place sb on a field of death and he will fight to live (idiom based on Sunzi's "The Art of War" 孫子兵法|孙子兵法[Sun1 zi3 Bing1 fa3]); to fight desperately when confronting mortal danger
fig. to find a way out of an impasse
lit. to clasp the Buddha's feet when danger arises (idiom); fig. to profess devotion only when in trouble
doing things at the last minute
to make a hasty last-minute effort (often refers to cramming for exams)
More moral strength increases one's safety, more power and influence increases one's danger (idiom, from Records of the Historian 史記|史记). cf Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it (William Pitt the Elder, 1770).