I see a bigger picture when others see only grey skies.
Though many can’t conceive it,
I stand… facing the wind.
My bravery not from fighting,
but from my strength within,
I am a Warrior.
I will walk the extra mile,
Not because I have to,
Because it’s worth my while.
I know that I am different,
When I’m standing on a crowded street.
I know the fullness of winning;
I’ve tasted the cup of defeat.
I am a Warrior.
They say I walk with ease.
Though trained for bodily harm,
My intentions are for peace.
The world may come and go,
But a different path I’ll choose.
A path I will not stray from,
No matter… Win or Lose.
I bet you’re wondering why I made this page, and what this subject has to do with capoeira. Well, bear with me, and hopefully, you’ll get what I’m driving at.
If you’ve been in the Martial Arts for a while, you’ll find many people who would like to believe in the idea that just because they practice the Martial Arts, they are Warriors.
Well, some of them ARE, and some are well… DELUSIONAL… In the sense that they actually think that training Martial Arts makes them some invincible MASTERKILLER…
But sooner or later, these types usually grow out of their delusions, in my experience.
But what exactly is a Warrior? I mean, throughout history, there have been many different types of warriors, all having different Codes of Honor that they lived by.
If you really try to define what a warrior is, there seems to be no one answer to that question. In fact, there seems to be many answers, almost as many answers as people you ask.
Well, I found this video on You Tube which seems to answer this question pretty well, for me anyway.
So, I present it here to you, the reader, along with a playlist I made of different warriors throughout history.
I’ve included the full text of this video as shown on the You Tube page as well, because I believe it’s just as important for you to read it as much as it is to listen to it.
What is a warrior? A warrior is a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of being. Carlos Castaneda says we choose only once, to be warriors or ordinary. We choose only once. Because choosing to be a warrior alters your fundamental approach to life. While others will view everything as a blessing or a curse, you see only challenges. And a warrior lives to overcome challenges. Every warrior has a code, an ethos. It is an invisible thread that connects him to all of his warrior brothers and sisters since the beginning of time. Steven Pressfield asks “How do we find our true calling, our soul companions, our destiny? He answers, “In this task, our mightiest ally is the warrior ethos.”
A warrior never hopes, but he must have faith. Hope is powerless, useless… The longer we sit and hope the more time we waste, because the universe gives only what is sought, what is believed! But yet a warrior must have faith. Because at times not every path is clear, and not every enemy a fiery dragon. When the forest is dark the warrior holds his ground with faith that if he remembers the warrior code, the light to illuminate the darkness will come.
For the warrior, the body is as important as the mind, because the two are inseparable. Danielle Bolleli writes ” A person who knows there is a wild wolf living under the skin has less reason to be intimidated by reality. Even when the power of the mind is in doubt, the body can provide tangible proof.”
A warrior is not an ascetic. He does not deny himself the pleasures of conquest simply for the sake of denying them. He realizes that in denying oneself it is easy to think he is doing great things, when really he is just focused on himself. But neither is the warrior attached to these pleasures. He can walk away from them at any time, and sometimes he does, just to prove it to himself. The warrior is a natural leader, and he leads under one principle– Follow me. When Alexander the great was threatened with mutiny after years of a brutal campaign in India, he stripped down naked, so all the men could see his scars. “Bring forth a man who has bled more than me, and we will go home.” No one came forth, because it was Alexander, riding his horse Bucephalus with a double plumed helmet who led every charge. Instead, his men erupted in cheers and pounded their shields. The Warrior is a Believer. As Paulo Coelho says, “Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. Because he is sure that his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. Because he is certain that he will find love, love appears.”
A warrior is highly tuned to sense danger, but he does not fear. He does not fear because pain is temporary and death is an illusion. What is eternal cannot die, and the warrior knows that he will laugh, he will love, and he will fight for all eternity, in this world or some other.
If he errs, if he wanders, if he indulges in self pity, if he complains… He does not despair. He knows that he is human, and he remembers the choice he made. He picks his sword back up from the ground, and resumes the path of the warrior.
A warrior fights for one reason alone: love. Love of life, love of what is good, love of family, love of tribe, and love of our infinite soul on the quest for impeccability. He lets love swell in his heart, flushing through every cell in his being until he cannot help but proclaim, like Cyrano De Bergerac, “I am going to be a storm — a flame — I need to fight whole armies alone. I have ten hearts! I have a hundred arms! I feel too strong to war with mortals. Bring me GIANTS!”
Now, I bet you’re all wondering: what does all this warrior stuff have to do with Capoeira Angola?
Well, despite what people may say, Capoeira Angola was created by warriors, and throughout it’s history have forged great warriors.
From the mighty warriors who fought in angola under warriors like queen NZINGA of NDONGO, who held off the invading Portuguese for over 40 years…
To the enslaved warriors who escaped captivity in brazil and formed their own communities, some of which are still fighting to survive to this very day…
To the Black Battalions who fought in the front lines of the brazilian war with Paraguay in the 18th and 19th century…
And the maltas(gangs) and malandros, who in the 18th and 19th century, occupied and terrified urban centers like Rio de Janeiro…
To the bambas and valentaos in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like
All these people throughout Capoeira’s history were WARRIORS, who refused to accept the huge amount of bigotry, discrimination, and marginalization that they faced, and were determined to break free, and live life on their own terms. And, they were willing and able to PROTECT their way of life.
They may of may not have had some BIG BAD warrior code to follow, and not all of them may have been good people (In fact, some were terrible people), but they were all true warriors, in my opinion.
And many capoeiristas today still are…
And now, I present to you, The warrior creed. Although I’m not a warrior and wouldn’t call myself one, I do follow this in my daily life (At least I try), and I truly believe, whether you think you’re a warrior or not, that it will help you all as well.