As noted in Inazo Nitobe’s Bushido: The Soul of Japan, the education of the samurai, which originally meant “one who serves,” extended far beyond martial arts and military tactics. The purpose was to produce fearless, well-rounded, and modest warriors who lived by example, teaching their children how to follow a strict moral code composed of eight virtues: Justice, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Honesty, Honor, Loyalty and Self-Control. To build their chivalrous character, the samurai’s curriculum included many disciplines, including the art of warfare, jiu-jitsu, writing, literature, history and ethics. Teaching these men of action to “choose compassion over confrontation and benevolence over belligerence” was incumbent not only on their parents but their teachers, who played very large roles in their lives and personal development.
At the LINXX Academy of Martial Arts, we seek to keep the samurai tradition alive by providing high-quality martial arts training and instilling those principles of discipline, integrity and respect into our students through activities and lessons with modern-day applicability. Because this is so important to us, we are now one of three organizations in Virginia that belongs to the Josephson Institute’s CHARACTER COUNTS! Program, the largest character education program in the nation. This program, which is used by thousands of schools, nonprofit agencies and sports organizations, including the U.S. Olympic Team, will assist us in enhancing our existing STAR (Stop, Think, Act, and Review) program with their invaluable resources, materials and support.
Much like the eight virtues that comprised the samurai’s Bushido Code, CHARACTER COUNTS! unites people around a common language of values called the Six Pillars of Character:
• Respect • Responsibility • Fairness
• Caring • Citizenship • Trustworthiness
Our instructors will learn effective strategies for incorporating these pillars into our training. In addition, as a member of CHARACTER COUNTS!, all of our instructors and students will now be eligible to participate in a variety of webinars, seminars, workshops and ambassador programs.
To date, over 8 million students across the country have experienced great success with the CHARACTER COUNTS! program, such as higher academic achievement, greater social and emotional well-being, and increased physical safety. LINXX Academy has invested in this program because we want these same measurable results. We look forward to implementing the personal development products into our curricula and seeing the resulting improvements in school climate, as well as the students’ character, accomplishments and behavior.