Choose Your Fight
By Moshe Katz

Fight Your Own Fight

Many of us in life feel that the odds are against us. We see huge walls in front of us, walls blocking us from what we want to achieve in life, and we say "the wall is just too high". That is the story of our lives, the wall was just too high. We spend our lives feeling helpless.

But sometimes we forget that a wall is just a series of bricks, bricks that were placed there one at a time. Each brick by itself is really only very small. If we can see each huge problem in our life as just a collection of little bricks, little obstacles, then we can tackle each little problem and overcome it.

Put into our words, let's look at our problems as little battles and let's choose battles we can win.

My Wing Chun Kung Fu teacher, Sifu Chun Kwok Chow , made this point very well. He was a rather small Chinese fellow, but excellent at his chosen art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Wing Chung is excellent for close range fighting. If he could just get in close enough he could probably beat any attacker.

He used to say to me these very wise words, "You are a tall American guy, I am a small Chinese guy, if I stand at distance from you then you will destroy be with your kicks as you have long legs. I will never have a chance to fight you. Why should I let you fight your fight? I will move in quickly and fight my own fight.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day, for martial arts and for life. In fact all great martial arts lessons and life lessons can be applied to each other.

We make our problems larger than they are by grouping them all together and then seeing a "fight we can not win, an opponent to big to beat." We must choose the fight we can win, we must fight on our own terms, we must create the conditions where we have the clear advantage, and we must be aware of it.

Just as Sifu Chow would move into the right position to "fight his fight", we must move into our correct position to fight our fight and win.

I have faced problems that seemed insurmountable, dealing with municipalities, governments, and major corporations. In most of these cases I ended up getting what I wanted. I chose one small area, one small fight, and dealt with it on my own terms. How? I did not address the entire large issue of the injustice done to me, I chose one small thing such as the fact that they misplaced my luggage and now I do not have the tools of my trade that I need for my work. I did not address the issue of the high price of travel, the delayed flights and lousy service; that would be too much. I focused on the fact that I followed their procedure and now my luggage is gone and they must locate it ASAP. I always ended up getting my luggage just in time.

Remember, no wall is too high, no problem too large, if we just break it down to the little fights we can win, and then choose the time and place and terms under which we fight, we can win. Before long the big problem will have been reduced to a problem so small it will hardly worry us.

Choose your fight, and fight it on your own terms.