognizant of giving one's life meaning through their death, if necessary, making one capable of the ultimate sacrifice without wavering and losing their calm at the prospect of dying. It allows one to become fearlessly accountable for one's actions, decisions and mistakes as there is no excuse to abandon and betray a Warrior's vision of himself or to violate their integrity.

Y is for You

as in everything begins and ends with you. You alone come into this world and you alone will go out of it. This is the cycle of life so do not allow yourself to shirk responsibility for yourself by becoming dependent on others or blaming others for your mistakes or to forget to acknowledge and take credit for your acheivements without having to look to others for approval.

You cannot be who it is you want to be by giving into peer pressure and thinking, acting or living inside or outside of the metaphorical box. One being lazy and slovenly, doing things that will poison one's body like substance abuse or to go against common sense, do that which one knows is wrong, is nothing more than a manifestation of one's spirit having been violated, unchalleneged or is unfamiliar and thus in one's youth, YOU ARE trying to assert YOU, establish your identity by rebeling, which is in reality nothing more than giving meaning to the meaningless, surrendering yourself, as YOU gain nothing by the experience -spritually, mentally or physically. Being YOU is when one is in harmony with one and all things. Only when you are being you can you share and embrace another, find mercy or possess the power to be capable of great sacrifice and great deeds.(Not quite sure how to edit this to make it sound better without changing too much.)

Z is for Zeal

to embrace all things with a sense of wonder, passion, and joyfulness as if it were the first time experiencing them. Joyous zeal is the most empowering attribute a warrior can and must strive to possess. It is the lynchpin between having or not having a prepared spirit. One means of attaining Zeal is for one to share with others their fears and the examples of that which keeps in check or conquers their fears. One's ZEAL frees the mind to attain and maintain vision where others will become lost. It is one's Zeal which prevents doubt and any prospects of fear from creeping up within oneself to take control, manifesting itself in anger, frustration, fright, etc. It is one's zeal for and in life that reveals the principle that neither victory or defeat are the means of measuring the true worth of any man or woman, particularly, a Warrior. This kind of measurement can only be made through a truthful and forthright self-examination of one's zeal, one's own consistency in striving for the perfection of one's character while in the midst of or after facing a great, unforgiving adversity, what Ernest Hemingway describes as for each one of us as "Our moment of truth."

Conclusion

Only during that tested moment of truth can one become intimately cognizant of whether or not one possesses a prepared spirit, mind and body, to the point where one is willing, able, and ready to commit all in adherence to one's own Rules of Engagement. To be capable of preferring death over violating one's own code of ethics is an example of living the vision with no fear, no games and no delusions. This is just one of the many secrets and derivative benefits of being skilled and made wise in the perfection of character by the authentic Secrets Of Warriorship in contrast to the theoretical diatribes being espoused by those who talk the talk but have never walked the walk. Those pretenders who are incapable of filling the shoes of a real Warrior in a time of crisis and are doomed to fail--as they will never recognize until it is too late that one's attainment of the Secrets Of Warriorship is never a matter of just accumulating weaponry, technical knowledge, fighting skill and physical prowess, alone - will be forever ignorant to the fact that in one's ascribing to the ABC's of Warriorship or a similar code one comprises the professional vision of a Warrior.

It is one's vision that provides direction and decisive action to free the mind from mediocrity, the antithesis of the superior mindset and the centering of a Warrior, and the harmonizing of a prepared spirot, mind and body through the application of: Focus – Action – Skill – Strategy – Tactics.

"For one to avoid putting the ABC's of Warriorship or a similar code of conduct into practice is described by professional Warriors as one being intentionally incompetent.

And, therefore, such a person has no place in any uniform, on any battlefield, in my life, and certainly not in my dojo."

Hanshi Frank W. Dux