A lot of the philosophy of the style can be found at the Bushi Natahn Association website. However, we’ll repeat some of the key points here.
As a style, some of the main things that we believe in are: do less harm, improve yourself every day, and improve the community in which you live. We strive to follow the 7 pillars of Bushido: Honesty, Loyalty, Rectitude, Courage, Benevolance, Respect, and Honor. We try to instill these values in our students. We realize that no one is perfect and that people make mistakes, but these core pillars are the guideposts by which we try to live our lives.
As we mentioned on the main page, we never just hand out a belt. We’re not running this school to make money at it. The instructors don’t care how much you pay them – you only promote to the next belt when you are ready, not before. Some people ask us how the kids in our program handle this: just fine. The belt promotion process is no secret. Every student is given the belt checklist that they will be graded on at the start of the semester. We go over how we grade, what they will be graded on, and we provide immediate feedback after testing has concluded. Our system is fair, but comprehensive. When a student fails, they are motivated to practice harder and when they do pass the test, they are justifiably proud of themselves.
We also try to dispel myths like “black belts are lethal weapons” or “black belts have super powers”. They don’t, really. Black Belts are just advanced students who have demonstrated a basic mastery of core concepts. They are still vulnerable, and still require practice. For that reason, we encourage our instructors to spar with our advanced students. For one thing, it allows the instructors to stay sharp on their own skills, but more importantly, it provides students with a real basis of evaluation for what a black belt can and cannot do and provides them with self-confidence.