The Art of Fighting Without Fighting

Rated G

My last ex and I never fought. We had a few disagreements, of course, but never a fight with yelling and screaming and slamming of doors.

I hate fighting. Sounds strange coming from a martial arts instructor, I am sure. But I do not see physical confrontations as a fight. In controlled surroundings, it is a contest, the individuals involved shaking hands before and after the bout. In the street, it is combat, survival, almost void of emotion except for the heat of the moment. Neither bear any resemblance to a fight, a squabble between friends or lovers.

Bruce Lee talks about, “The art of fighting without fighting.” It was one of his tenants in self defense. He expressed it himself in his last completed movie, “Enter the Dragon.” As he and other world-class martial artists are being ferried to the evil Han Lee’s island, Bruce is questioned by one of the more bullish fighters, “What is your style?” Bruce replies, “The art of fighting without fighting.” The bully demands to see some of it. Bruce says, “But there isn’t enough room here. How about that island, on the beach. We can take this boat,” as he points to a small rowboat tethered to the main ship.

The bully agrees. As they begin to climb down to the rowboat, Bruce stops and gestures to the bully, “After you.” As soon as the bully is in the rowboat, Bruce unties the rowboat, allowing it to drift away from the main ship while Bruce stands on deck, waving at the bully. The art of fighting without fighting.

As I said, I hate fighting. I love sparring. I can enjoy a good match and I am well prepared for any combat, physical self-defense or survival I may face. But I truly dislike and cannot deal with arguments, squabbles and red-faced shout-downs. Friend, lover, boss, co-worker, or idiot at the gas-station, I simply cannot deal with these sort of fights and will generally do everything I can to get out of them. Not end them, but to make them stop.

I will agree, avoid, cave, collapse, evade, flip, flop, or do whatever it takes to put an end to it as soon as possible. I will be untrue to myself and my beliefs, at least for that moment, to get out of the confrontation. These types of fights are vexations and damage my spirit. They always include jabs and strikes directly at one’s persona and my low self esteem cannot take those kinds of shots.

This does not mean I will not have a heated debate on some principle, nor that I will completely abandon those concepts and beliefs that I hold. But I simply will not enter into a fight. I dislike them. I fear them. I am uncomfortable around them, even when I am not involved.

As I said, my last ex and I never fought. She probably does not know how much I appreciate that. I would hate to be in a situation where the only passion that exists is expressed through argument. I am uncomfortable with the idea that argument is even a symbol of passion. Intensity, fine, but passion, no. I understand it. I realize it is a generally accepted concept. But my dislike for argument and fighting is so great I cannot accept that they are related to love or friendship, even as their antithesis.

When with someone I love, or even only like, and a fight raises its ugly head I will employ the art of fighting without fighting.

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