Kiado-Ryu Karate

Mar 7, 2022 - Feature of the Week

Lessons from Ukraine

It is tragic to witness what is happening in Ukraine. Regardless of the outcome, which we pray is positive for the Ukrainian people, i.e. keeping their independence and sovereignty, there are many lessons this needless and brutal attempted Russian takeover can teach us. Following are just a few.


This world is truly a cauldron of evil.

Saint Mirabai (ca. 15th/16th centuries)

How lovely would it be to think this world is a beautiful place? It is not. If it were a beautiful place, peace would reign universally, which it obviously doesn’t. The world is not “Barbie Doll Land.” It is, as Mirabai clearly states, “a cauldron of evil.” One must therefore be cognizant of this reality and act accordingly.


The war in Ukraine is exactly why self-defense skills are a “must have” if anyone—individual or country—is to protect themselves and experience the beauty of being free. Why more people do not practice and develop self-defense skills is incomprehensible. If people do not take responsibility for their own protection, they have no standing when they are attacked, raped, defiled, injured, even killed. It is the Karate Institute of America’s ethos that self-defense should be as regular, common and perfunctory as brushing one’s teeth. The Ukrainian people obviously have prepared for this moment, as tragic as it has been. Yet, how many individuals in the world, even governments, have committed to their self-defense?


Guns are one critical layer of self-defense protection. Where would the people of Ukraine be if they had no armaments to protect them, their culture, country and lives? Where would any country be where the citizenry cannot protect itself from the tyranny of government over-reach? Just look at how many countries globally do not give the right to bear arms to their people? This is exactly why America’s Founding Fathers created the 2nd Amendment. After the submissive and enslaving policies of King George III, they realized that guns, yes guns and other “Arms,” were the only way to universal protection among the American populous.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

U.S. Const. amend. II


Tyrants are evil, demonic. They have a voracious appetite for power and self-glorification as well as hearts of ice and souls of darkness. Dictatorial Putin is just one example. Sadly, tyrannical behavior has been expanding in the world, even in so-called democracies, and just because some countries call themselves democratic doesn’t mean they are democratic in reality. Citizens must remain vigilant and focused as to what their governments are doing if they desire to be sovereign, independent and free.

All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.

Samuel Adams

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

If all that Americans want is security they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.

President Dwight Eisenhower

No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.

General Douglas MacArthur

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.

President Ronald Reagan


How often have Kiado-Ryu martial artists heard this quote from Sun Tzu?

In war, the first thing you must do is secure yourself against defeat.

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu—a master of war—did not say the second thing you must do is secure yourself against defeat, or the third, the fourth, etc. He said the first thing you must do is to secure yourself against defeat. Even so, how many people the world over have not grasped this most critical and fundamental aspect of self-defense and survival? This is not a Polly Anna world. It is a treacherous and evil world and survival demands forethought and preparation in order to secure ourselves against defeat, however that defeat is manifested. Without question, preparation is the key to success. As the saying goes, “If we fail to prepare we prepare to fail” and fail we will.


Laying down before tyrants leads to catastrophe. Joe Biden and Neville Chamberlain supported the failed policy of appeasement—Chamberlain bowed before Hitler (and look what happened to the world) and Biden bows before China, Putin and anyone else who says, “Boo” to him (and look at the sad and destructive state of the world today with him at the helm). The people associated with these failed leaders put these dictators in power and, thus, they reap the carnage of their actions. Pacification never works. It is a failed policy. It will never work, has never worked. Tyrants are gluttons for power; their appetite is never quenched or satisfied. When will the masses comprehend this simple truth?


How glorious is the virtue of courage! The people of Ukraine are amazing, led by their leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Win or lose, they are living—and sadly possibly dying—examples of bravery and justified defiance against Putin the Thug, a tyrant who seeks to destroy them, and for what meaningful purpose? Power? Ego? To see people die needlessly? How demonic can an individual be?


If people are going to be free, they must be strong. Wimps never win. Strength is of many kinds—physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, familial, communal, political, national. The development of strength is a continual process of life. Embracing challenges is part of one’s life journey. Nobody is born powerful. We gain strength as we grow, mature and learn to deal with adversity and opposition. We must strive to be strong. Lying on the couch eating Bon Bons, watching TV or playing video games will not get the job done. Strength demands work. There are no short cuts to being strong.


If we’re to be successful in life we must be determined and relentless in the pursuit of our goals. This determination is called “resolve.” In other words, winners keep going, losers quit. It’s all a matter of heart, mind and soul. People may have a million dreams but if they have no resolve their dreams will vanish into thin air and remain just that—dreams. Resolve means to “fight on” and to never lay down arms to those who seek to negate our dreams.

Liars Can Never Be Trusted

Show me a tyrant and I’ll show you a liar. Tyrants say and do things to satisfy their gluttonous appetite. They’re relentlessly hungry for their next meal, their next conquering, their next shut down, their next war. They don’t even know what the truth is and could care less about it. Their ethos is to lie in order to get their way. These demented souls lie as naturally as they breathe. Tyrants lie to get their way, never to keep their word. History is replete with such tactics. The simple defense—never trust a liar, and if people will lie once, they’ll lie again and again and again. Only a fool would believe such a person.

These ten “Lessons from Ukraine” certainly do not contain all the lessons that the Ukraine war teaches us. What are some others? Surely, you can add some more. The thing is, once we learn a truth of life we must never neglect that truth because the results can be catastrophic and irreparable.