Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Opportunity and Means

I've been trying to write a blog post for while and it just gets messier and messier. Language is not the friend of physical description ... Anyway, I realized I already sort of wrote it: http://swordandcircle.blogspot.com/2013/09/this-is-for-you.htm

But perhaps it does need more ..

Within swordplay, as in all martial arts, you have a 'what', a 'how', and a 'when' and a 'why' that you need to learn.

An example of 'what' could be - A cut to the hand with a flicking back cut utilizing the back edge of the sword near the tip.

'How' would then be - Pull the tip back, either using the bending of the wrist, or moving of the arm/body to create a cutting action across the target.

'When' might be - A good time is when your blade is in a low position and the opponent's hand comes into range

And lastly 'Why' - Because their hand came into range and I was in a position to cut it, and hand cuts are very useful as targets.

The vast majority of martial arts answer these what/how/when/why pretty well, in fact most of their training methods are focused there.

But there are other, bigger, 'Whys', like

Why did this moment come about?
Why did the opponent let their hand come into range so you could cut it?
Why were you and your weapon in the right position to do it?
Why did you decide you could get away with it, as in, not get cut yourself in the process?

Should you care about these? Perhaps it's enough for you that the moment happens and you just take advantage of it?

Well, my opinion is that you should, because you are leaving things to chance very late in the game when you could be shifting the balance in your favor way earlier.

And how can that be a bad thing?


transit said...

So totally from an empty hand point of view and not entirely sure if it translates to weapons...

I'd been with my ICMA teacher for over a decade and we'd just finished some free flow rou shou and I'd thought to ask why I still couldn't predict what my teacher was going to do next.

He replied "How can you predict what I'm going to do next WHEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO DO NEXT?!?"


Maija said...

If you do it enough you understand that in any moment, only certain moves can come next. If your weight is 100% on the lift leg for instance, you can;t kick with it or even step unless you shift some weight. And so it is for all the points of contact - only certain things are possible next.
Predicting is possible when you start to see patterns which means time spent practicing being in the same position and aware enough to notice what happens next. So you can turn the 'inevitable clear of the left elbow with the right hand (for instance)' into something you can use.
Of course predicting is still behind in the timing. You are always behind if you wait. So better to funnel the options to only 2, say, or better yet only one. And then you have led them to your trap.

Remember single entries rarely work with people of higher skill, you have to have 2 or 3 moves lined up. #1 is a test, and then work off the reaction. Standard Bagua theory.

They don't need to know what they do next. You set them up.

transit said...

Hi Maija. Thank you for your response! I just thought to read the comments section of the post you linked to this one and I LOVE your answers to SG and CP.

I really need to get your book now. :D

Happy New Year!

transit said...

Quick question.
Is there anyone teaching Visayan Style Corto Kadena in the Philippines?


Maija said...

At this time I do not believe so.

transit said...

My loss then :(
Happy New Year from a devoted reader!