Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Law of Vulnerability

States that ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’ its vulnerability is its weak link. In combat a vulnerable area is a target and a target is a goal. A vulnerable target is a goal that is easier to achieve success with risk than a less vulnerable one. The master martial artist knows the vulnerable areas of his opponents mind and body, he knows where and when to strike for best effect. The true master makes no distinction between how he uses the law of vulnerability in combat or life he knows they are one and the same. The difference is how he treats his goals, every goal has its vulnerability and tough goals can seem invulnerable to attack/achievement of them.

However the better you know your target the more vulnerable it will become. A goal that has been achieved many times becomes completely vulnerable to your attack on it. A tough goal can be rendered less tough by studying it and learning where its weakness may lie. Like opponents there are tough ones and there are easy ones, there are some you can beat easily and some you can’t beat at all. But most opponents can be beat by applying thought and strategy even if (and it’s a good way to achieve a goal) by recruiting help, leveraging the energy and expertise of others to ensure your goal is rendered more achievable. I’m not necessarily suggesting you fight two against one but an attacker may certainly consider that when he targets you, making you a more vulnerable target, no matter how tough you are.

Stress is necessary and every goal that is worthwhile should give us at least a little ‘buzz’ as the adrenalin shoots through our system. However it is too easy sometimes to take the easy path and sometimes it’s nice to do so for a while like being on holiday but like any holiday its also nice to get back to normality and if we want to achieve in life, something that gives us a sense of progress and contribution we must endure some stress through choosing a road less travelled, a less vulnerable goal.

Our life, our character is decided by the quality of our goals and our courage to choose goals that are less vulnerable, that extend and expand our comfort zone. The skill is in attacking many goals whether in life or combat and the experience of achieving one goal can teach us much about achieving any goal if we study and review it afterwards. The more a fighter fights the better he understands combat, every fight has the goal of winning and the more goals we achieve the more vulnerable we make each goal to our skill of achieving it.

We must know the weak spots in our target, its vulnerability, whether it is your opponent’s body, or yours or perhaps an investment goal. Knowing the weak spot means to know also its strength for you cannot know one without the other; strength and weakness define each other. To know where to attack is to know where not to attack, to know where to invest is to know where not to invest.

Knowing your target means being more effective in its accomplishment as the task ahead is better understood and target that has been achieved before is easier to achieve again as the road has already been travelled, its mysteries are no longer mysteries. It’s harder to hit a target that you’ve never hit before because you have no experience, no reference point by which to measure your effort. Often with a new target we either fail to reach it or surpass it: using too much energy or not enough.

Recognising weakness in oneself is harder than seeing it in others but understanding ones own vulnerability is a strength in itself. We are too close to the problem to always see our own weakness or strength clearly. We can turn our vulnerabilities into strengths, just as every strong point or point of invulnerability can be turned into a weakness with the right approach. Heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano would attack his opponents’ arms if he couldn’t hit their body or head. Eventually their arms would be so tired and bruised they would drop their guard and Marciano would then have free reign to hit the targets he desired, using his enormous punching power.  

Understanding vulnerability well is to understand ones target well. When choosing a target choose one that is vulnerable to being achieved, that doesn’t mean necessarily an easy target it can mean that you have researched and studied your target before you begin taking action on it. In sport combat the competitor tests his target with attacks, fakes, feints and draws to find where his opponent is vulnerable. Once he can find where his opponent is vulnerable he can launch a winning attack. The same applies to warfare or business. We first find the weakness and then mount our attack. If we can’t find the vulnerability of a target we may decide not to go for it or reconsider our strategy and start again. The ability to find vulnerability in a target takes solid strategies backed up by good technique and the determination to achieve the goal. These are the skills of the master of martial arts business or life.

A useful strategy when choosing a new target or goal for the first time is to set one that is not too far from what you have achieved in the past and when you achieve it set another goal not too far beyond that and repeat this process until you have what you want.

You can also try for big goals that seem invulnerable too if you don’t might learning by hard experience. ‘If you aim for the stars you’ll at least land on the moon’ aiming too high still gets you higher than you’ve been before. The true fighter or businessman chooses his targets well; knows that every target is vulnerable in some way and uses his strategies to uncover that vulnerability. The point of all this is to say that we should not be put off by tasks that seem impossible, there is always a way to get what we want ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ as the saying goes and we can achieve any target if we have the will to find where it is most vulnerable.

Thanks for reading today and I look forward to speaking to you again soon on the ‘Law of Judgment’

Best wishes

Tony Higo
Chief Instructor
National Martial Arts College
0800 0920948

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