This story has been in my head for awhile.
A friend, and competent practitioner of the martial arts, was walking down a city street at night with a friend when he was attacked. Two men jumped them and put the one friend into the hospital with pretty bad injuries. My friend was beaten, too, but not nearly as severely.
Since that night, about three years ago, my friend has completely stopped training as he felt his skills didn't 'kick in' when needed. He has become disillusioned and cynical when it comes to the art form he used to love.
Now, I don't want to write a post about how he should resume training and how it could have happened to anybody etc. Nor do I want to comment on his teacher or his style--as I don't think that was the issue anyway.
Instead, I just think about why he feels the way he does and how I would feel
if that happened to me. Are we allowed to 'lose'? Are we allowed to have 'doubts' and weaknesses'?
It reminds me of how real violence can be, and how instincts differ from person to person.
I know there is a gap in my friend's life to this day.