Victorious warriors win first and then go to war
Defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
There is the story from The Zen Ways to Martial Arts of the king that wanted a fighting cock that would always win, so he asked a zen master of the samurai to help teach it the techniques of combat. After a few days the king asked if it was ready at which the zen master replied:
“No. He is strong, but his strength is empty. All he wants to do is fight.”
After a few days the king asked again to which the response was “No, not yet. He is fierce now, and looking for a fight to test his strength.”
Again after days of training the king inquired if it was now ready. “Now, it may be possible” said the zen master. “He remains calm , his posture is good, and yet it has a lot of power deep within.”
“So we should go ahead with the fight.” said the king.
To which the zen master replied, “Possibly”.
So all the great fighting birds were brought together and the combat started. But not one would come near that one. They all looked at him and ran away terrified and he never needed to fight.”
Or as the koan goes:
Although it does not
mindfully keep guard,
the scarecrowdoes not stand in vain