Ethics of Combat

uruwashi [ 斌 ] denotes elegance. The character is a synthesis of the cultural and the martial, bound by traditions of learning, effort, and respect.

The core questions are both simple and problematic: if and why we contest; and how we treat each other before, during, and afterwards.


  • The category of ‘Ethics of Combat’-related posts on the blog, including an ongoing (2013-14) series about Castel Rigone Calcio, a soccer club in Italy with philosophical standards. This series has expanded the scope of my inquiry to include the ‘Ethics of Competition’.


  • In 2007 I received a faculty fellowship at DePauw to study “The ethics of combat in the ancient Mediterranean and samurai Japan.” This course-development project became a First-Year Honor Scholar Seminar entitled “The Ethics of Combat”. Here is the syllabus for the second iteration of that course. The project went on hiatus from 2009-13 during my term as Dean of Academic Life at DePauw.


  • The 2007 grant allowed travel to Japan, where I did a three-week study trip to research the footsteps of the swordsman/artist/philosopher Miyamoto Musashi and his early 17th-c. contemporaries.
  • Forthcoming will be a travel guide and Google Maps mash-up for anyone wishing to trace the historical and legendary locales of Musashi and his fellow swordsmen.

Recommended reading


  • 1st-dan (black belt), Goju-Ryu Kenpo Karate, received in May 2017 from Master Stephen A. St. Pierre [himself 8th-Dan (Kyoshi) in Goju-Ryu Kenpo Karate (Eiko Miyazato) and 9th-Dan in Shaolin Chuan-Fa (C.Y. Tsai)]. I train at All-American Karate Academy in Greencastle, IN.
  • 7th-kyu (yellow belt), Jujitsu (Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu), from The Jitsu Foundation. (England)
  • 9th-kyu (red belt), Shukokai Karate, from Mohammed Ilyas [7th Dan], Shukokai Karate Union (England)

23 thoughts on “Ethics of Combat

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  5. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 11-12: Put Your Boots and Courage On « [quem dixere chaos]

  6. Pingback: Solomeo « [quem dixere chaos]

  7. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 13-14: Bad Spirits and Good Spirits « [quem dixere chaos]

  8. Pingback: Learning from struggle and failure « [quem dixere chaos]

  9. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 15-16-17: Card Games « [quem dixere chaos]

  10. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Week 18: True Grit « [quem dixere chaos]

  11. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 19-20: Bumps « [quem dixere chaos]

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  13. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Week 22: Royalty « [quem dixere chaos]

  14. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 23-25: Sliding « [quem dixere chaos]

  15. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 26-29: Streaking « [quem dixere chaos]

  16. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 30-32: Beauty and Loss « [quem dixere chaos]

  17. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Weeks 33-34: To Morality and Beyond « [quem dixere chaos]

  18. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Week 10: The team that knows what it wants « [quem dixere chaos]

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  20. Pingback: Castel Rigone, Week 8 1/2: “Truth,” from Socrates to Shankly « [quem dixere chaos]

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