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Animal NHB

The section name Animal NHB was inspired by a legendary thread on The UG in the 1990s. But there are ties between humans and the rest of living things.

Dana White famously explained to the Oxford Debating Society (and everyone else) that fighting is in our DNA. But it's much more than that. Fighting, along with fear, and procreation, are not just in there somewhere, they are the core of who and what we human beings are. Love and friendship developed to make fighting and aggression work for us. Without fighting in our DNA, humankind would not have developed the capacity for deep friendship, and above all, for love.

Sam Sheridan explains in his great "A Fighter's Heart" relating pioneering academic research on aggression by Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz.

"[Lorenz] talks about geese and says that two furiously aggressive animals must bond and live together in a small space, all without weakening intra-species aggression," writes Sheridan. "They have evolved inhibitors, behavior-changing devices, that turns the aggression they normally feel toward others of their species into something else when they mate.

"The same thing, although in a more complex way, takes place among men and women of the same tribe or family, bound together for increased success against the outside world. Lorenz writes that friendship is found only in animals with 'highly developed intra-species aggression,' and goes on to say that the more aggressive the animal, the deeper the friendship."

"The ability to love and form bonds has evolved as a way to temper aggression, to turn it into something more powerful when defending hearth and home. Friendship and love are essentially evolutionary by-products of aggression. Men and women who form these deep bonds - who evolved ways to mitigate interspecies aggression - have great success in passing along their genes."

And it's deeper still. 

Many species of mammals. and even reptiles, engage in limb-to-limb combat, some playful, some serious, some even deadly serious. Fighting isn't just in our DNA, it's in DNA generally.

So stories about animals can have bearing on the practice of martial arts. And mostly, it's for fun.