The Concept of Justice in the Martial Arts by Instructor Ma
Martial means of or appropriate to war; warlike. It is part of the connection between martial arts and military training.
Military justice (also military law) is the legal system (bodies of law and procedure) that governs the conduct of the active-duty personnel of the armed forces of a country.
Why does the military have its own justice system?
Because if a crime is committed on a military installation, the local government (or country) does not have jurisdiction. Also, the UCMJ covers combat situations, which do not apply in the civilian world.
Much of our code of conduct in the martial arts comes from the connection to the military. We have character virtues that support the strict code of conduct that gives us our sense of justice. We know that our sense of justice is governed by our code and must always act with justice in mind instead of revenge.
As Guardians our actions must be in the service of Justice. We are trained to protect ourselves, our families, and our community. Our code does not allow us to act as administrators of punishment but as servers of justice. We must not use any level or force that is beyond the level of the threat, and we must not use our skills to bully or harass others.
As teachers of the martial arts, we must apply justice in our class by using discipline. Discipline is done out of our love for the students. Punishment is done out of anger. Our goal is to apply justice in the form of discipline to correct the behavior. This is important because a student who is often punished by seldom corrected with discipline will feel that he is being treated unjustly.
Giving your students just and fair treatment can have a great impact on how they feel about their training. I know that I always felt closer to my teachers who treated everyone fairly and would naturally pay attention to their teachings because it changed my life for the better. I hope that as a teacher I am remembered by my students as someone who always treated everyone justly. That without showing favoritism I was able to have a positive impact on the lives of my students.
About the author: Instructor Ma is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in the Korean self-defense art of Hapkido and a 2nd Dan in Traditional Taekwondo. She is a professional sports and fitness model and full-time Nursing student. She is the language, culture, and leadership development teacher for the World Martial Arts Congress. www.worldmartialartscongress.com