Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fighting Mentality

Several months ago, me, Sensei, and Snaggy were eating at a Zippy's after practice and talking story, something that happens fairly often. Our conversations end up wandering all over the place, but almost always return to fighting (and food or the other simple pleasures in life). We shifted towards talking about fighting mentality, and one of Sensei's favorite quotes on the subject was revisited. "Tatakaeba, kanarazu katsu." This literally means, "if you fight, win." This line was taken from the 1970s Japanese samurai TV classic, Yagyu Clan Conspiracy. Don't let the cinema or the simplicity fool you. It has to be one of the more resounding statements on the subject. But I will let Sonny Chiba do the talking.

(vid updated... old one was taken down)

For those of you who cannot view the clip, it goes like this:

The secret doctrine of the Ura Yagyu states: "Once engaged in battle, fight to win. That is the first and cardinal rule of battle. Supress all human emotions and compassion. Kill whosoever stands in thy way, even if that be God or Buddha. Only then can one master the essence of the art. Once it is mastered, thou shall fear no one, though the devil himself may block thy way."

What stronger mentality is there? What greater way to achieve ippon kowashi?

This isn't recklessly attacking, blind confidence, or mere words; this is resolution. Without it, you cannot be truly strong.