79: Go For Broke

I’ve often wondered how to fold the story of the Nisei Soldier into an appropriate discussion of budo. With the recent passing of US Senator Dan Inouye, a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran, and praise for his service in the military and in politics, I think it’s time to say something from my perspective.

Hopefully by now most of my few wonderful readers know about the 100th Batallion/442nd. Inouye was a member of that legendary unit, and his last combat exploit earned him a belated Medal of Honor.

As a journalist for a local Hawaii Japanese American journal, I had the privilege of interviewing Inouye once, on political matters, and frequently interviewing many of his fellow 442nd “Go for Broke” (a reference to a Hawaii gambler’s cry of betting everything all at once) cohorts, as well as Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) who served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) as translators in the Pacific, and the 1399th, a corps of construction engineers. I’ve also researched their history and lore as part of several articles I wrote for that journal.

What I think is the relevant take-away for budo folk is a theme I keep going back to: heart and spirit in budo training is as important as technique and process. It’s true in budo as it’s true in the more serious and deadly domain of combat. Proper training in budo, be it classical or modern, should be as much about forging a spirit and heart as it is about physical competitiveness. It becomes more so the older you get, I think.

The 100th/442nd amassed more unit citations and individual awards than any other Army unit of its size and duration of battle. Its rescue of the Texas “Lost Battalion” (1st Battalion, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division) is considered by the US Army as “one of the top ten land battles” in the entire history of the United States Army.

What drove such men to such feats? When I used to talk to them, it was hard to imagine those old, graying geezers as heroes in the mold of back-talking wise guys like you see in action movies. They were stooped, white-haired, gentle old men with twinkles in their eyes. They were much more comfortable talking about the fun they had, such as making chicken hekka in the middle of a German countryside, than in their exploits on the battlefield. Or how the mess crew had to scrounge and finagle to get enough rice to feed the unit. Or how they loved dancing with the tall, blonde haole girls at socials near Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Yet, one old newsreel stands out. As the 442nd began to amass its stunning record in World War II, the national news began to play up the uniqueness of their ethnicity. The Japanese nation was at war with America, yet a group of ethnically Japanese was fighting for the US. Why? And why did they fight so hard?

One soldier replied, well, it was because they were a combination of “Yamato damashii” and American fighting spirit. Interesting notion. But probably rooted in a real ethos. These kids…and they were literally kids fresh out of high school at the time…had been raised in a multi-ethnic environment. They could play the ukulele and dance hula better than they could sing any Japanese patriotic song. Yet, their parents admonished them to live by traditional, old-fashioned standards of honor, humility and hard work. When they went off to the US military, many of them were given sennin-bari, the thousand-knit belly warmers given to samurai for safety, woven by everyone in the community. Their parents, emigrants from Japan, told them to fight with “honor,” and to “not bring shame upon the family,” old Japanese warrior ideals.

…That is, if their parents were there to see them off. I remember one family’s story. Two of the boys were debating whether to volunteer for active service. Their father had been detained and sent to a Mainland Internment camp, his only crime that of being a Buddhist minister, a person involved in Japanese cultural and religious activities. Why should they fight for a country that locked up their dad?

“Because you have to. America is your country now,” their mother told them. “Japan is not your country.”

But as much as they had Japanese ideals inculcated in them from their parents and after-school Japanese language schools, they also attended public schools, where they had civic lessons in American culture. The ideals of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln were part of their upbringing. The late US Representative Sparky Matsunaga wrote in his memoirs that he used to argue constantly with his Social Studies teacher. The teacher lectured about the ideals of American freedom and equality. Matsunaga said that was all right and good but it’s not true. Many ethnic Americans, including Japanese Americans, were excluded from fully participating in many economic and cultural opportunities. And look at the segregation of African Americans on the US Mainland. The teacher replied that it was therefore up to his generation to fight for those ideals. America wasn’t done, it was in the making. Nothing comes easy.

That’s not to say they were altogether stoic and stuffy cardboard cutout heroes. A lot of them were given gifts of money when they left the Islands for Mainland training camps. And a lot of them lost their money in the nonstop gambling at craps and cards on the freight ship to San Francisco. The “local” boys from Hawaii typified local Hawaii outspokenness and rowdiness. They got into so many fights with their Mainland Nisei counterparts over misunderstandings with their pidgin English patois that the Caucasian commanding officers came close to disbanding the unit before they saw their first combat. The Nisei from Hawaii were willing to pick fights with anybody who looked at them cross-wise at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, be it other GIs or redneck civilians. When they were told to use the “Whites” toilets instead of the “Coloreds” toilets at the movie theaters, so that they wouldn’t face the same prejudice that African Americans faced in the South during that time, some of them simply urinated on the wall in between the two entrances. “We weren’t black and we weren’t white, after all,” one veteran told me.

Another veteran recalled to me how a bunch of them got into trouble for commandeering a bus. They were on their way back to camp, after a night of dancing with the local girls and drinking, when the bus stopped at a stop and an elderly black woman wanted to get on. The driver told her that there was no room in the back of the bus for “colored” folk so she had to get the next bus. It was late. The lady protested that she had just pulled a night shift as a cleaning lady and her feet were tired. The driver told her she could walk, then. She tried to get on, and he pushed her, sending her sprawling on the pavement. The GIs saw the exchange. They offered her a seat up front with them. The driver still refused to let her on. So, the veteran laughed, “We beat his ass and kicked him off the bus, took the lady on the bus, and drove the bus to her house, dropped her off, dropped everybody else off, and got back to camp.” The next morning they were reprimanded from their commanding officer, who couldn’t help laughing while he was yelling at them. They weren’t angels.

In addition, the ranks of the “Hawaii boys” were stuffed with high school and amateur athletes; football players, baseball players, Golden Gloves boxers, judoka, kendo competitors. When I was at their clubhouse, a veteran pointed out a photo of a veteran. “He was, I think, fifth dan in kendo already by the time we got to Basic Training. But he was the smallest guy in our group. So the drill instructor picked on him to beat up during the first bayonet practice. He beat the crap out of the drill instructor.”

It also helped that the average intelligence tests of the unit showed that the majority of the 442nd volunteers had enough aptitude to enter officer’s school. A veteran showed me a scrapbook of his artillery unit once. After the war, he went on to law school, became a lawyer, a judge and a state representative. He showed me a photo of his buddies in his unit. “This guy became a Federal District judge on the Mainland, this guy became a doctor, and this guy became a professor…” Nearly all the people in his unit took advantage of the GI bill and became white-collar professionals. They were smart.

While the draftees of the 100th Battalion were already fighting in North Africa and Italy, up to Monte Cassino, the volunteer 442nd was formed and then trained. And trained. And trained. The problem was, as I was told, that nobody wanted them. They were enemy “Japs.” Army commanders were afraid that they would turn on them. So they kept training longer than the usual combat unit’s duration of Basic Training before they were finally assigned to a theater of combat. That led to a very, very well trained unit. A veteran with the unit’s field artillery said that they trained so much, they scored among the top for firing accuracy over and over again.

So you had unit cohesion, perfected training, intelligence, motivation and spirit. That’s a perfect blend for a combat unit, and interestingly enough, the best description of what budo training should be about.

Eventually the 442nd joined up with and absorbed the 100th Battalion, fought up the boot of Italy, through to the gates of Rome, and then fought in France (where they faced combat in the Vosges Mountains and rescued the Lost Battalion), before being split up. The infantry units were sent back to Italy to break through the Siegfried Line, while the 522nd FA Field Artillery unit was detached and joined General Patton’s push into Germany. The Americans had been stymied for months at that line of emplacements in the Italian Alps. The 442nd climbed up the slopes in the night and routed the crack units under Field Marshall Albert Kesselring in one morning.

The forward spotters for the artillery unit entering Germany moved so far ahead of the field artillery that they became among the first Allied forces to break into the concentration camps at Dachau. Their recollections of seeing the camps were heartbreaking. It haunted them for decades, and when some of them recounted their stories to me, it still seemed incredulous, to them, that such horrors were visited on human beings.

For all that, unless you were part of their group of fellow veterans, it was often hard to get them to open up and talk about themselves or their battlefield exploits. They would rather talk about the funny incidents than any act of heroism, and it was only until some books were written and they had gotten much older and further removed from the horrors of war that they began to talk openly. One veteran said, “We didn’t want to talk too much because that would sound like bragging, but we realized that our kids and grandkids would never know what we went through.” So in their latter years, they began to open up. It was about time, and it was a good thing they did, else much would have been lost.

The toll of war was heavy on them, though. I used to invite Nisei veterans to speak to my Ethnic Studies class when I taught at the University of Hawaii. Most of them would recount their unit actions, their history, their funny anecdotes. Few of them spent too much time discussing details of actual battles.

However, one veteran, the late Mike Tokunaga, told a story about the time he was scouting a hill. It was a beautiful day. The tall grass was waving in the wind, leaves glinting in the bright sunlight. He crouched as he advanced up the rise, then stood up at the summit and found himself staring at an enemy soldier not ten feet in front of him, doing the same thing. They were both surprised and raised their guns at the same time. “I was lucky,” he said. “I got the shot off first. I shot him. And he looked like he was younger than me, just a teenager. A beautiful young man with blue eyes, blonde hair. And I killed him instantly.”

He paused. Quiet in the room. He asked if there were any questions. A student from Japan raised her hand. She said, “I don’t know, but your stories…they sound like they are glorifying war.”

Mike shook his head. “No. We decided to tell our stories not to glorify war. We are telling them because we don’t want war like that to ever happen again. War is a horrible thing. That young boy…it was him or me. I didn’t find it glorious that I had to kill him. I’m telling you these stories because I don’t ever want any of you young people to ever think it is glorious. It is horrible. It’s not like a video game. I hope you learn and don’t take war lightly ever again.”

Bringing it back to budo: I myself am not a veteran. In my youth, I don’t think I would have fit into the military. I was too much of an iconoclast, an artist, a misfit. But I’ve always looked at budo as a way that kept me on a straight path when so many things in the rest of my life was chaotic, and it wasn’t just because of the physical exercise. It had to do with the ideals and mental and spiritual goals of the training. The goals of a unit like the 442nd may be different; that of combat, but the mental and spiritual ideals are so similar to budo training done right: honor, loyalty, taking responsibility, compassion, and unit cohesion. We can take a lot of lessons from them, and honorable military units like theirs.

They served, and America is better for it.


23 thoughts on “79: Go For Broke

  1. Thank you for this entry. I think the world needs to hear more stories about the 442nd and the sacrifices they made. This is one of your best blog entries Sensei.

  2. This is indeed one of your best pieces.

    Joseph Svinth told me about a Japanese gentleman advanced in years who was researching judo in the internmentcamps in the US during WW2. I have no idea if this has resulted in a publication already but it is another subject in which I am very interested.
    In a way these men of the 442nd will never stop to serve if enough (young) people come to know of their story. I honestly feel that they should be helped in that.
    This blog has just done that.

    1. Thank you, Johan. I’m never sure how some blogs will be taken, especially if they are somewhat peripheral to martial arts.

  3. Great piece. As both a martial artist and a veteran, I can appreciate the parallels you draw between military training and budo. In the 4th paragraph, you talk about the heart and spirit of the training, which I thought was a big take-away from Basic. “We train as we fight” they say, which to me is short hand for “If you don’t train with focus, spirit and intent, how will you then fight with those things?” I know this has been addressed before in your writings, but when you make the clear association between martial arts and military men who have actually fought for their lives, the importance of these things is apparent.

    Also, I really enjoy the “on the ground” military stories like this. It really gives you an idea of what it would’ve been like to be part of that unit.

  4. I was really moved by this piece Wayne. It must have been tough for those parents to send their children off to war against the land of their ancestors. But stories like sticking up for that poor cleaning lady, and literally pissing on segregation, makes me think that they were not so much fighting against Japan, rather they were fighting for higher principles of humanity.

    Their stories really exemplifies what it means to have a fighting spirit, and made me want to cultivate that spirit in myself more in and out of the dojo.

    It also really made me think how lucky I am to be able to train in the martial arts primarily as a source of enrichment in my life, rather than having to train because I need to kill to survive.

    I would love to hear more about their lives of US Senator Dan Inouye and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

  5. I think too the observation in Budo (classical/traditional or modern) of true spirit and heart are highly important. In this and the last blog entry of Wayne’s does something I personally feel is also equally important. That is effectively communicating what true spirit and heart is suppose to be the modern colloquial language. In my experience to understand “more deeply” these important things, I had to go through a Zen like experience, no explanation is given. It was more like when you have had enough of the right experiences you will come to an understanding beyond what explanation is capable of providing. Of course not growing up in that tradition, it was difficult and confusing. I am sure I drove my sensei nuts with questions, and misinterpreted actions. It is really a godsend to have Wayne explain Budo properly.

    If it where not for my training, my fortunate experience with a genuine traditional sensei, I would not understand the depths and layers comprising in Wayne’s blog. Especially this entry and the last entry dealing with spirit and heart. Without insight, I would have just read it for only as an honorific obituary of a government official and war hero. What a shame it would have been if I done that. Why? Because there is so much misinformation regarding Budo the real stuff get lost in the sea of information. I was watching the news the other day, as an example. The news reported on an elder Vietnam Vet who experienced a home invasion. He thwarted the armed attacker with what the Reporter excitedly termed as a Ninja Judo Chop to the invader’s neck.” I call it, (tongue n’ cheek) the Capt. Kirk. And because it was spoken on authority, the viewing audience thinks there is such a thing as a Ninja Judo Chop! How confusing is that. Rarely, do we get the right information.

    In my case, I think the older you get, I will use Confucius’ age mark of 50 years old (if you stick with Budo that long), true spirit and heart become paramount. Therefore, Wayne’s understanding of Budo true spirit and heart is deeply and honestly reflected in all parts of his writing of this blog entry. Yes, a great piece of writing. But it is more than that. It is an consummate reveal, written deftly on the true deeper sense of spirit and heart in Budo. A serious contemplation for anyone soberly wanting to understand Budo.

    I might be sounding a bit fanatical, but considering all the in accuracies and the academic arguments about Budo only end up confuse people, I feel it is important to spot light those who understand Budo, willing to share their knowledge openly, and who can articulate well. Because again, learning it the old style way, has its head aches. Not being Japanese or raised in a Japanese household or in a community, a primer as done by Wayne would have reduced allot of those headaches along the way. It would have bridged allot of extra gaps, gaps that I had to take fly leaps at in hopes of making it.

    In closing, thanks Wayne,very much appreciated, great piece.

  6. Jon, Philip, and others…

    There are literally hundreds of stories, both documented or passed on by word of mouth, or probably lost forever, that surrounds the 100th/442nd, MIS and 1399th. I am humbled and grateful that readers, such as Jon and Philip, and the rest of you folks, appreciated the piece and added to what I was trying to say.

    To extend it: for many veterans, the war was just an amazing experience, they left it at that and moved on. For some, however, they seemed to have fashioned their moral and spiritual philosophy out of those years. One story has it that when the 522nd Field Artillery unit was processing the liberated prisoners from the Dachau Concentration Camps, a veteran I interviewed said he noticed an elderly German Lutheran minister sitting quietly on a bench, among the Jewish survivors. He was startled because he recognized the priest as Rev. Martin Niemoller, who was a fervent anti-Nazi before the War. The soldier recognized the face because he said but only a couple of years ago, he had studied Niemoller in high school Social Studies classes. And now here he was, rescuing that historical figure from a death camp. For the soldier, he realized that people like him, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, could touch and change the history of the world. Niemoller went on to become a pacifist and anti-war activist up until his death in 1984.

    It must be also noted that bravery in that unit knew no ethnic boundaries. Many of the officers in the beginning of the 100th and 442nd’s combat service were Caucasians who quickly learned that they had to overcome their initial prejudices, and then they gained the Nisei’s respect only if they led from the front, enduring the same combat that gave the 100th the nickname “The Purple Heart Battalion.” Needless to say, that led to a high attrition rate among officers.

    One such figure was Maj. James Lovell. He was a sports coach at a local high school that had a large number of Japanese Americans, so he enlisted as someone already respected by the young men in the battalion. One veteran said, “You know John Wayne, the movie star? This guy was a real-life John Wayne.” Lovell was a tall, Nebraska native who joined the unit to take care of his “boys” from Hawaii. As a platoon commander, he never left anyone behind. There were times when, under fire, veterans said that Lovell would pick up and carry wounded soldiers off the battlefield, sometimes two at a time, rather than leave them behind.

    That kind of leadership led to incredible loyalty. In one humorous anecdote, his unit came across an abandoned enemy encampment. All of a sudden, the Germans sent down mortar rounds zeroed in on the clearing. Lovell jumped into the nearest ditch. At the end of the barrage, he jumped out swearing. He had jumped into a latrine hole and was covered in excrement. He was so mad, he pulled out his .45 cal. sidearm and, as a veteran said, charged up a hill to attack the enemy on his own, just with a pistol. The soldiers in his unit looked at each other as if saying, “What the hell?” and then ran after him to protect him. That led to the destruction and surrender of an entire German unit.

    In a more telling example of the loyalty such leadership engendered, Lovell’s unit was among the 100th Battalion that made it to the top of Monte Cassino. They were forced back because they couldn’t get other Allied forces to reinforce them, so they had to retreat back down the mountain. Lovell’s platoon, says one veteran, ended up at the base before they realized that their leader was not among them. Without saying a word, everyone picked up their weapon and went back up the mountain, in withering fire (you can google the Battle of Monte Cassino to see how bad the fighting was). They found Lovell, who was wounded several times, and carried him back down. Lovell died in 2001 after a post-military career as a successful businessman in Hawaii.

    There was also one Korean-American, Young Oak Kim, among the field officers. If Lovell was like a John Wayne, Kim was an Asian American version who inspired and led the Nisei. Asked to gain intelligence, Kim and a Nisei soldier crawled hundreds of yards through enemy lines. Armed only with a pistol, they captured two prisoners. The information gathered led to the breakout at Anzio Beach and the rapid Allied advance on Rome. Kim died in 2005.

    One humorous story was relayed to me about the battle in the Vosges Mountains. The veteran telling me the story said they had both been wounded and were headed along a forest road to a medical station, when they were surrounded by a German unit and ordered to surrender. Kim was being carried on a stretcher, delirious from medication. He woozily realized what was happening. The veteran, who was wounded in an arm, recalled, “Kim goes, ‘I ain’t gonna end up in a German POW camp!’ and rolled off his stretcher, got to his feet, and took off! The Germans started shooting up the place and I had to run like hell too not to get shot!” Eventually, both Kim and the veteran managed to reach the medical station, unhurt, although the veteran said he was pissed off at Kim for a while because his antics could have gotten him killed.

    Bravery and heroism knows no ethnicity. And yes, perhaps what makes the story more powerful is the symbolism of their fight; to paraphrase what one war correspondent, Lyn Crost (one of the first women war correspondents in World War II) wrote, who was embedded with the 442nd, “They were fighting the enemy on the battlefield and prejudice at home.”

  7. Wayne what you call somewhat peripheral to martial arts might be what is lacking in most of what is written on those arts. A lot of what is written becomes a bit lifeless or dry to read. Not this, it is brimming with life (is that an expression? otherwise I will blaim my pills).
    From my own experience sometimes I find it difficult to transplant these arts into my time and culture. Writings like this help enormously with that.

    And apart from that all it is just a hell of a story. Deserves to be told and in print.

  8. Back to Jon: the “Captain Kirk”!!!! Oh, yeah, what a blast from the past! I remember Kirk and his chops, and his flying double-kick! And when I was a kid, we all tried to do the Vulcan “nerve pinch,” annoying the heck out of each other! And thank you, Johan, for the encouragement.


    1. Oh, yes we did the same as kids. We pinched ourselves silly trying to get it to work. Yet, it was the most powerful attack on any alien and human. All Spock did was calmly and unnoticed walk up behind his opponent, then simply but effectively pinch them. Thus, instantly defeated the opponent who collapsed into unconsciousness…as for Capt. Kirk, he was always acrobatically entangled in combat; either getting beaten or beating the stuffing out of someone. We tried so hard to make that damned Vulcan nerve pinch work, oh the bruises we endured. Some years later, it was rumored that the Vulcan nerve pinch was real. The story was it a pressure point derived from Japanese martial arts pressure point (being very mysterious and esoteric at the time) that caused the same effect. It was said it really worked, so more bruising ensued without the intended results. To this day, I will occasionally slip back to those days, and have the urge to walk up behind some unsuspecting victim and apply that the damn nerve pinch work like Spock did it. But, my wife catches me in mid approach every time…ha..ha. Now to think of it, could that be a metaphor concerning public perception of budo? Well, anyway, I got to stop blabbing on. Thanks Wayne.

  9. Wayne-san, thank you for the heartfelt article. My Dad was a member of the Greatest Generation and his 57th Fighter group saw the most battles for such units in the US Army Air Force. His group’s story “Thunderbolt” can be found on Youtube. Sicily,Italy, So. Europe, North Aftrica, Libya, Tunisia, Ethiopa and even the Balkans.

    Can you tell that I am a proud son of an US Army Air-Force vet (1/41- 8/45)?


  10. Great story from the past , still very relevant to today, Im not upto date with this group of soldiers , but reminded me of the tuskegee airmen , another great story of human courage, or the iowa jima story of the flag and the 6 men ! Especially Ira Hayes , Truely all great story’s of human sacrifice and courage , surely a budo spirit in them all I think,
    As an Australian and ex serviceman , I never really heard of the old diggers reselling story’s of the war , even on Anzac day , the old story’s were very briefly mentioned , it was like they had a job and went and done it , no big deal , and most moved on from there.
    To many old story’s are lost and old ryu as well , but the spirit I be leave is still there , and sometimes you can catch a glimpse , or sound of it , in that tiny passing moment , and know that something special has just accrued, you smile and continue on ,
    Great story Wayne , thank-you once again

  11. Final thought. I feel US Senator Dan Inouye, and the 100th Batallion/442nd. Are more relevant examples of Budo, then the popular and romanticized Samurai. I think it is relevant we only look at the Nisei. Because they are more real, more relevant representing the combination and blending of traditional Japanese culture and modern western culture. Which is far more relatable to people like me, who was not raised in Japanese culture, who studies a Japanese Budo and benefits from those like Senator Inouye to better facilitate the understanding of Budo. It is my opinion, referencing the ancient Samurai as the means to understand Budo is fruitless for most of us. It is unfortunate that little emphasis was placed in the martial arts community on those like the Senator as valued resources for Budo.

  12. Wayne, along with others, I think this’s one of the best you’ve done here. I was influenced by a sort of surrogate father named Frank Fujita. He started me in judo when I was six. He was one of only three Japanese Americans that were captured and held in Japanese POW camps during the war. He was a gifted artist and kept a diary that was recovered after the war and, along with a number of paintings he did, were used as evidence during the “Tokyo Rose” war crimes trial. His paintings were so good that guards and officers and their atrocities depicted were recognizable and helped convict them. I grew up hearing stories about the 442nd and the MIS guys. His diary and paintings are in the Nimitz Museum in Texas the last I heard.

    – Chuck Clark

  13. Well done, as always. If I may, here is my experience of the nexus of budo and combat: In the summer of 1970, I began my study of judo and found it to be a lifelong joy and the subject of endless fascination. My study of judo and my inspiration to be a soldier would combine to carry me forward in life. Judo helped make me into the soldier that I became by teaching me balance, perseverance, and flexibility. I sought and found in the martial ways training that that would be an essential building block to becoming an effective soldier and officer.

    This mental and physical training in judo helped me more than I could have expected. I served with light infantry and special operations forces, which I found both challenging and exciting. While going days without sleep or food, carrying staggering loads of arms, ammunition, and equipment, through the harshest terrain and weather conditions while trying to lead and motivate other soldiers I found myself relying on the strength and confidence that I had gained from judo training.

    Time after time I was able to call on lessons learned from judo to help me as a soldier and as a leader. Years later, as I entered more senior leadership positions, I also found judo helpful. I tended to view and respond to leadership challenges and tactical situations in a “judo way”; with balance, flexibility, and by making the best use of my, and my soldiers, powers.
    Being a soldier is not just something that you do, it is something that you are. This is true of being a judoka as well. Since it is the duty of old warriors to teach young warriors how to become old warriors themselves I shall continue to pass on what I’ve learned.
    – That there is a personal evolution of training from bujutsu (martial techniques) to budo (martial way) to bushin (martial spirit). Practice of physical technique becomes the vehicle to approach the two higher levels of ethical behavior and spiritual insight.

    – That “Ju”, the flexibility of body, mind, action, and response, requires a connection to the opponent both as a physical feeling and as a mental state in order to feel his strengths and weaknesses, to blend with the his direction of attack and then control it. This enhanced awareness and sensitivity to others leads to greater empathy and ultimately to the making of better a human being. Conflict can be minimized or avoided through this greater empathy; or more efficiently dealt with if conflict is unavoidable.

    – That for the leader imbued with “Ju”, his greater intuition into the mind of the enemy results in the ability to predict his actions and take steps to shape the battle, gain decision superiority, maneuver decisively and dominate the enemy.

    – That “Kan” goes hand in hand with “Ju” and enables the leader who has experienced this ability to perceive feelings, emotions, and sentiments through his budo training to then exercise committed, caring, and compassionate leadership of his troops. Leadership is a difficult balancing act; “Mission first, but Men always”. Ultimately it is an art involving complex human emotions. You must look and feel deeply before you make decisions and take actions that affect people’s lives. The essence of command is to lead not to drive. Only genuine leadership can motivate soldiers to success in combat.

    – That if you are lucky enough to develop the imperturbable mind of “Fudoshin” you will inspire confidence and optimism through your example of calm leadership and skillful decision-making during crisis. (There may still be several “dark nights” of the soul, however…).

    Being a soldier is a true profession and a way of life. It demands ultimate commitment, and discipline and sacrifice beyond that of ordinary professions. You must develop a “Warrior Ethos”–a set of values or guiding beliefs. These values should include: Honor and Integrity — doing what is right, ethically, morally, and legally; Courage–overcoming fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral; Duty–fulfillment of obligations and acceptance of responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care. The true soldier/warfighter, guided by a genuine warrior ethos, will dedicate his life to constant study and practice of the skills necessary to wage war. A leader of soldiers will be ever mindful of the awesome responsibility he carries. He must not misuse his soldiers, he must not fail in his mission nor in upholding his sacred oath…

    Being a budoka is a true and unique and a way of life. It demands ultimate commitment, and discipline and sacrifice beyond that of ordinary activities. You will develop a “Warrior Ethos”–a set of values or guiding beliefs, if you follow the path diligently. These values will include: Honor and Integrity — doing what is right, ethically, morally, and legally; Courage–overcoming fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral; Duty–fulfillment of obligations and acceptance of responsibility for your own actions and those who follow behind you. The true budoka, guided by a genuine warrior ethos, will dedicate his life to constant study and practice of the skills necessary to improve himself. He will be ever mindful of the awesome responsibility he has to continue and to uphold the living tradition he is heir to.

    1. Rich, I see that you wrote “Warrior Ethos” and I immediately think USMC MCMAP. Or am I mistaken?
      A great reply and very much spot on.

      1. Rich- Thank you for your service. One of my students was one of the first 10 chosen to plan and devise the MCMAP program when it first evolved. The Warrior Ethos is a big focus in their program.

        However, I do know that the Army too revamped their program a while back.

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