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Empowering Children through Timeless Teachings

Unveiling the Virtues of Bushido


In today's fast-paced world, what can we do to instil timeless virtues in children that will guide them towards becoming compassionate, resilient, and be grounded in humility?

Inspired by the ancient Japanese Bushido code, I have written a collection of seven articles, each highlighting a specific virtue. In this narrative, we will explore how these virtues can benefit children and empower them to navigate life's challenges with grace and strength.

Virtue 1: Gi (Rectitude):

Rectitude, or Gi in Japanese is really describing morality, someone of moral standing. Strong morals teach children the importance of making ethical choices and doing what is right, even when faced with adversity. By cultivating a strong moral compass, children learn to stand up for their beliefs, make honest decisions, and treat others with fairness and respect. This virtue promotes integrity and empowers children to become trustworthy and dependable individuals.

Virtue 2: Yuuki (Courage):

Courage, or yuuki, is a virtue that enables children to confront their fears, take risks, and persevere in the face of challenges. By teaching children to embrace courage, we empower them to step out of their comfort zones, face new experiences, and develop resilience. Through courage, children learn that setbacks are opportunities for growth and that they possess the inner strength to overcome any obstacle.

Virtue 3: Jin (Benevolence):

The virtue of jin, or benevolence, emphasizes compassion, empathy, and kindness towards others. By nurturing this virtue in children, we foster a sense of community and encourage them to consider the well-being of others. Children learn the power of empathy, understanding, and how acts of kindness can make a positive impact on the world around them.

Virtue 4: Rei (Respect):

Respect, or rei, teaches children the value of treating others with dignity, regardless of differences or disagreements. By instilling this virtue, children learn to appreciate diversity, practice good manners, and listen to others with an open mind. Respect fosters harmonious relationships and enables children to navigate conflicts peacefully, promoting a more inclusive and accepting society.

Virtue 5: Makoto (Honesty):

Makoto, or honesty, is a virtue that encourages children to be truthful, sincere, and accountable for their actions. By embodying this virtue, children learn the importance of trust and integrity in their relationships. Honesty allows children to build strong connections with others and develop a sense of self-worth and authenticity.

Virtue 6: Chugi (Loyalty):

Loyalty, or chugi, emphasizes commitment, devotion, and staying true to one's values and relationships. By teaching children the value of loyalty, we instil a sense of responsibility, commitment, and dedication. This virtue promotes strong bonds, reliability, and a sense of belonging, empowering children to build lasting connections and become dependable individuals.

Virtue 7: Meiyo (Honour):

Meiyo, or honour, is a virtue that encompasses integrity, dignity, and a sense of personal worth. By embodying this virtue, children learn to uphold their values and principles, even in challenging situations. Honour nurtures self-respect encourages children to set high standards for themselves and inspires them to make choices that align with their authentic selves.


The virtues of Bushido offer invaluable life lessons that can shape children into compassionate, resilient, and honourable individuals. By teaching children the importance of rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, loyalty, and honour, we empower them to face life's challenges with integrity and grace.

Over many years of teaching karate, my personal experience has been that students are exposed to the bushido virtues by what's taught in the dojo. Turning up regularly and punctually to class, training with focus and listening, learning from those more experienced and being humble.

Embracing the culture and traditions that are intricately linked to the practice of martial arts over many years transforms children's character for the better.

I imagine a brighter future, where young students grow into mature adolescents and go on to make a positive impact on the world around them.

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