How do you feel about going into combat?

How do you feel about going into combat? Is your spirit correct at all times? Are you feeling strong? Do you feel slightly uneasy? It is important that you understand yourself with regard to the possibility of fighting. Another consideration is that the enemy has these thoughts as well. The better you know the opponent, the better equipped you are for battle. The skill you need for winning a battle lies in knowing the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. You achieve this through constantly practicing with the attitude to destroy the enemy. Knowing where you are at all times and understanding your relationship to the battle. Knowing the time means that you can instantly asses your situation and act accordingly. When you have acquired the correct attitude, you will be able to easily beat the enemy because you will be truly prepared to go into combat with an understanding of all the skills and abilities that you and your opponent possess.”

– Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Musashi lived in the 17th century, fighting for his life on a daily basis. He understood that the weakness of the enemy was his own weakness. The strength of the enemy could possibly be his own strength. So whatever strength he assigned to the enemy, whatever fear he had of the enemy –basically he was looking in a mirror. Whatever he saw in his enemy, he saw in himself. Human beings are all the same. We all have the same strengths and weaknesses. Musashi had it dead-on hundreds of years ago as a samurai.