The (Martial) Art of Good Men

April 12, 2017



The insider reality of martial arts can offer a deep, rich soil for growing and nurturing enlightened masculinity.




So many people think that the martial arts are mainly about learning how to “beat people up.” But actually this could not be more wrong! I’m a female martial arts practitioner with fifteen years’ experience, who trains in Aikido, Aikijujutsu, and Karate. As well as loving the physical side of the arts, I’m also passionate about how martial arts can empower and enrich our lives.


The martial arts tend to blend hard and soft elements; and if a student can only get one of these, it’s a big disadvantage.


I have a special interest in what martial arts can do for women; and I also believe there are powerful, little-known factors which make the martial arts perfect for incubating and cultivating enlightened masculinity. If you’re already a martial arts practitioner, you’ve probably never really thought about the martial arts as a vehicle to explore and achieve “Enlightened Masculinity in the 21st Century” (to use the iconic words of The Good Men Project.) 

Here are 8 of the most powerful ideas to give you a new and different perspective on these incredible arts






"The martial arts are a sanctuary for positive masculine values"

Masculinity gets a bad name when people equate it with its negative form—emotional detachment, toughness, the need to dominate and ultimately violence. But positive masculinity is a set of superb qualities, including nurturance, courage, strength, initiative, independence and a sense of adventure.

The stated principles of many martial arts are often a direct expression of these traits as core values. Nitobe Inazō’s famous (albeit heavily romanticized) summary of the Bushido Code comprised: Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Sincerity, Honor, Loyalty and Self-control. Many Karate clubs repeat the “Dojo Kun” at each lesson:

“Seek perfection of character / Be Faithful / Endeavor / Respect others / Refrain from violent behavior”.

It’s good for both men and women to cultivate positive masculine and positive feminine traits. The dojo offers a dedicated place which unselfconsciously honors and promotes the “positive male” values—and teaches u