Thursday, May 05, 2016

5. Mae

You are in Japan during the Edo period - the time of the samurai. You have been travelling to deliver a message for your Daimyo - your Lord - when you stop at an inn. As you enter, you see a rival samurai. He is your mirror image - the same height, weight and age. He is wearing an identical pleated hakama and like you is carrying a katana in his obi.

You kneel opposite each other in seiza with a low table between you, about one tatami mat apart. You empty your mind of all distractions - Mushin - and wait.

Suddenly, you detect harmful intent from your enemy.

You draw your sword, stepping up on to your right foot, making a horizontal nikitsuke cut across his face, forcing him back so he can’t draw his sword in reply.

You bring your sword back over your left shoulder in furikiburi before raising it above your head in Jodan-no-Kamae. You check that you are balanced and reset your right foot before making a strong downward kiritsuke cut, killing your foe. 

You turn your sword in your hand to free it, bring it back above your right shoulder this time before standing and sweeping it down to shake off the blood in o-chiburi.

You change your stance and smoothly place the sword away in noto as you kneel again. Finally you stand, step back and acknowledge your fallen opponent with a moment of zanshin.

You turn and walk away, not looking back.

1 comment:

Rachel Green said...

Ah, excellent!