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Carried to the extreme

Intro

Sometimes good things are carried so far to the extreme that they become bad things.

Competitiveness v. combativeness

Competitiveness is a good thing; it builds good character. Competitive people push themselves to increasingly higher levels of performance. They are always trying to win. If you only do something for enjoyment, then you will not care if you lose as long as you are having fun. You may or may not be good at what you do, and you do not really care. However, competitors are never satisfied until they win, and then they want to keep winning. They are always pushing themselves toward achieving greater things. However, they do not believe in winning at any cost; they play by the rules and respect other competitors.

When competitors carry thing too far and lose respect for themselves and others, they become combative. They see everything as a challenge to their abilities, so they think they must put down the challenges at any cost. They look for fights and find them at every corner. Combativeness is a bad thing.

Good martial artists are fiercely competitive, but they are not combative. They will do what it takes to win, but they will not do anything to win; their personal integrity and honor prevent them from winning at any cost.

To a true warrior, honor is more important than winning.

Confidence vs. arrogance

Confidence is a good thing; it helps you achieve your goals in life. Without confidence, you will:
  • Probably never try, and
  • if you do try, you will probably not succeed, and
  • if you do succeed, you will probably view it as a fluke and still lack confidence. 
Confident people are never afraid to try, they always think they have a chance to succeed, and, even if they don’t succeed, they will work harder and try again.

When confidence is carried to the extreme, people become arrogant. They think they are better than everyone else is, and thus, they think they are special and deserve special notice. They don’t draw any satisfaction from winning because they do not think others deserve the win. When the arrogant lose, they think it was because of a conspiracy against them by the little people. Arrogance is a bad thing.

Good martial artists are confident in their abilities, but they respect their competitors and do not degrade or belittle them.

A true warrior respects the opponent’s courage as he or she deals the deathblow and knows, that but for the grace of God, he or she would be dead instead of the opponent.

Loyalty vs. blind loyalty

Allegiance and loyalty to a person or a cause is a good thing; it makes you trustworthy and allows you to trust that the person or cause will be loyal to you. Loyalty keeps relationships strong and stable.

However, when your loyalty allows you to become blinded to the unreasonable, illogical, improper, or illegal actions or behavior committed by the person or cause, it becomes a bad thing.

Good martial artists are loyal to the art, their organizations, their schools, their instructors, and their fellow students, but they do not allow their loyalty to blind them to that which is wrong.

A true warrior fights beside his or her master in honorable battle, but when the master strays into dishonor, the true warrior will fight against the master.

Dedication vs. obsession

Dedication is a good thing. Dedication to a goal gives you the strength and perseverance you need to reach the goal. Dedicated people are not deterred by adversity; they simply endure it, work around it, and continue toward achieving their goal.

However, some people are so focused on reaching a goal that they neglect other responsibilities and become obsessed with reaching the goal. Then, even if they achieve their goal, there is no satisfaction because they have ruined their lives during the quest for the goal. Obsession is a bad thing.

Good martial artists are dedicated to their art and achieving greatness in the art. However, when the dedication reaches the point of an obsession and it causes their education, jobs, relationships, and friendships to suffer, it is a bad thing.

A true warrior works hard at his or her craft, but knows there are other important things in life that must be nurtured.

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