Answer (part 2)...

Lynn Young Sensei had a question; Here is the SECOND part of my answer.

So I have rejected the stock answer "you fight the way you train, so train the way you fight", but I am about to paraphrase this and say: "You fight the WHY you train"...

We have touched on this before, but it is very relevant to the question at hand. So why do you train? I have heard many reasons given for training in the martial arts, ranging from "something to do" all the way over to "I want to change everything in my life". I have held discussion with other Sensei as to why we teach the martial arts and this is also relevant.

I primarily teach martial arts as an expedient and efficient way to defeat any opponent, and I firmly believe if you are teaching for any other reason then quit. Unfortunately, I am in the great minority outside of Asia.

Students have said they were training for "physical fitness", or "cardio", or "to become a better person", or to "learn discipline" (ewe rack disciprine), or for a myriad of other reasons. So far as I am concerned all of these reasons are wrong.

Bugei - 武芸 (literally "martial" and "the cultivation of") consists of both bujutsu - 武術 (lit. "martial" and "art") AND budo - 武道 (lit. "martial and "way"). We instruct and are in turn instructed in the martial way as we teach and learn the martial arts. One is "why"; the other "what". However, the sole purpose of the techniques and skill sets we teach is to develop martial skills, which of necessity are warlike in nature.

If you are training to develop cardio, I sincerely hope you get the chance to run away because that is what you have trained yourself to do. If you have trained yourself solely for physical fitness then congratulations because you are well conditioned to sustain the beating you WILL receive in a fight. Not wanting to rain on anyone's parade either, but the "better person" usually ends up hospitalized or worse.

If, however, you have trained yourself to effectively defeat an opponent then you will likely survive. If you have a decent instructor then you will also have the cardio and physical fitness you need to win. If you train long enough to realize the martial way then you can be the better person and let your opponent live instead of killing. But first you have to get there.

I realize this is not popular and many will vilify this point of view, but this dichotomy is very real and has been recognized for centuries:

"The Samurai is an unfortunate instrument for being a guardian of peace he is taught only the ways of war; Charged with protecting life he is trained to kill. The way of the warrior is death."

So why DO you train?