The martial arts are a study of lifetimes of the science and methods to bring harm to another being in the most efficient way possible. As martial artists study the lessons of those who have come before and developed and cultivated skills to defend themselves in times of combat and struggle against often superior enemies. Skills learned even in the most gentle appearing arts can be dangerous and even deadly. A person who trains in the martial arts must understand the philosophy of their dojo and adhere to a code of conduct that reflects that philosophy otherwise risk becoming the evil they claim to stand against.
At Apex we were founded on Christian values which are reflected in out Precept and Dojo no motto. We welcome people of all backgrounds and beliefs, but out values never change. You will heard these words recited at the end of classes.
"In quietness and confidence shall be our strength"- This is our precept, which was inherited from Grandmaster Castanza. It's easy to develop an exaggerated ego as a martial artist as you learn techniques that allow you to harm or control others. This precept reminds us that true strength - that of character - comes from the confidence we build as we improve and become more skilled, but must be tempered by a calm and humble manner.
"Bushido no Kun - Character, Honor, Courage, Compassion, Loyalty, Duty & Justice" - Borrowing from the code of the samurai our students learn these key words to remind us what a true warrior is inside and outside of the dojo. This is a quick summary of what we believe these virtues to mean as martial artists: Character - Acting in a way that is congruent with our words. How we act when no one is looking; Honor - Acting in such a way with an awareness of how it reflects on others we are associated with, such as family, school, church, and dojo. How we act when everyone is looking; Courage - Erase any notion the courage is a lack of fear. Courage is facing your fears.; Compassion - By extension this can be seen as mercy or benevolence, but empathy is expected of all students. Do no more harm to another person than is necessary of course, but go a step farther and seek the opportunity to serve and help others. Loyalty - It is easy to make promises to others when its convenient, but to stay with others when the going gets tough, when its not convenient, when you may have to make a sacrifice is were loyalty is tested. Sticking by our beliefs even when we are challenged; Duty - Martial arts training requires discipline to push through strenuous, punishing training, but also to continue through long tedious training which lacks excitement. Duty is an outward extension of that discipline beyond ourselves to others. Doing what must be done even when we don't feel like it. Justice - many of us pursued the training because we saw it as a path to being a "hero" for ourselves or others. Justice - is mistakenly thought to be synonymous with equality, but moreover is a matter of making sure that the right person pays the price for their mistakes, and that the wrong person does not pay for someone else's transgressions. The opposite of justice is grace.