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"There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. True nobility is being superior to your former self."  ~Hindu proverb

It is said that all paths lead to the same top of the mountain.  This Hindu proverb has the same connotation as O Sensei's, Masakatsu, Agatsu or "The true victory is the victory over one's self."  The only real opponent that exists is you.  This can be a hard concept for some to realize.  For many it takes a long time to fully realize let alone actualize.  We are sometimes our own worst enemies.  When we can realize this, the real battle begins and that opponent knows all of our moves and tricks.

How do we begin this battle?  This hard fought battle begins with first accepting that the only opponent that exists is you.  Secondly we now have to undertake the journey within.  Mythologist Joseph Campbell referenced this journey when he said,  "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."  This was the basis for the scene in Empire Strike's Back where Luke enters the cave on Dagobah.  Next, the battle begins as we struggle with the truths of who we are and who we have become.  It is a struggle because some of those things may be painful or uncomfortable.  Finally, we come to a place where we have to let go.  We let go because the resistance we put forth will become too heavy of a burden.   At this final stage we should feel a bit lighter as the burdens we have carried for so long are lifted.  When the battle is through the things that burdened us or blurred the path will no longer be relevant and thus we can now move freely.  This unencumbered movement is the goal of every great martial art and that is why O Sensei said, Masakatsu, Agatsu  or that "The true victory is the victory over one's self."

Photo credit:Joey Mason Art