Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Take on the Parries

I'm thinking of buying a fish. Betas seem like low maintenence creatures, and it pleases me to think I could name it some rough and tough name like Knuckles, Lefty, or Enzo. I've already staked out a space on my desk with a little sign that says " Reserved for Knuckles the Fish."
Over the weekend, before I came up with this fish plan, I got to practice fundamental cuts with my friend Alex. She doesn't know anything about swords, but she does have an active curiosity about all things martial. While I was showing her the eight attacks, she showed me some really interesting variant angles for Jiao (Wrapping) that I hadn't considered. This just goes to show that all sources are potentially valuable for insights.
Before we move on to the last two techniques, I want to offer an alternate view on the three parries. While talking to my buddy Robin who is from Singapore, he offered a different translation of the word Dai. He said it might be more appropriate to translate Dai as " to bring to or with you." If this is the case, then the idea that Dai pulls your opposite's attack toward you and deflects them just enough to miss fits well with some descriptions I've read that Dai is analogous to Roll-Back in Tai Chi. This suggests that we might be able to think of Dai as yielding and deflecting, Ge as blocking with neutral energy (without forward or backwards movement) and Ya as pressing or pushing energy.
Dai is commonly depicted for high attacks, but if you think of it as bringing and receiving at attack, you should be able to use the same blade energy for middle and low attacks. Same would hold true for Ge and Ya I think. These additional applications may not be commonly taught, or over time the level and the energy may have become confused and connected with eachother.

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