Victory - 勝利 - Shènglì
Can you become proficient
in both martial and spiritual pursuits?
Can you defeat
your ultimate opponent?
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
To be considered martial, one need not kill but instead must possess discipline, courage, and perseverance. Many people never look past the narrow aspect of killing and fail to distinguish the true warriors from the brutal killers. By doing so, they overlook all the other excellent qualities which can be gained through training. A warrior is not a cruel murderer, but a murderer may refer to himself as a warrior (or have others do so on his behalf). A true warrior is a protector of ideals, a master of principle, and always respectful of honor. A true warrior is noble and heroic, while the murderer who dons the uniform merely wears a mask. One should study this carefully.
A warrior will have many opponents in a lifetime, but the greatest one he/she shall ever face is the self. Within every warrior lies an individual personality, plagued by a unique set of preconceived notions and anxieties. The sages of old referred to a host of demons to describe the disturbances of the mind: fear, laziness, ignorance, selfishness, egotism, and many many more. The fools and the murderers refer to overpowering other people as the greatest test of a warrior. In reality, those battles are the most inconsequential. To actually overcome one's own defects is the true sign of victory for a warrior.
Many cultures incorporate images of warriors into religious iconography. These images are not meant to be a symbol of domination over others, but rather, one of ferocity and determination in the face of one's greatest foe - ourselves.