There's something about fighters you just gotta give them credit for:
they really believe what they believe. They've got that
air of bravado about them, the swagger which comes from
thinking they've already figured out the world.
To be sure, there's a certain sense of freedom which comes from
figuring out something. But when figuring out is simply
the unconscious drive of survival, of fear, it's not much more
than a reflex, a base instinct, little more than
in fact. There's no creativity in figuring out fire burns and you
should keep your body parts away from direct contact with it. There's
no creativity in figuring out keep your hands off the hot stove.
It simply goeswith the automaticity (as
may have said). There's no creativity in wanting to have more, in
striving to be better, in aspiring to do things differently. It's
automatic. It simply goeswith the territory of being human.
This is the context in which fighters, without inquiring into and
without realizing the automaticity of the automaticity, have
figured out what it's all about is winning and
losing. Given their premise, fighters (considering themselves
smart) have determined they aren't in it to lose. So for
fighters, it's become more than just winning at any cost and avoiding
losing. The paradigm fighters live in is "I must win and
you must lose". Another way of saying this is "In order
for me to win, you have to lose" - that, plus the fact fighters
aren't aware they're living inside a paradigm. For
fighters, it's simply the way it is.
That's the world of fighters, the world of winning and losing, and in
the world of fighters, transformation can't exist like a
"The way to handle a monster
is to give it lots of space.".
To me, this harkens to the one tenet which runs through all martial
arts, and it's this:
don't be where the blow
The battle is lost in the moment you stop to think about
responding to a fighter.
Don't be where
the blow lands.
It's a response based in being not in thinking.
Someone I know coveted something I had. He was a fighter. He had it
that because he would fight for it, I would too. Clearly,
the way he'd figured out the world suffered from archaic delusions of
chivalry. He said things like "May the better man win!". He may
just as well have uttered the wild west "Draw!" or the
swashbuckling "Have at thee!" or even the Monty
Python-esque "Come here and let me bite you!". But I'm not a
suitor, I'm not a gunslinger, I'm not a pirate, and I'm not a knight
who says "Ni!". I'm not a gladiator, and I'm not a fighter. It's
alreadyover for me.
I looked at him and smiled, not a "You've got to be
kidding!" smile which would have been provocative. Rather, just a
smile. Not a "yes" smile. Not a "no" smile. Rather, a
"po" smile (as Edward de Bono may have said), and I
turned my back on him and walked away.
A long two seconds ticked by. Then I felt his hands come down hard on
my shoulders, grabbing me by the epaulets of my oversized overcoat.
In the next second I was walking out of my overcoat, dropping my arms
to my sides and slightly backward so they slipped cleanly out of the
satin lined sleeves, leaving him holding nothing but the garment
itself. I turned slowly to face him as he stood there looking sheepish,
jaw half dropped in an expression of befuddlement, holding just an
overcoat by the epaulets, the belt and hem dragging on the ground.
I looked at him straight in the eye, standing still - again the
"It's all yours now"
I said to him, turned again, then walked away without looking back.