Saturday, October 16, 2010


It is easy to get caught in a monkey dance and hard to back out of. Being polite is not fun, it is not natural (100’s generations conditioned to monkey dance), and that is exactly why we must train how to fight without fighting. Being polite is not fun. People are polite (follow the rules of their society) because even though it is difficult it is better than the consequences of violating those rules. How much better would you feel if you told your boss to fuck off? But the consequences of losing your job outweigh the temporary gain of telling your boss off. The further a society gets away from the realities of violence, the easier it is to forget the consequences of violating the rules. In feudal Japan, a society that fully understood the realities of violence, developed reigei (not Bob Marley) which roughly translates as etiquette art. In a time and place where accidently bumping into someone (touching saya) could mean a fight to the death you better understand the rules. Reigei is a means to teach the rules and is a part of traditional Japanese martial arts. The way you enter the dojo, the way you bow, the way you address your seniors, the way you address your subordinates are all reigei. They were ingrained into Samurai from day one and remain to this day because a violation of reigei would at the least earn a beating (Educational Beat Down) up to forced ritual suicide (Seppuku).
When two tigers fight one is killed the other is injured
The more you understand about violence the easier it is to be polite. Inversely the less you know the easier it is to be an arrogant asshole. America in the 21st century has for the most part forgotten the realities of violence. Hence we are plagued with a generation that can say and do pretty much anything they want without consequences. No reigei no etiquette. Do you want go to jail to teach them a lesson? Being polite, avoiding senseless conflict is not weak; it is the mark of a professional (a big dog does not bother with nipping puppies). Reigei is an essential part of Bushido the way of the Samurai as important today as it was then. Just as Keishoukan Budo is the practical application of Japanese Martial Arts for modern close quarters combatives, the art of fighting without fighting is a way to practice the practical applications of etiquette in 21st century America

1 comment:

  1. Very well said and this makes a very important point about the amount of senseless violence in society...most people don't know what they are getting involved in. Some learn too late when they accidently kill someone. We've all heard of someone being punched, falls and bangs their head and dies. This is senseless violence which could be avoided if proper etiquette was in place.

    Enjoying your blog, look forward to reading more.


    Jonny Figgis
    Dublin, Ireland