"Tigers" & "Sheep":

(From an extract edited by Patrick McCarthy)

The following metaphor came from an American colleague named Ernest Estrada, it appears in some of the enormous research he has written on karate do.

Sometimes, practicing karate, could be compared to training like tigers and sheep.

If you train like a tiger (diligent workouts and relentless body conditioning) you can always train with tigers. Other tigers will immediately recognize your ability, and you can train in peace with them. They understand that when two tigers really fight, one will die today and the other will die of injuries tomorrow. Both will die, so they have nothing to prove.

If you train like a sheep (no contact training, applications, makiwara striking, or two man conditioning) then you can only train with sheep. A tiger can train with tigers and also with sheep, he just has to be careful not to hurt the sheep. A sheep cannot train with tigers. Sheep see tigers, as very frightening animals whose training techniques they say are dangerous. A sheep training with tigers will get eaten.

However, sometimes you will find a sheep that discovers the truth about a tiger's training methods and changes. In reality, that sheep was actually a tiger in sheep's clothing just waiting to come out.

Watch people training. Look at how they act and how they behave. A tiger can be like a little kitten, and, although he is dangerous, he is also friendly. Tigers are quiet and watch everything. They know who they are and they have nothing to prove, they are at peace with themselves.

On the other hand, sheep are always making all kinds of noises and demand to be heard. They run around craving attention. They are easily hurt and easily scared. They like to group together for their own protection. When danger approaches, they look toward the grown-ups for protection, because they are unable to defend themselves. They are easy prey for the tigers.

Whether it is one sheep or several, sheep are still sheep!

Through studying the past, we are brought that much closer to understanding the present. Research of this nature is critically important if we are ever to transcend the limitations of physical training and master the self.