Friday, September 01, 2006

Dai: Setting up the Counter

In my mind I am building a pedagogical framework for teaching fighting dynamics. We've begun with a basic block to learn how to make contact between blades and knock a thrust attack off line. From there we learned to refine that contact, allowing us to yield and control the attack with the Dai parry.
Now, let's think about expanding that yield into actual movement. Picture this: you've picked up and deflected the oncoming attack with a Dai parry, smoothly redirecting the attack into a harmess empty space of your choosing. If you're clever, you rotate your body to face toward the blade, which causes the shoulder closest to the tip to spin away from the point like a Matador evading a charging bull. As you become comfortable with this motion, begin adding a little step away from the blade to make space between you and it. Either foot will do to start the step, and you should practice both ways just in case. This will soon allow you to fluidly make space to return your counterattack.
In Yin-Yang, when one force is at it's apex, you find a little nucleus of it's opposite energy forming. What we are on the cusp of when we step out is the emergence of the nucleus of an attack; the beginning of the flip from defense to offense.