Nineteen

 

Do not forget the use or withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the    

body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.

 

Power

It lies in that space between process and intent

A heartbeat rocket fuelled cellular rake

Or in the steel-strong control of limb or body.

 

It is the power of self and sword,

Technique that is beyond sport.

 

Block with timing, hit with lightning.’*

 

An aphorism that hides the bone-breaking toil to master

What is the hideous complexity of the simplest Oizuki:

A

Simple

Basic

Stepping

Punch.

 

*As suggested by Sensei Dave Hazard pictured above.

Eighteen

十余り八つ

Eighteen

‘Keep kata as they are without embellishing them.’ Yasutsune Itosu. ‘..In actual combat, it will not do to be hampered by the rituals of kata. Instead, the practitioner should transcend kata, moving freely according to the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.’

Breathe, connect to loved ones

Seize the immediate air that may be the last

Commit utterly to destruction: combat.

 

As different as a tsunami

To the surface of a Scots pine forest pond-kata and combat.

 

Inner or outer audience for your kata

It is a beauty of being, a life

That begins and begins with a bow

Sixteen

GATE

文庫本16冊

When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies.

 

 

During the hardest training it has been safer than the crowded city street

On the Irish Sea in turmoil it has been calmer than a near empty pub.

 

Enemies and chance respect neither rank nor riches

The sliver of black ice or a tool held carelessly can end

All.

 

Integrity of shine and purpose can be its own kamae*

Vibrating thus as a hummingbird before tension.

 

If necessary

Be transformed and facing forward. Still.

Fifteen

images[6]

 

Think of the opponents’ hands and feet as swords.

 

In a fishing village sometimes you are in an ebb

The violence this new student unleashed

Saw our high school wake up.

 

He showed as a cornered animal would

Rage tearing at any person near

Breath held while a paroxysm endured.

 

No opponent ready to cut

Can show what jagged cup

Was drank from inside and bleeds them.

 

Meeting such and other distempers-

A quiet leaving, politeness

If not

Not a space of doubt, a hairline breath.

Fourteen

Numbers re 14

 

The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness (weakness and strength)

 

And no man or woman does not fear

That even victory negates no sunspots or their feet of clay

As water flows from Munro to moor

Your enemy and your attitude give narrative to strategy.

 

Still apart

Like the May Island breaking the Firth of Forth swell

Is the question

The need for any battle?

 

The silent and temple courage of many

Never see a dojo, never relish command

Yet they would teach you wisdom

Deeper than any kata, any perfect punch.

Thirteen

thIUWOHD2L

Make Adjustments According to Your Opponent

 

As the Falls of Dochart caress rock and pinnacle

So like those waters

Meld bane and mind to tell

Feet and body move as ane*.

In combat it means no fear

Jump off Aonach Eagach*

Seek that calm beyond danger.

In competition

Life it means timing, rhythm

Then, before and inside the storm

Attack.

Ane=one; AE=the ridge in Glencoe

 

Ane=one; AE=the ridge in Glencoe

Twelve

十二

 

Do not think of winning. Think, rather of not losing.

 

No man an island, no champion without feet of clay

Prepare within to meet the unexpected, the savage

Yet hold tight

Be  like Cerberus on a leather leash.

 

There is no sharp blade that fails to cut

And few laws that fail to fail or falter.

 

The mess of conflict not combat..

Leaving any fight as a start and the blood spilt

Or the trouble caused

Simply a first blow of many.