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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Budo and the motivations of hate and love?

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend” – JRR Tolkien.

I saw this today and it made me think of a gentleman I once trained with telling me that if he ever had to harm anyone it would not be because of hate, but because of his desire to protect the things he loved i.e. his family, his life, his friends, etc. He went on, “So when I harm others it does not come from a place of hate but from place of love.” I really liked that and felt it was poetic way of expressing a key distinction between violence and the study of the martial arts / self-protection.

I thought I’d post it here to see if it also resonated with members, and to see if others had thoughts on this distinction?

All the best,


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

My last post also made me think of the “On Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves” article by Loren W. Christensen and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. I also like their way of expressing the distinction between those who have no capacity for violence (sheep), those who have capacity for violence and use it to harm others (wolves), and those who have the ability to deal with violence and use it to protect other (sheepdogs). That article is on this website for those yet to read it: http://iainabernethy.co.uk/article/sheep-sheepdogs-wolves

All the best,


Superfoot UK
Superfoot UK's picture

I'm just going to quote from Gichin Funakoshi;

Gichin Funakoshi;“As a mirror’s polished surface reflects whatever stands before it and a quiet valley carries even small sounds, so must a student of karate-do render his mind empty of selfishness and wickedness in an effort to react appropriately toward anything he might encounter. This is the meaning of kara, of ‘empty,’ in karate-do.”

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

I love that article.

Always felt nothing but contempt for the wolves, but wanted the sharp teeth of the sheepdog just in case.



Tez's picture

Sheep do actually kill people if you aren't careful. We had a farmer up here killed by a tup, they are quite feisty and can be dangerous, a thought to ponder if you like walking in the hills and dales. Sheep are actually quite maligned creatures as are wolves.