- Posted July 9, 2014 by
Boca Raton, Florida
8 Life & Leadership Lessons from Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Finally, fans have a worthy live action representation of Street Fighter universe. Thanks to the amazing cast & crew of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist (SF:AF), fans of the game have a live action series with an amazingly well written story, compelling acting, faithful and respectful treatment of the source material with top notch fight chorography, that successfully adds depth and maturity to the legacy of the series. Best of all, it just feels like Street Fighter.
Best live action feature based on a video game ever? SF:AF gets my vote.
True to my mission of identifying life & leadership lessons from video games (and video game movies, too), I want to present to you with 8 lessons that you can use to take your life to the next level.
8 Life & Leadership Lessons from Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist
To Go Further, You Need a Sparring Partner.
There is great value in having a rival peer - another who can drive you to success. In SFAF we see how first, Goki & Gouken, and then, Ryu & Ken are able to bring out their very best by having each other as a rivals. The desire to win, challenged by the competence and strength of another equal, or near equal, pushed all these martial artist to go further than if they had just been training on their own.
Shortcuts to Greatness Come with a Price
The four main characters in this story (and Gotetsu before them) are all subject to the temptation of taking a shortcut to mastering the ways of Ansatsuken, by tapping in to dark Hado, or Satsui no Hado. While this technique allows them to quickly channel a strong power, the effects on the practitioner are dangerous, if not soul jeopardizing.
In life, it can be tempting to take shortcuts through questionable means – any many individuals have been consumed or disgraced by it. Sure you can make good money selling stolen goods or by dealing drugs, but at what cost to your personally? Even if you are successful, who you are may be destroyed in the process, just as Goki is transformed into Akuma. While Akuma may be a powerful character to play in the game series, he leads a solitary and tortured life, fueled by hatred, envy, unfulfilled ambition, and his soul is restless and consumed by evil.
Thanks, I’ll pass.
Success Only has Meaning When You Have Others to Share it With
Ken’s father (Mr. Masters) finds this out the hard way. After the death of Ken’s mother, Mr.Master leaves his son with Gouken to pursue building his company (as well as help install discipline into Ken, who has been getting into trouble). Absent from Ken’s life for many years, Mr. Masters successfully establishes his business, only to realize that it is no good if you don’t have anyone to share it with. He returns to find Ken a grown man, with the hopes that he will return, to work in the family business.
Ken’s Father begins to re-establish the relationship with his son, even providing him and Ryu with some training in boxing (a sport that he has since returned to practicing). There was something really emotional about the scene where Ken and his father are training together – you can see the relationship healing as the two of them are finally able to bond.
The same holds true for all of us. What good is it to achieve success, if there is no one around to enjoy the success with us? Keep your loved ones close and make them part of your success journey.
Don’t Give Up
When you are just about to quit, you are probably on the verge of a breakthrough. In the first episode of the series, Ken is ready to resign. After years of training and hard work, Ken and Ryu still have not learned the advanced techniques of Hado.
Feeling that Sensei Gouken is not sharing the secrets of Ansatsuken, Ken is prepared to leave the dojo and move on with his life. Ken approaches Gouken to inform him that he is leaving, but Ryu intervenes and declares that he and Ken are ready for the next level of training. Finally, Gouken agrees to teach his students the secrets of Hado.
If Ken had called it quits at that moment, he would have missed the life changing training that shaped his future. How often are we ready to give up or quit, without realizing how close we are to success?
When you reach that moment that you feel like you cannot go on, that might be a sign that you are just about to have breakthrough that you have been waiting for… Stick with it.
Remember to Have Fun Along the Way
Sometimes we can get too caught up in the goal and focus of what we are doing, we can forget that what we do is not who we are. The best way to stay connected with this idea, is set aside time for fun a hobbies that may look nothing like what we do for work. In episode 10 of SF:AF we get to see Ryu & Ken unwinding by playing Mega Man 2 (one of my all time favorite games).
The Ends Do Not Always Justify the Means
Much like point number 1, some approaches may be illegal, immortal, or just unwise. The last of those three is the most difficult to deal with. Just because something is legal does not mean it is a good idea – there is a great cost to pay when using a dangerous force, as Goki finds out.
Results Come From Focus
When Goki is free of the distraction of the dojo, the expectations of others, and becomes completely focused on channeling dark Hado, he is then able to tap into even more powerful versions of techniques of Ansatsuken. The result is the Mestu hadoken, capable of destroying a rock wall.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of focus to being effectively productive in our own lives. In a previous article, I explain how Tetris can show you a focus technique that can help clear your email inbox.
The power of focus can be further enhanced to enter a state of productivity ‘flow” when time seems to disappear, then results and creativity seem to appear without resistance. Time management guru (and Karate Black Belt) David Allen says this about focus:
“Putting your mind to something (focus) activates both the subject and the object of your thinking. The body neurologically begins to respond as if the thought is true, and ideas start living a life of their own. Thoughts can occur a second time much easier than the first. Merely having thoughts is one thing. Consciously feeding them is quite another. You are powerful all the time, by way of your attention and intention. The question is, toward what are you pointing that power?”
Know Your Own Unique Strengths
In episode 11, Gouken in offering words of advice to both Ken and Ryu to prepare them for their upcoming battle against each other. The wisdom he shares is unique to each person: he speaks to Ryu in Japanese, telling him to not hold back in the match. Gouken addresses Ken in English, telling him to use aggression and focus to overwhelm his opponent.
Success looks different for each of us. Just like Ryu describes his flow of ki as cool and powerful, Ken identifies a fire flowing through him. What works for other people, may not work the same way for you. This is the importance of being authentic to who you are.
Too often, I have seen businesses try to apply a “best practice” expecting the same result in the company that some other organization was able to achieve. Using the same methods does not guarantee the same results. Ryu and Ken both practiced the same martial art, under the direction of the same teacher, but once they established the essential core of their discipline, their styles began reflect their unique character.
Trying to be someone else will not lead to success any more than ignoring the proven fundamentals of any effort will.