In my book, Seven Steps to Inner Power:
“Physical Training Is Observing Reality
Even if there were no martial arts systems in existence, we could still learn much about the valuable traits developed by these systems, like survival, self defense, courage, discipline, and patience, just by watching nature. It’s not by accident that many martial art forms incorporate the qualities of animals: the tiger, eagle, crane, bear, turtle, monkey. The original martial arts masters observed valuable traits in these animals then imitated them to extend their fighting skills.
You may not be able to go directly to nature to learn basic truths and primal ideals embodied by nature’s creatures; we do not live in nature the way people did thousands of years ago. So you, the modem warrior, may have to imitate others who have learned the way before you. However, you will still need to observe as much as the original warriors did. Your ability to observe is a powerful, essential weapon in self defense.”