Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Kiro, the best student of a karate master of the shotokan style in Nagasaki, easily defeated a long-haired young man in an August Moon festival karate tournament. Later that night, he sees the young man being chased by the villagers for stealing a piglet which he held under his arm. Kiro goes to confront the young man. Without dropping the pig, the young man fought ferociously and with a side kick sent Kiro spinning backwards and on to the ground. After he escapes the astounded Kiro asks his master how a weaker opponent, with a pig under one arm, and tired after being chased, managed to fight so well and defeat him.

The master, in answer, narrated this Zen story:

"A Zen master was out walking with his student. The student saw the fox chasing a rabbit and said to his master, “I wonder which one will win?"
"According to an old fable", his master replied, "the rabbit will get away from the fox."
"Surely not, the fox is faster".
"But the rabbit will still escape", insisted the Zen master.
"Why are you so certain?” asked the student.
"Because the fox is running for his dinner but the rabbit is running for his life."

Page 68. 'Beaten by a Novice'
from 'Myths and Legends of the Martial Arts' by Peter Lewis

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