‘A monk asked, “How can one gain accordance with the Way?”
Master Mazu said, “I’ve never gained accordance with it.”
The monk asked, “What is the essential meaning of Zen?”
Mazu struck him and said, “If I didn’t hit you, I’d be laughed at from every direction.”‘ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage)
I mean Mazu has a point – the monk is almost pulling his leg asking a question like that – but even in those days, resorting to violence was getting pretty old. Perhaps the monk would have been better off spending some time contemplating Mazu’s first answer.