When Is a Curved Sword a Straight Line?
I’m working on a new book.
How to Matrix the Samurai Sword.
Should be ready in a week or so.
It requires odd graphics on my poser program,
so it might take a wee bit longer,
a couple of weeks is still my guess.
In my software program,
the hard thing is making a samurai sword.
I could go buy a jpeg,
but I hate getting things that way.
I’m on a budget,
And then I would still have a rough time turning it in 3d.
So what I do is take a line,
and make it into a pole,
and use the pole for the sword.
The hard thing is moving the pole around
and not having it shape shift on me.
Graphics are not my strong point.
let me tell you something about graphics.
I have delved into every software program in the last 25 years,
looking for ways to represent the martial arts.
One of the funnest,
but most tiresome,
was just drawing stick figures
with an appleworks program.
I wrote a whole book,
drawing hundreds of stick figures,
all the forms and self defenses,
and it was bizarre,
and it was cool.
And that was only one of the weird things I did,
in the weird world of graphics.
working on all these programs,
writing all these books,
enlightened me as to one simple fact.
I figured this out early,
and it made my researching and searching all the easier.
Here is that one simple fact:
Every weapon is a straight line.
the first thought,
when considering this,
is that it isn’t true.
A samurai sword is curved,
and what about a chain?
Or a sickle?
Or a bullet that drops to the ground because of gravity?
a samurai sword is a straight line that is bent.
A nunchuk is a straight line with a hinge in it.
A bullet falling to earth is a straight line being bent by gravity.
And so on.
sounds like a quibbling point,
But consider what is behind the weapon.
A human being.
Consider how a human being thinks when trying to destroy.
A straight line through the object to be destroyed.
So every weapon follows the thought of the human being wielding it,
every weapon then becomes a straight line at heart.
A sword slashed in a circle.
I am at the center of the circle,
extending a straight line,
There must be a trajectory,
a straight line
(often acted upon to create this illusion called a curve),
and when the bomb explodes…
it is straight lines in all directions.
I don’t discredit other geometries.
But I consider them secondary, and made of straight lines.
A circle can always be cut into smaller and smaller segments,
until it is nothing but straight lines betweens points on the circle.
if you disagree with me,
that’s what works for me.
And if you decide to believe that the universe is nothing but circles,
and you can make that work to make your martial art work,
how can I argue?
But let me tell you the real thing behind me telling you all this:
to make people think.
Most people have never considered the structure of a weapon,
let alone the geometry of the weapon,
except in the most cursory
monkey see monkey do manner.
But now you are thinking.
And that difference will lead you into deeper considerations
of how to use a weapon.
let me explain something about this new book
that is a coming.
Back in 1976
my father died,
and the house went into legal entanglements,
and I had to live there for a year
while the thing got settled.
I was out of work.
The company I was at was under investigation
for using certain cancer causing chemicals.
I tell you,
it is weird to be working next to somebody
who is apparently in great health,
young and full of it,
and have them fall off a ladder,
and be dead the next week
because of some kind of cancer that works in a week.
I was out of work,
living rent free,
got a little social security,
what was I to do?
I decided to learn the sword.
I had haunted the movie houses around the area,
from San Francisco to San Jose,
seen all the one armed swordsman movies,
all the baby carriage movies,
all the things that that people
who only saw Bruce Lee
So I went to Chinatown and bought a sword.
It was a cheap piece of stuff,
but it did for me.
I began drawing the sword,
and had friggin’ clue at all
as to what I was doing.
I tell you,
you would have laughed.
I had a solid base in Karate,
and I understood the value of basics,
and the foundation of matrixing was in my mind,
after a couple of months,
things weren’t looking so bad.
Then I came across the suburitos,
and things changed.
The suburitos (spelling?) are a series of basic exercises,
and I started matrixing them,
making long lists of potential techniques,
considering them against other weapons and methods
(straight line v circle?)
and just looking for the logic of it all.
And then I started coming up with foot patterns,
and principles that guided me into complex moves,
by the end of a year,
I knew the sword.
it wasn’t that tough.
Matrixing, you know,
but the main thing was you had to forget a lot of other martial arts,
and let the shape of the sword guide you.
To state it Neutronically:
The secret of the sword
is in understanding the exact notion
that constructed the weapon.
this has all been interesting stuff,
you have no interest in weapons.
But if you do,
I would suggest checking out Blinding Steel.
Get the knowledge of ALL weapons,
and get ready for the extreme specialization
of the samurai sword.
I don’t care if it is a pencil in your hand,
or a ten foot long can opener,
when you learn blinding steel,
you learn the truth about extensions of yourself.
have a great week,
and a great bunch of work outs,
and get ready for Hanakwanmass.
you don’t know what hanakwanmass?
I’ll tell you next newsletter.