Doing the math
Strategy, tactics, techniques, regular training and weapons are force multipliers. The force they are multiplying is you, specifically your will to survive, to protect others and to do as much damage as is necessary to achieve those ends. Let us review some basic math:
10 X 0 = 0
5 X 0 = 0
10,000,000 X 0 = 0
Got it? If your ethics are so messed up that you lack the will to do what is necessary to protect yourself and those you care about, then you are multiplying by zero.
Don’t be a zero.
When you train, do it with the will to protect yourself. Have the self respect to correct your flaws so that you will survive and protect in that moment that you are needed most. Remember why you are there. Every moment in training is a simulated fight. It is not social club or exercise time.
It seems to me that in my younger days I confused making my taijutsu effortless with not having a strong will to succeed. The thought at the beginning was if I really want a technique to work, then I would have to try hard, therefore I need to use all of my strength. As I was taught not to use strength, implying that my movement needs to be better, I unconsciously also allowed myself to lose. On some level, I thought that it was better to do it right than to “win”, because I could figure how to prevail later once my technique is correct. I hope you are all shaking your head and thinking that I was an idiot, because that is what I am doing. I hope that by writing this, I am sparing someone the same mistake.
We don’t train to lose a conflict, we don’t train to put ourselves or people who need our protection in danger! Ever! The unashamed will to prevail needs to be there all the time. You can then multiply it by using it to never put yourself into danger and to never allow your attacker to gain the tactical advantage. A stick, gun, tree, rock, corner of a building, etcetera can make you many times more effective as a warrior only as much as you are willing to be fully effective. If you are unwilling, they multiply your attacker’s will to be a predator and they will be used against you.