Friday, December 03, 2004

The Will To Fight

I was reading some blog earlier today that pissed me off. Some whack job was complaining about how the media pay so much attention to Abu Ghraib but not to the mass graves of the Hussein regime. He then proceeded to say that we shouldn't care if the rest of the world hates us, and we should just nuke the whole lot of them. Apparently, atrocity only describes what the other guys do.

Even if i ignore the stupidity and hatred in this rhetoric, what really gets me about these dick-swingers is how starkly they contrast with the people they want to nuke. Lots of bloggers and pundits can sound like real hard-asses when they know that they're sending other people's children off to fight. Many people fighting on the other side of this war are willing to fight and die, regardless of their age or economic status or their family situation. Some are even willing to send their own children to die. You might, as i do, find this to be horrible. Doesn't matter. Fact is, no matter how many weapons or soldiers we commit to the fight, the other side has the greater will to fight.

At my martial arts school we train what we call "martial spirit", usually through some sort of self-imposed suffering (like standing in a difficult stance for a long time or doing the splits). Training martial spirit gives you the edge in a fight, because you can sustain pain, injury, and fatigue and still continue to fight. The reverse is also true; to win a fight you hope to deplete the opponent's martial spirit. To win, you want to break the opponent's will to fight. The attribute of martial spirit is more important than skill, size, or strength. Sure, often Goliath beats David in individual battles, but when the opponent keeps returning regardless of the losses they've suffered, they'll eventually win the war.

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