Fighting fire with water

February 06, 2020
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One of the most intriguing parts of my martial arts practice is the use of five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. 

We use these elements as a schematic to determine how to handle opponents when they present different types of energy. For example, somebody can come on really strong, full of fire. Our strategy is that we’re not going to fight fire with fire -  that's playing into their strength. We’re going to fight fire with water, and take advantage of their weakness. They’re all hot and bothered; we're going to remain cool, collected.

You can see what I mean. It's a very smart strategy.

Interestingly, the same type of strategy can be employed in relationships with other people. For example if somebody is coming on to me with a lot of fire - they’re really hot under the collar - I want to make like water and remain cool and calm.

Let’s suppose they're really burning with rage, and want to bring the argument up to the next level of intensity. I'm going to find the path of least resistance - like water does - and try to keep things at a lower intensity.

I know that somebody who presents like fire can't burn somebody who presents as water. I know that's how the world works. That confidence gives me the strength to remain cool, calm, and collected and persevere.