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Redefining the Warrior: Exploring Balance, the Martial Virtue of Compassion, Tools for Peaceful Conflict Resolution, and the Art of Nonviolent Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Redefining the Warrior: Exploring Balance, the Martial Virtue of Compassion, Tools for Peaceful Conflict Resolution, and the Art of Nonviolent Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Redefining the Warrior: Exploring Balance, the Martial Virtue of Compassion, Tools for Peaceful Conflict Resolution, and the Art of Nonviolent Communication Jason Gould Emerald Necklace Martial Arts, Boston ZBBKI Summer Camp University of Guelph, 2007

2 Sun Tzu “The Ultimate Strategist” “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” Know your enemy; know yourself; know yourself and your enemy Emphasis on strategy, maneuver before the engagement, and “winning” “Win first, then fight” Principles are applicable to individual combat or large-scale operations 544 – 496 BC

3 Sun Tzu’s Toolbox The Art of War Deception, misdirection, misinformation Intelligence and counterintelligence Poisoning water systems, providing alcohol, employing spies and prostitutes Interrupting supply lines Occupying key terrain Superior maneuvering Implicit or explicit use of mercenaries and money Destroying the enemy’s will and/or ability to fight

4 Miyamoto Musashi “The Ultimate Tactician” “The way is in training.” “Know the Ways of All Professions.” Emphasis on constant study, training, and refinement Ultimate dedication and focus to ensure victory The moment of contact! 1584 – 1645

5 Musahi’s Toolbox The Book of Five Rings Timing Footwork Stance Grip Gaze Methods of Cutting and Hitting Emphasis on relentlessly overwhelming your opponent during the engagement

6 Sun Tzu and Musashi were masters of sen, go no sen, sen no sen Today their books can be found in the business section of your local bookstore!

7 Bu: Martial, Military Radical for two spears/halberds and “to stop” To crush a rebellion by means of force To stop a conflict Bushi, bujin, bugeisha, budoka bushido, bujutsu, bugei, budo BUTOKU

8 Butoku Kai: Our Shared Values, Systems, Culture, “Filters” Martial Arts Techniques History, lineage, common reference point Physical language Skills and tools We develop skill and efficiency thru methodical approach: repetition, frequency duration, intensity, seeking masters Martial Virtues Common set of moral values and ideals Focus on Respect and Compassion Skills and tools – knowledge vs. experience and embodiment The “Warrior Archetype”

9 Living on One Side of the Coin What things might look like without “marital virtue” "The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters." — Genghis Khan 1167 – 1227 A more modern problem than you might think…

10 Living Our Martial Virtues Our core values — respect, compassion, honor, integrity, and gratitude — are more than a list of words to be memorized.Our core values are a list of principles to be internalized: they should become part of our character and collective personality over time. The more we meditate on our core values and discuss them with each other, the more likely we will be to embody them, and also appreciate them in the actions of those around us.

11 Bushi no Nasaki “The tenderness and compassion of the warrior” Mercy, gentleness, and humanity that balances militarism A warrior needs balance grounded in morality With great power comes great responsibility kirisute gomen samurai

12 Budo: What the “Old” Masters Said Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957): “The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants.” Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969): “The Way of a Warrior is based on humanity, love, and sincerity; the heart of martial valor is true bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship. Emphasis on the physical aspects of warriorship is futile, for the power of the body is always limited.” Jigoro Kano (1860-1938): “You must perfect yourself and contribute to society, which is the ultimate purpose of the study of judo.” Budo: Martial arts as a vehicle for self-expression, personal development, building character, & spiritual growth. "The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants."

13 The Other Side of the Coin What Does a “Balanced” Warrior / Martial Artist Look Like? Martial Arts Dojo Community Reverence for Warriors Study of Weapons Healing Arts Larger Community Reverence for Peacemakers and Humanitarians Learning Nonviolent Options

14 The Great Seal of the United States: A Prevalent Symbol of the Desire for Martial Balance

15 Redefining the Warrior: Going beyond physical skills A warrior is someone who, through committed action, transforms knowledge into power. Warriors seek to overcome their fears and make maximum use of their abilities. A warrior seeks truth, self-mastery, and personal power instead of power over others. A warrior is dedicated to selfless service and the ending of suffering.

16 Today there are warriors for causes, too… The Environment Curing Diseases, Ending Hunger Equality, Justice & Social Change

17 Peaceful Warriors: A Brief Overview of the “New” Masters Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

18 Mahatma Gandhi A New Kind of Warrior (1937, 1938, 1939, 1948) “It is the acid test of nonviolence that in a nonviolent conflict there is no rancor left behind, and in the end the enemies are converted into friends.”

19 Martin Luther King, JR. A New Kind of Warrior 1964 “Here is the true meaning of compassion and nonviolence when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.”

20 Mother Theresa A New Kind of Warrior 1979 “We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace. We need love and compassion.” “If we have no peace, it is because we forget we belong to each other.”

21 Conflict Avoidance vs. Conflict Resolution Seeking Balance: Combining the Warrior, the Pacifist and the Activist

22 Qualities of a Balanced Warrior My new term: “Pacific Artist” Moral and physical courage Willingness to enter into conflict with nonviolent intent Focus on peaceful resolution / dignity and respect Generosity, Confidence, Faith, Passion Peace and nonviolence as a choice, not as a default position Martial ability

23 The Balanced Warrior’s Tools for Peaceful Conflict Resolution Patience Fearlessness Understanding Human Needs Mindfulness Strong Communication Skills

24 Patience “To wait with certainty.” “Tolerance, perseverance, and endurance.”

25 Exploring our Fears Understanding the Roots of Conflict Death Pain / Physical Injury Sickness / Old Age Failure Embarrassment Loss of possessions, loss of position, loss of status Public Speaking!

26 The Power of Fearlessness “I am not afraid of the man who can kill my body. What more can he do?” — Sensei Richard Kim

27 Understanding Our Basic Human Needs Food, Clothing, Shelter Seek pleasure and happiness; Avoid pain Safety, Love and Connection The need to be heard and understood To Live, to Learn, to Love, to Leave a legacy Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Manfred Max-Neif

28 The 3 Components of MINDFULNESS 1.Self-Awareness 2.Compassion and Empathy for Others 3.Perspective

29 Mindfulness: Self-Awareness In the gap between stimulus and response… Awareness leads to personal power Become an observer of your thoughts and emotions Connect with your breathing What am I feeling? Is it TRUE? What CHOICES do I have? “I can choose peace rather than this” “I cannot accept the gift, the postman must take it back.”

30 Mindfulness: Empathy and Compassion Empathy requires presence and attention Focus on what’s happening NOW: feelings and needs No analysis Empathy is not “intellectual understanding” Empathy is not “sympathy”

31 Mindfulness: Perspective Personal/Subjective: Is this really important? Do I need to act/react? Temporal: Will this even matter a day/week/month/year from now? Objectivity: What is the other person’s perspective? Do I understand it? “What you think of me is none of my business”

32 The Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Process Not “verbal judo” or “verbal aikido” Not trying to “defeat” or “win” Focus on: Observations Feelings Needs Requests

33 Key Elements of NVC Emphasis on compassionate giving and contributing to the well-being of others No judging, no punishment or rewards, no right or wrong 2 Key Questions: What is alive in me? What would make life more wonderful?

34 Philosophy Behind the NVC Process Anger, fear, depression, guilt, and shame are tragic expressions of an unmet need. What is the need behind the anger? Focus on the other person’s humanity

35 Sun Tzu Redux: “To win-win nonviolently is the acme of skill.” Strategy & Tactics Withdraw, Evade, Prolong Fear as a Weapon Deceit & Manipulation Compassion Empathy Mutual Understanding Connection Nonviolence

36 In closing, some words from one of “The Greatest” warriors “I'd like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, one tablespoon or teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mixed willlingness with happiness. He added lots of faith, and he stirred it up well. Then he spread it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.” 1965 2005

37 Studying the Martial Virtues: Suggested Reading and a Call to Action The Awakened Warrior: Living with Courage, Compassion, and Discipline Rick Fields (ed.) The Code of the Warrior in History, Myth, and Everyday Life Rick Fields The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present Shannon French The Compleat Gentleman: A Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry Brad Miner In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets Richard Heckler Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Marshall Rosenberg The Craft of the Warrior Robert Spencer The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Living a Compassionate Life Piero Ferrucci Warrior Dreams: The Martial Arts and the American Imagination John Donohue

38 “Wars not make one great.” — Yoda Question? Comment? Compliment? Complaint? Please email me at:

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