Chuusei - loyalty Loyalty is one of the highest virtues of a martial artist and thus all martial arts teachers search for it in their students.  It is one of those internal values that can't be taught but can be learned.

What does it mean to be loyal?  Loyalty or chuusei is one of those personal virtues that doesn't actually come into fruition until it is tested.  Anyone with half a brain can say the things that need to be said when they need to be said, but too few can actually put those words into action when push comes to shove.

Most teachers know that is human nature to assimilate to one's surroundings and not a far stretch for someone to say what needs to be said just to fit in.  In Japanese the face one puts forth is called tatemae and the face that one hides or their true feelings is called honne.  Therefore most teachers are constantly searching for the littlest sign of the student's honne which reveals the true nature in their hearts.  From these little snapshots a teacher determines if a student can be loyal and more importantly trusted when the time comes to be selfless or selfish.

In every student's martial arts career their comes a time when that loyalty is tested.  What one does and how one acts becomes a testament to not only how they were trained but more importantly who they truly are in their hearts.  In order to stave off selfishness, Sensei admonished us to, "Always act as if the teacher is watching."  This I believe is one of Sensei's highest teachings because his death becomes the final lesson and only we will know if we have passed the test.

Will we choose loyalty over opportunity?  Only time will tell...