> There's a paradox involved in the "trying" vs. "winning" thing. "Trying
> hard" -- in every way -- is the part of the game that I am responsible for.
> "Winning" is out of my control -- my opponent may be much too strong, or I
> may die trying. So I can only prepare myself to go all out, at the peak of
> my skill, mind, heart, ability, will, courage, within the game as I
> understand it. And to go all out is (in one sense) to try hard.
> But to try hard to ... what? To win, of course. In this sense, winning is
> the "only" thing -- because there's nothing in me that's not directed
> toward the perfection of play -- and not "everything," -- that is, it's
> not evrything when I'm not playing.
> Of course, most of the time. I don't come close to my ideal. But hey, a
> man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a perfect counter-six
> parry-riposte for?
> Stephan Khinoy
'win' against someone clearly less skilled than myself, have I gained
anything? If I am defeated but know that I have fenced well and
perhaps learned something new in the process, I have gained nothing?
Winning is nothing. Trophies and awards are trash. Some of my most
memorable bouts are ones that I lost. My opponent on the strip
deserves no less consideration than any stranger on the street or my
oldest friend. I would never consider deliberately hurting someone to
win a bout. If I did so, I would be diminished, regardless of the
outcome. The mistake is to associate winning with success.
You ask try hard to what? To do as well as you are able. To live and
to learn. To honor yourself and your opponent. Most importantly, to
have fun. If you keep these goals in sight, victory will come of its
own, and if it does not, you will still have gained a personal victory
much more satisfying. If you must abandon these things to win, then
you have gained nothing but ego and false pride. Pride should come
from who you are, not who you can beat.
The competent man is humble and walks with a greatness that no foolish
pride can ever know.
DeanRon **Honk if you're Human** Hail Eris! -><- All Hail