A Yang* Warrior is…
A force for good in people’s lives;
Says what needs to be said;
Does what needs to be done;
Protects the innocent;
Receives what is given to her;
Continues to develop her art, her body, her mind and her spirit;
Is responsible for her actions;
From self-love moves out into the world in love;
Makes choices that nourish her on all levels – whether it is food, literature, companionship or work;
Heals with food, herbs, breath, massage, meditation and movement;
Knows that compassion sometimes looks uncompassionate;
Honors herself and others;
Is respectful to her masters, ancestors, family and the Dao;
Marshalls her time to be of best use and service to others;
Is patient, waiting on the Dao, and therefore has impeccable timing;
Conducts herself with honor and respect and humility;
Reads from scriptures to nourish and heal and share;
Listens with her whole being;
Is always ready to be of service;
Is in command of her energy and her boundaries;
Seeks to be clean and clear and pure in her heart and her actions;
Treats all beings with respect, gentleness, compassion and honesty;
Is natural and lives simply and honestly;
Does not waste resources;
Freely walks her destiny;
Treats fear as a teacher;
Trusts the practices and doesn’t stray from her truth.
Knows the soft overcomes the hard;
Accepts both the dark and the light as the Taiji teaches;
Acts with purpose in all things;
Seeks precision in her art, her words, her thoughts, her actions;
Sees her students as teachers;
Trains hard, fights easy.
A soldier fights, a warrior protects, a martial artist serves.
We can go through this life as a victim or as a warrior. It is our choice.
If we are handed a bag of stones, we do not have to pick it up and carry it.
Most of all, a Yang Warrior strives to live these principles all the days of her life with the goal of progress, not perfection.
*There have been books, movies and operas made over the centuries in China of the Woman Warriors of the Yang Family [Yang Men Nü Jiang, 杨门女将] during the Song Dynasty. I’ve picked up the phrase to mean a warrior of the Yang Family Style of Taijiquan martial arts that I study and teach. It is solely and wholly my understanding as influenced by my studies and training with masters and teachers in martial arts. If I fail in my principles or character it should not in any way reflect upon any of them.