June 12, 2024


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The Sevenfold Path of the Warrior by KJN Richard Hackworth

The Sevenfold Path of the Warrior by KJN Richard Hackworth

A warrior’s spirit, like a katana, is forged in fire, honed by hardship, and polished by the constant striving for perfection. But unlike a blade, the true mark of a warrior lies not in its sharpness, but in the virtues that imbue it with strength and purpose. Seven flames burn brightest in the heart of a true warrior, illuminating the path to true valor and unwavering resolve.

I. The Unbending Spine: Rectitude

The first flame, the foundation upon which all others rest, is Rectitude. It is the unwavering spine of the warrior, the unyielding compass that guides them through the moral maze of the battlefield and beyond. A warrior of rectitude stands firm against the winds of temptation, their word a sacred oath, their actions a testament to their unwavering principles.

Let no deceit or compromise taint your spirit, young warrior. Do not bend to the whispers of expediency or the allure of easy gain. Stand tall, even when the world seems to crumble around you, for a warrior’s true strength lies in their unwavering moral compass.

II. The Lion’s Heart: Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. It is the lion’s heart that roars defiance in the face of danger, the unwavering gaze that meets the storm head-on. A warrior of courage does not seek glory but embraces duty even when the odds are stacked against them.

Face your fears, young warrior, not with reckless abandon, but with a calculated resolve. Let fear be the whetstone that sharpens your focus, the fire that tempers your spirit. Remember, courage is not the absence of trembling, but the steady march forward despite it.

III. The Healing Rain: Benevolence

Strength without compassion is a sword without a sheath, a weapon that wounds as easily as it protects. Benevolence is the gentle rain that nourishes the land, the warrior’s act of kindness that heals wounds and fosters unity. A warrior of benevolence fights for the greater good, protects the weak, and offers mercy even to their fallen foes.

Let not victory harden your heart, young warrior. Remember that true strength lies not in domination, but in the power to uplift and protect. Extend your hand to those in need, for even the fiercest warrior finds solace in the act of giving.

IV. The Cherry Blossom: Politeness and Propriety

Politeness and Propriety are not mere embellishments upon the warrior’s spirit, but essential threads woven into the fabric of their character. They are the cherry blossom dancing on the wind, a reminder that even during chaos, there is beauty and grace. A warrior of refinement conducts themselves with dignity, honoring traditions and showing respect to all, even their adversaries.

Do not let your battles coarsen your spirit, young warrior. Remember that true strength is tempered with grace. Speak with courtesy, conduct yourself with dignity, for in the dance of war, even the warrior must possess the poise of a dancer.

V. The Unblemished Mirror: Honesty and Sincerity

The warrior’s path is paved with deception and cunning, yet their own heart must remain a mirror, reflecting the truth without distortion. Honesty and Sincerity are the warrior’s shield against the corrosion of lies and self-deception. A warrior who speaks the truth, even when it is bitter, earns the trust of their comrades and the respect of their enemies.

Let not your lips utter falsehoods, young warrior. Speak the truth, even when it is painful, for a warrior’s word is their sacred bond. Remember, the greatest victory is not over an enemy, but over the temptation to deceive oneself.

VI. The Burning Sun: Honor

Honor is the sun that illuminates the warrior’s path, a beacon that guides them through the darkest nights. It is the unwavering commitment to a code of conduct, a set of principles that define who they are, even when the world whispers otherwise. A warrior of honor lives with integrity, choosing the right path even when the easy one beckons.

Do not let your actions tarnish your name, young warrior. Hold fast to your code, even when the cost is high, for true honor is not found in victory, but in the unwavering pursuit of what is right. Remember, a warrior without honor is a blade without a hilt, a danger to themselves and all around them.

VII. The Unbreakable Chain of the Warrior: Loyalty

In the heart of a true warrior burns a fire that knows no equal, yet even this inferno pales in comparison to the steady, unwavering flame of loyalty. For like the roots that anchor a mighty tree, loyalty binds the warrior to something greater than themselves, forging a bond of steel that cannot be severed.

To a warrior, loyalty is not a mere oath sworn on a whim, but the very bedrock of their existence. It is the oath whispered on the battlefield; the unspoken pact forged in the crucible of shared hardship. It is the silent understanding that binds comrades closer than blood, their fates intertwined in a dance of life and death.

Loyalty Forged in Fire

This loyalty is not forged in fair weather and idle talk. It is tempered in the fires of adversity, honed on the whetstone of shared peril. When the blades sing their deadly song and the air crackles with the stench of fear, it is loyalty that holds the line, a bulwark against the encroaching darkness.

A warrior who stands alone is a warrior easily felled. But a warrior who fights with the weight of their comrades on their shoulders, who sees their own reflection in the eyes of their brothers and sisters in arms, becomes an unstoppable force. For in that moment, they are not one, but many, an unyielding tide of steel and spirit that crashes against any obstacle.

Beyond the Battlefield

Yet, the reach of loyalty extends far beyond the din of battle. It is the invisible thread that binds the warrior to their cause, the unwavering commitment to a greater ideal that gives their actions meaning. It is the quiet respect shown to elders and teachers, the unwavering support for those less fortunate, the gentle hand extended to those in need.

For a true warrior understands that their strength is not for their own glory, but for the betterment of the world around them. They are the shield that protects the weak, the sword that defends the righteous, the unwavering lighthouse that guides their people through the storm.

The Unbreakable Chain

So let loyalty be your compass, young warrior. Let it guide your actions, shape your choices, and bind you to something greater than yourself. For in the tapestry of your life, let loyalty be the golden thread that weaves together your triumphs and your failures, your joys, and your sorrows, forging a spirit that will never yield, never falter, never break.

Remember, in the mind of a true warrior, loyalty is not a choice, it is a calling. It is the song that beats in the heart of every true warrior, a melody that echoes through the ages, a testament to the unbreakable chain that binds us together.

About the author: Richard Hackworth is a multi-arts Grand Master who has dedicated his life to the research and development of the martial arts lifestyle. As the Chairman of the Hapkido School Growth Committee he is a Business Coach and Mentor to martial arts school owners and instructors around the world. He is the President of the USA Hapkido Union and Vice President of the International Independent Hapkido Alliance.

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