"Meeting the dragon in the cave" is a metaphor for confronting one's own deepest fears and obstacles.
And then there's the Chinese folk tale of the "true dragon," adopted as a parable by countless teachers.
Here's the story:
Yeh Kung-tzu was a man who loved dragons. He studied dragon lore and decorated his home with paintings and statues of dragons. He would talk on and on about dragons to anyone who would listen.
One day a dragon heard about Yeh Kung-tzu and thought, how lovely that this man appreciates us. It would surely make him happy to meet a true dragon.
The kindly dragon flew to Yeh Kung-tzu's house and went inside, to find Yeh Kung-tzu asleep. Then Yeh Kung-tzu woke up and saw the dragon coiled by his bed, its scales and teeth glittering in the moonlight. And Yeh Kung-tzu screamed in terror.
Before the dragon could introduce himself, Yeh Kung-tzu grabbed a sword and lunged at the dragon. The dragon flew away.