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Are warriors sensitive?





















Are real warriors sensitive?

One might think that people engaged in the military arts would not or could not be sensitive by the shear nature of their business.

I would argue that a warrior or martial artist at their highest is and has to be sensitive.

Sensitivity is commonly, and erroneously, thought of as vulnerability and vulnerability is death.  At first glance, this is true, but only to warriors of the lowest levels.

To be a great warrior one needs the ability to be able read their opponents in a split second.  This "read" has to be done with the sub-conscious mind because it happens so fast that one only realizes that it is happening when they are already moving.  This sub-conscious action requires a master's amount of training.  It is so fast and without conscious thought that most begin to call it "intuitive" movement.

To develop this intuitive movement requires that one venture to a place within themselves seldom seen by the outside world but only after the physical art has been mastered.  It is the place where we hide all of our secrets and fears which we call our "weaknesses."  To be able to defeat a foe greater than ourselves we must venture deep within ourselves and confront these dark places.  The most well-known movie scene illustrating this was in the Empire Strikes Back when Luke ventures into the Dark Cave of Evil where he strikes down Vader only to reveal himself which suggests he is his own worst enemy.  When we become aware our weaknesses and deal with them then they become the source of our true inner strength.

We then use this sensitivity, which is rooted in the awareness of our own weaknesses, to find the weaknesses in our own opponents.  Looking for the weakness in Japanese it is called "Benki no naki dokoro" which means Benkei's weak spot (Musashibo Benki was a legendary warrior in 12th century in Japan).

Can we be strong and sensitive?  Sure, true strength is found at the juncture of what we can do physically and where we are mentally.  To gain true victory is what O Sensei calls Masakatsu Agatsu or the true victory is the one gained over one's self.

Does a real warrior cry?  I would argue that they do, but not for the same reasons that we might think.