What follows is a quote (in red) that my aikido sensei sent out today, along with his excellent comment (in blue). Evidently he found it on a website while researching various warrior cultures, and I found it profound enough to include it here. Incidentally, I think what Tengu House needs right now is more posts from the world of budo. Maybe I'll post more aikido-related stuff.
"The Spartans predate the advent of the Japanese Bushi by about 1,000 years, but it's evident that all true cultures of this type place a high value on what makes a Spartan and a Bushi and then a Samurai unique, and this goes far to explain why they stand head-and-shoulders above the common man.
"I offer this for your consideration as to the value of aikido, martial arts and giri and the underlying quality of those with whom we train and trust, and how the personal focus, effort and sacrifice can change us for the better."
"An elderly man was trying to find a place to sit and observe the Olympic Games, as he went to each section. All the other Greeks laughed as he tried to make his way through. Some ignored him. Upon
entering the Spartan section all the Spartans stood and offered the elderly man their seats. Suddenly the entire stadium applauded. All the Greeks knew what was the right thing to do, but the Spartans were the only ones who did it."
Xenophon 427-355 BC
Son of Gryllus, disciple of Socrates