Ryu is a fighter, with a warrior’s heart. He is driven by a competitive spirit, and a good humor about both victory and defeat. Ryu competes with honor, frequently befriending those he fights and trains with, offering them advice upon their defeat, or promising to offer them a better challenge in the future if he is defeated.
But Ryu has a darker side. Despite his teacher Gouken’s efforts, Ryu has, somewhat accidentally, discovered the Satsui no Hadou, the surge of murderous intent that lies at the root of the ansatsuken style of fighting. If he gives into the temptation to use this terrible and powerful force, he becomes Evil Ryu, a malicious, powerful, murderous version of himself. In fact, he has given into this power before, once scarring Sagat in the process, and once when Gouken had to seal the dark energy away to restore his humanity.
We, too, deal with an inner dichotomy every day. There’s always that little(sometimes big) voice inside of you, driving you to darker ambitions. Sometimes these ambitions seem as easy as being a bit more slothful during the day, or taking the easy way out, rather than the right way. Other times, these ambitions can be straight-up malicious, driving us to harm other people.
I deal with this balance every day. Sometimes it’s just an urge to be lazy. But beyond that, I also have a Satsui no Hadou of my own. A deep-seated anger or rage, an inner “beast,” if you will. I am not alone, however, you do too. You may not have every discovered it, or had the need to use it. This beast can come out in a life-threatening situation, or a situation where you have been severely and/or repeatedly wronged. Sometimes people repress these sensations, only to “snap” later on, sometimes to horrible effect.
In order to live with this inner dichotomy, and struggle, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to admit that sometimes we have darker, more malicious ambitions. We have petty urges, and moments of lust for power. Simply ignoring these moments do not necessarily deal with the problem correctly. I personally subscribe to the belief that finding a proper outlet to vent these feelings is essential in everyday life.
Ryu’s outlet, like mine, is competition and combat. For me this extends to video games, as well. In fact, video games can be a fantastic outlet for these moments, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t have a problem with overly violent video games(unless we’re talking about kids playing them). In a video game, you exist in a vacuum. You deeds don’t have weight, and you can fulfill power and revenge fantasies without actually causing anyone harm.
Ryu tempers himself by remaining honorable. His fierce, competitive nature comes from his hadou, his inner energy. He lives by a code of being honest, humble, and friendly with his combatants, and in this he can remain honest and humble with himself, as well. He doesn’t subscribe to his own legend, or put himself on a pedestal, instead seeing every fight as a way to challenge himself, and throw his energy behind something honest and open.
Find your challenge, and you will find your temper. It doesn’t have to be as brutal as real-life combat. You can challenge yourself to be better at video games, art, music, fitness, or any other number of skills. In these challenges, getting angry at situations, your competitors, or yourself, will only cause your own progress to slow. In recognizing this you will defuse your inner satsui no hadou, and allow yourself to truly grow.
With that, our time with Ryu is done! Tomorrow is the weekly fitness journey update with Jackie and myself, and then Monday is a new grab bag post! I’ll see you all then! Until then, make sure to like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and go follow the Tumblr as well, and, as always, continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace
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