I remember once reading an interesting article (or was it a blog?) about this subject. Or maybe it was a discussion of zen and the martial arts. Some histories make a lot of this connection and many modern martial arts practitioners would certainly like to believe that there is something more spiritual to their practice, that it's not simply a refined method of brutally dealing with threatening physical attacks. Yet that's exactly the way this one commentator put it; that in ancient times, he argued, martial arts was used to kill in life-threatening situations, and that those trained in it--and he applied this also to the samurai--gave little but a passing nod or prefunctory attention to zen or any other spiritual concerns. Hence his explanation of why in many stories some of these olden-day teachers and martial artists did some unsavory things or exhibited less than exemplary morals on many occasions.
But still, many of us, with fewer battles to fight in modern times, hope that there is a sort of spiritual side to training. As a friend of mine often jokes, "So, after 30 or 40 years of training martial arts, when do we become enlightened?" And with that, we continue to train...in the same way that Kosho Uchiyama Roshi sat zen: "Sit silently for ten years, then for ten more years, and then for another ten years."
When we train together in partner drills or two-person forms, we say, “It’s like a dance; there shouldn’t be a winner or a loser.” Isn’t this a lesson we should take away from training?
I think there were some other things, but I have to go train. If I remember them while I'm out training, I'll try to remember to write them down. But I may forget....That's okay. Just train.