Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dialog vs. Fighting

Just a quick thought before I go to bed so all my muscles can seize up before morning... karate tonight was a bear. Or I suppose it was a dragon. Our school does animal forms, soft style katas that are performed with one or two other people doing one or two other forms. Tonight I worked on dragon. On the first posture of dragon. And then I did the first posture again. And again. And again. It's sort of hard to adjust your balance to take into account a "tail" that isn't there and I kept settling forward too much. So I did the first posture again.


I was surfing through blogs a bit and a couple of references to dialog, or promoting dialog, stuck in my head just in a general way related to martial arts.

Simply put... dialog and fighting aren't and should never be considered opposites or in conflict with each other. Being willing to fight and being willing to talk are entirely compatible.

In fact, I'd say that was the only really healthy way to look at the two things. My teacher is clear that fights should be avoided, that our sense of our own dignity should never be allowed to be an issue. As he says, we aren't responsible for the other person's insecurities.

I've had higher level students ask the "trick" question, if so-and-so fought so-and-so, who would win? The right answer is "no one."

But I disagree. We don't train to fight if fighting is losing. Otherwise we'd have the same result as no training at all... if a fight started we'd lose. We could do some other activity to hone our bodies and enrich our minds and discipline. But we train to fight. There must be value in it.

It's just that the value isn't in hurting other people. We are trained to prefer dialog, to use our skill to avoid hostile situations and diffuse hostile situations. Nothing about learning physical self-defense takes away from a quick mind and an ability to talk our way out of problems, to calm a situation... because it's *all* self-defense. The talking and the fighting are THE VERY SAME THING. The same purpose and the same value.

Consider the limits if someone allowed herself only one of those options. How foolish that would be.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Without balance, everything is harder and more foolish.

5:00 PM  

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