Friendship – Second Article in the Ethical Code

By Yossi Sheriff

When I wrote the Ethical-code I was helped, as usual, by the opposing opinions and insights of many AKBAN veterans, some of them plainly objected to writing down any sort of an ethical mirror and some understood the need but criticized specific articles in the AKBAN code. One of these was the second article, friendship.

A well versed veteran remarked about the vocabulary, he thought that a weaker word would be more appropriate, something like camaraderie or companionship. Another one was blunt: “What have I got in common with the guys from the Jerusalem dojo?” he said, “I have friends here, in my Tel Aviv dojo and that’s it”.

I wrote what most of the veterans and me felt and waited. Time is a good friend of understanding.

Friendship is not just emotion, it is also emotion and it starts with emotion but it can not persist only with emotion. Only few unique and very prepared people can persist with emotion. Emotion changes, unexpectedly, sometimes without an insight of the cause.

What is important here is the body: The stance, the basic movement, the drills and the randori of friendship. That is another path than “behaving your emotions”, what we need is a path of work.

Friendship begins and ends with a feeling of closeness and shared interests with another, but that is not all, that is just the foundation, what makes it real is the body and its presence, the work is physical, most of the time it just needs presence and communication.

A friend that sometimes doesn’t help is a fact of life, but a friend that isn’t there is what? Is nothing. No need for special sacrifice, just to say hello to martial friends and listen when somebody says something.

And for the veteran that said that he believes only in “natural” friends, wel