Loyalty in the martial arts could probably be traced back to villagers who were devoted to the caveman who first taught them how to throw a rock with enough power and accuracy to kill an animal or enemy. As stated in other topics, Taekwondo, although developed as a Korean martial art, was originally based upon Japanese Shotokan Karate. Loyalty for Japanese martial arts is based on the Bushido of the Samurai. Loyalty for Korean martial arts, including Taekwondo, is based on the Code of the Hwarangdo.
Bushido (Way of the Warrior) developed in Japan between the Heian and Tokugawa Ages (9th-12th centuries). It was a code and way of life for Samuari, a class of warriors similar to the medieval knights of Europe. Bushido emphasizes loyalty, self-sacrifice, justice, sense of shame, refined manners, purity, modesty, frugality, martial spirit, honor, and affection.
Bushido developed out ofBuddhism, Zen, Confucianism, and Shintoism. From Buddhism, Bushido gets its relationship to danger and death. The Samurai did not fear death because they believed as Buddhism teaches, that, after death. one will be reincarnated and may live another life on earth. The samurai were warriors from the time they become Samurai until their deaths; they have no fear of danger.
In Zen, a school of Buddhism, one may reach the ultimate "Absolute." Zen meditation teaches one to focus and reach a level of thought that words cannot describe. Zen teaches one to "know thyself" and not to limit yourself. Samurai used these beliefs as a tool to drive out fear, unsteadiness, and ultimately, mistakes, things could get them killed.
Confucianism gives Bushido its beliefs in relationships with the human world, their environment, and their family. The Samurai followed Confucianism's stress on the five moral relations: between master and servant, father and son, husband and wife, older and younger brother, and between friend and friend. However, the samurai disagreed strongly with many of the writings of Confucius. They believed that man should not sit and read books or write poems all day, for an intellectual specialist was considered a machine. Instead, the Samurai believed man and the universe were made to be alike in both spirit and ethics.
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