Live as they fight

Sometimes, it’s good not to fight. To just sit there and watch two individuals battle. To see how they use their technical skill and physical abilities to try and dominate the other person. That’s the goal in most martial arts. Control your opponent. Impose yourself on them. Beat them. Win.

Whenever I watch two veterans spar, I’m always struck by a sense of awe. Here are two individuals attacking one another. Sometimes it’s equal, sometimes it’s one sided. But the end is always the same in jiu-jitsu sparring. One person taps out due to submission, or time runs out and the two participants rise and exchange a few words and a smile. In that moment, the switch from intense focus to gratitude is instantaneous. 

On the drive home from a jiu-jitsu session last night I was thinking about this. About how high level martial artists conduct themselves on the mats. How they respond to their peers. How they act towards their coaches. How they approach their opponents. I came to a conclusion. I’d like to live how they fight.

The best martial artists have a respect for their art and for the people involved in it. They carry a quiet self-assurance and a strong sense of humility. They know their limitations. They train with tenacity, patience and focus. They fight with courage and creativity and their time on the mat is enthused with joy.

That’s how I’d like to be, on and off the mats, in my training and in my life. Full of respect and humility. Aware of my limitations but not afraid to test them. I want to undertake every action with patience and tenacity. To live with physical and intellectual courage and an invincible sense of joy and gratitude.

I’d like to live how the martial artist fights.