The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Martial Artists

Flying Kick.
(Click to enlarge.)

While Chivalry-Now offers a code of ethics for all men, it holds special relevance and appeal to today's martial artist.
      A long time student of Asian and Western martial arts, I was always appreciative of their philosophical dimensions. My first teachers were distinct mixtures of humility and manly pride, shaped by the strict self-discipline of the civilized warrior.
      As intrigued as I was with Bushido (the Japanese Way of the Warrior) and with Taoisim (Chinese mysticism), I often felt that something was missing. Like a stranger visiting foreign lands, I felt no direct kinship with them. No ownership. Beyond the appeal of something new and exotic, they made me feel disconnected from my own culture, and therefore from myself.

Flying Kick.
(Click to enlarge.)

      My first teacher, an Italian-American who had trained in Okinawa, had thoroughly immersed himself in Japanese culture. He was no longer the same person he was before. While the deficiencies of our own culture seemed obvious enough, it seemed wrong to abandon it for the mysterious appeal of faraway lands. And besides, I was too much of a free thinker to leap into anything with eyes closed. I turned to the words of Krishnamurti for consolation, and that satisfied me for a while.
      Where else could I turn?
      Something remained missing, and I had to know what..
      As a western male, as a thinking individual, I longed for a tangible, historical connection to what it means to be a man. I knew that there were myriad, nameless souls, long dead, who contributed to who I am—and realized that I might be dishonoring them through neglect. Their blood filled my own veins. I gradually reclaim what they were all about, and discovered a rich and fascinating code of honor that they bequeathed—to all of us. Chivalry spoke directly to my heart with words that spoke the language of my soul that I longed to hear since childhood.

Side Kick.
(Click to enlarge.)

      From that time forward, my martial arts training gained new meaning. I understood the purpose for self-development that came from every exercise, every punch and kick, every swing of the sword. I found myself, an American of mostly French descent, now honing himself to stand up for what is right, to be strong when appropriate, and humble when not. I learned my proper role toward women, and the tireless commitment and challenges of romantic love—which became the new cornerstone of my life.
      I learned that freedom is not just a state of mind, or benefit of law. It is a call to grow.
      I learned about the seriousness of life, and how important it is to set frivolity aside while people are dying in unjust wars, famines and genocide. I saw, very clearly, how bloodless and shallow a world can be when left to advertisers and weathervane politicians, who worship profit as the final goal.
      Chivalry-Now calls us to find our grail in a holy quest of the soul. But it also beckons us to a crusade, a cultural crusade, not a religious one, to recover the authenticity that was lost.

Shinai vs. Nunchaku..
(Click to enlarge.)

      Dare I assume the reader feels this as well?
      We do not want followers who fit the mold. We do not need leaders who elevate themselves to charlatan status, like so many television evangelists, dominated by ego and the sound of their own words.
      We want men who strive for the status of self-made knights, resolute for justice and courtesy, courageous enough to exemplify and speak out for virtue—without apology, without cleverness, and most of all without ulterior motives. We need men who hone their minds and skills for the benefit of all.
      I believe that Chivalry-Now can awaken such men from the cultural stupor we are subjected to. I believe it provides the perfect compliment for the western martial artist, for it connects us to our own warrior past, as the men we were meant to be. All else is child's play, without direction, sacrificing our own personal depth while pretending to be who we are not.
      I invite you all, my brothers of the fist and sword, to embrace this cause, this personal quest, from which only good can arise. We are challenged to save our culture—perhaps the world itself, which is constantly being savaged by greed and illusion and false intent.
      I invite you to read the articles on this web site, and let your hearts respond accordingly.
      I invite you to live exemplary lives of honor, to speak the truth, to teach the young what is good and right, to respect women, to seek the good in everything, and let no falsehood sway your opinion.
      I implore you to be strong yet sensitive to others; just yet merciful; defenders of the weak and champions for the poor.
      I beg you to fight for worthy causes only, and not waste the solemn gift that is your life.
      Become, in your heart, word and deed, the knight errant that the world needs right now. Invite and involve your brothers by starting Round Table discussions.
      Follow no one but your own informed conscience, and work for the goal of a better world.
      Remember: Yours is the calling! Yours the discipline to make it real!

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