Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Classic Duel between two warriors
I read this amazing account of a duel between two warriors. See what you think then read my notes at the end.
He was someone trying to kill me, that's all.
He addresses me and aims at me and he is ready to kill me. This is frightening but I have no time to be frightened. Later on you may perspire about it but at that moment in the heat of the battle you're too focused.
If he turns quickly I'll be dead-cut down but I'm closing up quickly on him and suddenly we're right back where we started.
All of this is just instinct now. Things are happening too fast to think everything out.
I've had enough of this so I roll the dice. I turn inside of him and prepare to strike. My opponent senses this and tries to evade.
I have him. He knows that I have him.
I strike at him and he falls away. Have I killed him? I do not particularly want to fight this man again.
I have paraphrased this to try and hide the time of this duel and the weapons used but what struck me was the grim focus on an act of killing the opponent. This sort of sharpened 'fear' must make your awareness keen and your actions take on a life of their own as your will is clear but your body acts automatically. This is down to an intimate knowledge of your arsenal and abilities in moving, turning, brandishing weapons, using your hands and feet. When the chips are down it seems it's best not to 'think' too much. By this I don't mean seek openings and create opportunities, but if your mind is clouded by thoughts of which technique to use here or there then your body and mind can't act as one unit, seamlessly. Often my Shorinji Kempo teacher says when I ask if the technique was correct, "He's on the floor and you're standing-it worked". I can see what he means.
But within this tale are lessons for us all: work out and train the basics and fundamentals diligently and consistently so that when they are needed you're body feels how to move. Be clear and decisive and don't think that fear is something you shouldn't be feeling: this great warrior did. Your mind should be clear. Maybe it will be clear in any case! Body and mind acting together for a sole purpose.
The duel above is a modern one and sees how a man and his weapon can come together as one unit in the extreme battle between two warriors intent on killing each other. The victor above was a P-51D pilot over Europe in the Second World War, shooting down and killing a German in a Bf109.