Friday, October 13, 2006

Renewal of Mission

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Henry David Thoreau

Perseverance and tenacity can be traps. We can get mired in it when we are working on tough, long projects where we make the change from the mentality of "I'm trying a new thing" to " if I stick to this it will pay off." Does this happen in careers and marriages? I propose that not all "stick it out" situations have to be tolerated. When we begin to feel the drag of a project that is losing momentum, isn't that a great time to regroup, seek inspiration, and renew our excitement?

I recently took out my fencing manual again. While reading on the application of "circular parries," I started to think about how it might match the Jiao, or wrapping move in Tai Chi sword. The way a circular parry works is simple but very effective. Imagine you can do a regular parry such as a Parry 6. That is, guide the attacker's mid-level thrust so that it just misses outside the shoulder of your sword hand. To do a circular Parry 6, move just like you're performing a Parry 6, but follow through and transcribe a full circle with your blade tip, ending again in Parry 6. The effect of this is that is catches and envelops the opponent's blade and when you finally stop your parry, the whirling action that they've been caught in doesn't just make them miss but actually throws their blade far off line, leaving them open for your Riposte, or counter attack.

Is the Jiao an evasion with your hand and a circling attack to your opposite's hand or wrist, or does it envelop, control, and cast away your opposites blade like a circular parry?