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Way of the Warrior

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I am a Historian, Martial Artist and Criminal Justice/ Military expert having focused my lifetime studying Warrior Ethos and culture.


What is the Way of the Warrior

Whether you call it Chivalry, Bushido, Kung Fu or whatever soldiers/police/knights/samurai have all had a mindset to keep them in a a mental condition to perform their duties. There is no set code of chivalry. We have all grown up thinking there was but in actuality it is just a philosophical way of looking at how to make ethical decisions. We can draw from the knowledge of those who came before us. There have been several renown members of the warrior class that have written about these concepts.

Some sources of Warrior philosophy:

  1. Chivalry- code of conduct that bound a knight act with honor. Geoffri de Charny: A knight's own book of Chivalry. Ramon de Lull: On Knighthood and Chivalry. Richard Barber the Knight and Chivalry.
  2. Bushido- Japanese Samurai’s code of honor, and service to daimyo (feudal lord). Hagakure
  3. Organizations such as US ARMY or Departments of Public Safety

What is the Warrior Mindset?

  1. Jetmore explains that "In simplest terms, the "Warrior Mindset" is a form of mental discipline that enables those who have it to face any challenge with grace and strength. Those who possess it must find a balance between being passive and aggressive in order to harness it's power effectively."
  2. The Warrior Mindset can be used in daily life to develop skills that can be used in all areas:

    • at home life especially in dealing with your spouse or your children (need Patience, Control and Harmony)
    • with your boss and co-workers in your job (need Respect, Innovation, Motivation, and Fortitude)
    • in dealing with prospects and team members (Courage, Discipline, Teamwork and Focus)
The Nine Worthies (Paladin) of Charlamagne

The Nine Worthies (Paladin) of Charlamagne


What we think we know about knights is only half right. The word in and of itself came from action of service. They served their feudal lord, the Church. The concept was beforehand secularized and it wasn't until the Church began to instill the Christian ideals of knighthood that we are all familiar with and think of. The idea of upholding right and justice and protection of the weak. Geofri de Charny explains: a knight as the most worthy and the most adept warrior, a knight noble in intentions and deed, unwavering, virtuous, loyal and chivalrous. One who fears and loves God. Ceaselessly wages a two fold war both against the flesh and blood and against a spiritual army of evil in the Heavens.That all came from Christian influence. The epitome of which was exemplified in the Orders that participated in the Crusades.

Ramon de Lull stresses “Never has their been a perfect knight. Knighthood is, by definition, an office that strives for a distant ideal, a changing ideal, but one that seeks to emulate the ancient virtues associated with chivalric office". This shows that knights had a certain mindset; a set standard or philosophical practices that ideal based on service. Lull further analyzes that "Knights will by definition fail as they are human, but attain their grace in the striving for virtue, for the perseverance of seeking to overcome the vanities of the body and soul, to do what is 'right'. It is a striving for excellence even as we know that perfection is beyond our grasp, but that fact alone does not allow us to stop in our quest for it.” This example lends to the human side of ethos of a warrior. We are always struggling in the path to do what is right. We may fail, because we are only humans but it is our good faith attempt to discharge the duties of the office in relentless pursuit of justice and peace.


Bushido: Way of the Warrior. From Hagakure

  1. The Hagakure (meaning Hidden by the Leaves or hidden leaves) was written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, a samurai. It chronicles concepts of bushido, the warrior code of the samurai. What is so unique is that the Hagakure asserts that bushido is really the "Way of Dying" or in other words living as though one was already dead; this would allow a warrior to perform at his very best because he would no longer fear death. It is believed that a samurai retainer must be willing to die at any moment in order to be true to his lord; that is to serve even unto death before dishonoring themselves or their lord. This would be a sticking point for those samurai who would later convert to Christianity. It is considered sinful to wantonly abuse ones life-force in reckless abandon. In the kamikaze style attacks that some samurai were known for that is. Nonetheless there are some ways of putting a Christian perspective on bushido and to modify it's outlook. Does this take away from the spirit of bushido? No, it shifts its focus on dying for God, and others as we as professionals are called to do.
  2. Quotes with Christian Perspective; to keep from plagiarizing or repeating information please visit the page below to see an analysis of bushido from a Christian point of view.

Charny however does tell us this about death and the warrior: If you want to be strong and of good courage, be sure that you care less about death than about shame. You should first thank and praise Him who gives you those things and preserve them without arrogance, for you must understand that where there is arrogance, there reigns anger and all kinds of folly; and where humility is to be found, there reigns good sense and happiness. And if you are in a state of grace and you die honorably, does not God show you great mercy when He grants you such a glorious end to your life in this world and bears your soul away with Him in to eternal bliss? So in essence dying for a just a haphazard reason to steal away shame is not a just death.


Chivalry in Law Enforcement

How does all this translate into law enforcement or even military aspects of the job.

Modern day soldiers and police stem from the knights of old. Yes we must have a hardened exterior but not all the time. There are several instances in where one must be approachable that we are all familiar with. As such we must all find that happy medium of hard but soft in that we must be humble but proud but not so much that we overshoot the boundaries of our position.

Being humble is hard because the majority of us are type A personalities. That's what drives us to challenge that which others fear. However Charny tells us to speak of achievements of others but not of your own, and do not be envious of others. Make sure that you do not praise your own conduct nor criticize too much that of others. This is much needed advise because more often than not there are inner struggles between fellow teammates. This ends up in backstabbing and more than hurt feelings.

Nevertheless we must look back on the ideals of right of action and so forth that we find in chivalry, bushido or whatever warrior philosophy we use. We must see ourselves as the knights of old and enamored with this humbly-confident image we will be perceived as such by the public and become strongly attached to the community. Becoming truly a defender of the weak and innocent; but bringing justice to the lawless.

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Warrior Ethos

  1. US Army:
  2. I will always place the mission first.
  3. I will never accept defeat
  4. I will never quit
  5. I will never leave a fallen comrade

Code of Ethics

  • AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to server mankind: to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder: and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.
  • I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
  • I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
  • I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession........ law enforcement.


  1. Warrior Values (US Army)







Personal courage

  1. Department Values


Open communications



Our employees



The Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of North Carolina

A Police Officer is.....

  • Concerned with the welfare of others
  • A protector of the weak and innocent
  • A model for others in public and private behavior
  • Brave, courageous, and bold
  • Loyal, self-disciplined, law abiding, honest, honorable, pious, trustworthy


  1. What is Ethics? Primarily it concerns concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice, etc.
  2. How does this translate to human life? Abraham Maslow explains the human being needs a framework of values, philosophy of life, a religion to live by and understand by, in about the same sense that he needs sunlight, calcium or love. Giving this we know what ethics are and that they are an active part of human life. Every profession and individual has a use of ethics and do encounter it in daily life. Policing is no different in fact ethics is the very backbone of police work. Every officer must have ethics at the core to even consider doing the job; because after-all it certainly ain't for the money.
  3. How does ethics and policing go hand in hand? Policing is a way of life. Police are expected to make a lifelong commitment to ethical ideals few are able to sustain over time. Police see all the horrible things that happen and deal with a wide variety of people in a world emerged in corruption. Self-discipline and strong character help a person think through decisions and see the alternatives between ethical and unethical behavior. Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote: The policeman on the beat or in the patrol car makes more decisions and exercises broader discretion affecting the daily lives of people every day and to a greater extent, in many respects, than a judge will ordinarily exercise in a week.
Mindsets to avoidTramatic events effecting reasoning

“situational ethics”.

officer involved shootings

Ends Justify means

fatal traffic accidents

Dirty Harry syndrome: break law to protect public

SWAT operations

Your either with us or against us

serious assaults


narc operations (undercover)


death investigations




drive-by shootings


Symptoms of a burnout

  1. Sense of limited ability to accomplish personal and professional goals
  2. Loss of self-esteem caused by unreasonable expectations for self and others
  3. Reduced motivation
  4. Increased frustration
  5. Doing the bare minimum and going strictly by the book
  6. Preferring things rather than people and treating people as obstacles rather than fellow human beings
  7. Avoiding eye contact or physical contact with members of the public
  8. Never smiling and giving no reply to questions or answering questions with a grunt.

It is very hard to sustain the inner strength to do the job required for being a police officer. The difficult part is that we have to do it every day. By adopting a code of ethics and philosophy of life one will be able to withstand the tremendous negative pressures faced by today’s officers.

Unique factors of Law Enforcement contribute to public criticism about conduct of LEO’s

The public expects police officers to exhibit a higher level of personal and professional conduct than people in other occupations.

  1. Service to the Public: Police work consists almost entirely of service to people. As a result we are subject to dealing with every variety of personalities and subject to complaints.
  2. Large part of clientele do not appreciate or want service
  3. LEO’s recognizable: uniforms, patrol cars. Makes actions/inaction more noticeable.
  4. Enforcement of the law often creates resentment of the police (selective, arbitrary, directed towards specific group).
  5. LEO’s exposed to temptations, situation and human behaviors not found in other forms of work.
  6. LEO’s involved in emotionally charged situations, such as arrests, use of force, which may compromise the reason and judgment of both officers and citizens.

Religion as a guide

Scripture (Douay Rheims)

1 Chronicles 5:18-The Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh were warriors, men who bore shield and sword and who drew the bow, trained in warfare--forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty men fit for military service.

Psalm 88:19- For our protection is of the Lord, and of our king the holy one of Israel.

Proverbs 3:26-For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken.

Deuteronomy 31:6- Do manfully and be of good heart: fear not, nor be ye dismayed at their sight: for the Lord thy God he himself is thy leader, and will not leave thee nor forsake thee.

2 Timothy 1:7- For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Galatians 2:20- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Matthew 10:28- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.

1 Corinthians 16:13- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Deuteronomy 20:4- For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

Deuteronomy 28:7- The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

Psalm 37:37- Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.

Proverbs 14:32- When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

Joshua 1:9- Have i not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your god will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 37:28- For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.



Police and military personnel choose to walk a separate path, different from others. They take the risk of standing alone and of speaking up when others are silent. They must do what is right. They are human and a work in progress. Officers must battle between idealism and reality so that they can avoid apathy and burnout. An Officer must treat all people with dignity and respect. Wearing the badge and carrying a gun does not give officers a special privilege. It imposes special obligations. Law enforcement is service oriented and we have to strive to be deserving of high respect and prestige, then the public trust must be earned each and every day. Make the right decisions and you will enjoy a long career.

We must also start and continue the day by staying in a warrior mindset. That is to say not only for our survival and making it back home to our loved ones; but by making ethical and sound choices in the execution of our duties to the public. We are after all sworn to protect others, but ourselves too!! The public must not forget that aspect as well, for we are all human. Keeping focused on the mission at hand and maintaining ones ethical basis is just the start to the Warrior Mindset and the Warrior Ethos. Sometimes we have to articulate ourselves in such a way that those who do not put on the uniform, badge, gun and bulletproof vests (which they give us for a reason) do not know what goes on in our daily lives as public protectors of peace and the American Way of Life. We can not hold that against them but we must bear them in patience and help them to understand that we are here for them but we also enjoy peace and the American Way of Life and in the course of providing them protection we also have to protect ourselves.


Richard Barber: The knight and Chivalry

Ramon de Lull: On knighthood and chivalry

Tsunetomo, Yamamoto; Wilson, William Scott (translator) (2002). Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. Stackpole Books

Jetmore, Larry F; The Path of the warrior; an ethical guide to personal and professional development in the field of Criminal Justice. Looseleef law publications.

Geoffri de Charny: A knights own book of Chivalry

Wikipedia: Knight

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2015 paguilar

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