Are you in the light for all to see or in the shade?

Picture of Shihan

November 2001

Volume 3 Issue 11

Aibudo Kanji

What everyone who has experienced it, wishes they had knowledge of!

Aibudo practitioners are "too hot" to touch!
Aibudo practitioners are "too hot" to touch!

Does the heading refer more generally to:

Sun Tzu or Musashi?

What specific entity?

If you don't know, the explanation follows below)

--The Light and the Shade --

     The "light" and the "shade" are easy to relate to for anyone who studies strategy.  Particularly the strategies of Musashi.  Mushashi's entity of:  "To move the shade" is philosophically specific about this.  It is not physically specific nor or are any of the other entities in his "Book of Five Rings".  Having the ability to use "To move the shade" effectively is dependent, generally, upon your time within the arts and/or developed mental skills.  Physical skills, although important, are not paramount in developing and/or perfecting the philosophical strategies.  The technically "perfect" martial artist, who puts most of their effort into physical ability alone, will most generally lose to the experienced strategist.  The strategist is the one who has already gone through the physicals, changes in attitude, tried and proved the "best techniques" and have placed themselves in the "shade".

    Alright, now what is and where is this shade?  Have you ever witnessed the inexperienced martial artist who is always out in the public "showing" to the world what they know.  Generally what they "know" isn't worth discussion or demonstration, but there is one thing sure and that is, what they do know and use is being "broadcast" for everyone to witness.  Fifteen minutes of this "presentation" writes a bible for all to see.  There isn't going to be any surprises for anyone who wishes to demonstrate upon these "experts".  The one you do have to worry about is the individual who doesn't even resemble a martial artist, let alone find out later that they are a master in the arts and you didn't even know it.  The only way that you might end up finding out, is in a moment of necessity and then it will be so quick, that the "demonstration" isn't even seen, let alone mentally recorded.  The stories about what had happened will vary as much as the weather and none of it will have had anything to do with philosophical strategies.  The individual laying of the ground will not even had finished their thoughts on what they intended to do.  That is a major difference between the strategist and the physicalist.  The strategist has the skills necessary for void functionality, while the physicalist has to think from move to move, position to position.  Everyone that I know, including myself at one time, wanted this level of skill but thought that the possibility was "in the mist", but this skill is acquirable, but only through consistent mental participation within the arts.  I said mental participation and that's exactly what I meant. 


     Anyone can go to classes, seminars, training periods or whatever, but without the breakdown and study of strategy, they will never become a "true martial artist".  True martial artists, you will find, have been in the arts consistently 15 years, if not 20 or more.  They work the physicals just enough to maintain what they have but constantly work on the mentals.  It is these mentals that are never seen out in the sun for all to see, but maintained in the shade as a surprise to those who enter their space.  You could even say that these individuals are even transparent to the observer and are overlooked because of the "expert" demonstrating his trade.

-- Speed --

     What are the differences in speed?  How many types of speed are there?  Well, according to the "Five Speed Theory", they are as follows: Physical Speed

Natural Speed

Defensive Speed

Offensive Speed

and Mental Speed

     To start out simple, is to state, that the "Harder you try, The slower you become"!  Looking at the above list, the first is "Physical Speed", of which is what a beginner in anything physical operates at.  Only experienced individuals in speed are able to demonstrate this to themselves.  Beginners do not possess the necessary "Mental Speed" and it's requirements  necessary to demonstrate "Physical Speed".  The "true" masters have to "physically attempt" an action to see the resulting difference in their abilities.  The beginner has nothing to compare against.  "Natural Speed", is the speed by which you move in your everyday activities.  When reaching for a jar from a shelf, you are functioning in "Natural Speed".  If you tried to speed up in this action, you would find out that you have probably slowed down as you are then regressing into "Physical Speed".  "Defensive Speed" is whereby you are caught off guard and react to it.  You didn't think about it, you just moved.  It is therefore, naturally faster than "Physical" and somewhat faster than "Natural" as the time frame required for action has been reduced mentally.  It was a mental reaction not physical.  Moving on to "Offensive Speed", we enter the speed of some controversy.  Some would say that if you are thinking of an offensive action or movement, that you are as a result going to be slowed down.  This would be the case of the inexperienced, but not with the "true" martial artist.  Their thoughts are not

on the speed required of a movement, but only on the result of the movement.  Their mindset is forward in time of where they are at the present.  Their mind is controlling their actions alone and not the physicals required to do it.  To the "true" master, this speed is generally the slowest that they function within.  This could possibly be their initiation speed, whereas after they start movement, they immediately switch into "Mental Speed".  This is the entity whereas every movement is initiated and completed by the mind, with no thought on the physical action required or that which should take place next.  Every movement is mentally "actuated" by the necessities of the moment.  The "windows of opportunity" open, the physical action takes place, a new "window" opens and so on.  I'm not quite sure where the limitation is on "Mental Speed" as it appears, at least in my case, that it gets faster with time, irregardless of age.  There must be a time, at least after 60 years of age somewhere, that mental movement must slow down at some point.

-- Martial Arts Axiom --

There is a saying that goes along with this months dissertation and that is:

To stand still is to regress.  Those who think that they have learned everything and become conceited braggarts proclaiming their own merits after learning the movements of some Kata and acquiring dexterity in their physical movements are not fit to be considered as serious trainees in the martial arts.

These individuals will forever work in the "light" for all to see and never advance in to the "speed" required for successful movement.

-- Hashi Kedashi O Shire --

Definition:  Recognize murderous intent.

     In the wake of the WTC, Americans would do well to become more alert and become able to:

Hashi Kedashi O Shire.

--Small scale strategy --

That by which we all function in our everyday lives.  Some by training who survive with a plan, and the others who just function.