This past Tuesday, the Broken Bokken Dojo was playing in the park once again, and we primarily free-sparred with weapons. One of my Yudansha, Mariah, cut my index finger at the middle knuckle with her bokken's tip. It was a clean cut. One I admired. She understands the concept of embracing the fight and moving inside.
Her actions reminded me of an old Samurai saying, "If you intend to capture the tiger's cub, go inside its den." This means you never back up, charging forward regardless of where your opponent's blade is and staying a fraction of an inch away from the blade itself. For Mariah, this is very important, as she is only about 4 foot 10 inches tall and weighs less than 100 pounds. She has to live on the inside of a fight.
She moved inside my blade and got the finger with a real nice motion resulting in a slice. The sword is a slicing tool and she did it well...I stopped for safety purposes...because as she did a nice job cutting my skin, I have learned how to let the opponent cut my skin so I can cut their flesh...it's like taking a punch to give a punch. Once you learn how to do this fear tends to diminish...at this point the samurai would also take a cut to the flesh in order to give a cut through the marrow of the bone. (I'm not ready for that yet)
This requires determination, perserverance and practice...and courage. Most of us do not like to be cut on the skin, let alone the flesh...but take this lesson and look at from a deeper psychological and spiritual way. What lessons can we learnd from this to help us grow. Let me know what you find.
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.