• The Law of the Farm
• The warrior is intimately aware of his environment and the characteristics of systems. Rain forests, deserts, and coral reefs are not the only ecosystems. Human relationships have the same underlying principles. As the first law of ecology tells us, “It’s all connected.” From this perspective, the warrior sees an attack on another as an attack on himself. Everything we do has other ramifications. As ecologist Garrett Harden put it, “We can never do merely one thing.” Lao Tzu said it with, “Actions return onto ones head.” “As you sow, so shall you reap”. Nothing you do is worthless, trivial or cheap. All thoughts, actions and behaviors have systemic consequences. Your power and success lie in enhancing everything you touch.
• Farmers plant in the spring, nourish throughout the year and then harvest in the fall. This cannot be rushed. Can you imagine someone waiting till autumn, cramming the seeds in the ground and then pulling on the stalks to try and get the crop in on time? This simply does not work. Karate is the same; you can not rush it. Training 2-3 times per week for years produces quality. One works a little at a time with persistence. Never try to cram for an exam but study slowly and consistently over time.
• The Pre-emptive Counter Attack – Be Pro-active not Reactive
• The civilian is a reactor. Every time he experiences a stimulus, his thoughts and behaviors run down the same old course. This reactivity makes him predictable, weak and ineffective. By reacting to his predicament he is being controlled. He becomes a victim not a warrior. Reactivity intensifies conflict and builds resistance. When two reactive individuals meet, the spiral of conflict increases as each reacts to the other.
• The warrior on the other hand, looks at each conflict with new eyes. He learns from the past but does not give it more significance than it deserves. Do not live in the past, fight today’s fight today. A true warrior does not act on impulse, but uses the time between stimulus and response to develop the best strategy and tactics for this situation. One needs to observe his reactions to given situations. Do you respond the same way each time? Are you predictable?
• The key to transcending reactivity is Zanshin. Question both stimulus and response. C alm down, relax. Time and patience are great warrior strategies. Choose wisely which fights to fight, and which to abandon.
• Stephen Covey identifies being proactive as the first habit to develop for highly successful people. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu stated that the greatest general is not one that wins 100 battles in 100 conflicts, but the one that controls the environment so well that a war never breaks out. In karate we talk about techniques in reference to when we deal with them. Go No Sen is reacting after the technique has been launched at us. Sen No Sen is a technique that counters an attack at the exact same time the technique is thrown. Sen – Sen No Sen is a technique that nullifies a technique before it is ever thrown.
Average people react to situations. Warriors, with black belt excellence, create the world around them by using their most powerful weapon, their mind. By knowing what reactions each behavior will bring, this individual creates his/her future based on his/her own script.