Re: The Telescope
We're not even arguing semantics, we're agreeing. I said avoid the "-do" arts if all you want to do is fight. In other words, yes they are more spiritual and have less direct focus on fighting techniques.
You make a good point that the path of war was a spiritual one. I'm sure a high level of peace and personal development was achieved by many of the samurai. But, was it a higher level than that of the peaceful monks who simply studied themselves, without killing people? I would guess *generally* no.
Also, I think the cultural context is quite different. In feudal times, trouble came looking for you all the time. If you were born into a samurai family you had no choice but to live the warrior's life. Nowadays, depending on your background and where you live, it is either a little safer or hugely safer than it was back then. It is fairly easy to choose a peaceful lifestyle and succeed in maintaining one. I'm 33, and I've never been in anything that even resembled a full-blown physical self-defense situation, because I try to predict and avoid such situations. If I wanted to become a proven expert in defending myself in fights, I'd have to put myself in a position to get in some fights, which seems to me like a poor kind of self-defense (not to mention bad karma).
So I hold to my position that by DaveO's definition of True Defense, learning to win fights is less useful than, and not required for, learning to be at peace within yourself.