The rabbit and the fox

This excellent story comes from the book Zen in the Martial Arts:

A zen master out for a walk with one of his students pointed out a fox chasing a rabbit.

"According to an ancient fable, the rabbit will get away from the fox," the master said.

  "Not so," replied the student. "The fox is faster."

"But the rabbit will elude him," insisted the master.

"Why are you so certain?" asked the student.

"Because the fox is running for his dinner and the rabbit is running for his life," answered the master.

(Joe Hyams)

The same lesson can be applied to fighting and self defence.

A fight is a mutual conflict - about something.
Self defence is when somebody assaults you - and you must protect yourself.

When you are defending your wellbeing (and possibly your life) the stakes are high.
You have everything to lose.