Victory and defeat are the same. They arise from the same source. To experience one is to understand more deeply the other. Hatsumi Sensei tells us that this aspect of fighting is expressed in old documents as "Koteki Ryoda Juppo Sessho no Jutsu," and in nature as the tiger fighting the dragon.
People seasoned by competition know this. They move beyond focusing on victory or worrying over loss to just doing their best. The process becomes important. Being present in the moment for optimal performance.
Veteran soldiers know this also. Ask them about winning or losing and they will have no words for you. Victory or defeat in war is terrible. Soke says, "Those who yearn too much for victory suffer forever from their victory."
Hatsumi Sensei often suggests to us that in training there should be no distinction between attacker or defender. When we realize this and move beyond ideas of winning or losing, then real victory can occur. Or, in the dojo, real training might begin.
Knowing this gokui of victory, one may form an interesting strategy. For as Lao Tzu stated, "Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself." Hatsumi Sensei encourages us by saying that, "True warriors, however, will cultivate readiness without fear," and that, "This is because they are standing on the lifeline of enlightenment; they are detached from victory or defeat, and have the insight and knowledge to separate themselves.
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