Post #999 – A Taste of Things to Come

Takuan Soho, The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom, from The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman:

Even though you know principle, you must make yourself perfectly free in the use of technique. And even though you may wield the sword that you carry with you well, if you are unclear on the deepest aspects of principle, you will likewise fall short of proficiency.

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0 responses to “Post #999 – A Taste of Things to Come”

  1. I took a jiu jitsu class in college and have long forgotten most of it. I remember the first day, though, where the instructor told us that if we didn’t commit to it for years, so that it became second nature, we’d be better off not starting as the delay in having to think about it, if it wasn’t second nature, would make it useless as a self-defense technique against a real attack. Kind of like the “head rolling down the temple stairs” analogy I guess.

    The other memorable event was when we were expecting a visit from an expert who far “outranked” our black belt instructor. A strange man wandered in before class, before our instructor arrived and, acting like an idiot, asked us a lot of stupid questions. Disregarding this “idiot” we sort of laughed at him as his demeanor seemed to show us that he was below us in our imagined hierarchy (we were university students and the man acted like a bum) and prepared for a visit by an “expert.”

    The “bum” wandered off and, fifteen minutes later, reentered in “uniform” his idiotic demeanor gone and a new expert one reassumed. It was as if he were sizing us all up when our guards were down, judging the way we dealt with him when he was out of uniform and appearing weak. The transformation was amazing and the lesson will never be forgotten. He seemed both an expert in martial arts and in investigating human nature.

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