Monday, July 17, 2006

Ji: The Fourth Deadly Technique

I saw "Peaceful Warrior" at the Kendall over the weekend. It is a bit overblown at times, but reminds us well that the outside world can scramble up our thoughts so much that we cannot live to the truth that comes from within. A book on Quakerism I've been reading also addresses this: Quakers gather to "pray" in silence, in a fashion that might be called meditation if it were an eastern art. They still their minds and spirits, and listen for the internal voice the "small voice" within to instruct them, free (hopefully) of the biases of outside opinions...
Ji is described as a cut using the extreme third of the blade. Mainly because I like symmetry and not out of any historical or martial insight, I'm going to say Ji is to Pi what Ci is to Dian . I suggest using Ji as the heavy commitment version of the fast, light Pi cut. Where Pi uses a quick rap to cut thin bones such as the thumb or collarbone, Ji uses a more powerful stroke like that of an axe swing to say, sever hands and split skulls. Don't think cutting like you might see a samurai do, but think chopping, like a woodsman.
This gives you a good fundamental set of moves. With Pi, Dian, Ci and Ji, you have enough tools to attack effectively in most situations in basic sword fighting. From here we will begin learning attacks that are a little harder to apply, because they will often require some aspect of footwork or complex handwork to execute.

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