When you first start fencing, the natural inclination is to grip your weapon very tightly and try to powerfully force it through your opponent's defenses.
And you wind up losing. A lot.
The right way to fence is by holding your weapon lightly and loosely. This gives you the ability to change direction rapidly, to move faster, and out-maneuver your opponent. Trying to force things makes you rigid; being flexible and holding a loose grasp lets you change direction and rapidly grab opportunities.
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It also requieres you learn to flow with the movement rather than forcing it. By remaining light and loose, you learn to be very efficient with your power, using the momentum of the weapon itself and the power generated by the movement of your entire body, rather than how hard you can swing with your arm.
Although, this efficiency of power becomes even more important with heavier blades, whereas with the lighter blades the added speed and maneuverability would probably be the focus.
Familiar with Wu Wei?
This is exactly what came to my mind when I read this post. Here's a quote:
"Allow yourself to yield, and you can stay centered. Allow yourself to bend, and you will stay straight. Allow yourself to be empty, and you'll get filled up. Allow yourself to be exhausted, and you'll be renewed. Having little, you can receive much. Having much, you'll just become confused."
For the longest time I was obsessed with summoning up massive energies within myself to perform all the goals I had laid out for myself in life. Then, I realized that it would be much more awesome to just get there via effortlessness instead. So now I try to do things smoothly by default, and only use the massive energy once in a while.
Self-talk is a big part of this. Notice how Ronnie Coleman always yells "light weight baby!" or "ain't nuthin' but a peanut!" before he pulls or squats 800 lbs? That's what I'm talking about. Those lofty life aspirations you have? Ain't nuthin' but a peanut.
Btw, SETT is truly working. I have gone from a random occasional commenter to someone who now contributes to the community. I am even thinking about becoming a regular community blogger here now. Kudos!
Joachim asks a good question in the comments -
I’d be interested in an expanded version of your thoughts on nationalism. My perspective is quite different – global problems require global solutions – but then you’re from the “USA! USA!” while my continent has been devastated by two world wars (more recently, consider e.g. the troubles in Yugoslavia.)
I think nationalism is like a catalyst or accelerator - it makes a place go more in the direction it's currently going. During a renaissance, nationalism makes more people excited to try new things, explore, invent, and expand. During a recovery period, nationalism encourages solidarity, a helping hand, and backing each other up instead of just feeling defeated.
It cuts both ways - in a beaten down, embarrassed nation that's paying reparations to the other side, nationalism really makes that anger and hostility get explosive - that's what Hitler whipped up. On the other hand, nationalism among the allies helped them carry on strongly, survive, and triumph. Keep calm and carry on...
Nationalism in North Korea translates to more loyalty to the insane regime, whereas nationalism in South Korea means hard work, modernization, and a high quality of life.
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