What is Bushido?

Bushido (pronounced boo shee doe) is the ancient moral code of the Samurai, and can be literally translated as “The way of the warrior”, and is loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry.

In Bushidō: The Soul of Japan (1904), author Nitobe Inazō wrote:

"...Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe... More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten... It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career."

The Bushidō code is typified by seven virtues:

  • Rectitude/Duty (義, gi)

  • Courage (勇, yuu)

  • Benevolence (仁, jin)

  • Respect/Politeness (礼, rei)

  • Honesty/Truthfulness (誠, makoto or 信 shin)

  • Honour (誉, yo)

  • Loyalty (忠, chuu)

It is with these virtues in mind that the Bushido Martial Arts instructors pass on their teachings and shape their students, always trying to make them better people, better members of our community. These principles are reflected in our slogan;

"Traditional Values in a Modern Style"

Using the 1969 edition of Inazo Nitobe’s book “ Bushido, The Soul of Japan, a Classic Portrait of Samurai Martial Culture as the reference, there are 8, not 7, tenets of the bushido code, the 8th being “Self Control (自制, Jisei) – “calmness of behaviour, composure of mind”… should not be disturbed by passion of any kind.” (see Ch. XI, page 71)