I am honored to share a wonderful and inspirational poem by Sensei Terry Valentino, my martial arts teacher, mentor, and lifelong friend who reminds us that we can all be courageous warriors in how we honor, protect, and serve others. I am forever grateful for Terry’s friendship, wisdom, and the many invitations to adventure we have shared over the years.

Al Renshaw

The Spirit of the Warrior’s Way by Sensei Terry Valentino

The barbarian serves himself.

The warrior serves another.

The barbarian fights in order to take and destroy.

The warrior fights to protect and preserve.

The barbarian takes life to save his own.

The warrior gives up his life in the service of others.

The barbarian is motivated by greed.

The warrior is motivated by loyalty.

The barbarian loses himself in lies.

The warrior discovers himself in seeking the truth.

The barbarian’s weakness is hatred and fear.

The warrior’s strength is love and acceptance of death.

Before we engage in the battle between the warrior and the barbarian externally, we must fight the battle between the warrior and the barbarian within ourselves. If we emerge from this battle victorious as a warrior, then regardless of the outcome of the external battle, we will have won.