On St. Patty's Day, I found myself at Walmart aquiring a 6-pack of my favorite Irish brew. I also added a couple 5-packs of rifled 2 3/4 12 gauge slugs to the basket. A perfect combination, but it had me thinking: every time I stop at Walmart, I am going to pick some 12 gauge slugs or buckshot. It's an easy way to stockpile ammo without feeling the hit to badly. In a time of crisis, you have what you have and that's it.
Sun Tzu--or someone bad ass--once said, "The great general is not the one who wins 100 battles, but avoids 1000."
I mentioned this recently when talking about my own modus operandi with a fellow martially-minded person. The art of avoiding trouble is every bit as important as learning how to exit or neutralize trouble when it occurs. I find if you think ahead you can avoid all but the realisitically unexpected events, such as Billy-Bob and Tyrone skulking through your backyard with a pocketful of xBox. At that point, one should be so ready that the surprise is on them.
Being ready. Vigilance. Alertness. This is what seperates the warrior from the wannabe. The warrior lives by intention, not by luck. He welcomes luck, but strives to not be dependent on it. Instead he is aware. He who is aware can win many battles by seeing them before they happen, and cutting off his enemy at the pass. Whether it's avoiding the critique of a cranky boss or the jerk-ass driving 25 in 5mph zone, being aware in the present moment can be the difference between a good day or bad one, between business as usual and ending up in the hospital.
We should never underestimate the importance of our own awareness. It is the most critical skill of the warrior, one that needs to be continually refined, practiced, tried-out, honed, lived, and polished.
There are many stories repeated by students of O'Sensei, the founder of Aikido, who told his students to try and surprise him, if they ever found the opportunity. Despite many of them trying, even while he slept, none of them suceeded in doing so. He would stir from his slumber, sensing their intentions. Or walking down an alleyway alongside the dojo, he would feel them waiting behind a corner and change course. Such is the mark of a true master.
The most important skill of the warrior is a supreme awareness. But when that fails, start blasting.
Over and Out,