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Too Slow? Look Again

I talked with a person who commented that our To-Shin Do looked too slow to him. He felt that for a real fight, we should be practicing with “realistic speed”. I understand how he could feel that way. Once upon a time a long time ago, I too studied a less mature form of martial art, a less sophisticated form where beating people to the punch was the only way to win.

I did not say it that way to him, though. It would only have resulted in an argument based on emotional hopes and beliefs. Instead, I invited him to look at a video clip of our art in action. He wasn’t impressed. “See? There you go. You guys are moving slowly. Your art works as long as you guys agree to move slow.”

I knew he would say that. I replied, “OK. Now watch the clip again and this time, only watch the attackers. Check out how quickly and explosively they move.” He watched and this time he remained silent. I could tell he was confused and did not know what to think. I helped him out. “There is absolute speed. And there is relative speed. In the same way, there is power and there is relative power. If your timing is right, you can fit into furious action with minimal motion. Of course, if you are not aware of timing, or you are not experienced enough to use timing to your advantage, you will not be able to pull it off.”

It is all about mastery. The master painter uses less paint and fewer strokes to tell more of a story. The master mechanic uses only minimal power to get the most from tuning a racing engine. A master story teller may use a hushed voice and few words to capture an audience, while a small child uses lots of words at high volume to express the importance of his story. Of course, you have to be ready to hear such logic. If you are still a splash and dash painter, a bang-around mechanic, or an exuberant little kid, none of this makes sense.

It can be frustrating or even pointless arguing with ignorant emotionally-charged people who harbor a conventional mind set. Are you ready to break away and advance? Ready to grasp a higher realm of order? Ready to embrace ninja taijutsu To-Shin Do? Move in relation to your attacker, and all becomes clear.

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