From Ed MARTIN Concepts of importance to us all; not just words! Honor, Respect, Trust, Loyalty, Friendship, Honesty, Integrity;

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Ed Martin



Let’s begin with the concept of Honor, just what does


this mean? Probably the most important aspect of


honor is that it is

a personal concept. It refers to how

well you live up to the standards you have set for


yourself. The evaluation must be an honest one. This


means, of course, that you must set standards, and in


fact you do even if it is by not setting standards.

By that very act you have

set your lack of standards

. I don’t believe that the concept of Honor can

stop there, because by this definition even criminals can have honor. We must


look at the set of standards which the individual sets for him/herself. Those


standards must reflect the dual life concept of Robert Humphrey. I maintain


that standards should support both the continuance of our human species, and


the life of the individual as taught by Dr. Humphrey. Standards of these types


can be respected by other members of the human species and so are


honorable. The person who holds honorable standards for him/herself and then


lives by them

has honor.

Again it is not someone else’s evaluation of how well you do this, that involves



, it is solely dependent on your own honest evaluation. It is

very important that each individual understand the absolute control they


exercise over this status. You must not lie to yourself, if you do there is no


hope for you and the only one hurt is you.


What is Honesty? Most of us would define it as telling the truth. That is correct


and yet incomplete. It is telling the truth without attempting to put a “spin” on


it that will change its meaning. It is telling the truth even though it makes us


very uncomfortable and puts us in a very embarrassing position.

Truth is not

opinion; it is fact.

Are there times when one should not “tell the truth”?

Certainly those who concealed Jewish persons from the Nazis respected a


higher morality when denying any knowledge during questioning. They neither


should or could have “told the truth” to their Nazi interrogators, without fully


understanding the consequences of that truth. We should always look beyond


the narrow view to the whole picture. To be a moral person is seldom easy, but


it does define us as individuals. We do what we do simply because it is the


right thing to do.


This leads us to the concept of integrity, which again becomes a very personal


concept. It means you will not bend your standards simply because it is to


your advantage to do so. Personal gain is not the primary importance for you,


living by your standards is. If people can count on your actions to reflect those


standards no matter how economically or personally attractive ignoring them


“just this once” would be for you, you will have integrity. This may seem a


harsh way to look at life, but if you do not exercise self-discipline then you


have no discipline. Externally imposed discipline has no lasting value. If you


ever hope to reach to the heights you are capable of, you must impose


discipline on yourself. We do create our own reality. In our Art of Ninjutsu, this


self-discipline is strongly emphasized, maybe not in so many words, but


definitely by actions. We lead by our own actions, if someone asks if we stretch


daily, many instructors do but the student must make that decision for


him/herself. Do we exercise? It is well known how much Dr. Hatsumi walks,


and also many instructors have their own personal exercise program. It is the


individual’s responsibility to make that choice. The leading is by example not




The next concepts are all “two way streets”, trust, friendship, respect, and


loyalty. It is important to understand none of these can continue to exist is


isolation. A friend is not someone that always is there for you when you need


help, but someone you are there for when they need help. If someone you call


friend is always on your doorstep when they need your help but are nowhere


to be found when you need their help, that’s not a friend, that’s an exploiter!


Friendship carries with it the responsibility to always treat the relationship with


consideration, it is never abused, and it is treasured! I think this means a


friend will never ask something of you that violates your code of morality,


ethics, or sense of justice. In the same manner neither would you make such a


request. A real friend is far too valuable to ever take for granted or treat with


carelessness. A friend is always to be cared for like your most prized


possession, for that relationship is far more valuable than money or any


physical possession.


Trust comes into a relationship when your experience has shown that the other


person acts with consistency and never seeks to harm you or yours. You have


come to know that, within the framework of your relationship, they will always


be up front and honest with you. What needs to be said will be said to you


first! You can depend on their sense of fairness and rightness. There will never


be any “behind the back” character assassination, they would never stoop to


such actions. Obviously much of American business has not learned the value


of trust and only seeks personal advantage regardless of who must be stepped




Respect comes as a result of what a person is and what they have done. It is


recognition of the value of that persons’ experience and its’ value to you.


Never forget that this is again a “two way street”. Each person is entitled to


the respect due to another living being, until such time as they act in a way to


remove themselves from this right. It is always interesting to note that one of


the quickest ways to gain respect is to return it.


Where does the concept of loyalty come in? I think it is based in your


knowledge of the person to whom you are loyal. That person has always been


honest with you, at least in the areas of your loyalty. Your loyalty is thereby


earned. Loyalty means you will never be party to the character assassination


others may direct at the object of your loyalty. It presumes good motives


rather than fearing bad ones and never will accept the worst motivation


without first asking and giving an opportunity for explanation. Every person


has habits that others may find objectionable, that’s just the nature of


humanity. Loyalty enables us to see beyond those habits, to the person, and


appreciate that person for what he/she truly is. That’s a wonderful gift of


understanding, acceptance, and loyalty. Loyalty must

never be misused. To

misuse it would be to prove one undeserving of loyalty.


A mentor, who has guided, aided, and taught, is deserving of our loyalty. We


must always evaluate the relationship and return what is appropriate. In Life


we experience what we ourselves create. There can be no avoiding the


consequences of our actions. We are always accountable for what we do and


say. A Martial Artist has the strength and will to be responsible.


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