Those of you who have been following me on this blog know that one of my main messages in many of my post has been the importance for us as martial artist to develop our combative abilities and to understand why combative ability is one of the essential cornerstones of the martial arts.  Because of my opinions, I have in the past been called violent, bellicose, or even reckless;  some people seem to think that my value of combative ability means that I ignorantly love violence or fighting.  There can be nothing further from the truth.  Violence is a terrible thing, and the best way a martial artist can handle a fight is to never have a fight in the first place.  Fighting is an antagonistic approach to problem solving.  This fighting isn’t a good approach to have in life nor in self defense situations.

Choosing a fighting approach to a problem is often choosing the most difficult and unpleasant solution to a problem.  I have a friend who’s solution to earning more money is working seventy hours a week.  He does not need more money, he just wants more money.  On one hand, there is some logic to this; if one works more, one will earn more.  However, look at the result of this approach.  Working for seventy hours a week is exhausting.  It can be the case that one may really like the work one does, and perhaps that amount of work would then suit that individual well, but my friend periodically works himself into bad health because he pushes himself to hard.  He has chosen a method of earning money that is a struggle and one that is detrimental to his health. Instead of seeking a better paying job or just a way to need less money, he has chosen to fight day after day after day when it is not necessary to do so.  His fighting approach to money earning causes him undue stress and health problems.  He has unnecessarily chosen a very difficult solution.

Sadly, some people choose an unnecessarily difficult solution route where the consequences can be far worse than feeling run down every now and then.  As many of you know, I am a supporter of gun ownership, but I am not a supporter of gun ownership where the owner is reckless and foolish.  Most gun owners are responsible citizens and responsible owners of their firearms.  Recently, I had unfortunately met a gun owner who was not at all responsible.  This guy claimed that he saw no need to lock his doors because he had a gun to defend his house; his logic being that if an unwanted person entered his house he could just shoot them.  This attitude angered me greatly because it implied that he would be more willing to kill someone than to deter them from entering his house via the use of locks, reinforced doors, and other security measures that would lead to the avoidance of a violent encounter.   His fighting attitude was one that sought violence instead of seeking to avoid it.

The most responsible use of a weapon is to use it when all other alternatives have reasonably been exhausted.

That is really the problem with a fighting attitude.  A fighting attitude is one that values violence and struggle over harmony and ease.  Life was meant to be fun.  There will be times when we may need to struggle to achieve something worthwhile, but many times we choose to struggle when it is not necessary nor appropriate to do so.  The reason why virtuous warriors have been honored throughout history is because warriors are individuals who have chosen to take on the burden of struggle, violence, and fighting when it is necessary to benefit the greater good.  The reason why criminals have been imprisoned and put to death throughout history is because they have chosen to partake in struggle, violence, and fight when it was not necessary or for purely selfish ends.  Choose your fights carefully, and more often than not you should find that there is no need to fight.

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