“If you keep your sword drawn and wield it about then no one will dare approach you and you will have no allies. But if you never draw it, it will dull and rust and people will think you are feeble.” ——The Hagakure
Often, the most capable martial artists in the room are also the kindest and gentlest men in the room. This is to be deeply reflected upon.
Paradoxically, an effect of trained capacity in violence is a greater sense of peacefulness and ease in being. The martial path, taken honorably, leaves the practitioner with the unique combination of artistry in violence and kindhearted confidence.
Training to be capable in the event of a violent situation births a grounded confidence that can propel one calmly into potentially dangerous situations to influence a peaceful outcome.
This confidence, never to be confused with bravado, cannot be faked. Energy, by its very nature, cannot lie. The humble confidence of the martial artist can only spring from the fertile soil of actual competency. Actual competency can only come from rigorous training.
The well trained man who has utilized the martial path to find inner peace does not worry about being attacked. He finds himself at ease, and this causes the people around him to feel safe.
Because of his dedicated training, he is in a position to extend kindness indiscriminately to all who cross his path. He knows the skills he has cultivated will be available if he needs to call upon them. And so, he carries no tension.
Ultimately, it is this kindhearted, humble confidence that becomes his true defense against attack – not his capacity to break bones, kick heads, or choke people into unconsciousness.
The kindness and relaxed confidence he constantly embodies is the highest expression of all the techniques he has relentlessly trained to execute in the dojo.
The true utility of martial art and self-defense training is not to exact violence upon another, but to find peace within oneself.
Look deeply and you may find that, for some, the path to peace involves learning to become an absolute Savage.