So which came first – conflict or co-operation?
Martial Arts or Social Interaction?
The aggression and violence of “I want to eat you”. The defence of “I don’t want to be eaten”.
The approach of “I want to procreate with you” The defensiveness of “I don’t trust you” or “I don’t want to procreate”.
Well, it does seem that biologically speaking eating others probably came first with its attendant fighting and violence, quickly followed by social co-operation for mutual defense and to facilitate better eating.
Sex apparently came later (even sideways according to recent research) and took quite a while (in archaeological time) to get off the ground as it were. When it did, and especially when mammals got hold of it, then the whole thing of defence against being eaten and defense of young and improvement in social conditions came together in a sophisticated group sort of way.
People started to think about relationships in conflict (with nature) and in social co-operation – martial arts was born along with politics, philosophy, sciences and social sciences.
It seems to be that these are all so closely bound up with each other in their causation and their resolution that at a fundamental level it is impossible to separate them. Away from the fundamental – eat/get eaten, procreate – attract/reject scenarios, each aspect takes a different approach, but that is really all it is – a different perspective on the same human condition.