Our Martial Arts Philosophy
There are Many Roads. But there is only One Way.
We believe there is no “One Great Martial Art.”
Our Teachers study and teach techniques and principles from many different martial arts and their unique philosophies. Each has something special to offer among the arts we draw from (root, traditional and family styles of “hard,” “soft” and “internal” application).
The arts come from similar places, spiritually, and intend similar outcomes for the good of the student. We are not developing the martial curriculum of The School of the Way to be “the one great martial art,” but rather to help shape the life of one young person into a great martial artist and a fundamentally committed person who cares deeply about his or her community—and the world we share. Then another. And so on in perpetuity…
We seek commonality and understanding both inside and outside the dojo—and practice compassion even when attacked. Our students learn to comport themselves in such a way as to avoid trouble in the first place, to walk away from it when it arrives and to show compassion to their attackers, giving them the choice to themselves walk away, even in the heat of battle.
As a practical application, were a student of The School of the Way to find him or herself in a situation where there was no alternative but to fight (back to the wall), he or she would offer opponents the chance to walk away, giving them fair warning that they are facing a trained fighter; would not throw the first punch unless dramatically outnumbered, feeling that an attack against him or her was imminent. And once a fight ensues, our student would seek the opportunity to give the person or people the opportunity to discontinue the fight once he or she has the upper-hand. After the battle, our student would seek understanding with the opponent and own responsibility for any part he or she played in the events that led up to the fight. Finally, that student would apologize to his or her Teachers and to the School if the Teachers or the student felt it necessary.
These are high stakes. This is strength, compassion and integrity in the face of danger. This is the subordination of ego in the name of personal evolution and understanding. But a clear conscience is a soft pillow and we are training young warriors to be able to look themselves in the mirror and know that they did everything they could to avoid a confrontation, and that when they defended themselves they did what they had to do—and no more—that they thus defended their integrity as a compassionate being, as well as the integrity of The School of the Way.