This is a miscellaneous entry.
Martial arts is about a lot of things. It's debatable (and has been debated by many, many people over the years) what the main focus of martial arts is, and it obviously has a different meaning to every person who studies it. But when it comes down to the skin and bones of martial arts, we who study it are learning to fight. We are learning to defend and to protect and to be prepared, but we are also learning to attack. We are also learning to strike when it really counts; when our safety and lives are in danger.
Sometimes we are in danger of our lives outside of the physical. Sometimes the situations in our lives can bring us to our knees. Sometimes they can surround us, corner us, outnumber us, outsmart us, surprise us, strike low, fight dirty, break bones, and generally break all of the rules of fair fighting. As a matter of fact, life doesn't play by any rules. Life doesn't fight fair. It strikes hard and fast directly at vital points...a formidable opponent.
But in the dojo, do we stay down on the mat when we get hit? No. We get back up.
On a cold, wet street full of assailants, do we stay on the ground and let them continue to beat us? No. We get back up. And when they don't fight fair, we go for the quickest, most effective strikes we can think of. Strikes to vital points like the neck. The eyes. The groin. The knees. We finish it and we finish it quickly.
When life throws us on the ground, it is exactly like hitting the mat in the dojo. It is the same situation as the one in the street. No matter how hard it is, no matter how much it hurts...we get back up. We train ourselves to defend. We train ourselves to protect. But most of all, we train ourselves to fight.
I'm missing some people right now who fought, but eventually let life beat them. It's hard to be alive, sometimes. It's really, really hard...for everybody. Life doesn't fight fair.
Hit the mat...hit the ground...hit rock bottom...but then get back up. Because the fight is worth it. It's always worth it.