Saturday, July 10, 2010

Let the opponent cut your skin...

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.

Hands palm to palm,
Shinzen

5 comments:

  1. The fear of public speaking is (the cut) Speaking in public, overcoming the fear, is slicing thru the opponents bone. So one must experience the cut (the fear of public speaking ie; speaking in public) in order to overcome the fear(cutting it to peices.) The only way to go over a mountain is to climb the jagged rocks, cutting ourselfs as we go to reach the otherside so we can get to the next mountain. It is only after one reaches the summit that one can see the other mountains, overcome one fear to move onto the next. There are many mountains but only one way to reach the summit! CLIMB.

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  2. Thank You Anonymous...a most excellent comment!

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  3. I should really try it sometimes--often I feel the fear of being hurt soars high :p

    What I usually do is to answer any challenge--be it accepting new assignments, or trekking a trail on an unknown mountain. Indeed doing is the best way to tame the fear.

    But, well... I haven't had the challenge to get hurt physically :D

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  4. Hi Rizal...in the martial arts pain is expected. You learn there is a 'good' hurt and a 'bad' hurt. Both have to be lived through...and the challenge can be difficult, but if you choose, it is fruitful for self-examination and discovery.

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