5 school principles

The 5 School Principles

Martial arts training is much more than the fighting techniques practiced on the mat. In an authentic martial arts curriculum, the students are developing themselves both on and off the mat. Below you will find five principles described in the FILKENJUTSU manual that we want our students at Progressive Martial Arts Academy to take to heart. 

We are not entirely sure where these began but suspect the origin is in Okinawa and they have been passed down from teacher to student over the years. 

Check out this 1971 "GI Joe Adventure Team Karate Manual" below that lists the "5 main rules of a karate student." The text for this manual was prepared by George Pesare, one of my father's teachers!


Practitioners of FILKENJUTSU should strive to work as hard as possible - not just some days, but throughout life.

Remember that consistency beats natural talent, so dedicate yourself to the art and show up repeatedly. You'll look back ten years from now and have acquired an incredible skillset due to your effort.


Train for real! If you train just for rank, you will never truly learn the art and philosophy of FILKENJUTSU.

Honestly give your best every class. Be honest first and foremost with yourself. Martial arts is about self-discovery. Then take this honesty into all aspects of your life. 


Be honest and forthright - both in your training and to all with whom you com in contact. 

Develop character through your disciplined training. Show up to class day after day and perfect your technique - this builds the confidence needed to handle potentially threatening situations. You cannot imagine the inner strength and peace that you will gain from this trust in your technique. This confidence is one of the clearest examples of how something you do on the mat will affect your life off of the mat.


We help our fellow students learn. There is no pride in defeating your fellow student in the dojo - remember, we train for defense outside the dojo. Salute your partner before and after they help you in class.

A good martial arts class always begins and ends with etiquette. 

Perfect your character by treating others the way you would want to be treated. That is the true meaning of respect. Treat all you come into contact with this way - your training partners, your loved ones, complete strangers, law enforcement officers, and even rude individuals!


The fist is like a treasure in the pocket. A kind demeanor can stop most conflicts. Don't take the initiative to start an argument or a fight. 

Self-control means controlling your actions, despite your emotions. Demonstrate self-control in all aspects of your life, so that you have strengthened that muscle for the most difficult situations.