Thus having a spirit of bushi/budo the question or choice to protect others is moot. You either do it or you don't have it.
There are situations where categories of protectees exists (is that even a word) that require you to prioritize but all in all, it's your responsibility to protect the right.
Logically, do it when you can win. But when is that ever certain? A seasoned combat veteran gets stab by a kid after a long campaign. An undefeated warrior, gets run over by an assailant who lost earlier... Such is the world of violence. Thus you can only do your best and hope for the best. A famous general said something along the lines of an imperfect plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow, essentially saying sometimes time is of the essence and we can't be 100% of anything. Having said that, entering training, getting experience are ways to improve your chances. But a gamble it remains.
Waiting for back up. Well that's all well and good when you're in uniform. In a mob... You do what you have to do.
Finally of course, a smart warrior is a live warrior. A brave warrior is a dead one....
Good post and agree with alot of what you say for sure. Agree either you do it or you don't have it. This harkens to what I was getting at with sheep/wolf analogy.
Do it when you can win. Well I think winning has very little to do with it. Of course we all want to win in a bad situation. We want to come out on top and uninjured. However, from my experiences and looking at the experiences of others that have made great sacrifices they put much bigger things ahead of their own personal safety and do these things without regard for their own personal safety or concern for "winning". You could argue that "winning" for them was doing what they did, because in the greater scheme of things, failure to do so would equate to losing. People that do dangerous things and make personal sacrifices typically do these things because the thought of living with themselves by not doing anything was unbearble to even consider. So I think the pyschology is much more complex than this. Budo, I believe, is as much about being prepared to die than it is about living and understanding yourselve and what you are willing to do. There are situations in which I have no issue with going into in which I may not come out alive. I've done it without regard for my own personal safety and would not hesitate to do those things again. Losing was never an option in any of those cases or considered. I also did not think about "winning" or look at the odds. I did what I needed to do cause it was what I needed to do and just did it.
I had to laugh about getting hit by a car. When I come back from "down range" I think about that alot. Great just went through alot of dangerous stuff and I get hit by a teenager texting! I worry more about this kinda stuff than I do about bad guys with bombs to be honest!
" Thus you can only do your best and hope for the best" I think this beckons to what I was talking about with trust. Do your best...always. That is all you can do.
"Finally of course, a smart warrior is a live warrior. A brave warrior is a dead one...."
A warrior is a warrior...period. that is, if he is indeed a warrior. Defined as such dead or alive you can pass no judgement on "smart" or "brave" based simply on defining success based on living or dying.
I guess that is what bothers me a little about some of the connotations concerning the valuation of risk in this thread. Alot of emphasis is being placed on the value of your personal life and success being defined on how you end up in the situation. Sure it is important, but for a warrior, it is secondary to many, many other factors.