On martial arts and conflict resolution with Joel Lee

Joel Lee has been training in the martial arts for 30 years and is the Chief Instructor of the Singapore Wing Tsun Training Centre. Apart from being an exponent of Wing Tsun. He has also experience in Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Aikido. By day, his secret identity is mildmannered Negotiation Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, where he also teaches conflict resolution and furthers the development of mediation in Singapore. Joel has received the National University of Singapore’s highest teaching award and an Honorable Mention by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

In this episode, we talk about the similarities between martial arts and negotiation and what we can learn from them. Joel also shares how to become a gongfu master and what the shortest way to self-mastery is. He also explains the concept of congruence and why it is relevant for conflict resolution. We touch upon Joel’s favorite movie “Kungfu Panda” and talk about its deep philosophical meaning and the panda bear effect. We also discuss why Bruce Lee said that the best martial art is “fighting without fighting” and why “the best self-defense is to make a friend.” Finally, we touch upon the meaning of competitions in martial arts and in negotiation and their role in attaining mastery.

All episodes of our Podcast on Negotiation, can be found as video on our Youtube channel, and as audio on all major podcast services under the following links:

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