Loyalty - Integrity - Honor ... the old-school martial arts ethos is built on these pillars; but what part do they play on the modern-day martial arts landscape? Much martial arts training today, is seen more as a commodity - rather than a relationship that is built over time, between student and teacher. This, in a way, is a great pity - because when it comes right down to it, the most important and valuable connections in life are made between each other.
But having said that - what I tell other instructors is this:
As far as loyalty goes - people fall into three categories: those who are not loyal, plain and simple; at least you know where you stand with them. Then there are those who are loyal; only as long as it is convenient to be so; a kind of faux loyalty. Then there are those who are loyal; those who understand and value the relationship; these are the people who stand by you and visa versa; such people are the wind that fills our sails and carries us through storm and good weather alike. These are the people you love.
As far as integrity goes - people fall into the same three categories: those who have no integrity; what they say they will do and what they actually do are two different things. Then there are those who keep their promises, they do what they say they will do, as long as it doesn't hurt them or cost them in any way; they have integrity, only as long as it is convenient to be that way. Then there are those who live by their word; their word has value; even when inconvenient, they keep their promises, large and small alike.
As far as honour goes - yes, you guessed it - people fall into the same three categories: those who have no honour; such people have no nobility of soul; every decision and thought they have revolves solely around their own welfare. Then there are those that live and act honourably, only as long as it is convenient to do so; such people act nobly, only as long as someone else is watching; only as long as there is a pay-off. Then there are those select group of people who love honourably because it somehow defines who they are as a person; they have a certain nobility of the soul that makes the world a better place for having them living in it.
Each of us has a short time on this earth and in this thing we called life. Striving to live in a way that embodies these ideals - living loyally, with integrity and with honour - is something real teachers (of all kinds) should perhaps try to instil each others. And we cannot instil in others, those things that we cannot first embody ourselves.