With my current skill I would be able to defend myself from a large chunk of the populace. Why then do I continue to train?
1. To maintain my skill and to improve on it minutely over time. Why do I continue to try and improve?
2. Health, discipline, fun etc. Personal development. Oh, and…
3. The possibility of meeting someone with greater skill than me who threatens what I love.
Meeting such a person outside the club is unlikely, but not impossible. My scuffle with Mew taught me never to challenge a ninja to mortal combat.
When it comes to elitism, it is the minute difference in skill that tip the battle. Yes, it helps to be better with a sword than the other guy if you’re in a duel, but microseconds ultimately decide whether you can deliver the blow or not. Millimeters (or less) decide whether you get hit. And it is those millimeters you must be extra wary of- all you need to do is maintain the distance and you remain unscathed. But then, someone with the slightest trace of greater skill might be able to cover those millimeters and strike you. And that is what really wins the battle.
So, while I am only scarcely behind the others in my club, it is that tiny, tiny distance that means I will almost certainly never win a fight against them. And of course, anyone of much greater skill than me (the actors in Bruce Lee’s movies were all talented martial artists, but let’s face it, they would have gotten whooped whether it was scripted or not) would just floor me.
That’s why Nameless studied the Broken Sword’s scroll.
That’s why Shishio Makoto never took his eyes off Kenshin.
That’s why Ocelot couldn’t land a shot on the Big Boss.
That tiny millimeter which would have tipped the scale of the battle.
I still have so much to learn. But I am learning.