PARTNERS, NOT OPPONENTS
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln
One of the most important principles of a Dojo warrior is illustrated every time we square off to spar, grapple or otherwise practice or fighting skills on each other. Two people about to engage in friendly and controlled violence first look each other in the eyes, put their hands together in the “peace over power” sign, and give a deep bow of respect. In doing so, we remind each other and our selves that we are partners, not opponents.
I find it frustrating, how often conflict is equated with animosity. Conflicting views, values and goals are inevitable whenever and wherever human beings coexist. Anger and hate are not.
When two martial artists clash on the mat in a spirit of cooperation and respect, amazing things happen. Both walk away better for the experience. Trust and understanding are deepened. And, as we see so often, friendships are forged. I’ll take friends over enemies, partners over opponents, any day.